Eckmann races to U23 national 'cross title

Convincing solo victory for Eckmann

Yannick Eckmann (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized) emerged victorious in his first US National Championships despite a second row starting position and increasingly technical conditions. With temperatures in Verona, Wisconsin dropping throughout the day, course conditions varied between soupy freezing puddles and deep thick mud clogging up many of the hills.

"I'm loving it. I loved it a lot," replied Eckmann when asked about the dirty conditions. "I haven't ridden this year in mud that deep. I just wanted to go in and have fun. I set my goal for the win, of course, and I love the mud, and everything slippery."

Emmanuel Goguen (C.F. Racing p/b Trek Portsmouth) nabbed the hole-shot, but was passed by Andrew Dillman (Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross) before the pack entered the first pits section. Eckmann worked his way into second behind Dillman and started applying pressure as riders headed up the climb on the front part of the course.

"I didn't want to be first anyway going into the mud," said Eckmann about his start. "I just wanted to stay loose, and hang back, but I didn't go hard enough, so I was between 5th and 10th position going into the mud. That was a little bit too far back I would say.

Eckmann faced an early challenge from Dillman and Skyler Trujillo (Boo/Enve) but had a 40 second lead as he entered the second lap. "Skylar and Drew totally surprised me," said Eckmann about his competitors. "Then after that the first lap I didn't look back anymore and just looked forward." Eckmann grew his lead to almost two minutes leaving the rest of the field to fight for second.

Dillman, who is hoping to race at worlds in his hometown of Louisville, fought off strong efforts from Kyler Trujillo, and Josh Johnson (Indianapolis Cycling Club.) "I've raced with Skyler a lot so knew that he was really strong in the beginning and then he starts to fade. So I wasn't too worried when he passed me," recounted Dillman about this fight for second place. "I knew Josh was really strong, and he's beaten me a lot this year. When I saw him easing up on my wheel I just kind of railed it, and when I looked back and he wasn't there."

Dillman completed a clean final lap to solidify his second place finish but behind him the fight for third place was just heating up. Tobin Ortenblad (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized) spent the first two laps of the race working his way up through the top ten, and was able to pass Trujillo on the last lap to grab third place in his first U23 appearance. “We just got back from Belgium a week ago so it was good practice over there in the mud," said Ortenblad about his ability to ride in muddy conditions despite living in Santa Cruz, Ca. "We didn't have any ice but I felt like it really helped me get prepared for this."

Due to UCI eligibility rulings Eckmann, the new U23 Champion for the United States, is planning to ride for Germany at the World Cyclocross Championships in Louisville KY on February 2nd.

Full Results

U23 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Yannick Eckmann (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized/California Giant Cycling)0:44:42 
2Andrew Dillman (Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross)0:46:31 
3Tobin Ortenblad (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized/California Giant Cycling)0:46:53 
4Skyler Trujillo (Boo/Enve)0:47:08 
5Joshua Johnson (Indianapolis Cycling Club)0:47:31 
6Kerry Werner (BMC U23 development MTB team)0:48:20 
7Cody Kaiser (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized/California Giant Cycling)0:48:28 
8Samuel O'Keefe (Charm City Cycling LLC)0:50:38 
9Kolby Preble (Clif Bar Development Cross Team)0:51:03 
10Kevin Fish (KCCX Fuji Elite Cyclocross Team p/b Challenge Tires)0:51:34 
11Luke Haley (Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross)0:52:12 
12Chase Dickens (American Classic)0:52:45 
13Richard Cypress Gorry (Whole Athlete / Specialized/Whole Athlete)0:54:12 
14Tyler Coplea (MTB PRO Team: ORBEA-TUFF SHED)0:55:05 
15Brandon Feehery (Astellas Oncology Cycling Team/Astellas Cycling Club)0:56:04 
16Morgan Ryan (The TEAM SoCalCross/The TEAM)0:56:44 
17Samuel Dobrozsi0:57:02 
18Luke Woodard0:57:13 
19Maxwell Ackermann0:57:57 
20Casey Hildebrandt (Twin Six)0:58:11 
-2lapsDaniel Gerow (Wolverine Sports Club)  
-2lapsZachary Bender (Cycle-Smart Inc.)  
-2lapsBrian Jorgensen (Lees-McRae College)  
-2lapsZachary Semian (Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA)  
-2lapsSamuel Dries (Brazen Dropouts Cycling Team/Brazen Dropouts)  
-2lapsJohnathan Freter (Don Walker Cycles Racing)  
-2lapsLewis Gaffney  
-2lapsBen Bertiger (The TEAM)  
-2lapsDavis Bentley (Lees-McRae College)  
-2lapsKevin Burgess (Carolina Break- U23/Carolina Break)  
-2lapsSamuel Bramel (Gopher Wheelmen)  
-2lapsWill Massey (u-neak | DESIGNS/Central Velo Racing & Development)  
-2lapsMitch Nordahl (Team Plan C)  
-2lapsJustin Evans (Appalachian State University)  
-2lapsCaleb Welborn (Earthfare/i9 pb Cyclesport Concepts/ABRC/Asheville Bicycle Racing Club)  
-2lapsOliver Donkervoet (u-neak | DESIGNS/Central Velo Racing & Development)  
DNSZane Godby (Clif Bar Development Cross Team)  
DNSInnokenty Zavyalov (Basso pb Tonka Cycle/Minnesota Cycling Team)  
DNSEzra Mullen  
DNFEmmanuel Goguen (C.F. Racing)  
DNFJesse Keough (Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross /Corner Cycle Cycling Club)  
DNFJason Midkiff (Appalachian State University)  
DNFMatthew Zimmer (Velosport Iowa /American Equity)  


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