Eric Brunner (Blue Stages Racing) secured the under-23 men’s title at the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross Championships in Washington on Sunday. He soloed to victory ahead of Caleb Swartz (Linear Sport RT-Trek) and Scott Funston (The Hold Fast Project).
"I'm beyond words right now," Brunner said. "This is one of the best days of my life. I was going all-out on the last lap but I knew that I had a lead and just had to ride smooth into the finish line."
The race started with a group of front-runners that included Eric Brunner (Blue Stages Racing), Caleb Swartz (Linear Sport RT-Trek), Lane Maher (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld), Scott Funston (The Hold Fast Project) and Alex Morton (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld).
Brunner and Swartz pulled away from the rest of the field in the first two laps,15 minutes, of racing. It turned into a tactical race between the two leaders as Morton and Funston moved into third position on course at some 30 seconds back.
Brunner pulled ahead of Swartz on both of the run-up features on the circuit, but Swartz was able to power back up to him on the straightaways. Brunner started to distance Swartz after taking a clean bike on the third lap.
Swartz's front wheel slid out on the tricky off-camber descent and he crashed, losing a valuable 10 seconds to Brunner heading into three (or six) laps to go.
In the race for third, Funston managed to distance Morton. Although he led Morton by some 20 second, he was too far behind to catch up to the higher-medal race between Brunner and Swartz.
The sun broke through the clouds for the first time this weekend during the closing laps, softening up the wet muddy sections.
With a 30-second lead, Brunner raced a flawless final two laps proving his technical skills on the challenging course features. He rode into the mechanic pit to take a clean bike in the closing lap and half to ensure a properly functioning machine on his way to victory.
Brunner also won the collegiate national championship title earlier this week. He will be heading to Europe for a block of racing before the World Championships.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Eric Brunner (Blue Stages Racing)||0:54:45|
|2||Caleb Swartz (Linear Sport RT/Trek)||0:00:44|
|3||Scott Funston (The Hold Fast Project)||0:01:17|
|4||Alex Morton (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld)||0:02:09|
|5||Sam Noel (Competitive Edge Racing)||0:03:04|
|6||Jack Tanner (Unattached)||0:03:10|
|7||Keiran Eagen (Fort Lewis College)||0:03:20|
|8||Cade Bickmore (Marian Univerity Cycling)||0:03:45|
|9||Calder Wood (Cascadian Cycling Conquest p/b)||0:04:17|
|10||Sam Brown (Fort Lewis College)||0:04:37|
|11||Finnegan Oconnor (Competitive Edge Racing)||0:04:43|
|12||Daxton Mock (Trek Cyclocross Collective)||0:05:10|
|13||Ryan Currie (DNA Racing)||0:05:38|
|14||Tayne Andrade (Team Rio Grande)||0:05:51|
|15||Lane Maher (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld)||0:05:57|
|16||Harrison Buckley (Fort Lewis College)||0:05:59|
|17||Nathan Knowles (ASU Devo)||0:06:17|
|18||Benjamin Gomez Villafane (Squid x Eliel)||0:06:22|
|19||Kobi Gyetvan (Inglis Factory p/b Enve Composi)|
|20||Simon Lewis (Team United HealthCare / The 70)||0:07:04|
|21||Tyler Miranda (Brevard College)||0:07:58|
|22||Amai Rawls (Lindsey Wilson College)||0:08:12|
|23||Mark Myles (Be Real Sports)||0:08:29|
|@1Lap||Malaki Caldwell (Oklahoma Flyers)|
|@1Lap||John Hughes (High Desert Hustle)|
|@1Lap||Patrick Frank (UVM Cycling)|
|@1Lap||Sebastien Frimat (Donkey Label Racing)|
|@2Lap||Kelton Williams (COLL CX)|
|@2Lap||Henry Mcalvanah (Trek Cyclocross Collective)|
|@2Lap||Brent Franze (Fullerton Bikes)|
|@3Lap||Jack White (Velovit presented by Palmer Saf)|
|@3Lap||Brayden Buchanan (Unattached)|
|@3Lap||Luuk Mackenzie (Unattached)|
|@4Lap||Lucian Spampinato (Deschutes Brewery Cyclocross Te)|
|@4Lap||Jack Nagla (University of Iowa)|
|DNF||Seamus Oconnor-walker (Donkey Label Racing)|
|DNF||Dylan Pollard (Honey Stinger)|
|DNF||Carter Warren (ASU Devo)|
|DNS||Ross Ellwood (Alpha Bicycle Co - Groove Suba)|
|DNS||Nolan Stephenson (Boulder Junior Cycling)|
|DNS||Connor Lake (Bens Bikes)|
|DNS||Joe Whalley (Storage Squad Racing)|
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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.
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