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US Cyclocross Championships - CN

Providence, RI, USA, December 9-11, 2005

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Race 9 - December 10: Elite Junior Men

Complete live report

Commentary by Steve Medcroft

11:49 EST   
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.

12:06 EST   
A handful of championship jerseys have already been handed out this weekend. Here's a summary:

Women 40-44, Audrey Huffman (Mad River Riders)
Women 45-49, Patti Kaufmann (Team Wisconsin)
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.

12:53 EST   
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
Omnium, Fort Lewis College

Junior Men:
10-12, Logan Owen
13-14, Benny Swedelberg
15-16, Alex Coelho

Junior Women:
10-12, Elizabeth White
13-14, Kaitlin Antonneua
15-16, Smantha Schneider
17-18, Arielle Filiberti

U23, Clara Beard
30-34, Maureen Bruno-Roy (Independent Fabrications)
35-39, Marianne Stover (Independent Fabrications)

Men 30-34, Justin Robinson (California Giant Strawberries/Specialized)

14:10 EST    4minutes/36minutes to go
The Elite men junior riders (17-18) are now on the course. Two riders, Bjorn Selander (Alan Factory) and Danny Summerhill TIAA-CREF), the two riders who traded the lead in the USGP series all season, are away.

14:13 EST    10minutes/30minutes to go
Selander and Summehill are sticking together thorugh the second lap. The Elite junior race is only forty minutes long and the pair have the kind of gap over the chase group (greater than thirty seconds at this point) that they may be deciding the race between them.

14:18 EST   
Bjorn is not the first Selander cyclocross racer; his father, swedish-born Dag Selander competed on the international circuit before moving to the states. The elder Selander now competes in the master's 50+ category.

14:20 EST    16minutes/24minutes to go
Selander and Summerhill are working smoothly together off the front of the junior race. Forty-seven seconds behind, TIAA-CREF rider Alex Howes is chasing. Ethan Gilmor (Coyote Hill/K2Bike) is next. The riders are on their second to last lap.

14:23 EST   
The promoters would like you to know that starting at about 2:30pm, they will e live streaming the PA announcers audio through www.crossnationals.com so you can open up a second browser window and try to follow along through the Elite Men's race if you'd like.

14:28 EST    30minutes/10minutes to go
Selander and Summerhill are sticking together as they pass the start/finish line for the start of the final lap.

14:28 EST    32minutes/8minutes to go
Selander seems to e experiencing a mechanical defect and Summerhill has taken off. Selander is a half lap from a pit and is struggling to maintain.

14:31 EST    34minutes/6minutes to go
The PA announcers are saying that Summerhill and Selander's bike came together on the race and Selander got the shorter end of the stick with the mechanical. In a show of sportsmanship, Summerhill paused and waited for Selander to recover before pressing on. With Selander beginning to flounder, there's may be a spot on the podium for racers who were previously racing only for sixth.

14:36 EST   
The crowds have grown around the start/finish line in acticipation of the Elite Men's race, coming up in just half an hour. Summerhill is alone and the junior race is his if he just stays within himself for the final half lap. Alex Howes is now second on the course. A small group is fighting for third. Bjorn Selander, who was surely a favorite to win the race, has fallen victim to the cycling Gods and is gone from the head of the race.

14:37 EST    40minutes/0minutes to go
With two hands to the sky and a broad smile, Summerhill takes the win.

14:39 EST   
Bjorn Selander suddenly appeared behind second-placed Alex Howes after running half a lap to the pits for a bike change. Howes just hed him off for second. Selander takes third.

14:41 EST   
At the finish, Summerhill spoke about the incident on the course that left Selander with a mechanical problem and left him alone in the lead. "I think (Selander's) back wheel caught mine and it kind of sucked. I didn't know whether to go but I didn't have much of a choice."


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