Haidet takes US under-23 cyclo-cross title

Hecht is second, followed by Chance in tight finish

Californian Lance Haidet (Clement) scored a huge upset victory in the under-23 men's USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships in Hartford, Connecticut on Sunday. The 20-year-old surged in the final to win the title over Gage Hecht (Alpha Bicycle Company-Vista Subaru) after race-leading Maxx Chance (Evol Racing) dropped his chain just a few hundred meters from the finish line.

Suddenly forced to battle for the final spot on the podium after appearing primed to win moments before, Chance settled for third.

Haidet stayed focused and even confident after a slow start on the icy, snowy course to ultimately ride into the U23 national champion's jersey.

"The first half of my race was probably the worst, the furthest back I was," he said. "I just felt like I was constantly bringing back time, especially on the lead group. I just knew that if I kept it steady and kept it consistent I would eventually hopefully catch that lead group. And then with guys starting to make mistakes in the last two laps and stuff ... Yeah, I thought I was going to be able to do it. I had to suffer a bit in that last lap to make it up there."

Cooper Willsey (Cannondale-Cyclocrossoworld.com) led the field through the first of seven laps with Haidet nearly half a minute behind. Things tightened at the front of the field in the ensuing laps. Haidet, Hecht, Chance, Curtis White (Cannondale-Cyclocrossoworld.com), Grant Ellwood (Boulder-Cyclesport-YogaGlo) and Brannan Fix (Alpha Bicycle Company-Vista Subaru) all got involved at the head of a race that seemed completely up for grabs at the midway point.

Haidet lost ground in the third lap to a flat, but worked his way back into a lead quintet with Chance, Fix, Hecht and Ellwood by the fifth lap. Chance and Hecht then pulled clear with Haidet giving chase, and the lead duo traded blows over the final lap, before Hecht came unclipped trying to make a risky pass at a narrowing of the course. That gave Haidet a chance to ride into second.

Chance held on in front through the next few corners as the riders neared the line, but then he suffered a heart-breaking chain drop in the approach to the final climb.

Haidet surged past, followed by Hecht, with narrowly out-sprinting Fix for third.

"It was quite amazing," Haidet said of the victory and the unusual circumstances at the finish. "I've been wanting to win nationals for five years now and finally it pays off. It was sort of weird, I kept looking back and I'm like, 'I'm going to throw my hands up, is someone going to come by me?'

"I was really afraid even though I had like 40 meters. It was pretty cool."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lance Haidet (Clement)0:52:58 
2Gage Hecht (Alpha Bicycle Company-Vista Subaru)0:00:06 
3Maxx Chance (Evol Racing)0:00:08 
4Brannan Fix (Alpha Bicycle Company - Vista Subaru)  
5Grant Ellwood (Boulder Cycle Sport/YogaGlo)0:00:27 
6Curtis White (Cannondale Cyclocrossworld)0:00:28 
7Cooper Willsey (Cannondale Cyclocrossworld)0:00:56 
8Spencer Petrov (Cyclocross Alliance)0:02:46 
9Skyler Mackey (KCCX Elite Cyclocross Team p/b)0:02:55 
10Henry Nadell (CZ Racing)0:03:01 
11Peter Goguen (RACE CF)0:03:03 
12Nathaniel Morse (BikeReg.com)0:03:14 
13Brendan Rhim (California Giant Cycling)0:03:54 
14Eric Brunner (EVOL DevoElite Racing)0:03:58 
15Byron Rice (Storm Racing Team)0:04:01 
16Jack Tanner (Boulder Junior Cycling)0:04:08 
17Jonathan Anderson (Fort Lewis College)0:04:28 
18Garrett Gerchar (Cliff Bar)0:04:30 
19Cameron Beard (Cannondale Cyclocrossworld)0:05:00 
20Michael Owens (Hands-on Cycling)0:05:06 
21Trent Blackburn (JAM Fund / NCC)0:05:11 
22Patrick Collins (Minuteman Road Club)0:05:26 
23Anders Nystrom (Cliff Bar Cyclocross Team)0:05:54 
24Nicholas Lando (University of Vermont)0:06:31 
25Samuel Hedlund (University of Vermont)0:06:52 
26Case Butler (JAM Fund / NCC)1 Lap 
27Sam Vickery  
28Cade Bickmore (Marian University)2 Laps 
29Zachary Curtis (BMB-Racing)  
30cameron Scott (BARKS+WRECK Adventure Club)  
31Andrew Borden (Squadra Fyling Tigers)  
32Maxwell Southam (BMB-Racing)  
33Fred Vincent (Mad Duck Racing)  
34Keith Mullaly (Belmont Abbey College)  
35Lucas Smallidge (Ridgefield Bicycle Sport Club)  
36Kale Wenczel (Joe's Garage)  
37Tristan Greathouse (Belmont Abbey College)  
38Johannes Stromski (KMS Cycling-Killington Mountain)  
39Travis Wold (Spin Arts Cycling)  
40Liam Earl (Cliff Bar Cyclocross Team)3 Laps 
41Tristan Manderfeld (Army Westpoint Cycling)  
42Kyler Walker (BMB-Racing)  
43Alec Pasqualina (Giant Co-Factory Off-Road Team)  
44Sam Damphousse (NEXT-BMB)  
45Eli House (Dash Racing)  
46Erik Carlson (New England Cycling Team)4 Laps 
47Andrew Bailey (Cycleworks)  
48Chris Goguen (RACE CF)  
49Benjamin Ryan (New England Devo)  
50Perry Andre (Somerset Wheelmen)  
51Charles Mandel (University of Vermont)  
52James Hayes (Swamp Yankee Road Club)  
53Jack White (Palmer Csprie)  
DNFJonah Meadvancort (Lindenwood University)  
DNFLane Johnson (Move Up Development-Trek)  


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