More than 1,400 racers chasing twenty-seven jerseys competed in the Liberty Mutual US National Cyclocross Championships last weekend.
In both the elite and U23 men's races, the defending national champions, widely regarded as hand-down favorites, were unseated. Interestingly enough, both champions fell to brothers from the same family. U23 Jesse Anthony was racing for his seventh national championship in a row but suffered a first-lap flat and lost position early. Although Anthony has always been dominant enough to recover from an early deficit, 2005 USGP U23 phenom Troy Wells stayed on the rivet at the front of the race and took the championship for himself.
In the elite men's race, Jonathan Page was expected to repeat for his fourth consecutive championship but after an intercontinental flight from Belgium, he picked up some food poisoning and spent the night before the race being fed fluids intravenously. After the race, Page said: "I basically hadn't anything to eat since seven Friday morning." Although he miraculously stayed in contact with the front two (Ryan Trebon and Todd Wells) he just couldn't match Todd Wells' constant accelerations and finished third.
The elite women's race was no let down either. Just like at the 2004 Cyclocross Nationals in Portland, defending national champion Katie Compton (Redline) came from four rows back at the start and powered her way through a tough elite women's field to win. Halfway through the first lap, she cruised around pre-race favorites Barbara Howe (Velo Bella), Ann Knapp (Kona) and Maureen Bruno-Roy (Independent Fabrications) to solo to her second consecutive title. And just like last year, Compton succeeded at the highest level in women's 'cross after a season of non-UCI men's and women's local races in and around her Colorado Spring home (Compton doesn't want to claim UCI points because it would disqualify her from her place as the sighted pilot of a tandem track racing team with blind stoker Karissa Whitsell).