US Pro Championships: Rosskopf wins men's time trial

Joey Rosskopf (BMC Racing) put in a stunning ride at the USA Cycling Professional Road Championships on Saturday to win the time trial title for the first time in his career. His teammate Brent Bookwalter was a distant second at 57 seconds on the four-lap, 30.7km course in Knoxville, Tennessee, with Axeon Hagens Berman's Neilson Powless third at 1:14.

Rosskopf, 27, hasn't raced the national championships since his stand-out 2014 season when he won the Redlands Bicycle Classic and caught the eye of the WorldTour team. A seventh place that year was his previous best in the time trial. But now with three Grand Tours in his legs, and a spectacular fifth place in the final time trial of this year's Giro d'Italia, Rosskopf has clearly hit his stride.

"I've never done well at nationals, and I haven't given it a shot for a few years since it never goes very well," Rosskopf told Cyclingnews. "I have July off from racing so I was going to be back in the States anyhow. I feel like I've gotten a lot better since the last time I tried to win nationals, so I came back to give it a shot."

In past years, the national championships have been in May or early June, but this year moved to coincide with the nationals around the globe. For Rosskopf, the timing was perfect.

"I did the Giro again like last year, and if it had been in May I wouldn't have been able to do it. I was happy to see they moved it to coincide with everyone else's nationals," he said.

The course itself, with four laps, multiple turns and plenty of short hills was suited the punchier riders over pure time trial specialists.

"It was a really great course, the majority of the time was spent hitting it over the hills," Rosskopf said. "That along with the turns makes for a much better course for me than an open highway with one turnaround. I was happy it was a more dynamic course than a simple, strong man's course."

Now that he's donned the stars and stripes for the first time in his career, Rosskopf is looking forward to some well-deserved rest and returning to the Tour of Utah and the new Colorado Classic.

"It's been really hard to keep the form going these past three weeks after the Giro. I'm looking forward to Utah and Colorado, it's always such a pleasure to race there."

As thrilled as Rosskopf was to win, his teammate Bookwalter was equally pleased with his teammate's result even if it meant another frustrating podium - his third in the time trial nationals.

"I can't get it right at nationals," Bookwalter said. "It's a testament to one of my greatest strengths, which is consistency, but at the national championships it's not about consistency, it's about being up for a big ride on one day. I haven't been able to put it together."

He didn't blame the course or his preparation, saying only that Rosskopf put in "an awesome ride".

"He's one of the most underrated guys in the team and in the WorldTour. I've been saying it time and again this year how he keeps stepping it up and getting better. Although I'm really bummed and disappointed to miss - to come away second at a national championship, I'm happy that it's my buddy and teammate that was able to do it."

Powless was one of four Axeon Hagens Berman riders in the top 10, and was proud of his and his teammates' results.

"I started out a little hard because I was excited about the race, but at the end of the day I had as great of a ride as I could have hoped. I'm really happy with finishing third, there's no shame in finishing behind two proven WorldTour riders."

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Joey Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing Team0:36:25
2Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team0:00:57
3Neilson Powless (USA) Axeon Hagens Berman0:01:14
4William Barta (USA) Axeon Hagens Berman0:01:31
5Larry Warbasse (USA) Aqua Blue Sport0:01:44
6Kyle Murphy (USA) Cylance0:01:47
7Alexey Vermeulen (USA) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:02:07
8Cameron Piper (USA) Team Illuminate0:02:17
9Geoffrey Curran (USA) Axeon Hagens Berman0:02:17
10Christopher Blevins (USA) Axeon Hagens Berman0:02:33
11Daniel Eaton (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team0:02:39
12Ezekiel Mostov (USA) Aevolo Cycling Inc.0:02:40
13T.J. Eisenhart (USA) Holowesko | Citadel0:02:40
14Brendan Rhim (USA) Holowesko | Citadel0:02:40
15Evan Huffman (USA) Rally Cycling0:02:45
16Cory Lockwood (USA) Connor Brown (USA) Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling0:02:46
17Ian Garrison (USA) Axeon Hagens Berman0:03:01
18Gage Hecht (USA) Aevolo Cycling Inc.0:03:03
19Stephen Bassett (USA) Sibler Pro Cycling0:03:06
20Gregory Daniel (USA) Trek-Segafredo0:03:06
21Gavin Mannion (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team0:03:09
22Brandon Mcnulty (USA) Rally Cycling0:03:16
23Mackenzie Brennan (USA) Holowesko | Citadel0:03:21
24Jonathan Brown (USA) Axeon Hagens Berman0:03:23
25George Simpson (USA) Gateway Harley-David0:03:24
26Benjamin Wolfe (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxx0:03:27
27Micah Engle (USA) Gateway Harley-David0:03:30
28Edward Anderson (USA) Axeon Hagens Berman0:03:34
29Grant Koontz (USA) Arapahoe Resources0:03:58
30Connor Brown (USA) Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling0:04:06
31Connor Brown (USA) Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling0:04:23
32Hunter Grove (USA) Cylance0:04:27
33Bryan Lewis (USA) Cylance0:04:34
34Matthew Zimmer (USA) Gateway Harley-David0:05:05
35Noah Granigan (USA) CCB Velotooler0:05:43
36Evan Bybee (USA) Arapahoe Resources0:06:35
DNSRicky Randall (USA) Arapahoe ResourcesRow 36 - Cell 2

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