U.S. Cyclocross Nationals: Best of the Best Do Battle

Cross Race Coverage

Jeremy Powers blast his way to a second national title in three years.

For five often mud filled days, Boulder, Colorado’s Valmont Bike Park was the epicenter of U.S. Cyclocross racing, as all ages and abilities battled it out for the right to be called 2014 national champion. But the big show didn’t come until this past weekend, when the best under-23 and elite racers in the country took to the testing track that demanded equal parts power and skill. When the dust settled, top honors went to Logan Owen, Kaitlin Antonneau, Katie Compton and Jeremy Powers, who each earned stars and stripes jerseys. RoadBikeReview.com was there for all the elite races. Scroll down to see an extended chronological photo gallery of all the key action. For full results from the entire week, head over to www.usacycling.org.

Elite Men

1. Jeremy Powers (Easthampton, Mass./Rapha-Focus) 59:16
2. Ryan Trebon (Bend, Ore./Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) +0:43
3. Tim Johnson (Topsfield, Mass./Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) +1:36

Elite Women
1. Katherine Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo./Trek Cyclocross Collective) 42:36
2. Elle Anderson (San Francisco, Calif./California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized) +0:49
3. Meredith Miller (Boulder, Colo./California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized) +1:19

U23 Men

1. Logan Owen (Bremerton, Wash./California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized) 49:17
2. Yannick Eckmann (Boulder, Colo./California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized) +0:10
3. Cody Kaiser (El Dorado Hills, Calif./California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized) +2:22

U23 Women
1. Kaitlin Antonneau (Colorado Springs, Colo./Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) 44:42
2. Ellen Noble (Kennebunkport, Maine/Trek Cyclocross Collective) +1:44
3. Hannah Finchamp (Altadena, Calif./Team LUNA Chix) +2:23

U.S. Cyclocross Nationals: Best of the Best Do Battle Gallery
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    Ever Changing

    A foot of snow the weekend before slowly retreated throughout the week. But even on Saturday there were still significant mud sections. Only on Sunday did the course fully dry out.
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    Road To Perdition

    Pain, suffering, and for some, glory waited down this road.
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    Bond Broken

    Though the pair are teammates, Logan Owen (top) and Yannick Eckmann fought a race-long U23 national title battle on Saturday.
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    Powerful Push

    Owen proved that his run of eight-straight junior national titles was no fluke. His first crack at the under-23 crown ended with a convincing 10-second victory.
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    Numbers Game

    Owen's mom concocted this sign, celebrating her son's latest triumph.
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    Breaking It Down

    Owen explains his race winning ride following his ninth national title victory.
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    Obligations

    With great success comes great responsibility.
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    Dirty Business

    A U23 racer sports a mud mask following the final race on Saturday.
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    Winner's Rig

    Owen's Specialized Crux.
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    Stay Warm

    High winds and cool temperatures made foul-weather gear a course-side essential.
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    Staying Warm

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    Winner's Lair

    Instead of a tent in the expo area Powers and his Rapha-Focus team holed up in this nearby warehouse, which meant not having to deal with the near-constant wind that blew all week.
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    Brake Switch

    Like a lot of racers in Boulder, Powers was forced to switch brakes after SRAM's massive hydraulic brake recall.
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    Key Choice

    Powers planned to run Dugast Typhoon tires unless the course somehow turned muddy again.
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    Back Ups

    Powers teammate Zach McDonald had multiple footwear options.
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    Credit For All

    Powers mechanic Tom Hopper gets credit for keeping the bikes running smooth via a sticker near the bottom bracket.
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    That's That

    Midway through the first lap of the elite women's race, Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) came around early leader Elle Anderson (California Giant Cycling), then quickly dispatched the would-be challenger.
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    Stepping Away

    After securing the overall World Cup title a week ago, Compton came to Colorado intent on defending her national title.
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    Full Gas

    To no one's surprise Compton led wire-to-wire, winning by nearly a minute. It was here 10th straight national title. Elle Anderson and Meredith Miller completed the top 3.
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    Hydration Station

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    No Hope

    Georgia Gould (right) was never a factor on Sunday, finishing a distant fifth one spot ahead of Rachel Lloyd (left).
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    Mass Participation

    Fields in Colorado were huge all week, with 111 women lining up for Sunday's elite race.
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    Crowded Stairs

    The grueling 5280 Run Up drew a large chunk of the estimated 6,000 fans who showed up to see the men's and women's elite races on Sunday.
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    THE Bike

    Twenty minutes before race start, Jeremy Powers Focus cross steed sat alone along the fencing at the start line. Ninety minutes later, rider and bike were national champs.
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    Drawing A Crowd

    A whopping 105 riders started the men's elite race.
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    Game Face

    Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) was a picture of concentration in the minutes before race start.
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    Go Time

    After spending extended time in Boulder to adjust to altitude and master the nuances of the tricky Valmont Bike Park course, Jeremy Powers was alone with his thoughts in the moments before the start of the men's elite race.
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    Reign Over

    Belgian-based American Jonathan Page spent most of his 2013-14 season battling the world's best in Europe before coming back stateside to defend his national title. This time, though, Page settled for sixth.
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    New Gear

    Though multiple riders were spotted experimenting with SRAM's yet-to-be released CX1 drivetrain, only Ryan Trebon opted to race on it.
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    Big Head

    Johnson had huge fan support all over the Valmont Bike Park course.
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    Ready, Set...

    The final countdown to the start.
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    And They're Off

    The massive men's elite field charges down the start/finish straightaway.
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    Just Like That

    It took Powers less than a lap to break off the front. Only Trebon was able to respond — but not for long.
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    Chasing In Vain

    Johnson (left) and Page were gapped early and never had a say at what went on in the front of the race.
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    Mano-a-Mano

    Powers and Trebon broke away early, then battled each other in the middle portions of the hour-long race.
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    Find Your Line

    After days of muddy conditions, the course finally dried out on Sunday. It was a perfect track for Powers, whose skill set is a devastating combination of speed and skill.
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    Brrrrrraaaaaappppp

    Powers (Rapha-Focus) lived up to his name, posting the fastest lap times of the week on the way to a convincing win.
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    Hanging On

    Trebon (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) couldn't track down Powers, but easily held on to take second on the day in the men's elite race.
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    Pete's Plunge

    Named for course designer and Boulder-local Pete Webber, this off-camber right hander was among the course's most difficult sections.
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    Hill Repeats

    While fans swarmed the stairs and technical sections, the course's backside hill was equally critical -- and much quieter. Here No-Tubes ride Jake Wells battles to a 13th place finish.
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    All Alone

    Powers spent the later half of the race executing a perfect one-man time trial around the Valmont Bike Park course.
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    Say Goodbye

    2103 national champion Jonathan Page (Fuji-Spyoptics) loses touch with the final two spots on the podium, as Jamey Driscoll and Allen Krughoff (both Raleigh-Clement) ride off into the distance. Page ended up sixth, with Krughoff fifth, and Driscoll fourth.
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    All Smiles

    Powers and his wife Emily (reflected in his sunglasses) celebrate his national title.
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    Victor's Spoils

    Powers first post-race embrace went to his wife Emily. It's his second national title.
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    On The Big Screen

    Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) slipped a pedal early in race, and had to battle back just to claim the third spot on the podium.
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    Out of Style

    A year after winning the national title, Page will have to retire this jersey following a disappointing sixth-place effort.
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    Hugs All Around

    Powers shares a moment with confidant and team mechanic Tom Hopper. The pair will now pack up and head to Europe, hoping to replicate Sunday's success at next month's world championships.
About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures in British Columbia, Belgium, Brazil, Costa Rica, France, and Peru among many others. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in January, 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and edited a book on cycling tips. When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying the great outdoors with his wife Lisa.


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