Noble repeats as U23 US champion

Emma White second, followed by Hannah Finchcamp

Defending US under-23 champion Ellen Noble (Aspire Racing) earned another year in the stars-and-stripes jersey Sunday at the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships in Hartford, Connecticut.

Living up to pre-race expectations, the event came down to a battle between Noble and Emma White (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com), with the duo tightly locked through the first lap-and-a-half before Noble took the lead for good on the frozen, snow-covered course along the Connecticut river.

Noble crossed the finish line with a 30-second advantage over runner-up White, with Hannah Finchamp (Clif Pro Team) in third at 3:48.

White and Noble established themselves as the riders to beat within the first minute of racing. White narrowly took the hole shot and maintained a small advantage through the first lap as the pair quickly put the rest of the field into the rearview mirror.

"I had a rough plan," Noble said of her strategy. "But it's not like a road race where you're like, 'I'm going to attack with 6k to go,' or something like that.

"I knew that there was a lot of time to make mistakes, so I really wanted to ride my own pace and just focus on not making mistakes and being super, super consistent. I had a few little dabs but overall I rode a very clean race. And that's exactly what I aimed for. That was really my strategy. If I could have led from the beginning, if I could have gotten the hole shot and led into the first run-up, I would have been happy to, but Emma starts really, really well. So the fact that she took the hole shot was something that I sort of anticipated.

"I had hoped to take the lead by the chicane off-camber at the end of the long run, but I didn't so I just tried to stay calm and knew that if I was riding as well as I thought I was that I'd be able to close the gap."

Noble shadowed White closely before overtaking her and then beginning to pull away in the second lap. From there, Noble began to grow her advantage, navigating the tricky route with aplomb and avoiding any serious errors.

White stayed within striking distance, with Noble's gap stabilizing at around a half minute, but White was unable to claw back much time in the final few minutes of the race.

Behind the pair out front, Finchamp and Arensman had separated themselves from the rest of the riders contesting third place. Nearly four minutes after Noble nabbed the victory, Finchamp topped Arensman in the battle for the podium's final spot.

Noble's second straight Nationals victory will be her last at the under-23 level, as she will move up to the elites next year. Currently sitting 12th in the UCI's world ranking for women with multiple World Cup top 10s under her belt already, Noble sounded eager after Sunday's race to set her sights on elite titles moving forward.

"I think I am [ready]. I'm really excited. It's been nice this last year at U23," she said. "Getting to prep to peak for this specific race I think gave me a lot of good practice."

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ellen Noble (Aspire Racing)0:35:13 
2Emma White (Cannondale Cyclocrossworld)0:00:30 
3Hannah Finchamp (UCI MTB: Clif Pro Team)0:03:48 
4Hannah Arensman (J.A. King p/b BR'C)0:03:57 
5Emma Swartz (Trek Cyclocross Collective)0:04:21 
6Clara Honsinger (Team S&M)0:04:23 
7Ashley Zoerner (Alpha Bicycle Co.- Vista Subaru)0:04:30 
8Katherine Santos (Be Real Sports)0:04:57 
9Shannon Mallory (Northwest Womens Cyclocross Pro)0:05:30 
10Anya Malarski (Jet Cycling)0:05:49 
11Heidi Franz (Keller-Rohrback Cycling)0:06:33 
12Paige Williams0:06:37 
13Sophie Russenberger (Bend Endurance Academy)0:07:24 
14Kennedy Adams (Women's CX Project)0:07:53 
15Kathleen O'neil (Hicks Orthodontics Women's Raci)0:08:01 
16Tiziana Dehorney (Portland Titanium)0:08:16 
17Fiona Dougherty (Bicycle World)0:08:33 
18Ellen Campbell (Durango Devo)0:08:39 
19Ellie Mitchell (Northwest Womens Cyclocross Pro)0:08:44 
20Abigail Youngwerth (Tenspeed Hero)0:08:55 
21Kelsay Lundberg (Fort Lewis College)  
22Svetlana Mack (Rock Creek Velo)0:09:22 
23Payten Maness (Renewed Cyclocross)0:09:33 
24Alijah Beatty (NorthStar Development)0:10:56 
25Hayden Gizinski (Northwest Womens Cyclocross Pro)1 Lap 
26Anna Schehrer (Fort Lewis College)  
27Ella Neurohr (Chicago Cuttin Crew)  
28Paige Shook  
29Lillith Ahrens (J.A. King p/b BR'C)  
30Riley Gallagher (J.A. King p/b BR'C)  
31Emily White (Stoudts Brewing Co/JB Mountain)  
32Rebecca Bramley (Fort Lewis College)2 Laps 
33Kira Segenchuk (New England Devo)  
34Anna Savage (Northampton Cycling Club)  
35Hannah Bauer (J.A. King p/b BR'C)  
36Rachel Smith (Tricity Road Club)3 Laps 
DNFAlex Christofalos (CTH Peformance Project)  

 

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