US Cyclocross Championships - CN
Providence, RI, USA, December 9-11, 2005
Results & report
Race 8 - December 10: U 23 Men,
Complete live report
Commentary by Steve Medcroft
Good morning world. Our live coverage
of the Liberty Mutual U.S. Cyclocross National Championships will get started
shortly. We'll begin with the Elite men's U23 race which has been moved from
noon to 1pm Eastern Standard U.S. time. The fifty-minute U23 race will be followed
at 2pm by the forty-minute Junior men ELite (17-18 years old) and then at 3pm
with the sixty-minute Elite men's race.
Course and weather conditions
are dramatically different than the end-of-the-world snowstorm that caused promoters
to postpone the last two races of the day (see Saturday's news item). Those
postponed races were run this morning, causing the schedule changes and adjustments
that delayed the U23 race.
Today, the skies are clear and the temperature
is two degrees above freezing so the hard-packed snow that covered the course
yesterday and froze overnight has been cut to apple sauce and kicked out of
the rider's lanes so we're now seeing finisher's in the morning's races splattered
in mud and desperate for dry clothing.
A handful of championship jerseys
have already been handed out this weekend. Here's a summary:
40-44, Audrey Huffman (Mad River Riders)
Women 45-49, Patti Kaufmann (Team
Women 50-54, Tove Shere (team Ochsner)
Women 55+, Betty
Jordan (Velo Bella)
Men 35-39, Shannon Skerritt (VANILLA BICYCLES)
Men 40-44, Dale Knapp (Kona)
Men 45-49, Steve Tilford (Verge/Shimano)
The awards for this morning's juniors, collegiate and Men 30-34 are happening
in the next thirty minutes. We'll ring you those national champions shortly.
While the U23 men warm up on the sloppy
course, here are the national champions from this morning's races:
Men, Brent Bookwalter
Women, Melodie Metzger
Fort Lewis College
10-12, Logan Owen
15-16, Alex Coelho
13-14, Kaitlin Antonneua
15-16, Smantha Schneider
17-18, Arielle Filiberti
U23, Clara Beard
Maureen Bruno-Roy (Independent Fabrications)
35-39, Marianne Stover (Independent
Men 30-34, Justin Robinson (California Giant Strawberries/Specialized)
The men's U23 race is underway. The
race started out on a long, gradual uphill and race favorites Jesse Anthony
and Troy Wells are well placed at the head of the race.
Five riders have formed a lead group
and split from the field in the first lap of a very technical and slippery course.
Troy Wells and TIAA-CREF teammate Zach Grabowski are in the group. Jesse Anthony
fell in the early going and is dangling off the lead group.
Grabowsky is the leader on the course
now. Brent Bookwalter, who won the collegiate race earlier in the day, is following
in second. Wells is still with them as well as Adam McGrath. Jesse Anthony,
who has won six national championships in a row and is going for his seventh,
has just pulled into the pits behind the lead group and is losing even more
Heading into the second lap, Brent
Bookwalter and Troy Wells are trading the lead about ten seconds ahead of third
place. With three TIAA-CREF riders in the top five and Jesse Anthony dangling
about thirty seconds off the lead in sixth place, the boys in blue have a advantage.
Anthony is going to need to dig deep to bring back the leaders and still have
anough energy to push ahead if he is going to win.
Bookwalter is being aggresive at the
front of the race putting Wells on the rivet. He seems to be flowing thourgh
the more technical sections of the course. Maybe racing this morning, in conditions
similar to now, is an advantage to the collegiate national championship.
Just a note about the course. It's
laid out in a corner of Roger Williams Park just south of Providence Rhode Island.
The park covers 430 acres. Most of the course is contained within a ten-acre
bowl with a frozen lake as a backdrop. The course weaves up and down through
the terrain with plenty of off-camber turns, run-ups, barriers and even a series
of stone steps.
13:19 EST 20minutes/30minutes to go
still chasing Bookwalter. His head is down and bobbing side to side as the riders
past the start/finish line heading out for their third lap. Jesse Anthony has
somehow pulled himself back into third on the course and looks powerful and
comfortable on the road.
Wells, younger brother of former cyclocross
national champion and MTB star Troy Wells, has slipped out front and is driving
the pace and opening a gap. He needs to find a rhythm to keep the hard-charging
Anthony at bay long enough to win the U23 national championship.
There are now three laps to go in
the race. Wells looks like he's pushing beyond what he believed was his own
strengths and staying away from Bookwalter. Anthony is still charging but the
gaps remains open.
1 Troy Wells
2 Brent Bookwalter @ 7 seconds
3 Jesse Anthony @ 25 seconds
13:32 EST 32minutes/18minutes to go
creeping up to the back wheel of Bookwalter, only eight seconds behind him now.
If the two get together, it poses a more serious threat to Wells lead than if
the three riders have to stick their faces in the wind alone.
13:36 EST 34minutes/16minutes to go
three have settled into their rhythms and the gaps are holding. Wells only needs
to hold on for two more laps to take the national champonship. Even though he
is pressing, Anthony is staying back at 20 seconds and still hasn't managed
to close the gap on Bookwalter.
Anthony just ran around Brent Bookwalter
on a steep run-up and is now second on the course.
Anthony is thirteen seconds behind
Wells. Bookwalter is hanging to Anthony's wheel. Wells is holding on. When the
riders come thorugh the start/finish (about four minutes from now), he'll have
just one lap to go to pull of an incredible upset of a long-standing favorite.
13:43 EST 40minutes/10minutes to go
making a strong push and is now at only ten seconds back.
13:45 EST 42minutes/8minutes to go
Wells is on
the final lap and his gap, thirteen seconds over Jesse Anthony, is holding.
Both riders are deep into their reserves; mouths open, shoulders rocking, pedal
stroke complete square.
13:48 EST 46minutes/4minutes to go
on fire in his chase of Troy Wells. Wells looks more ragged on the technical
sections. The gap is down to five seconds and the pressure of having a six-time
national champion seems to be wearing on Wells. He just needs to hold on for
five more minutes.
13:49 EST 48minutes/2minutes to go
has settled into third place and just needs to finish the lap to claim his spot
on the podium.
The gap is holding. Wells has made
it through the more technical sections of the course is heading onto a long
straight-away. The eight second gap he now holds may stick. But Anthony is not
letting go; not for one moment.
Wells is in the final straight; 200
meters to go (uphill on pavement). Anthony is still five seconds back.
13:53 EST 50minutes/0minutes to go
Anthony, looking dejected (although
he shouldn't have his head down after all he's accomplished in the sport as
such a young man) comes across in second. Bokwalter held onto third.
Wow. What a finish to the U23 race.
Wells was mobbed by photographers, media, well-wishers and teammates at the
finish. We'll try to catch up with both Wells and Anthony for our post-race
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