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2001 US CX Nat's

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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

2002 US Cyclo-cross Nationals - CN

Domaine Chandon, Yountville, California, USA, December 14-15, 2002

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Elite Men

Page solos to win in Napa rain-fest

Mud glorious mud
Photo: © Rob Karman
Click for larger image

Two seasons of racing the Belgian mud provided the perfect preparation for Jonathan Page (Richard Sachs) as he rode away and stayed away from the rest of the men's elite field, taking victory in the 2002 US National Cyclo-cross Championships this afternoon.

Wells led from the start, aiming to build a margin to buffer himself against the treacherous conditions during the hour-long race. However, no margin was afforded as Page left other US 'cross stars such as Travis Brown, Todd Wells and Marc Gullickson trailing in his wake, unable to close the gap.

After three laps, Page had a lead of 1.10, a canyon of time in cyclo-cross, and the race was all but over. Gullickson and Wells, meanwhile, found themselves splashing in frustration.

"I thought he went out a little hard, but he never came back," said Gullickson, the 1999 National Champion. "By halfway through the race it was over; he was out of sight."

"That was my whole plan, to put these guys on the defensive right away," said Page. "And it worked for me today. Luckily, I only made one mistake, eating it on one of the descents."

While Page's work was done and the coveted US team spot at the World's in Monopoli, Italy guaranteed, the race for second proved fascinating. Gullickson and Wells had to contend with Travis Brown (Trek/Volkswagen), who followed their every move.

"I've been in that position and several times this year, and it's not a good place to be," said Brown, a legend in mountain bike racing with strong cyclocross skills. "Those guys are super strong, and they're super dialed tactically. I was on the ropes the whole time covering them."

The chasing trio swapped positions constantly almost to the line, where Wells eventually held off Brown to take silver in a photo finish, while Page won with enough time to work the crowd of 5,000 spectators at the finish line.

Results (Provisional)

1 Jonathan Page (Richard Sachs)                    1.01.29
2 Todd Wells (Mongoose Hyundai)                       1.00
3 Travis Brown (Trek/VW)
4 Marc Gullickson (Mongoose Hyundai)                  1.23
5 Andy Jacques-Maynes (Clif Bar)                      2.17
6 Tim Johnson (Saturn)                                2.23
7 Dale Knapp (Kona-Kenwood)                           2.47
8 Jackson Stewart (Clif Bar)                          2.50
9 Frank Mapel (Specialized)                           2.55
10 Barry Wicks (Kona)                                 3.17
11 Ryan Trebon (Krystals)                             3.27
12 Ben Jacques-Maynes (Spokesman Bulion Steel)        3.29
13 Adam Craig (Giant)                                 3.35
14 Justin Robinson (Spokesman/Bullion Still)          3.44
15 Johannes Huseby (Independent Fabrication)          4.20
16 Jeremiah Bishop (Trek/Volkswagen)                  4.27
17 Steve Tilford (Shimano)                            4.34
18 Alan Obye (Balance Bar/Devo)                       4.39
19 Barton Bowen (Kona/Kenwood)                        4.47
20 Russ Tiles                                         5.09
21 Erik Tonkin (Kona/Kenwood)                         5.09
22 Mark McCormack (Saturn)                            6.16
23 Jonny Sundt (K2)                                 1 lap