Curley, Wittwer, Rollins nab national titles

The 2012 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships continued Thursday with the crowning of 12 masters national champions. Nearly 150 of the country's best 45-80 year-old cyclo-cross bike racers tackled the course at Badger Prairie Park on an unseasonably warm January day in Wisconsin.

Organizers saved one of the day's best races for last as the men's 55-59 event shaped up to be one of the most hotly contested. Paul Curley (Mid State Cycling Club-Gear Works-Spin Arts Cyclery), Robert Downs (Planet Bike) and Norman Kreiss (California Giant Cycling) broke away on the first lap and never looked back, completing the first two laps in a blistering 21:40. As the trio completed the second of their four-lap contest, Curley attacked and didn't let up, taking the win by 26 seconds over Kreiss to collect the 25th national championship of his career.

"I rode from the front," said Curley. "Anytime I could push ahead, I pushed ahead. I wasn't afraid to lead. I even led into the wind, which is uncharacteristic. It just came together. It's what the season is supposed to do. Today was supposed to be the day and it worked out. Full power, good technical, no crashes, great pit crew."

The day began at 9:30 a.m. with the men's 60-64 race. Approximately halfway through the race, Fred Wittwer (Alan North America Cycling) pulled away from the leaders. At first Joseph Brown (Flying Rhino Cycling Club) was chasing him, but Brown was overtaken by Gregory Pausch (Planet Bike), who placed second, 16 seconds behind Wittwer and 24 seconds ahead of Brown, who earned the bronze.

The men's 65-69 contest was won by Lewis Rollins (The Contender Club). Rollins, who employed a healthier diet to lose 12 pounds heading into the event, collected the second national title of his career today.

"This year was a little different than other years. I've only raced twice before nationals," Rollins said. "This course suits me. It's not a technical as I'd like, but it has just enough climbs that are slippery and muddy, downhills that are muddy. If you can bike handle and not fall down, you'll make more time than guys who go fast, fall down, get up, go fast, fall down. I don't know that I'm a steady Eddie kind of guy, but that's just the way it was."

Robert Llamas (Montrose Cycling Club), who played basketball recreationally for about 35 years, won the men's 70-74 race. After nearly rising to the top step several times earlier in his cycling career, the semi-retired psychologist won the stars-and-stripes jersey.

"Yes, it does mean something," Llamas said. "It's the jersey."

After winning the men's 80-and-over race on Thursday, Walter Axthelm (Durango Wheel Club) has entered the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships five times and has earned the gold medal each of those five times. He also earned national titles in the criterium and time trial at the 2011 USA Cycling Masters Road National Championships.

"It is a really challenging course for me," Axthelm said. "I'm really glad there wasn't snow because it would have been a dandy in the snow. Couldn't ask for better conditions in this part of the world."

Full Results

Men 55-59

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Paul Curley (Gear Works/Spin Arts Cyclery)0:42:58
2Norman Kreiss (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized)0:00:26
3Robert Downs (Planet Bike)0:00:46
4Randy Shields (Carolina Masters)0:01:28
5Randall Root (Evolution Cycling Club p/b Long & Foster)0:01:38
6Henry Kramer (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized)0:01:42
7Jeffrey Craft (Lake Effect Cycling Team)0:02:54
8Jim Gentes0:02:57
9George Smith (Webcor/Alto Velo)0:03:13
10Brook Watts (Michelob Ultra - Big Shark Racing)0:03:36
11Charles Townsend (Bianchi/Grand Performance)0:03:49
12Dag Selander (Team Plan C)0:03:58
13Glen Jones (Trek Midwest Team)0:04:19
14Matthew Moore (Clinton Cycling Club)0:04:51
15Rudy Sroka (Lake Effect Cycling Team)0:04:55
16Geoffrey Chandler (Mission Berry Farms Cycling)0:05:12
17Peter Crowley (Northampton Cycling Club)0:05:19
18David Goodwin (Northampton Cycling Club)0:06:11
19Robert Garner (V.C. Bikesport)0:06:41
20Bruce Bell (Burris Logistics-Fit Werx)0:06:42
21Mark Wolowiec (Flying Rhino Cycling Club)0:07:24
22Steven Kinney (Cycle-Smart Inc.)0:07:25
23Michael Cisek0:07:41
24Craig Busche (Velo Trocadero)0:08:14
25James (Jimmy) Day (Bike n Sport Racing)0:08:15
26Anthony (Tony) Bilotta (Van Dessel Factory Team)0:08:23
27David Sieloff (Brazen Dropouts Cycling Team)0:08:35
28Joel Roth (Team TATI)0:08:44
29Steven Vorderman (Don Galligher-DRT Consulting)0:08:51
30Darryl Mataya (MadCity Velo Club)0:09:00
31Jeff Huser0:09:36
32Chris Black (Morgan Stanley /Specialized)0:10:15
33James White (Idaho Cycling Enthusiasts (ICE))0:10:16
34Craig Reynolds (Terre Haute Cycling/J's Bikes Racing)0:10:31
35John Reimbold (Heckawee)0:10:40
36Randall Silva (Nob Hill Velo)0:11:12
37Jeff Tripp (Blue Steel Cyclery)0:11:19
38Jerry White (Blue Steel Cyclery)0:11:42
39John Bucksbaum (Vision Quest LLC)0:12:22
40Paul Sadoff (Bay 11/HRS/Rock Lobster)0:12:37
41Robert Schueler (Hampshire Cycle Club)0:12:45
42Joseph King (Brazen Dropouts Cycling Team)0:12:51
43Richard Alderman0:13:37
44Greg Youngen (Wild Card Cycling)0:13:41
45 (-1 lap)Michael Merulla (Iowa City Cycling Club)Row 44 - Cell 2
46 (-2 laps)Chris Canfield (Blue Sky Velo)Row 45 - Cell 2
DNSScott Reynolds (Guys Racing Club)Row 46 - Cell 2
DNSSteve Lamont (Durango Wheel Club)Row 47 - Cell 2
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Men - Master - 60-64
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Fred Wittwer (ALAN North America Cycling)0:38:41
2Gregory Pautsch (Planet Bike)0:00:16
3Joseph Brown (Flying Rhino Cycling Club)0:00:52
4Harold Parker (36 Racing)0:01:30
5Timothy Leonard (
6Rich Pearson0:01:41
7Gordon Paulson0:02:11
8David Beals (
9Don Leet (Bend Endurance Academy)0:02:32
10Robert Ogren (Kenwood Racing)0:02:33
11Landon Beachy (Twisted Spokes Racing Team)0:02:51
12Hunter Smith (Boulder Cycle Sport)0:04:09
13John Craychee (Team Bicycle Heaven)0:04:39
14Charles South (Men Of Steel Racing)0:06:14
15John Stainthorp (xXx Racing)0:06:16
16Tom Palmer (Brazen Dropouts/Brazen Dropouts Cycling Team)0:06:32
17Julian Coupland (Village-Verdigris Cycling/)0:06:49
18Bruce Oliver (National Capital Velo Club/UnitedHealthcare)0:07:07
19Kerry Shields (Mock Orange Bikes/SmartStop)0:07:48
20Jerry Pearce (Hampshire Cycle Club)0:09:40
21Albert Weigel (Village-Verdigris Cycling)0:11:58
22Rit Booth (Hampshire Cycle Club)0:13:19
23Thomas Silbernagel (Team Extreme)0:01:40
24Harry Fortney (Des Moines Cycle Club)0:01:56
DNSJon Miller (Platinum Performance Cycling Team)Row 24 - Cell 2
DNSGeorge PawleRow 25 - Cell 2
DNSJohn PierceRow 26 - Cell 2
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Men - Master - 65-69
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lewis Rollins (The Contender Club/CONTENDER BICYCLES)0:42:11
2Rick Abbott (Excel Sports Boulder)0:00:38
3Richard Bagienski (Durango Wheel Club)0:04:27
4John Adamson (Twisted Spokes Racing Team)0:06:02
5Richard Wall0:07:44
6Jerry Shere (
9Donald Snoop0:02:04
DNSDavid WamsleyRow 7 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Men - Master - 70-74
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Robert Llamas (Montrose Cycling Club/Montrose Bike Shop- CW Builders)0:45:28
2Erik Nordenson0:00:01
3Joe Saling0:03:19
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Men - Master - 80-99
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Walter Axthelm (Durango Wheel Club)0:48:56

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