U.S. Cyclocross Nationals: What The Old Guy Rides

Cross

Montana Velo rider Frank Gonzalez climbs to victory on his B bike.

Okay, this headline might leave you scratching your head. But the point is that we usually get all hot and bothered looking at pro bikes when the reality is that many of us regular folk are much more likely to end up on a bike such as the one ridden by Master’s Men 50-54 winner Frank Gonzalez (pictured above), because like most of us, Gonzalez is a regular guy with a regular job, a wife and a couple of kids.

Propelling Gonzalez to his come-from-behind victory on Thursday at Valmont Bike Park in Boulder, Colorado, were two bikes. He started the race on a LaPierre HM X-Lite. Then after breaking his saddle on one of the course’s steep downhill sections, he switched to his back-up steed, a Cannondale Optimo. Both rigs are a at least a couple years old, were spec’d with blended SRAM Force/Rival drivetrains, and generally were nothing particularly fancy when measured against the disc-equipped, carbon-wheeled race machines of today.

Gonzalez started on the LaPierre, but switched to his Cannondale after snapping his saddle.

All the credit to Gonzalez then, who despite some significant odds, managed to pull off a national title winning ride. After the race he said he actually rode the broken saddle for two laps because his fourth-row call up had put him so far back at the start of the race he didn’t want to lose time switching bikes.

“I just did a big six-week training block, but when I got called up fourth row I figured it was all for nothing,” said the Helena, Montana resident who works for the state’s department of labor. “On the second steep downhill, I couldn’t get back into my pedals, so I must have put too much weight on my saddle and it just snapped. All that was left were the rails.”

Gonzalez rode those rails until he caught back up to the race leaders, then finally opted to take the bike change. From there he pulled into the lead and eventually crossed the finish line solo, 30 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Craig Cozza.

For a closer look at both of Gonzalez’s bikes, check out the extended photo gallery below. But first here are top 5 results from the rest of Thursday’s action, which included 14 masters races and an appearance by Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, who presented medals at the last four podium presentations.

Racing continues through Sunday, Jan. 12. Friday’s action features two masters categories (men 45-49 and women 30-34), juniors men 9-16, juniors women 9-18, as well as the collegiate team relay.

Another muddy day at nationals.

Masters Women’s 40-44: 1. Nina Baum (Albuquerque, N.M.) 42:58 ; 2. Christina Gokey-Smith (Denton, Texas/Colonel’s – Sho-Air) +0:28; 3. Catherine Moore (Waco, Texas/Squadra Di Servitori) +1:05; 4. Kristal Boni (Erie, Colo./Rapid Racing) +1:12; 5. Lisa Hudson (Golden, Colo./Feedback Sports Racing) +1:14

Masters Women’s 45-49:
1. Karen Hogan (Louisville, Colo./Team Kappius) 32:36; 2. Margell Abel (Boulder, Colo./Natural Grocers Cycling Team) +0:38; 3. Tracy Yates (Arvada, Colo./Tough Girl Cycling) +1:51; 4. Laura Trace (Portland, Ore.) +1:51; 5. Katrina Baumsteiger (San Luis Obispo, Calif./Team Rambuski Law) +2:04

Master Men’s 50-54:
1. Frank Gonzalez (Helena, Mont./Montana Velo) 48:25; 2. Craig Cozza (Presto, Pa./UPMC-Pro Bikes) +0:30; 3. James Coats (Campbell, Calif./California Giant Cycling) +0:40; 4. Michael Hogan (Louisville, Colo./Team Kappius) +0:42; 5. Ralf Warmuth (Piscataway, N.J./Finkraft) +0:59

Masters Women’s 50-54:
1. Anne Trombley (Nederland, Colo.) 32:56; 2. Leeann Storino (Carlsbad, Calif./Celo Pacific) +1:02; 3. Michele Bliss (Boulder, Colo./Team Small Batch) +2:31; 4. Julie Lewis-Sroka (N Royalton, Ohio/Lake Effect Cycling Team) +3:07; 5. Deidre Garvey (Boulder, Colo./High Peaks Masters) +3:22

Masters Men’s 55-59:
1. Henry Kramer (Menlo Park, Calif./California Giant Cycling) 38:10; 2. Norman Kreiss (Orinda, Calif./California Giant Cycling) s.t.; 3. Karl Kiester (Denver, Colo./Great Divide Brewing Company) +0:10; 4. Russell Thorstrom (Boise, Idaho) +0:48; 5. John Wilson (Corvallis, Ore.) +0:55

Masters Women’s 55-59:
1. Laura Howat (Salt Lake City, Utah/Ski Utah-Plan 7); 2. Susan Lynch (Medfield, Mass./Bell Lap Cycling Club) +0:19; 3. Kim Bear (Santa Fe, N.M./New Mexico Spokette Racing Team) +1:24 ; 4. Catherine Ebeling (Glendale, Mo./Michelob Ultra-Big Shark Racing) +1:52; 5. Terri Smith (Nederland, Colo./Boulder Cycle Sport) +2:43

Masters Men’s 60-64:
1. Hardwick Gregg (Helena, Ala./Birmingham Velo) 40:52; 2. D. Douglas Long (Chillicothe, Mo./360 Racing) +0:08; 3. Charles Townsend (Mendota Heights, Minn./NorthStar Development) +0:24; 4. Glen Jones (Madison, Wis./Trek Midwest Team) +0:42; 5. Erik Brooks (Seattle, Wash./Avanti Racing Club) +0:58

Masters Women’s 60-64:
1. Maurine Sweeney (Highlands Ranch, Colo./Old School Racing) 36:08; 2. Tove Shere (Santa Fe, N.M./Sport Systems Mountaintop Cycling) +0:18; 3. Carol Ruckle (Redlands, Calif./Team Redlands) +4:15; 4. Glenda Taylor (Topeka, Kan./Free State Racing) +5:47; 5. Catherine Nicoletti (Louisville, Colo./Cross Propz Racing) +9:38

Masters Men’s 65-69:
1. Phillip Bannister (Putney, Vt./Putney Bicycle Club) 43:03; 2. Robert Ogrean (Bloomington, Minn./The Fix Studio) +0:18; 3. Lewis Rollins (Salt Lake City, Utah/Velosport Racing) +1:21; 4. John Ruger (Boulder, Colo.) +1:29; 5. Allan Marvin (Denver, Colo./Alpha Bicycle Co.-Vista Subaru) +1:51

Masters Women’s 65-69:
1. Martha Iverson (Durango, Colo./K4 Racing) +43:12; 2. Julie O’Neill (Milwaukee, Wis.)

Masters Men’s 70-74:
1. Robert Llamas (Montrose, Calif./Montrose Cycling Club) 51:23; 2. Loren Hettinger (Littleton, Colo./Schwab Cycles Racing Team) +1:03; 3. James Kinsinger (Erie, Colo./Boulder Orthopedics) s.t.; 4. Jerry Shere (Santa Fe, N.M./Sports Systems Mountaintop Cycling) s.t.

Masters Women’s 70+:
1. Julie Lockhart (Dunstable, Mass./Northeast Bicycle Club (NEBC)) 26:37

Masters Men’s 75-79:
1. Ronald Riley (Aptos, Calif.) 51:08

Masters Men’s 80+:
1. Walter Axthelm (Durango, Colo./Durango Wheel Club) 41:05; 2. Frederic Schmid (Waco, Texas/Bicycles Outback Racing) +3:51

U.S. Cyclocross Nationals: What The Old Guy Rides Gallery
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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

The epicenter of U.S. cyclocross racing this week.
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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

Men's 50-54 winner Frank Gonzalez aboard his back-up back, a Cannoncale Optimo.
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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

The Montana native and father of two was clearly stoked.
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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

Gonzalez's no-saddle LaPierre with Dura-Ace wheels, a blended SRAM Force/Rival drivetrain, and a 39t single ring set-up.
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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

Both bikes were dressed with Clement's top-end mud tire, the PDX.
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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

Crank Bros. Candy pedals worked well in the mud, except for the first lap when Gonzalez couldn't clip back in and broke his saddle.
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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

39t chainring under there somewhere.
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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

The B bike, a Cannondale Optimo.
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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

Gonzalez broke a saddle just like this one. Perhaps honeycomb is not the best material for racing cross...
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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

Another sun-splashed day in Colorado.
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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

Mud...
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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

Mud...
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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

And more mud...
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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

Better bring your mud tires.
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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

Gonzalez climbs to victory.
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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper made an appearance at cross nationals.
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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

Battling for position.
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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

Up the 5280 Run Up. Ooph...
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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

In the pain cave.
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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

Waiting in the pits.
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2014 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships

The bike wash line was long.
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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