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