US Cyclo-cross champs start this weekend

The 2006 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships will kick off this weekend with a record-breaking 1,940 entrants. Held for the second year at Roger Williams Park in Providence, Rhode Island, riders will fight for 28 national titles.

As a testament to the ever-increasing popularity of the sport in the U.S. The entry numbers represent a 14-percent increase over the 2005 edition US Cyclo-cross Championships and a 41-percent growth compared to 2004.

Racing starts Friday with 14 master national championships. Saturday will include junior racing, the U23 and collegiate women's events, the U23 men's contest and the elite men's race. Competition will close Sunday with the collegiate men's and elite women's races. Two non-national championship categories - the class-B events and the Pro-Elite Cup - will also be contested Sunday.

Defending elite and two-time Cyclo-cross National Champion Todd Wells (GT/Hyundai) will face US National MTB Cross-Country Champion Ryan Trebon (Kona). Trebon recently dominated the US field by winning the 2006 U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross series (USGP). USGP overall runner-up Tim Johnson (Cannondale/ will also present Wells with some tough competition, as will perennial 'cross powerhouses Adam Craig (Bend, Ore./Giant) Mark McCormack (Northeaston, Mass./Clif Bar), Barry Wicks (Corvallis, Ore./Kona), and three-time National Champion Jonathan Page (Cervelo). Page is normally the dominator in US Cyclo-cross National Championships races but the rider from the Northeast who focuses on European competition has been sidelined with a shoulder injury and his form is unseen. So even though Wells is the defending champ, a top-ten finish for Trebon at last weekend's Superprestige in Belgium suggests he will be marked as the man to beat.

Two-time winner and defending elite women's National Champion Katie Compton (Spike/Primus Mootry) will face an 81-rider field. To take the win for a third year in a row, she'll need to be stronger than other primary contenders like Anne Knapp (Seattle, Wash./Kona), Dorothy Wong (Altadena, Calif./Figueroa Farms-Redline-MS Society) and Georgia Gould (Ketchum, Idaho/Luna), who is the reigning Mountain Bike National Champion and second-place finisher in this year's USGP Series.

Event Schedule

Friday, December 15
7:30: Open Course
8:30: Master Women (40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55+)
9:30: Master Men (50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65+)
10:30: Master Women (30-34, 35-39)
11:30: Master Men (45-49)
12:30: Open Course, Awards
13:00: Master Men (40-44)
14:00: Master Men (35-39)
15:00: Master Men (30-34)
16:00: Closed Course, Awards

Saturday, December 16
7:30: Open Course
8:30: Junior Women (Under 12, 13-14, 15-16, 17-18)
9:30: Junior Men (10-12, 13-14, 15-16)
10:30: Women (U23, Collegiate)
11:30: Junior Men (17-18)
12:30: Open Course, Awards
13:00: Men (U23)
14:00: Elite Men
15:00: Closed Course, Awards

Sunday, December 17
7:30: Open Course
8:30: Women Category B
9:30: Men U35 Category B Race
10:30: Men 35+ Category B Race
11:30: Men (Collegiate)
13:00: The Giant Strawberry Cup
14:00: Elite Women
15:00: Closed Course, Awards

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