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US Cross Country National Championships 2011

Date range:
July 14-17, 2011

July 15, Under 23 men and Cat. 1 Junior men 15-18 cross country:

Ettinger overjoyed at winning U23 cross country title

Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor
July 15, 2011, 20:52 BST,
July 16, 2011, 4:58 BST

Grotts powers to junior 17-18 win while Newcomb takes 15-16 contest

Stephen Ettinger (BMC MTB Development Team) raced to his first-ever Under 23 cross country national championship victory on Friday afternoon in Sun Valley, Idaho. Ettinger was clearly the strongest rider of the day as he pedalled away from runner-up Jack Hinkens (BMC) and Rob Squire (Chipotle Development Team).

After winning, Ettinger was at first speechless. "That was unreal. I don't even know what to say," he told Cyclingnews as he was congratulated by many supporters and struggling to gather his thoughts.

The stacked field included favorites Ettinger, Hinkens, Squire, Kerry Warner (BMC), Russell Finsterwald (Subaru-Trek), Menso de Jong (Wonderful Pistachios Cycling), Eric Emsky (Revel Consulting/Rad Racing NW) and Skyler Trujillo (Niner/Stans/Ergon) to name a few.

From the gun, racers tackled a long and super steep fireroad climb up which Ettinger, Squire and Hinkens were the quickest. It was on this first climb of the first lap of the five-lap race that a key gap was established.

"I knew Rob was going to be fast today. He's a total wild card. He hasn't been racing on his mountain bike this year," said Ettinger. "I didn't know what he'd be able to do." The 21-year-old Squire has been busy competing on the road this season with the Chipotle Development team in the US and in Europe.

"I stuck with him until the top of the climb on the first lap. On the descent, I had it and he didn't, so I opened it up a little bit and it allowed me to ride my own race on the climb," said Ettinger. "That made the difference for sure."

"From then on, I was able to pace myself. I just wanted to stay smooth." It was a long time for Ettinger to be on his own at the front, but he looked strong and motivated throughout. Nonetheless, he wasn't taking anything for granted. "I didn't start thinking about the win until coming into the finish area here."

"I have the utmost respect for Rob, my teammates Jack and Kerry, and Russell. Any of those guys could have won," said the always humble Ettinger, who has had a remarkable season so far, including mixing it up with the pros in his final year as a U23 rider. He had bad luck in 2010 at nationals, and his previous best finish was third behind Colin Cares and Rob Squire.

Behind Ettinger, the real battle was for second. Squire and Hinkens duelled each other until the latter got the advantage in the long, flat man-made rock garden at the beginning of lap three of five total.

"I did well in the man-made rock section, and I think Rob used more energy there," said the 19-year-old Hinkens, who is a second-year U23 racer. "I just did what I could and some days are good. Today was good."

The rider from Minnesota finished second, 3:25 behind Ettinger, which gave BMC a one-two result.

Squire held on for a solid third place at 5:03. "I've had better days. I just came off a break after road nationals. Being second two years in a row, I figured I had to come up here and at least show up. A third place, I'm happy with it. With my focus on the road, I'm happy to be here on the podium at mountain bike nationals."

Squire said the day's race was his second of the year and only his fifth time on a mountain bike this season. "I was slow on the descents, but oh well, it was fun!".

Another road racer Menso De Jong (Wonderful Pistachios) finished fourth at 5:31 while BMC put yet another rider on the podium with Kerry Warner (BMC) in fifth at 6:10.

Junior 17-18 men

One week after he won the junior men's World Cup at Windham, New York, Howard Grotts (Durango Devo) topped the podium in the 17-18 men's national championship race. His winning time for four laps was 1:12:02 and he came in ahead of Keegan Swenson (Whole Athlete / Specialized) in second at 20 seconds and Cypress Gorry (AZ Devo) in third at 4:40.

It was Grotts first 17-18 cross country national title. Previously he'd won as a 15-16 racer, and last year, in his first year as a 17-18, he took home the short track national title.

Grotts and Swenson marked each other from the start.

"I wanted to hang with Keegan," said Grotts. On the second lap, I got a little gap and you just have to go as hard as you can after you get that gap."

His strategry worked as he worked his way up through the under 23 men's field that had started in front of him. He found himself racing among the top 10 of the older category, despite the staggered start.

"It would have been nice to have an open course, but the U23 riders also help motivate you," said Grotts, who complimented his 17-year-old opponent Swenson for his race.

"I went out on the first lap and then Howard caught me on the second lap up the climb," said Swenson. "He was riding strong and just pulled away and I couldn't quite get back on his wheel."

For the duration of the race, Swenson, who hails from Park City, Utah, could see Grotts in front of him on the climb every lap, but just couldn't catch him.

Gorry was pleased with his bronze medal ride. "The race was pretty tough. The climb just got harder every lap, but I felt pretty good today." The first-year 17-18 racer was fourth in last year's 15-16 cross country race.

Max Houtzager (Whole Athlete / Specialized) was fourth in 5:28 and Casey Williams was fifth at 6:01.

Junior 15-16 men

Lucas Newcomb (Whole Athlete / Specialized) of Nicasio, California, won the junior men's 15-16 category in a time of 1:19:11. Keegan Swirbul was second at 0:43 and Stephan Davoust (Durango Devo) was third in 1:59.

"It was hard," said Newcomb after winning. "The climb was hard. I was with Keegan the whole time, and then about halfway up the climb, I attacked and kept the pace up and dropped him."

"I tried to hold him off the rest of the way, and I ended up doing it," said Newcomb. "It was the perfect race. I had no mechanicals and it was my best nationals by far."

Full Results

Under 23 men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Stephen Ettinger (BMC MTB Development Team USA) 1:29:16  
2 Jack Hinkens (BMC MTB Development Team USA) 0:03:25  
3 Rob Squire (Chipotle Development Team) 0:05:03  
4 Menso de Jong (Wonderful Pistachios Cycling) 0:05:31  
5 Kerry Werner (BMC MTB Development Team USA) 0:06:10  
6 Russell Finsterwald (Subaru-Trek) 0:07:41  
7 Skyler Trujillo (Niner/Stans/Ergon) 0:07:43  
8 Thomas Sampson 0:08:42  
9 Eric Emsky (Revel Consulting/Rad Racing NW) 0:08:54  
10 William Curtis (Whole Athlete-Specialized) 0:09:38  
11 Seamus Powell 0:09:47  
12 Colton Andersen (Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Devo Sweet Elite) 0:10:37  
13 Bradford Perley (Champion System / Canondale) 0:10:52  
14 Kevin Fish 0:11:14  
15 Peter Ostroski (Wild Things/Rocky Mountain) 0:11:28  
16 Lewis Gaffney (Team F.I.Taos) 0:11:44  
17 Zachary Keller 0:12:36  
18 Graham Aldredge (Mesa Cycles Shop and Racing Team) 0:14:09  
19 Noah Tautfest (Bicycle Express/ Kona) 0:16:14  
20 Cole Oberman (Guys Racing Club) 0:16:42  
21 Riley Predum (Whole Athlete - Specialized) 0:17:34  
22 Gregory Carpenter (3D racing) 0:18:51  
23 Cody Kaiser (California Giant Strawberries/Specialize) 0:19:21  
24 Robbie Jones (Fort Lewis College) 0:19:51  
25 Travis Glysson (AZ Devo) 0:20:27  
26 Patrick Charlton (Central Oregon Community College) 0:20:32  
27 Brian Jorgensen (Central Oregon Community College) 0:23:17  
28 Kendal Johnson 0:23:47  
29 Nate Byrom (Nevada Union High School Mt Bike Team) 0:27:27  
-1lap Nitish Nag (NRL Racing Development Team)    
-1lap Richard Schoenfelder (Gallatin Valley Bicycle Club/Gallatin Alpine Sports/Intrinsik Archite)    
-1lap Colby Pastore    
-1lap Joshua Murdock    
-1lap Daniel Gerow (Wolverine Sports Club)    
-1lap Peter O'Donnell (GT Bicycles)    
-1lap Alex Wild    
-1lap Will Patterson (Whole Athlete)    
DNS Matt Lyons    
DNS Adam Looney (University of Wyoming)    
DSQ Joshua Berry (    
DNF Taylor Schmidt (Optimize Endurance Services)    
DNF Kevin Kane (Rocky Mountain Factory Team)    
DNF Zach McDonald    
DNF Zachary Valdez (Whole Athlete/Whole Athlete-Specialized)    
Cat. 1 Junior men 17-18
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Howard Grotts (Durango Devo) 1:12:02  
2 Keegan Swenson (Whole Athlete/Whole Athlete-Specialized) 0:00:20  
3 Richard Cypress Gorry (AZ Devo) 0:04:40  
4 Max Houtzager (Whole Athlete Specialized) 0:05:28  
5 Casey Williams 0:06:01  
6 Taylor Smith (Whole Athlete/Whole Athlete-Specialized) 0:06:21  
7 Sepp Kuss (Durango Devo) 0:07:48  
8 Payson McElveen (USA Junior) 0:08:00  
9 Cody Phillips 0:09:53  
10 Bryan Duke (VOS Racing) 0:10:08  
11 Tobin Ortenblad 0:10:11  
12 Ryan Geiger (AZ Devo) 0:10:33  
13 Christian Kloser 0:11:31  
14 Jacob Albrecht 0:12:35  
15 Gino Pastore (Durango Devo) 0:12:56  
16 Jake Richards 0:13:05  
17 Mason Bond (Nevada Union High School Mt Bike Team/Nevada Union Mt Bike Team) 0:13:07  
18 Bobby Zidek (Whole Athlete/Whole Athlete-Specialized) 0:13:19  
19 Anthony Smith (Whole Athlete - Specialized) 0:13:33  
20 Ryan Standish (United States of America) 0:13:37  
21 Garrett Lundberg 0:14:14  
22 Eliel Anttila (Whole Athlete/Whole Athlete-Specialized) 0:14:19  
23 Adam OCamb (NorCal High School Mountain Bike League) 0:15:08  
24 Tanner Hurst (Team Bikers Choice) 0:15:33  
25 Collin Francom (Durango Devo) 0:15:41  
26 Brandon Dillard (Owens Healthcare) 0:16:35  
27 Chase Dickens 0:17:30  
28 Tyler Jones 0:17:52  
29 Jeremiah Newman 0:18:33  
30 Timothy Jaynes 0:19:03  
31 Larsson Johnson (Ogden Cycling Education Foundation/Autoliv Cycling Club) 0:19:53  
32 Zane Godby 0:20:15  
33 Sanford Morton 0:20:40  
34 Conner Smith (Ogden Cycling Education Foundation) 0:20:59  
35 Dakota Pittman 0:21:07  
36 Ryan O'Connell (EXPO Racing) 0:22:08  
37 Sam Blomquist 0:24:31  
38 Myles Beach (Adventure 212) 0:24:35  
39 Keelan Christensen (Methow Valley Cycling) 0:25:20  
40 Kyle Miller (Team CF) 0:25:32  
41 Dylan Anderson 0:30:03  
42 Michael Dutczak (South Chicago Wheelmen) 0:31:20  
-1lap Cole Sprague    
-1lap John Morehouse    
-1lap Cameron Schave    
-1lap Spencer Lowden    
-1lap Mitchell Bogardus (EXPO Racing)    
DNF Tyler Coplea (AZ Devo)    
DNF Kyle Willett (AZ Devo)    
DNF Daniel Thompson    
DNF Cody Cupp (Methow Valley Cycling)    
Cat. 1 Junior men 15-16
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Lucas Newcomb (Whole Athlete/Whole Athlete-Specialized) 1:19:11  
2 Keegan Swirbul 0:00:43  
3 Stephan Davoust (Durango Devo) 0:01:59  
4 Zachary Carlson (Matrix Cycling Club/Matrix/RBM) 0:05:26  
5 Levi Kurlander (Durango Devo)    
6 Spence Peterson (Above Category Racing) 0:06:18  
7 Peter Karinen 0:06:30  
8 griffin park 0:06:57  
9 Matthew Erbentraut 0:07:51  
10 Miles Lim 0:08:20  
11 Justin Griffin 0:08:26  
12 Luke Allen 0:08:55  
13 landen beckner (Montana Velo) 0:09:33  
14 Jarred Jordan (Cycles Veloce/Team Simple Green/Bike Religion) 0:10:32  
15 Nolan Brady (Old Town Bicycle (OTB)/Old Town Bicycle Race Team (OTB)) 0:11:02  
16 Jonathan Kaufman (Whole Athlete/Whole Athlete-Specialized) 0:11:10  
17 Shane Skelton (Montrose Cycling Club/Montrose Bike Shop- CW Builders) 0:12:00  
18 Joe Christiansen 0:12:17  
19 Marcus Segedin 0:12:58  
20 Jack Keane (Above Category Racing) 0:13:58  
21 Dylan Johnson 0:16:08  
22 Eric Anderson 0:19:48  
23 Brett Poulton (EXPO Racing) 0:21:21  
24 Sean Bennett 0:23:02  
25 Ryan Totman 0:23:54  
26 David OBrien (Revel Consulting/Rad Racing NW) 0:26:25  
27 Zachary Edwards (White Mountain Road Club/Landis/Trek) 0:28:32  
-2laps Tanner Patnode (Revel Consulting/Rad Racing NW)    
DNS Byron Rice (Inland/Back to Dirt/Inland Construction)    
DNS Noah Talley (Revolution Cafe Rio)    
DNS Skyler Taylor (Above Category Racing)    
DNF Haakon Sigurslid (Durango Devo)