Cody Kaiser, Jeff Bahnson and Skyler Trujillo celebrate atop the 17-18 men's podium. - Photo courtesy: USA Cycling/Andrea Smith
Bend, Ore. -Danny Summerhill (Englewood, Colo./Garmin-Felt) and Cody Kaiser (El Dorado Hills, Calif./Cal Giant) earned the U23 and Junior 17-18 national titles as the next generation of American cyclo-cross was featured on a muddy course in Bend on Saturday. Four master men's titles were also awarded on the penultimate day of racing at the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships.
Temperatures warmed into the forties around Bend's Old Mill District causing treacherously slippery course conditions as the early week snow and ice turned to mud in time for the mid-day U23 national championship.
"It was nothing like I ever expected," said Summerhill. "I've been here for a week, watching the snow. Of course all the days out on the course leading up to today were nothing like the actual race. It was completely new to me, the whole course and all the muddiness; ice under mud and mud under ice."
Moving up age classes after a stellar silver medal showing in last year's 17-18 contest Luke Keough (Sandwich, Mass./Champion Systems) grabbed the hole shot just ahead of Summerhill and mountain bike pro Chance Noble (Camarillo, Calif./Cal Giant), who shot up from the fourth row. With last year's junior national champion Zach McDonald (Bainbridge Island, Wash./Stevens Classic Cycle) out of contention due to a mechanical, the three leaders rode together out front for the early part of the race. It wasn't until the start of the third lap that Keough fell off pace after a bobble on the off camber downhill on the back side of the course. Noble was able to stay with Summerhill for the next few laps but ultimately fell off the pace of the former junior world championship bronze medalist, settling for second in the U23 contest. Check out USA Cycling's YouTube page to watch an interview with Summerhill.
In the 17-18 division, it was another classic battle of 1-2-3 as Skyler Trujillo (Fort Collins, Colo./Black Sheep) grabbed the hole shot with Jeff Bahnson (Newark, Del./Thule/Vandessel) and Kaiser quickly grabbing his wheel. The 2008 15-16 national champion, Bahnson put the pressure on early and built a five second gap, but by the third lap Kaiser was able to pull away for the nearly 50 second victory. That left Bahnson and Trujillo to battle it out for the silver going into the final turn where the Delaware native got the best of the Rocky Mountain rider. Chris Wallace (Shawnee, Kan./KCCX-Verge) grabbed fourth before John Burton (North Logan, Utah/Joy Ride Bikes) won a sprint to the finish to grab the final podium spot.
"It was a good battle between Bahnson, Trujillo and myself," said Kaiser. "It was slick out there so it really came down to who made the least mistakes."
Hear more from Cody Kaiser, here.
In the day's earlier action, Former pro mountain bikers Peter Webber (Boulder, Colo.) and Don Myrah (San Jose, Calif.) squared off in a re-match of the 1993 elite national title race in the 40-44 master men's competition. Almost 20 years later the pair exchanged podium places with Webber grabbing the gold and Myrah settling for silver amongst the 150-rider field.
Kevin Hines (East Wareham, Mass./Corner Cycles) turned in a stellar performance in the early morning 50-54 race, winning the national title by nearly a minute. Bobby Langin (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Platinum Performance) then held off Rich Cramer of nearby Beaverton, Ore. to grab the silver.
Grant Berry (Durango, Colo./Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory), Matt Pacocha (Boulder, Colo./Hudz-Subaru) and Jake Wells (Avon, Colo./Mafia Racing) got out front quickly in the 30-34 contest. Wells was chased out of the lead group halfway through the race, leaving Pacocha and Berry to fight it out for the next few laps until Berry was able to open a 20 second gap.
"I was trying to race clean and see how it was going to play out," explained Velonews' Pacocha. "Things were cooling off so late in the day and the grass was really freezing up making it really slippery. I had a little crash and he was able to get away."
The three early leaders were not the story however in the 35-39 age division as Jonathan Baker (Boulder, Colo./Vitamin Cottage) surged from the fourth row to catch the leaders late in the race.
"After getting through the pack I was riding by myself most of the time," said Baker. "I wasn't sure if I would catch them, but I just wanted to keep racing hard. I was 20 seconds back at one point, but I think they started looking at each other a bit late in the race and I was able to close it."
Baker passed Justin Robinson (Bonny Doon, Calif./Cal Giant), Ali Goulet (Salt Lake City, Utah/Church of the Big Ring) and last year's champion Brandon Dwight (Boulder, Colo./Boulder Cycle Sport) on the final lap to move up to the top step of the podium.
As a part of a testing demonstration MyLaps Sports Timing ChipX timing system will be providing UNOFFICIAL, immediate results with lap information for select races via the USA Cycling website at: https://www.usacycling.org/events/2009/cxnationals/cxresults.php.
The USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships will conclude on Sunday with the Collegiate and Elite men's and women's national championship contests. Click here for a complete schedule.
2009 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships
Saturday's National Champions:
Junior 17-18 Men: Cody Kaiser (El Dorado Hills, Calif./Cal Giant)
U23 Men: Danny Summerhill (Englewood, Colo./Garmin-Felt)
Master Men 30-34: Grant Berry (Durango, Colo./Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
Master Men 35-39: Jonathan Baker (Boulder, Colo./Vitamin Cottage)
Master Men 40-44: Peter Webber (Boulder, Colo.)
Master Men 50-54: Kevin Hines (East Wareham, Mass./Corner Cycles)