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Busche secures stars-and-stripes jersey at US pro road championships

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Busche secures stars-and-stripes jersey at US pro road championships

Busche secures stars-and-stripes jersey at US pro road championships
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Matt Busche (Trek) shows off a kiss on his check after leaving the podium.

Matt Busche (Trek) shows off a kiss on his check after leaving the podium.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Travis McCabe (SmartStop) made it into todays break.

Travis McCabe (SmartStop) made it into todays break.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin) leads the break over the climb early in the day.

Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin) leads the break over the climb early in the day.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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The break leaves Downtown Chattanooga.

The break leaves Downtown Chattanooga.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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The field hits the Kent Street climb for the first time.

The field hits the Kent Street climb for the first time.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin) gets support from fans as he goes over the KOM

Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin) gets support from fans as he goes over the KOM
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin) takes the sidewalk over the bridge as the rain hit.

Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin) takes the sidewalk over the bridge as the rain hit.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin) gets back on the road after taking a different route.

Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin) gets back on the road after taking a different route.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin) during solo break.

Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin) during solo break.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Matt Busche (Trek) gets to check out his new Jetta TDI Wagon for his win

Matt Busche (Trek) gets to check out his new Jetta TDI Wagon for his win
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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The top three for the day celebrate with a beer on the podium.

The top three for the day celebrate with a beer on the podium.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Matt Busche (Trek) gets the kisses for taking the win.

Matt Busche (Trek) gets the kisses for taking the win.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Brad White (UnitedHealthcare) leads the chase.

Brad White (UnitedHealthcare) leads the chase.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Ben King (Cannondale-Garmin) leading the break up Lookout Mountain.

Ben King (Cannondale-Garmin) leading the break up Lookout Mountain.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin) comes over the Kent Street climb by himself.

Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin) comes over the Kent Street climb by himself.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin) looks back on the climb to see Chris Horner (Airgas) closing in.

Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin) looks back on the climb to see Chris Horner (Airgas) closing in.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Chris Horner (Airgas) leads the chase group through the finish.

Chris Horner (Airgas) leads the chase group through the finish.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale-Garmin) fights his way to the front through the heavy rain.

Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale-Garmin) fights his way to the front through the heavy rain.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Kiel Reijnan (UnitedHealthcare) has a mechanical issue with only one lap to go.

Kiel Reijnan (UnitedHealthcare) has a mechanical issue with only one lap to go.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Matt Busche (Trek) celebrates after his win.

Matt Busche (Trek) celebrates after his win.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Kiel Reijnan (UnitedHealthcare) sprints through the heavy rain for third.

Kiel Reijnan (UnitedHealthcare) sprints through the heavy rain for third.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Matt Busche (Trek) at the front of the break.

Matt Busche (Trek) at the front of the break.
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)

Matthew Busche (Trek Factory Racing) overcame overwhelming circumstances to win his second USA Cycling Professional Road Championship on Monday in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Busche rode 179.3km without any teammates, in the rain, to beat Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale-Garmin) in the final kilometres of the race.  

“There’s only one guy per year who gets to wear the colours of their country,” Busche said. “It’s an honour and a privilege, and I hope that I represent it well for the country.”

Warm and humid conditions gave way to heavy rain as the race progressed into the afternoon. The men’s course was split into three sections. The first third of the race ran riders around four laps of a downtown circuit, which included the Kent Street "wall" and its steep 13 per cent grade. After riders completed the start laps, the course ran four longer laps over Lookout Mountain. The finale was three laps of the same shorter downtown loop riders started on.

A break of 15 riders separated from the field early in the race. The move included last year’s national champion Eric Marcotte (Team SmartStop), Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin), Ben King (Cannondale-Garmin), Tyler Farrar (MTN-Qhubeka) and several Optum and Hincapie Racing riders.

The second trip up Lookout Mountain whittled the break down to Talansky, King, Travis McCabe (SmartStop), Jesse Anthony (Optum), Oscar Clark (Hincapie), Tom Zirbel (Optum) and Scott Zwizanski (Optum). Talansky lit the fireworks on his third time up Lookout Mountain with an attack that opened up a gap of 1:40.

The peloton thought the move might be a winner.

“The third lap up Lookout Mountain Andrew put in quite a bit of time into us,” Dombrowski said. “Just because of the composition of the group behind, I didn’t think it was going to come back. It didn’t seem like anyone was too motivated to chase. I was just on the back watching people pull through but there wasn’t great organization. So I thought he had a good chance of staying away.”

Back in the field, UnitedHealthcare picked up the chase and began to pull back the lead group and Talansky. Phil Gaimon (Optum) took over from UnitedHealthcare on the fourth and final trip up Lookout Mountain. Gaimon’s pace broke apart the field and left him with a strong cadre of riders. The new chase group included Busche, Dombrowski, Chris Horner (Airgas-Safeway) and Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare.)

As Gaimon’s group clawed back Talansky, the freshly minted time trial champion flew down steep, wet roads into Chattanooga. Unfortunately, Gaimon’s championship bid ground to halt after he slid out in a rainy downtown corner. Horner, Busche, and Gavin Mannion (Jelly Belly-Maxxis) were left to power the effort to reel in Talansky.

“In the group there was three of us. Gaimon was pulling really hard, but then he crashed himself out of course,” Horner said. “That seems to be his MO whenever it is slippery, and so we lost his power. So it was just Busche and I doing huge pulls. A couple times a little Jelly Belly kid would come through and do some work, and a few other guys but for the most part it was me and Busche pulling like crazy.

“And Gaimon, he was fabulous, full-on throwing everything into it but then he crashed so it left two of us, and some half-assed work from the other guys, to pull back Talansky.”

His frustration mounting, Horner put in an attack of his own with two laps to go and caught Talansky on the Kent Street climb. Shortly after, Talansky was caught and Dombrowski crashed, but was able to pop up and chase back onto the leaders.

The one-to-go bell signalled disaster for Reijnen, who flatted just as the leaders crossed the start finish line on the final lap.

“The first thing you feel is disappointment for your teammates,” Reijnen said.  “Everyone saw out there how hard they worked. We were on the front with not enough guys to do the job and they did the job anyway.”

After making it back to the leaders, Dombrowski found himself in an attack with Busche and Mannion, and Busche seized the opportunity.

“When Joe, Gavin, and I got away, it was a little surprising for me,” Busche said. “I don’t know how the gap opened up, but it is just one of those things. It’s a long race and it only takes a small gap that somebody can’t close and then it’s over. You saw that in 2012 with Timmy Duggan. It’s just the way the championship race is.”

Mannion lost contact with Busche and Dombrowski, and the two remaining riders proceeded to probe each other for weaknesses. Busche put in the final successful attack and only needed to stay upright to win.

“When Joe and I were attacking each other, when I made the attack and got the gap, I was never certain,” Busche said.

“I could blow up and he could come back. When I got the downhill I was fairly certain. Then I had to come back in my own head and be like okay slowdown and don’t crash in the corner because that would most certainly ruin it. But I wasn’t going to slow down until I crossed the line because you never know.”

Busche crossed the line in first with Dombrowski racing in behind him for second. Reijnen rode an heroic final lap to finish third.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Matthew Busche (USA) Trek Factory Racing4:35:21
2Joseph Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling0:00:05
3Kiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare0:00:19
4Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling
5Christopher Horner (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling0:00:21
6Gavin Mannion (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis0:00:25
7Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling0:00:54
8Kyle Murphy (USA) Lupus Racing Team0:00:59
9Christopher Butler (USA) Team SmartStop0:01:01
10Carson Miller (USA) Jamis Hagens Berman0:01:08
11Jonathan Hornbeck (USA) Hincapie Racing Team0:03:48
12Edward King (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling0:07:28
13Mac Brennan (USA) Hincapie Racing Team
14Lucas Euser (USA) UnitedHealthcare
15Connor Mccutcheon (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling0:08:45
16Logan Loader (USA) Amore e Vita - Selle SMP0:09:24
17Maxim Jenkins (USA) Astellas Cycling Team0:09:40
18Michael Olheiser (USA) Lupus Racing Team0:10:51
19Stephen Leece (USA) Jamis Hagens Berman0:19:27
20Emerson Oronte (USA) Team SmartStop0:29:27
DNFEric Marcotte (USA) Team SmartStop
DNFEvan Huffman (USA) Team SmartStop
DNFTravis Livermon (USA) Team SmartStop
DNFTravis Mccabe (USA) Team SmartStop
DNFBenjamin King (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling
DNFJohnathan Freter (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
DNFFreddie Rodriguez (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
DNFScott Zwizanski (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
DNFJesse Anthony (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
DNFPhillip Gaimon (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
DNFCharles Huff (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
DNFBjorn Selander (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
DNFThomas Soladay (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
DNFCurtis White (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
DNFEric Young (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
DNFThomas Zirbel (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
DNFAdrian Hegyvary (USA) UnitedHealthcare
DNFJohn Murphy (USA) UnitedHealthcare
DNFTanner Putt (USA) UnitedHealthcare
DNFDaniel Summerhill (USA) UnitedHealthcare
DNFBradley White (USA) UnitedHealthcare
DNFAlexandre Darville (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling
DNFGriffin Easter (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling
DNFKevin Gottlieb (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling
DNFMatt Rodrigues (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling
DNFTyler Farrar (USA) MTN - Qhubeka
DNFCortlan Brown (USA) Astellas Cycling Team
DNFBrandon Feehery (USA) Astellas Cycling Team
DNFStephen Hyde (USA) Astellas Cycling Team
DNFPeter Olejniczak (USA) Astellas Cycling Team
DNFHogan Sills (USA) Astellas Cycling Team
DNFJake Silverberg (USA) Astellas Cycling Team
DNFJake Sitler (USA) Astellas Cycling Team
DNFGregory Daniel (USA) Axeon Cycling Team
DNFMiguel Bryon (USA) Hincapie Racing Team
DNFOscar Clark (USA) Hincapie Racing Team
DNFCharlie Hough (USA) Hincapie Racing Team
DNFTyler Magner (USA) Hincapie Racing Team
DNFJoseph Schmalz (USA) Hincapie Racing Team
DNFCoulton Hartrich (USA) iRT Racing
DNFDavid Williams (USA) Jamis Hagens Berman
DNFWinston David (USA) Lupus Racing Team
DNFOliver Flautt (USA) Lupus Racing Team
DNFShawn Gravois (USA) Lupus Racing Team
DNFEvan Murphy (USA) Lupus Racing Team
DNFJames Schurman (USA) Lupus Racing Team
DNFMichael Stone (USA) Lupus Racing Team
DNFTimothy Rugg (USA)

 

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