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US Cyclo-cross Championships - CN

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

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Race 6 - December 16: Elite Junior Men 

Complete live report

11:24 EST   
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.

11:30 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.

11:30 EST   
They're off! Summerhill took the hole shot off the start line. The race is all stretched out.

11:33 EST   
Selander is no longer a junior this year so will not be battling Summerhill again this year.

11:38 EST   
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.

11:38 EST   
Rider #406 is Gilmore. He rides for K2 Bikes.

11:38 EST   
Summerhill looks content to lead the race. He rides for TIAA/Cref.

11:41 EST   
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.

11:43 EST   
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.

11:48 EST   
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 group.

11:51 EST   
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.

11:54 EST   
They have two laps to go now after just coming through again. Summerhill is still leading, but the gap hasn't changed.

11:55 EST   
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.

11:57 EST   
Chris Horner and Megan Elliot are both on the scene today spectating. He'll be racing later this weekend for Specialized.

11:59 EST   
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.

12:00 EST   
Taylor Phinney is still in third.

12:01 EST   
Summerhill is coming through the finish again, still in the lead, with one lap to go.

12:02 EST   
Summerhill is up and out of the saddle. Now he's got a significant gap back to second. Gilmore is still alone in second, holding strong.

12:04 EST   
Nick Bax is in 4th.

12:04 EST   
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.

12:05 EST   
Summerhill needs to maintain his focus and not start celebrating too soon or he could make a mistake.

12:05 EST   
The rest of the field is coming through the finish.

12:05 EST   
Summerhill is an experienced racer, with lots of experience winning. He's got a half lap to go.

12:07 EST   
We're waiting to see if Phinney will be able to hold off Nick Bax (Hot Tubes) for third.

12:08 EST   
Gilmore is still holding in second. He's looking forward to Summerhill, but holding off third and fourth which are chasing him.

12:09 EST   
Bax is chasing Phinney hard for third.

12:10 EST   
Summerhill is crossing the finish to take the win!

12:10 EST   
Summerhill takes his second consecutive national junior elite title!

12:10 EST   
Here comes second...Ethan Gilmore holds onto the silver.

12:10 EST   
Taylor Phinney just holds on for third.

12:11 EST   
Nick Bax takes 4th.

12:17 EST   
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."

12:18 EST   
"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.

12:20 EST   
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."

12:21 EST   
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."

12:29 EST   
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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