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US Cyclo-cross Championships - CN

Providence, RI, USA, December 15-17, 2006

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Race 7 - December 16: U-23 Men 

Complete live report

12:29 EST   
Riders are out on the course warming up for the U23 race.

12:53 EST   
The under 23 men are now staging. We've got about five minutes until the start.

12:57 EST   
The start finish staging area is a gradual sloping uphill, 200m from the start. Riders are lined up by their UCI points this year. They stage 12 wide per row, with five rows deep here in the U23 field. That's not too big. Yesterday in some of the masters' races, there were 12 or 13 rows of riders. There are 130 riders signed up for the elite men's race later today, so that will be a big field.

12:57 EST   
We are two minutes until the start.

12:58 EST   
One favorites for today is Jamie Driscoll, winner of USGP series this year. Other favorites are Jessie Anthony and Bjorn Selander.

12:59 EST   
Selander is a first-year U23 rider, recently moved up from the junior ranks.

12:59 EST   
The U23 have started!

13:00 EST   
Joey Thompson and Jesse Anthony are hitting it hard off the line.

13:00 EST   
Anthony is leading with Selander and Thompson on his wheel.

13:00 EST   
Selander is now leading.

13:01 EST   
Selander, Anthony, Thompson, and Driscoll are staying at the front on this first lap.

13:04 EST   
In this field, Selander has the third highest number of UCI points, a remarkable accomplishment for a first year under 23 making the transition from the junior ranks.

13:04 EST   
Anthony arrives at the top of the hill first. About ten guys are off the front. But it's still anyone's race.

13:04 EST   
Cowbells are ringing around the course.

13:05 EST   
Anthony is driving the group along with Selander. Others are hurting to stay on.

13:06 EST   
They'll soon finish the first lap. Interestingly, there are still ten riders in contention, which is unusual. No one is dominating yet.

13:06 EST   
This race is clearly faster than the rest of the races so far today.

13:07 EST   
Anthony has gone clear off the front by about 20 bike lengths.

13:09 EST   
Now they're all back together again, with a group of 9 riders.

13:10 EST   
No one is giving up here. No one is letting anyone get off the front. They're on lap #2 right now. The group of nine is still all together with a gap to the rest. There is no clear leader yet.

13:11 EST   
It's still a gorgeous day here with 50 to 55 degrees and some wind.

13:12 EST   
Anthony and Driscoll are pulling away right now. Thompson is chasing.

13:13 EST   
Anthony is a six-time national champion. He's been largely unbeatable at nationals, except last year, he was defeated by Troy Wells in the U23 race.

13:14 EST   
Anthony hasn't had the best season this year, but he is riding strong today.

13:15 EST   
Apparently, there are some sections of the course with glass on them. That increases the odds of a flat.

13:15 EST   
Anthony and Driscoll have about 50 bike lengths advantage on the rest at the moment.

13:16 EST   
4 laps to go now.

13:20 EST   
They are on a world cup pace right now. If this is any indication of what the elite men's race will be like, we'll be seeing some even faster racing later today.

13:21 EST   
Going into 4 to go: Jesse Anthony (Team Clifbar) and Jamie Driscoll (FiordiFruitta) are 10 sec ahead of chase group with five riders: Nicolas Weithall (Alan Factory Team), Chance Noble (California Giant Strawberries/Specialized), Joey Thompson (Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory), Bjorn Selander (Alan Factory team), Morgan Schmidt (Hagens-Berman Cycling). That group has 20 seconds over the rest of the field.

13:21 EST   
Next time they come through, they'll get 3 to go.

13:21 EST   
Anthony has gone off the front. Driscoll is dropping off.

13:22 EST   
We'll see if Driscoll can respond to Anthony.

13:23 EST   
Anthony has been racing long and strong all season long on the road.

13:24 EST   
Jesse Anthony is maintaining his lead--he's still off the front solo. Driscoll is in second, still digging deep.

13:26 EST   
Anthony is gasping for air, but riding in a high gear. Driscoll looks a little more comfortable at the same pace. So based on how the riders look, it's too early to say if Anthony can hold it.

13:26 EST   
With 3 to go: Jesse Anthony (Team Clifbar) ahead of Jamie Driscoll (FiordiFruitta) by 5 seconds. Chase group is 10 seconds behind Driscoll: Nicolas Weithall (Alan Factory Team), Chance Noble (California Giant Strawberries/Specialized), Bjorn Selander (Alan Factory team), Morgan Schmidt (Hagens-Berman Cycling).

13:28 EST   
Schmidt is working his way off the front of the 4 man chase group behind Driscoll.

13:29 EST   
Schmidt is in third at the moment. Anthony and Driscoll are still in 1st and 2nd.

13:30 EST   
Next time, Anthony leads through the finish, he'll get two laps to go.

13:34 EST   
With 2 to go: Jesse Anthony (Team Clifbar) led Jamie Driscoll (FiordiFruitta). At 25 secon is Morgan Schmidt (Hagens-Berman Cycling). At 30 sec is Chance Noble (California Giant Strawberries/Specialized) and Bjorn Selander (Alan Factory team). Nicolas Weithall (Alan Factory Team) was dropped.

13:34 EST   
Anthony is looking more secure now in his lead. Driscoll is more obviously suffering now.

13:35 EST   
Schmidt (3rd) is coming on strong. Noble is faltering while Selander is starting to close in on Schmidt.

13:35 EST   
Next time they come through the finish, they'll get one lap to go.

13:36 EST   
Anthony is out of the saddle out of the U-turn...he's looking good and extending his lead.

13:36 EST   
Driscoll has been caught by Schmidt, who is riding very strong now. Now Schmidt is in 2nd and Driscoll is in 3rd.

13:37 EST   
Driscoll is faltering. We're not sure if he has a mechanical problem.

13:37 EST   
Jesse Anthony is off the front and will soon be getting the bell with 1 to go.

13:38 EST   
Selander is attacking Driscoll now.

13:38 EST   
Driscoll may have gone too hard to early.

13:40 EST   
Looks like Anthony has got the race assuming no mechanicals or crashes. He's got 28 seconds with one to go.

13:41 EST   
He's followed by Morgan Schmidt (Hagens-Berman Cycling) and two seconds behind him : Jamie Driscoll (FiordiFruitta) and Bjorn Selander (Alan Factory team).

13:41 EST   
Driscoll is recovering some. So we may be shaping up for a three-way sprint for second.

13:41 EST   
Selander, Schmidt, and Driscoll are all together now, riding in that order.

13:42 EST   
Selander is doing everything he can to drop the other two. Driscoll is hanging on tough, last in that group of three.

13:42 EST   
Of the group of 3 following Anthony, Schmidt is looking the strongest on this final lap of the men's U23 race.

13:43 EST   
Selander is making a huge attack.

13:43 EST   
Schmidt is counter attacking.

13:43 EST   
Driscoll can't hang.

13:44 EST   
Anthony is being very careful to not make mistakes or celebrate too soon. He's got to keep it together until the finish.

13:44 EST   
Crowds are six-deep at the fences around parts of the course.

13:45 EST   
The final sprint is into the wind and up hill--the battle will be for second.

13:46 EST   
Schmidt is on the attack. Driscoll is hanging on just barely. Selander is still there, too, in the chase group for 2nd.

13:46 EST   
The group for second is sprinting for the run-up.

13:47 EST   
Here comes Jesse Anthony for the win! He crosses the finish line alone, with a convincing lead.

13:47 EST   
Schmidt attacks to the finish and takes 2nd.

13:47 EST   
Selander takes 3rd, followed by Driscoll in 4th.

13:48 EST   
One more podium spot...it goes to Chance Noble in 5th.

13:49 EST   
To summarize, the top five were:
1. Jesse Anthony (Team Clifbar) leads
2. Morgan Schmidt (Hagens-Berman Cycling)
3. Bjorn Selander (Alan Factory team)
4. Jamie Driscoll (FiordiFruitta)
5. Chance Noble (California Giant Strawberries/Specialized)

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