Hecht wins US junior cyclo-cross title

Stephenson second, Brunner third

Gage Hecht (Alpha Bicycle Co) claimed his sixth national championship title in cyclo-cross and his second in the junior 17-18 category on Sunday at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. The Colorado rider overcame a bad start to take the lead by the end of the first lap and then soloed to a narrow victory over Denzel Stephenson and Eric Brunner (Boulder Junior Cycling).

Spencer Petrov, who was expected to challenge Hecht for the victory, faded from second position to fourth after a mid-race crash.

"It feels amazing. I love the feeling I get from winning. It's great," Hecht said. "I knew the course would be technical and it would separate out quickly, so I wanted to make sure I was at the front of that separation from the get go. I didn't want to get stuck behind stuff. I didn't have a great start but was able to get up front."

Overnight rain soaked the arduous, tricky course, turning the course into a slipper mud-fest. The off-camber sections were particularly treacherous, and even Hecht crashed. But it was the riders who would make the fewest mistakes and take the best lines who would prevail. While Hecht had a healthy lead with one lap to go, Brunner and Stephenson closed to within seconds before the line, making for a nervous last lap for Hecht.

"I was super shocked by that, I knew they were strong, but I should have expected it more," Hecht said of their chase back. "But It was cool to see a bunch of Colorado guys up there with me."

Hecht kept his head down and kept pushing forward, and Stephenson out-sprinted his teammate Brunner for the silver medal just three seconds after Hecht crossed the line. Petrov was 35 seconds behind in fourth, with Hecht's teammate Evan Clouse rounding out the top five.

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Gage Hecht0:39:23 
2Denzel Stephenson0:39:26 
3Eric Brunner0:39:29 
4Spencer Petrov0:39:58 
5Evan Clouse0:41:05 
6Cameron Beard0:42:05 
7Caleb Swartz0:42:23 
8Ross Ellwood0:42:37 
9Michael Owens0:42:49 
10Cade Bickmore0:43:30 
11Jack Tanner0:43:43 
12Scott Mcgill0:44:39 
13Colton Brookshire0:44:49 
14George Schulz0:45:08 
15Brayden Buchanan0:45:12 
16Drew Sotebeer0:45:14 
17Joshua Anderson0:45:39 
18Cassidy Bailey0:45:45 
19Henry Coppolillo  
20Tristan Greathouse0:46:22 
21Clyde Logue0:46:40 
22Kevin Goguen0:46:48 
23Jordan Lewis0:46:50 
24Jack Warner0:47:27 
25Nicholas Beirne0:47:29 
26Donovan Birky0:47:44 
27Cameron Scott0:48:30 
28Cole Davis0:48:53 
29Ethan Storm0:49:29 
30Ryan Aittaniemi0:49:34 
31Tommy Steinebrunner0:49:55 
32Donald Seib0:50:25 
33Tate Knowles0:50:50 
34Eli Gold0:51:10 
35Eric Voigt0:51:49 
36Henry Davis-1 
37Garrett Smith  
38Zachary Young  
39Charlie Ormsby  
40Ethan Dellamaestra  
41Collin Sallee  
42Johannes Stromski  
43Carter Warren  
44Cole Weidenbach  
45Thomas Carey  
46Tyler Curtis  
47Zachary Ross  
48Jeremy Norris  
49Spencer Moavenzadeh  
50Alexander Christian  
51Aidan Pounder  
52Simon Lewis  
53Perry Andre  
54Paul Hartner  
55Eli House  
56Jacob Banks  
57Mark Myles  
58Christian Norvold  
59William Hardin-2 
60Nicolas Padilla  
61Jules Gilliam  
62Sean Mcelroy  
63Luke Thomas  
64Jack White  
DNFJack Crump  
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