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Blevins wins U23 men's US cyclo-cross title

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Chris Blevins (Specialized) rides in alone to claim the U23 National Championship

Chris Blevins (Specialized) rides in alone to claim the U23 National Championship
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Lance Haidet (Donnelly) was not having one of his better days

Lance Haidet (Donnelly) was not having one of his better days
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Chris Blevins (Specialized) riding some downhill switchbacks

Chris Blevins (Specialized) riding some downhill switchbacks
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Chris Blevins (Specialized) chasing the leaders during the second lap

Chris Blevins (Specialized) chasing the leaders during the second lap
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Eric Brunner (EVOL Devoelite) leading Hecht up the big climb on the second lap.

Eric Brunner (EVOL Devoelite) leading Hecht up the big climb on the second lap.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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The U23 Men chasing Gage Hecht (Alpha Bicycle) during the first lap

The U23 Men chasing Gage Hecht (Alpha Bicycle) during the first lap
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Gage Hecht (Alpha Bicycle) leading the U23 Men during lap one

Gage Hecht (Alpha Bicycle) leading the U23 Men during lap one
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Lance Haidet (Donnelly) got a good jump at the start

Lance Haidet (Donnelly) got a good jump at the start
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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The front row of the U23 Mens race

The front row of the U23 Mens race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Chris Blevins (Specialized) is primarily a mountain biker will now be known as a cyclocrosser as well

Chris Blevins (Specialized) is primarily a mountain biker will now be known as a cyclocrosser as well
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)

It was a close race but in the end Chris Blevins (Specialized) won the under-23 men's cyclo-cross title at the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships in Reno, Nevada on Sunday. The victory didn't come without its rivalry as Eric Brunner (Evol DevoElite Racing) put forth a strong fight but finished second place, a mere seconds behind Blevins. Grant Ellwood (Boulder Cycle Sport) finished third.

"I wanted to give it a go in cyclo-cross and my coach thought it was a good idea," Blevins, who also races on the road and mountain bike, told race commentators in a post-race interview. "I raced before Thanksgiving as my last big cyclo-cross race. I then did shorter intervals and tried to build a base for the mountain bike season." 

The race started with a handful of favourites on the start line that included Blevins, Brunner, Ellwood and Gage Hecht (Alpha Bicycle Co). An unfortunate and untimely flat tire took Hecht out of the running for the win and he finished fourth.

Blevins, Brunner and Ellwood stuck fairly close together during the 50-minute race. Blevins was the strongest of the three but made several mistakes on route to his victory. He bobbled in the sand pit and crashed ahead of the barriers. Brunner, on the other hand, had a very smooth ride but lacked the same power that Blevins had during the second half of the circuit.

"I don't like running," Blevins said. "I'm not too confident with some of the slippery 'cross sections. That's where the other guys had an advantage. Eric was pushing it the whole way and was super smooth. In a lot of those sections he could ride through and I made a few mistakes."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Christopher Blevins (USA)0:52:38
2Eric Brunner (USA)0:00:06
3Grant Ellwood (USA)0:00:22
4Gage Hecht (USA)0:01:26
5Spencer Petrov (USA)0:01:51
6Maxx Chance (USA)0:01:57
7Brannan Fix (USA)0:02:19
8Denzel Stephenson (USA)0:02:36
9Lance Haidet (USA)0:02:43
10Caleb Swartz (USA)0:02:45
11Cooper Willsey (USA)0:02:49
12Garrett Gerchar (USA)0:03:23
13Cameron Beard (USA)0:03:48
14Henry Nadell (USA)0:03:53
15Ross Ellwood (USA)0:03:56
16Jack Tanner (USA)0:04:17
17Michael Owens (USA)0:04:32
18Anders Nystrom (USA)0:04:57
19Liam Earl (USA)0:05:38
20Jonathan Anderson (USA)0:05:40
21Andrew Borden (USA)
22Jonah Meadvancort (USA)0:06:59
23Finnegan O'connor (USA)0:09:08
24Drew Sotebeer (USA)-2 Laps
25Harrison Buckley (USA)
26Erik Hammerquist (USA)
27Kobi Gyetvan (USA)
28Brent Franze (USA)
29Kale Wenczel (USA)
30Thomas Mcdonagh (USA)
31Donald Seib (USA)
32Spencer Johnston (USA)
33Eli House (USA)
34Maxwell Southam (USA)
35Matthew Owens (USA)
36Frederick Junge (USA)
37Sebby Frimat (USA)
38Charles Mandel (USA)
39Zacharey Elzi (USA)
40Nevin Whittemore (USA)
DNSCade Bickmore (USA)
DNSChristian Norvold (USA)
DNSSamuel Hedlund (USA)

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