Danny Summerhill (Garmin) secured a repeat victory at the UCI Under 23 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships held on Saturday in Bend, Oregon. The youngster finished nearly 20 seconds ahead of his fiercest competitors Zach McDonald (Rapha-Focus) who placed second and Jerome Townsend in third.
“The crowds for the U23 race were great,” Summerhill said. “Along the back stretch we were battling back and forth and there was definitely some hockey game being played but it was good times and Zach’s a great rider. He will definitely have it next year I’m sure.”
The UCI Under 23 men were treated to a sunny break from the early morning’s rained-out cyclo-cross circuit held in the Old Mill District. The cold conditions kept the sun from drying up the water logged course that offered the field a superbly muddy ‘cross experience.
McDonald shot off the starting line straight onto the sloppy course with exceptional speed. By the end of the first lap his lead was so big that it wasn’t far-fetched to think that he could have locked up the victory. But everyone who knows ‘cross knows that winning a race often times depends on the luck and McDonald’s luck ran out when he collided with a spectator on the second lap, losing nearly all of his time advantage.
“A guy and his wife just walked straight onto the course,” McDonald said. “Unfortunately I got decked by a spectator and that’s when Danny caught me. I got hit hard. There were just no course marshals monitoring the course there.”
Summerhill rode in a strong second place and managed to make contact with McDonald half way through the second lap. McDonald continued to lead the pair around the course in a tactical battle for the race win.
A long line of chasers formed approximately one-minute behind that included Townsend, Eric Thompson (Maplelag-Paramount Sports) and Jeremy Ferguson (California Giant Cycling). Slightly further back was Chris Hurst, Steve Fisher (Rad Racing-Hagens Berman), Eric Emsky (Blue Competition Cycles), Nick Keough (Kenda) and Cody Kaiser (Cal Giant).
For the next several laps Summerhill and McDonald rode shoulder-to-shoulder up the steep pitches, the fly over and ran side-by-side up the lengthy set of stairs. Each seemed to be riding at a comfortable speed waiting for their own winning opportunity.
When asked if it was one of his tougher battles, McDonald said, “Yes, probably. Neither of us were really killing it in the middle of the race because we had a gap so we were waiting for the other to make a mistake. Both of us were pretty much waiting for the last lap. I made a couple of mistakes and he pulled away on the straights. I knew I wasn’t coming back. Danny rode a great race.”
The winning move came from Summerhill over the one of the ride-ups located at approximately half a lap to go. His five-second lead turned into 10, 15 and then 20 seconds as he muscled his way to the finish line with a second consecutive Under 23 cyclo-cross national title.
“Zach had a hell of a ride, he was killing me on every technical spot everywhere,” Summerhill said. “We just battled back and forth. I stayed up front on all the straightaways and he would duck around me on all the technical bits. He did a great job.”
|1||Daniel Summerhill (Garmin-Transitions/Team Holowesko Partners)||0:49:20|
|2||Zach McDonald (Rapha Focus)||0:00:45|
|3||Jerome Townsend (BikeReg.com / Joe's Garage / Scott)||0:01:08|
|4||Eric Thompson (Maplelag/Paramount Sports)||0:01:51|
|6||Cody Kaiser (California Giant Strawberries/Specialized)|
|7||Jeremy Ferguson (California Giant Strawberries/Specialized)|
|8||Bradford Perley (Mafia Racing)|
|9||Eric Emsky (Blue Competition Cycles)|
|10||Steve Fisher (Rad Racing NW / Hagens Berman LLP)|
|11||Joseph Schmalz (KCCX/Verge p/b Challenge Tires)|
|12||Emmanuel Goguen (Team CF-Mass)|
|13||Patrick Bradley (Rutgers University-Raleigh-Kim's Bike Shop)|
|14||Clayton Omer (Better Cycling of Louisville)|
|16||Nicholas Keough (Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross)|
|17||Weston Luzadder (Indianapolis Cycling Club/NUVO Cultural Trail)|
|18||Zachary Keller (Form Cycles)|
|19||Andrew Templeton (Team Cross)|
|20||Kevin Fish (Bicycle Sport Shop)|
|21||Andrew Bennett (Team Specialized Racing)|
|25||Adam Looney (University of Wyoming)|
|27||Joshua Lehmann (Sunapee Racing Team)|
|28||Stefan Swecker (TriStar Cycling Team)|
|29||James McCabe (Colavita Racing Inc./Colavita Racing)|
|30||Matthew Bathe (Rutgers University-New Brunswick/Piscataway)|
|31||Benjamin Monaghan (BYRDS)|
|32||Alexander Vaughan-Ruiz (Major Motion Cycling Club)|
|DSQ||Morgan Ryan (Major Motion Cycling Club)|
|DNF||Jesse Keough (Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross)|
|DNF||Luke Keough (Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross)|