Home Cyclingnews TV   News  Tech   Features   Road   MTB   BMX   Cyclo-cross   Track    Photos    Fitness    Letters   Search   Forum  
Schedule & results
Start List
Pro Men
Elite Women
Elite Men
Int. Women's Open
Pro-Am Challenge

Recently on Cyclingnews.com

Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

USPRO Criterium Championship - 1.3/NE

Chicago, USA, August 17, 2003

Main page    Results    Photography

USCF Elite Men's National Criterium Championship

Junior Norris beats hard-charging elite field

By Mark Zalewski

The Elite criterium nationals came down to a field sprint this afternoon in Downer's Grove and the man into turn seven of eight first was 18 year-old Keith Norris from the Aerospace Engineering team. Norris was able to create a five bike-length gap in the small stretch before the last turn, and held the advantage in front of a hard charging field.

The last junior rider to win the Senior Men's Elite Crit. Championships was in 2000, when the then 18 year-old Rahsaan Bahati, riding for Mercury, surprised everyone. Bahati, now riding for Saturn, watched the finish waiting for his later USPRO race.

How it unfolded

Many riders were itching to reduce the large field down with breaks off the front. Among the most combative were Dan Larson (Cycle Science) taking around seven laps at the front with a solo effort and a number of Snow Valley riders making sure their team was represented in every move. In fact, Snow Valley controlled most of the race, both in the breaks and covering at the front of the field.

The breaks flew off the front of this 120+ field from the first few laps. Everyone knew the early moves wouldn't last on this tough course, but nobody wanted to take the chance with the Stars & Stripes jersey on the line.

Later on in the race Dan Larson was able to roll of the front, and built quite a lead on the pack. At one point he was around the corners ahead of the field - and as they say, "out of sight, out of mind." He was able to stretch out his lead over seven laps, before Snow Valley turned on the juice and brought him back.

Other breaks went with such prominent riders as Frank Pipp (ABD), and numerous Snow Valley members - usually more than one. Scott Zwinzanski has his hand in more than a few moves at the front, and eventually went off the front alone towards the end of the race. With seven laps to go, Zwinzanski had a substantial lead on the field, and most of the other team managers got on their radios telling their workers to chase, and chase hard.

That signaled the end for Zwinzanski as the pace jumped a few notches and he was caught with only four laps to go. With the field back together, the strategies began to form. Riders were snaking across the straight-aways trying to get position. With one lap to go, every rider knew that a good spot into turn seven would make the difference on the finish line.

"I tried to move up as fast as possible without killing myself, which is pretty dang hard to do," said Brad Huff of Mercy-Cannondale. "They just opened up a gap on the outside just enough - from there I just tried to throttle it as much as I could. I attacked going into the last turn and stayed seated - I hammered as hard as I could and held them off, but I didn't get the guy right in front of me."

Keith Norris was that guy. "I was just jumping around - riding my race," said Norris. "I was third the whole last lap and I jumped through a gap in the second-to-last turn - I jumped pretty hard through there and just kept going."

Norris exploited the hair-sized gap to the fullest extent, and created that winning gap. If the finish line had been 50 meters further, it might have been a different result, but Norris played his cards right and is now able to wear the coveted jersey for the next year. "I had no plans coming into the race, except maybe a top-ten. I wanted to go for the mid-race prime - I was feeling good and wasn't fatigued at all. At that point I wasn't concerned about the finish - I just wanted to win the $500, and the worry about the rest later!"


Images by Mark Zalewski/showchoir.net


1 Keith Norris (Aerospace Engineering)
2 Charles Huff (Mercy-Canondale)
3 Jon Wirsing (Snow Valley)
4 Dean LaBerge (Lombardi Sports)
5 Pete Hanna (Bianchi-Grand Performance)
6 Jason Waddell (Mathis Brothers)
7 John Wike (Labor Power)
8 Gregg Medinilla (Monex)
9 Steve Tilford
10 Ainslie MacEachran (AST)
11 Frank  Pipp
12 Jason Snow
13 Josh Carter
14 Brian Schaning
15 Eric Brownell
16 Michael Zingaro
17 Ian Dille
18 Scott Edge
19 Brian Sheedy
20 John Murphy
21 Aaron Quesnell
22 Dale Suttle
23 John Puffer
24 Chandler Weeks
25 Rory McAdams
26 Chris Hipp
27 Nathan Mitchell
28 Michael Kehrbeig
29 Boyd Johnson
30 Todd Cornelius
31 Steve Mlujeak
32 Daniel Larson
33 Matt Sadauchas
34 Rich Harper
35 Andrew Clark
36 Joey Spragins
37 Joby Siciliano
38 Todd Yezefski
39 Josh Seldman
40 Kurt Fletcher
41 Karim Abdelkader
42 Luca Fagundes
43 Chris Frederick*
44 Todd Scheske
45 Ryan Nenninger
46 Erik Tomlinson
47 Michael Lange
48 Jon Stierwalt
49 Franklin Dierking
50 Cody Hall
51 Mike Voigt
52 Ryan Gamm
53 Chuck Coyle
54 Doug Greek
55 Zack Martin
56 Ryan McKinney
57 Imanol Ayestakan
58 Chad Gibson
59 Keith Leonard
60 Matt Bromen
61 Benjamin Weaver
62 Josh Kerkhof
63 Stephen Spencer
64 John Dapkus
65 Scott Zwizanski
66 Micahel Busa
67 Ian Stuart
68 Steven Muhle
69 Cameron Holland
70 David Richter
71 Billy Masterson
72 Jonathan Atkins
73 Chris Foster
74 Ed Beamon
75 Chris Knetsche
77 Chris Tirone
78 Tony Scott
79 Todd Hancock
80 Jeff Schroetlin
81 Michael Feske
82 Jonathan Dechau
83 Travis Hutchinson
84 John Semmelhack
85 Mark Swartzendruber
86 Christian Foster
87 Danny Kaukola
88 Brian Wire
89 Aaron Smathers
90 Tim Reinhart
91 Christopher Hulse