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Bahnson wins junior national title

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(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Andrew Dillman (Prochain Cycling) on his way to a 3rd place finish

Andrew Dillman (Prochain Cycling) on his way to a 3rd place finish
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Gunnar Bergey rounding a corner on the pavement in fifth place

Gunnar Bergey rounding a corner on the pavement in fifth place
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Gunnar Bergey climbing the steep steps

Gunnar Bergey climbing the steep steps
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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It was raining quite heavily during the race

It was raining quite heavily during the race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Jeff Bahnson (Van Dessel) at the starting line

Jeff Bahnson (Van Dessel) at the starting line
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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The juniors take off in a heavy rainstorm.

The juniors take off in a heavy rainstorm.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Jeff Bahnson (Van Dessel) all alone in the snow and mud

Jeff Bahnson (Van Dessel) all alone in the snow and mud
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Jeff Bahnson (Van Dessel) takes the national championship crown

Jeff Bahnson (Van Dessel) takes the national championship crown
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Jeff Bahnson (Van Dessel) on the pavement with one lap to go

Jeff Bahnson (Van Dessel) on the pavement with one lap to go
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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A Cliff Bar rider passes through a pond that developed due to the bike wash

A Cliff Bar rider passes through a pond that developed due to the bike wash
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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A Cliff Bar rider almost making it to the top of the run-up without getting off his bike

A Cliff Bar rider almost making it to the top of the run-up without getting off his bike
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Jeff Bahnson (Van Dessel) on the run-up in second place

Jeff Bahnson (Van Dessel) on the run-up in second place
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Zach Colton pushing his bike on the muddy run-up

Zach Colton pushing his bike on the muddy run-up
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Luke Haley sprinting up the run-up

Luke Haley sprinting up the run-up
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Andrew Dillman (Prochain Cycling) riding in the top five

Andrew Dillman (Prochain Cycling) riding in the top five
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Zane Godby (Cliff Bar) descending a short drop-off

Zane Godby (Cliff Bar) descending a short drop-off
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Sam O'Keefe riding near the front of the race

Sam O'Keefe riding near the front of the race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Luke Haley had the distinction of getting muddier than any other rider

Luke Haley had the distinction of getting muddier than any other rider
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)
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Jeff Bahnson (Van Dessel) addressing the media after the race

Jeff Bahnson (Van Dessel) addressing the media after the race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/ www.trailwatch.net)

Jeffrey Bahnson (Van Dessel Factory Team) captured a hard-fought victory at the UCI Junior 17-18 men’s USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships held on Saturday in Bend, Oregon. He entered the race as the odds-on favorite to win but it did not come without a battle from Bjorn Fox (Clif Bar Development Cross) who finished in second place. Andrew Dillman (Prochain Cycling) round out the podium in third place.

“It’s a much more competitive field than the 15-16,” said Bahnson who won two previous titles in the younger category. “Fox was killing it today and was really strong. It feels good [to win] now because I was really nervous this morning. It was great to win again because it was definitely a much more competitive field.”

The UCI Junior 17-18 men lined up under soggy and cold weather conditions. The early morning rain turned to snow and then back to rain making for a slick circuit with deep puddles and thick muddy sections. According to Bahnson, they were the perfect ‘cross conditions for him.

“It was muddy and wet and slick conditions,” Bahnson said. “I had a lot of trouble in some of the muddy part with clipping in because it was so cold and hard to tell where the pedals were. Other than that, all the slick and muddy stuff was fun to run through. The grass was hard to ride through.”

Gunnar Bergey nabbed the hole shot from the pavement into the slightly uphill muddy first corner. He was followed by Zane Godby (Clif Bar Development Cross), Sam O’Keefe, Ben Bertiger (Major Motion Cycling), Tobin Ortenblad, Alex Howard (Above Category Racing), Cypress Gorry (Brothers Glen) and Kolby Preble (Clif Bar Development Cross). The eventual top three riders Bahnson, Fox and Dillman were caught up in a slower than usual start and forced to play catch up during the opening
Lap.

“I felt like I had a really shitty start,” Bahnson said. “I got sprayed with all the mud and water and I was pretty far back. I think I was in the top 15.”

A group of three riders blasted through the pits half a lap into the race that included Godby, O’Keefe and Bahnson. By the start of the second lap Bahnson had moved into the lead with an eager chase group behind that included Godby and two of the events strongest contenders Dillman and Fox.

Fox was arguably the most aggressive rider on circuit, attacking the lead group where opportunities presented themselves. He took the over the lead of the bike race on the steep stairs forcing Dillman and Bahnson to chase. The faster push caused Godby to fall off pace in fourth place.

With two laps to go Dillman also fell off pace and it became apparent that the battle for the national title was between two riders, Bahnson and Fox. Bahnson drove the pace into the last lap creating a significant solo lead that he maintained all the way to the finish line, adding a third national title to his collection.

“I was going back and forth a little bit with Bjorn,” Bahnson said. “I made an attack on the finishing straight and kept the power down through the next section and got a little gap on him. When I got about 10 seconds I felt like I had it pretty much in the bag then.”

 

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jeffrey Bahnson (Van Dessel Factory Team)0:42:32
2Bjorn Fox (Clif Bar Development Cross Team)0:00:29
3Andrew Dillman (Prochain Cycling)0:01:18
4Richard Cypress Gorry0:01:43
5Gunnar Bergey (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes)0:01:53
6Samuel O'Keefe (Charm City Cycling Llc)0:02:35
7Alex Howard (Above Category Racing)0:02:42
8Tobin Ortenblad0:02:47
9Zane Godby (Clif Bar Development Cross Team)0:02:51
10Kolby Preble (Clif Bar Development Cross Team)0:03:19
11Luke Haley (Red Zone Cycling)0:03:25
12Jack MacClarence (Capital Bicycle Racing Club)0:03:42
13Brandon Dillard (Owens Healthcare)0:05:05
14Zachary Semian (Chester County Cycling Foundation)0:05:20
15Tyler Coplea0:05:36
16Evan Renwick (Northwest Velo/First Rate Mortgage)0:05:47
17Cole Sprague
18Samuel Dobrozsi (Queen City Wheels)0:06:24
19Zachary Bender (Cycle-Smart Inc.)0:06:32
20Alex Darville (Echelon Santa Barbara)0:06:51
21Adam Artner0:08:21
22Callum Read (Active Knowledge/Cottonwood)0:08:41
23Johnny Mullane (Bike Station Aptos)0:08:53
24Kyle Miller0:09:52
-1lapAndy Su
-1lapCary Adams
-1lapTimothy Jaynes
-1lapJoshua Keener (Active Knowledge/Aims)
-1lapKaleb Anderson (Byrds (Boise Young Rider Dev))
-1lapAyden Hibner-Hereford (Active Knowledge)
-1lapAugust Lehnert
-1lapMark VanBergen
-1lapZachary Colton
-1lapDavid Yamamoto (Asc Junior Development)
DNSRyan Geiger
DNFJ Fette (Lake Washington Velo)
DNFBen Bertiger (Major Motion Cycling Club)
DNFJeremiah Dyer

 

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