US Cyclo-cross Championships - CN
Providence, RI, USA, December 15-17, 2006
Results & report
Race 6 - December 16: Elite Junior Men
Complete live report
We're getting ready to start our live
Cyclingnews coverage of 2006 Cyclo-cross Nationals in Providence, Rhode
Island. Weather is perfectly clear, about 50 degrees, but the winds are gusty.
There are headwinds at the start finish line.
We'll start coverage
with the elite junior men's category at 11:30 AM US EST.
The elite junior race is about to
start. Last year's champion, Danny Summerhill, is set to defend. In 2005, it
was a two-way battle with Bjorn Selander and Summerhill.
They're off! Summerhill took the hole
shot off the start line. The race is all stretched out.
Selander is no longer a junior this
year so will not be battling Summerhill again this year.
They just went through after their
first lap. Summerhill is in the lead with Rider #406. They are 15 sec ahead
of a chase group of three. After that, there are chase groups of not more than
one, two, or three riders. The entire field is stretched out.
Rider #406 is Gilmore. He rides for
Summerhill looks content to lead the
race. He rides for TIAA/Cref.
The course is run largely in and out
of a bowl shaped hill. It's maybe 200m across and 400m long. There are a few
steep sections, but the riders seem to be able to ride most of it except for
two run-ups, one with manmade steps and one with just dirt. It is perfectly
dry today, and the ground is in good condition--not dry, but not wet, a great
medium between the two. No mud at all. Grass makes it a little spongy, but it's
like racing on tightly woven carpet or wood. It's all about power today.
Those who followed the 2005 Nationals
may recall that Summerhill also led then from start to finish. We'll see if
he can hold it again this year.
They have 3 laps to go. Summerhill
attacked solo and gapped Gilmore for a 10 second lead. A chase group of Taylor
Phinney (TIAA/Cref) and Nicolas Keough (CL Noonan/Coast to Coast) follows. Phinney
and Keough are 20 seconds behind. 10 seconds behind them, there is another chase
The headwind on the finish straight
comes and goes. It's not consistent, so it will probably not play a big role
unless it's blowing for a final sprint between two or more riders.
They have two laps to go now after
just coming through again. Summerhill is still leading, but the gap hasn't changed.
This implies one of two possibilities:
Summerhill is managing the gap or he can't shake Gilmore. Looks like we're setting
up for a different finish than Summerhill just riding off the front to win.
Both riders raced last weekend in elite races. Summerhill raced in Boulder,
finishing third, and Gilmore finished in the top 15 in an East Coast race, so
both are strong riders.
Chris Horner and Megan Elliot are
both on the scene today spectating. He'll be racing later this weekend for Specialized.
Summerhill is known as a strong, tactical
rider. He hasn't been able to drop Gilmore significantly, so it will be interesting
to see if he changes his strategy.
Taylor Phinney is still in third.
Summerhill is coming through the finish
again, still in the lead, with one lap to go.
Summerhill is up and out of the saddle.
Now he's got a significant gap back to second. Gilmore is still alone in second,
Nick Bax is in 4th.
The gaps are pretty solid. Seems like
Summerhill is far enough off the front so that he'll be able to hold it assuming
no mechanicals or crashes.
Summerhill needs to maintain his focus
and not start celebrating too soon or he could make a mistake.
The rest of the field is coming through
Summerhill is an experienced racer,
with lots of experience winning. He's got a half lap to go.
We're waiting to see if Phinney will
be able to hold off Nick Bax (Hot Tubes) for third.
Gilmore is still holding in second.
He's looking forward to Summerhill, but holding off third and fourth which are
Bax is chasing Phinney hard for third.
Summerhill is crossing the finish
to take the win!
Summerhill takes his second consecutive
national junior elite title!
Here comes second...Ethan Gilmore
holds onto the silver.
Taylor Phinney just holds on for third.
Nick Bax takes 4th.
Summerhill is being interviewed after
the race. He said, "I had some scary moments. I almost ate it on the barriers
on the first lap."
"I made a few other mistakes, but
nothing else as bad as the barrier mistake," said Summerhill. He is looking
forward to the Worlds coming up in January. "I'm going in with more confidence,
but mostly to get more experience." Summerhill is excited that his teammate
Taylor Phinney took third.
Now Taylor Phinney is being interviewed.
Phinney said, "I'm kind of new to cross. Everyone knew Danny would take first.
I gave all I could to finish off strong. I've felt better than in all the recent
races I've done."
Now Ethan Gilmore is talking to the
announcer. "I felt pretty good. I've been trying to recover all week. Europe
and Worlds is an option for me, but I have to take some time off, too. Next
year, mountain biking will be big for me."
Stay tuned for more racing this afternoon.
The U23 men will race at 1:00 PM EST, and the elite men will race at 2:00 PM.
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