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Brunner powers to elite men's Pan-Am Cyclo-cross crown

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Eric Brunner rides to victory at 2021 Pan-American Cyclo-cross Championship in Garland, Texas

Eric Brunner rides to victory at 2021 Pan-American Cyclo-cross Championship in Garland, Texas (Image credit: Lee McDaniel/ Resolution Cross Cup)
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New men's elite Pan-Am Cyclo-cross champion Eric Brunner crosses the finish line in Garland, Texas

New men's elite Pan-Am Cyclo-cross champion Eric Brunner crosses the finish line in Garland, Texas (Image credit: Lee McDaniel/ Resolution Cross Cup)
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Defending Pan-Am champion Kerry Werner chases on the course

Defending Pan-Am champion Kerry Werner chases on the course (Image credit: Lee McDaniel/ Resolution Cross Cup)
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Gage Hecht works on a climb to catch lead group

Gage Hecht works on a climb to catch lead group (Image credit: Lee McDaniel/ Resolution Cross Cup)
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Scott McGill rides clean over the barriers while Lance Haidet stumbles

Scott McGill rides clean over the barriers while Lance Haidet stumbles (Image credit: Lee McDaniel/ Resolution Cross Cup)
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Eric Brunner extends his lead

Eric Brunner extends his lead (Image credit: Lee McDaniel/ Resolution Cross Cup)
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US cyclo-cross elite men's champion Gage Hecht works his way back from a mechanical

US cyclo-cross elite men's champion Gage Hecht works his way back from a mechanical (Image credit: Lee McDaniel/ Resolution Cross Cup)
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Michael van den Ham on the Resolution Cross Cup course used for Pan-Ams

Michael van den Ham on the Resolution Cross Cup course used for Pan-Ams (Image credit: Lee McDaniel/ Resolution Cross Cup)
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Early leader Scott McGill negotiates a climb to a fourth-place finish

Early leader Scott McGill negotiates a climb to a fourth-place finish (Image credit: Lee McDaniel/ Resolution Cross Cup)
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Lance Haidet rides the sand en route to fifth-place finish

Lance Haidet rides the sand en route to fifth-place finish (Image credit: Lee McDaniel/ Resolution Cross Cup)
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Eric Brunner rides the sand

Eric Brunner rides the sand deep in the heart of Texas (Image credit: Lee McDaniel/ Resolution Cross Cup)
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2021 Pan-American Cyclo-cross Championships elite men's podium (L to R): Curtis White in second, Eric Brunner winner, Kerry Werner in third

2021 Pan-American Cyclo-cross Championships elite men's podium (L to R): Curtis White in second, Eric Brunner winner, Kerry Werner in third (Image credit: Lee McDaniel/ Resolution Cross Cup)

Eric Brunner (Blue Competition Cycles p/b Build) won the elite men’s crown at the Pan-American Cyclo-cross championships in Garland, Texas on Saturday. The all-US podium was completed with Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) in second and Kerry Werner (Kona Maxxis Shimano CX Team) in third. 

A field of 32 riders battled across the two-mile dry and dusty course at Winters Park Amphitheater, which was also hosting amateur races with Resolution Cross Cup for a 10th season. Scott McGill (Aevolo) took the holeshot with his teammate Gage Hecht, the reigning  US elite men’s cyclo-cross champion, close behind, but Hecht lost his position on the first lap when his chain slipped off the bike and he had to run to the pits.

Out front in the lead group with McGill were Brunner, White, Werner, Michael van den Ham (Easton Giant CX), Lance Haidet (L39ION of Los Angeles), Brandon Fix (Fix Racing), and Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz Bicycles), with Hecht chasing.

Brunner and White were the first two to begin separation from the pack, and with three laps to go Brunner had gained almost 15 seconds over White, with Werner in third. In the deep sand pit, McGill moved into fourth position just ahead of Haidet. 

On the penultimate lap, Brunner had surged up the main climb with the strongest stride and had a lead no one could catch. White, who had won the Pan-Am title in 2018 and took silver in 2019, would repeat in second place. Werner, the defending champion, would settle for third.

Hecht, who had last won the U23 Pan-Am title, worked his way back to a sixth-place finish, 1:25 behind the winner. McGill would take fourth and Haidet fifth. 

The Pan-Am Cyclo-cross Championships returned to the US for the first time since 2016, which was followed by two consecutive years in Ontario, Canada and a year off due to COVID-19. The US riders will now head to Wheaton, Illinois for next weekend's USA Cycling Cylocross National Championships.

"A little disappointed I’ve have to give up the pan am stripes but there is so denying that Eric Brunner certainly deserved them yesterday," wrote Werner on his Instagram feed. "One week away from another jersey race and motivation is even higher! Here we come #cxnats"

Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Eric Brunnr (USA) Blue Competition Cycles p/b Build 1:01:04
2Curtis White (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com 0:00:17
3Kerry Werner Jr. (USA) Kona Maxxis Shimano CX Team 0:00:41
4Scott McGill (USA) Aevolo 0:00:51
5 Lance Haidet (USA) L39ION of Los Angeles 0:01:03
6Gage Hecht (USA) Aevolo 0:01:25
7Cody Cupp (USA) Riders Inc
8Tobin Ortenblad (USA) Santa Cruz Bicycles 0:01:37
9Brannan Fix (USA) Fix Racing 0:01:44
10Caleb Swartz (USA) Giant/Neff Cycle Service 0:01:57
11Michael van den Ham (Can) Easton Giant CX 0:02:10
12Grant Ellwood (USA) 0:03:27
13Tyler Orschel (Can) Durham Shredders 0:03:38
14Casey Hildebrandt (USA) Donkey Label 0:04:04
15Malcolm Barton (Can) Durham Shredders 0:04:15
16Alexandre Vialle (Can) 0:04:23
17Ross Ellwood (USA) Alpha Bicycle Co. - Groove Silverthorne 0:04:29
18Brody Sanderson (Can) Awi p/b The Crank & Sprocket Bicycle Co. 0:04:39
19Jack Tanner (USA) Forever Endurance 0:04:47
20Cody Kaiser (USA) Langetwins / Specialized 0:05:00
21Tyler Cloutier (USA) TCCX 0:05:06
22Jonathan Anderson (USA) Uci Wt: J Moneyz Factory Racing 0:05:15
23Andrew Giniat (USA) The Pony Shop p/b KPMG 0:05:23
24Mark Myles (USA) Be Real Sports 0:05:29
25Josh Bauer (USA) Angry Catfish - Endura 0:05:35
26Finnegan O'Connor (USA) Comp Edge Racing 0:06:04
27Ben Frederick (USA) Ornot/Thesmallmonstersproject/Ritchey 0:06:30
28Rob Sandusky (USA) Torchy's Tacos/Bike Mart 0:06:49
29Nick Lando (USA) Competitive Edge Racing 0:07:26
30Terol Persell (USA)
31Felipe Nystrom (CRc) Costa Rica
DNFErik Tonkin (USA) Team S&M CX

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