Peter Stetina (Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin) won the US's U23 national time trial championships for a second year running on Friday in Oregon. The young talent stopped the clock in the fastest time of the day, 45:34, besting Bjorn Selander (Trek-Livestrong) by 33 seconds and Tejay Van Garderen (Rabobank) by 48 seconds.
"It was a much harder field this year," said Stetina. "Last year I won by more than two minutes. Selander had a great ride so I'm really happy for him. I believe Tejay had a derailleur problem, but I think we would have been within seconds of each other either way."
By winning the championships event, Stetina secured his spot on the US team at the International Cyclist Union (UCI) U23 world time trial championships held on September 23 in Mendrisio, Switzerland.
"Just the top spot in the national championships is automatic," Stetina said. "The second spot is a discretionary pick. I didn't want to be left on the discretionary list especially when some guys might be coming on form in the end of the season. Now I can focus on the Worlds without having to worry about making the selection."
The U23 men took on a 35-kilometre course that was predominantly uphill on the way out. It mimicked the Cascade Cycling Classic's stage four time trial with the addition of a seven kilometre loop at the finish. "I had to save a lot for that extra bonus loop and it made the difference," Stetina said. "My Dad was out there timing and when I came through I was tied with Tejay, which worried me. But, I saved so much energy for that last loop, that's what made the difference."
Stetina benefited from a personal cheering squad out on course with father and mother, Dale and Anne along with girlfriend, Dyanna. "It's hard not to succeed when everyone is supporting you. My uncle Wayne Stetina and my aunt were also out there."