Ettinger overjoyed at winning U23 cross country title

Stephen Ettinger (BMC MTB Development Team) raced to his first-ever Under 23 cross country national championship victory on Friday afternoon in Sun Valley, Idaho. Ettinger was clearly the strongest rider of the day as he pedalled away from runner-up Jack Hinkens (BMC) and Rob Squire (Chipotle Development Team).

After winning, Ettinger was at first speechless. "That was unreal. I don't even know what to say," he told Cyclingnews as he was congratulated by many supporters and struggling to gather his thoughts.

The stacked field included favorites Ettinger, Hinkens, Squire, Kerry Warner (BMC), Russell Finsterwald (Subaru-Trek), Menso de Jong (Wonderful Pistachios Cycling), Eric Emsky (Revel Consulting/Rad Racing NW) and Skyler Trujillo (Niner/Stans/Ergon) to name a few.

From the gun, racers tackled a long and super steep fireroad climb up which Ettinger, Squire and Hinkens were the quickest. It was on this first climb of the first lap of the five-lap race that a key gap was established.

"I knew Rob was going to be fast today. He's a total wild card. He hasn't been racing on his mountain bike this year," said Ettinger. "I didn't know what he'd be able to do." The 21-year-old Squire has been busy competing on the road this season with the Chipotle Development team in the US and in Europe.

"I stuck with him until the top of the climb on the first lap. On the descent, I had it and he didn't, so I opened it up a little bit and it allowed me to ride my own race on the climb," said Ettinger. "That made the difference for sure."

"From then on, I was able to pace myself. I just wanted to stay smooth." It was a long time for Ettinger to be on his own at the front, but he looked strong and motivated throughout. Nonetheless, he wasn't taking anything for granted. "I didn't start thinking about the win until coming into the finish area here."

"I have the utmost respect for Rob, my teammates Jack and Kerry, and Russell. Any of those guys could have won," said the always humble Ettinger, who has had a remarkable season so far, including mixing it up with the pros in his final year as a U23 rider. He had bad luck in 2010 at nationals, and his previous best finish was third behind Colin Cares and Rob Squire.

Behind Ettinger, the real battle was for second. Squire and Hinkens duelled each other until the latter got the advantage in the long, flat man-made rock garden at the beginning of lap three of five total.

"I did well in the man-made rock section, and I think Rob used more energy there," said the 19-year-old Hinkens, who is a second-year U23 racer. "I just did what I could and some days are good. Today was good."

The rider from Minnesota finished second, 3:25 behind Ettinger, which gave BMC a one-two result.

Squire held on for a solid third place at 5:03. "I've had better days. I just came off a break after road nationals. Being second two years in a row, I figured I had to come up here and at least show up. A third place, I'm happy with it. With my focus on the road, I'm happy to be here on the podium at mountain bike nationals."

Squire said the day's race was his second of the year and only his fifth time on a mountain bike this season. "I was slow on the descents, but oh well, it was fun!".

Another road racer Menso De Jong (Wonderful Pistachios) finished fourth at 5:31 while BMC put yet another rider on the podium with Kerry Warner (BMC) in fifth at 6:10.

Junior 17-18 men

One week after he won the junior men's World Cup at Windham, New York, Howard Grotts (Durango Devo) topped the podium in the 17-18 men's national championship race. His winning time for four laps was 1:12:02 and he came in ahead of Keegan Swenson (Whole Athlete / Specialized) in second at 20 seconds and Cypress Gorry (AZ Devo) in third at 4:40.

It was Grotts first 17-18 cross country national title. Previously he'd won as a 15-16 racer, and last year, in his first year as a 17-18, he took home the short track national title.

Grotts and Swenson marked each other from the start.

"I wanted to hang with Keegan," said Grotts. On the second lap, I got a little gap and you just have to go as hard as you can after you get that gap."

His strategry worked as he worked his way up through the under 23 men's field that had started in front of him. He found himself racing among the top 10 of the older category, despite the staggered start.

"It would have been nice to have an open course, but the U23 riders also help motivate you," said Grotts, who complimented his 17-year-old opponent Swenson for his race.

"I went out on the first lap and then Howard caught me on the second lap up the climb," said Swenson. "He was riding strong and just pulled away and I couldn't quite get back on his wheel."

For the duration of the race, Swenson, who hails from Park City, Utah, could see Grotts in front of him on the climb every lap, but just couldn't catch him.

Gorry was pleased with his bronze medal ride. "The race was pretty tough. The climb just got harder every lap, but I felt pretty good today." The first-year 17-18 racer was fourth in last year's 15-16 cross country race.

Max Houtzager (Whole Athlete / Specialized) was fourth in 5:28 and Casey Williams was fifth at 6:01.

Junior 15-16 men

Lucas Newcomb (Whole Athlete / Specialized) of Nicasio, California, won the junior men's 15-16 category in a time of 1:19:11. Keegan Swirbul was second at 0:43 and Stephan Davoust (Durango Devo) was third in 1:59.

"It was hard," said Newcomb after winning. "The climb was hard. I was with Keegan the whole time, and then about halfway up the climb, I attacked and kept the pace up and dropped him."

"I tried to hold him off the rest of the way, and I ended up doing it," said Newcomb. "It was the perfect race. I had no mechanicals and it was my best nationals by far."

Full Results

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Under 23 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Stephen Ettinger (BMC MTB Development Team USA)1:29:16
2Jack Hinkens (BMC MTB Development Team USA)0:03:25
3Rob Squire (Chipotle Development Team)0:05:03
4Menso de Jong (Wonderful Pistachios Cycling)0:05:31
5Kerry Werner (BMC MTB Development Team USA)0:06:10
6Russell Finsterwald (Subaru-Trek)0:07:41
7Skyler Trujillo (Niner/Stans/Ergon)0:07:43
8Thomas Sampson0:08:42
9Eric Emsky (Revel Consulting/Rad Racing NW)0:08:54
10William Curtis (Whole Athlete-Specialized)0:09:38
11Seamus Powell0:09:47
12Colton Andersen (Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Devo Sweet Elite)0:10:37
13Bradford Perley (Champion System / Canondale)0:10:52
14Kevin Fish0:11:14
15Peter Ostroski (Wild Things/Rocky Mountain)0:11:28
16Lewis Gaffney (Team F.I.Taos)0:11:44
17Zachary Keller0:12:36
18Graham Aldredge (Mesa Cycles Shop and Racing Team)0:14:09
19Noah Tautfest (Bicycle Express/ Kona)0:16:14
20Cole Oberman (Guys Racing Club)0:16:42
21Riley Predum (Whole Athlete - Specialized)0:17:34
22Gregory Carpenter (3D racing)0:18:51
23Cody Kaiser (California Giant Strawberries/Specialize)0:19:21
24Robbie Jones (Fort Lewis College)0:19:51
25Travis Glysson (AZ Devo)0:20:27
26Patrick Charlton (Central Oregon Community College)0:20:32
27Brian Jorgensen (Central Oregon Community College)0:23:17
28Kendal Johnson0:23:47
29Nate Byrom (Nevada Union High School Mt Bike Team)0:27:27
-1lapNitish Nag (NRL Racing Development Team)Row 29 - Cell 2
-1lapRichard Schoenfelder (Gallatin Valley Bicycle Club/Gallatin Alpine Sports/Intrinsik Archite)Row 30 - Cell 2
-1lapColby PastoreRow 31 - Cell 2
-1lapJoshua MurdockRow 32 - Cell 2
-1lapDaniel Gerow (Wolverine Sports Club)Row 33 - Cell 2
-1lapPeter O'Donnell (GT Bicycles)Row 34 - Cell 2
-1lapAlex WildRow 35 - Cell 2
-1lapWill Patterson (Whole Athlete)Row 36 - Cell 2
DNSMatt LyonsRow 37 - Cell 2
DNSAdam Looney (University of Wyoming)Row 38 - Cell 2
DSQJoshua Berry ( 39 - Cell 2
DNFTaylor Schmidt (Optimize Endurance Services)Row 40 - Cell 2
DNFKevin Kane (Rocky Mountain Factory Team)Row 41 - Cell 2
DNFZach McDonaldRow 42 - Cell 2
DNFZachary Valdez (Whole Athlete/Whole Athlete-Specialized)Row 43 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Cat. 1 Junior men 17-18
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Howard Grotts (Durango Devo)1:12:02
2Keegan Swenson (Whole Athlete/Whole Athlete-Specialized)0:00:20
3Richard Cypress Gorry (AZ Devo)0:04:40
4Max Houtzager (Whole Athlete Specialized)0:05:28
5Casey Williams0:06:01
6Taylor Smith (Whole Athlete/Whole Athlete-Specialized)0:06:21
7Sepp Kuss (Durango Devo)0:07:48
8Payson McElveen (USA Junior)0:08:00
9Cody Phillips0:09:53
10Bryan Duke (VOS Racing)0:10:08
11Tobin Ortenblad0:10:11
12Ryan Geiger (AZ Devo)0:10:33
13Christian Kloser0:11:31
14Jacob Albrecht0:12:35
15Gino Pastore (Durango Devo)0:12:56
16Jake Richards0:13:05
17Mason Bond (Nevada Union High School Mt Bike Team/Nevada Union Mt Bike Team)0:13:07
18Bobby Zidek (Whole Athlete/Whole Athlete-Specialized)0:13:19
19Anthony Smith (Whole Athlete - Specialized)0:13:33
20Ryan Standish (United States of America)0:13:37
21Garrett Lundberg0:14:14
22Eliel Anttila (Whole Athlete/Whole Athlete-Specialized)0:14:19
23Adam OCamb (NorCal High School Mountain Bike League)0:15:08
24Tanner Hurst (Team Bikers Choice)0:15:33
25Collin Francom (Durango Devo)0:15:41
26Brandon Dillard (Owens Healthcare)0:16:35
27Chase Dickens0:17:30
28Tyler Jones0:17:52
29Jeremiah Newman0:18:33
30Timothy Jaynes0:19:03
31Larsson Johnson (Ogden Cycling Education Foundation/Autoliv Cycling Club)0:19:53
32Zane Godby0:20:15
33Sanford Morton0:20:40
34Conner Smith (Ogden Cycling Education Foundation)0:20:59
35Dakota Pittman0:21:07
36Ryan O'Connell (EXPO Racing)0:22:08
37Sam Blomquist0:24:31
38Myles Beach (Adventure 212)0:24:35
39Keelan Christensen (Methow Valley Cycling)0:25:20
40Kyle Miller (Team CF)0:25:32
41Dylan Anderson0:30:03
42Michael Dutczak (South Chicago Wheelmen)0:31:20
-1lapCole SpragueRow 42 - Cell 2
-1lapJohn MorehouseRow 43 - Cell 2
-1lapCameron SchaveRow 44 - Cell 2
-1lapSpencer LowdenRow 45 - Cell 2
-1lapMitchell Bogardus (EXPO Racing)Row 46 - Cell 2
DNFTyler Coplea (AZ Devo)Row 47 - Cell 2
DNFKyle Willett (AZ Devo)Row 48 - Cell 2
DNFDaniel ThompsonRow 49 - Cell 2
DNFCody Cupp (Methow Valley Cycling)Row 50 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Cat. 1 Junior men 15-16
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lucas Newcomb (Whole Athlete/Whole Athlete-Specialized)1:19:11
2Keegan Swirbul0:00:43
3Stephan Davoust (Durango Devo)0:01:59
4Zachary Carlson (Matrix Cycling Club/Matrix/RBM)0:05:26
5Levi Kurlander (Durango Devo)Row 4 - Cell 2
6Spence Peterson (Above Category Racing)0:06:18
7Peter Karinen0:06:30
8griffin park0:06:57
9Matthew Erbentraut0:07:51
10Miles Lim0:08:20
11Justin Griffin0:08:26
12Luke Allen0:08:55
13landen beckner (Montana Velo)0:09:33
14Jarred Jordan (Cycles Veloce/Team Simple Green/Bike Religion)0:10:32
15Nolan Brady (Old Town Bicycle (OTB)/Old Town Bicycle Race Team (OTB))0:11:02
16Jonathan Kaufman (Whole Athlete/Whole Athlete-Specialized)0:11:10
17Shane Skelton (Montrose Cycling Club/Montrose Bike Shop- CW Builders)0:12:00
18Joe Christiansen0:12:17
19Marcus Segedin0:12:58
20Jack Keane (Above Category Racing)0:13:58
21Dylan Johnson0:16:08
22Eric Anderson0:19:48
23Brett Poulton (EXPO Racing)0:21:21
24Sean Bennett0:23:02
25Ryan Totman0:23:54
26David OBrien (Revel Consulting/Rad Racing NW)0:26:25
27Zachary Edwards (White Mountain Road Club/Landis/Trek)0:28:32
-2lapsTanner Patnode (Revel Consulting/Rad Racing NW)Row 27 - Cell 2
DNSByron Rice (Inland/Back to Dirt/Inland Construction)Row 28 - Cell 2
DNSNoah Talley (Revolution Cafe Rio)Row 29 - Cell 2
DNSSkyler Taylor (Above Category Racing)Row 30 - Cell 2
DNFHaakon Sigurslid (Durango Devo)Row 31 - Cell 2


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