The 2014 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships head to the cycling hotbed of Boulder, Colo., Jan. 8-12. With an enthusiastic 'cross culture, the "People's Republic" should provide an exciting atmosphere for some hotly-contested races for Stars-and-Stripes jerseys at the Valmont Bike Park.
The five days of exciting action culminate on Sunday, Jan. 12, when the juniors men and elite riders contest their national championship races which will be streamed live. The juniors men's 17-18 race starts at 11 a.m. MST, with the elite women's race scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. and the elite men's contest beginning at 2:45 p.m. The winners of the two elite races, U23 men’s and juniors men’s 17-18 race would each receive an automatic nomination to the American contingent contesting the 2014 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Hoogerheide, Netherlands on Feb. 1-2.
A stacked elite men's field includes all five podium finishers from last year. Jonathan Page (Northfield, N.H./Fuji-Spyoptics) will face a stiff challenge in defending his title against the likes of 2013 runner-up Zach McDonald (Bainbridge Island, Wash./Team Rapha-Focus) and 2013 bronze medalist James Driscoll (Park City, Utah/Raleigh-Clement), as well as Daniel Summerhill (Englewood, Colo./UnitedHealthcare) and Timothy Johnson (Topsfield, Mass./Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) who rounded out last year's elite men's podium. Also figuring to be in the mix for medals in Boulder are 2013 world championship team members Jeremy Powers (Easthampton, Mass./Team Rapha-Focus) and Ryan Trebon (Bend, Ore./Cannondale-Clement) who has two national titles on his resume. Powers recently wrapped up the men's title in the 2013-14 USA Cycling Professional Cyclo-cross Calendar (Pro CX), beating Johnson by a 26-point margin in the final standings.
Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo./Trek Cyclocross Collective) will be seeking her 10th straight national title when the elite women's race gets underway on Sunday. Compton is enjoying a remarkable UCI World Cup season having won five of the first six races, including a victory on Sunday in Rome. She currently sits atop the UCI's Cyclo-cross World Cup standings and will be the heavy favorite racing in her home state.
Seeking to end Compton's run of national titles will be a deep field of elite women, including the winner of the past two U23 women's national championships, 22-year-old Kaitlin Antonneau (Colorado Springs, Colo./Cannondale Cyclocrossworld). Other strong contenders are 2012 Olympic bronze medalist in the women's mountain bike race Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo./LUNA Pro Team), who placed fourth at last year's cyclo-cross nationals, Boulder's own Nicole Duke (Boulder, Colo./Marin-Spy) who claimed the bronze medal in 2013, Elle Anderson (San Francisco, Calif./California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized), who recently clinched the women's title of the 2013-14 USA Cycling Professional Cyclo-cross Calendar (Pro CX), Crystal Anthony (Beverly, Mass./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) and another Boulder resident, Meredith Miller (Boulder, Colo./California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized).
Another race that will welcome back all five podium finishers from last year is the men's U23 division on Saturday. Boulder resident Yannick Eckmann (Boulder, Colo./California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized) will look to defend his title against top returning riders such as Andrew Dillman (Fairdale, Ky./Sophisticated Living-Bob's Red Mill), Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz, Calif./California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized), Skyler Trujillo (Fort Collins, Colo./Boo Bicycles-Training Peaks) and Joshua Johnson (Fort Wayne, Ind./ICC Bissell-ABG-Giant). Joining the mix this year after moving up to U23 are the gold and silver medalists from the 2013 juniors men 17-18 race, Logan Owen (Bremerton, Wash./California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized) and Curtis White (Delanson, N.Y./Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com). Both riders should contend for medals in the U23 race, with Owen seeking his ninth consecutive national crown.
In the juniors men's 17-18 race on Sunday, last year's bronze medalist, Peter Goguen (Hopedale, Mass./Race CF) will look to move up to the top step on the podium, but will face challenges from a deep field that includes Anders Nystrom (Boise, Idaho/BYRDS (Boise Young Rider Dev Squad)), Austin Vincent (Simsbury, Ct./Race CF), Cooper Willsey (Hinesburg, Vt./Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com), Gavin Haley (Louisville, Ky./Red Zone Cycling) and hometown favorite Maxx Chance (Boulder, Colo./Clif Bar Development Cross Team). Goguen, Vincent, Willsey and Chance are all currently ranked in the top 20 of the UCI's Cyclo-cross World Cup Juniors Men's standings, and Vincent took the top spot in the 2013-14 USA Cycling Professional Cyclo-cross Calendar (Pro CX) standings, with Goguen placing third and Willsey finishing fourth.
Rivalries will also be renewed during the four collegiate events over the weekend, with the women's races taking place on Saturday and the men's races on Sunday. Defending Division I cyclo-cross champion Marian University is currently in a tie with 2013 cyclo-cross runner-up Fort Lewis College after two of five events comprising the year-long omnium. Marian took the title at the 2013 USA Cycling Collegiate Track National Championships in September, only to have Fort Lewis turn the tables at the 2013 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships a month later, leaving the two schools deadlocked in the 2013-14 collegiate omnium Division I standings heading into Boulder. Lees-McRae College and Lindenwood University are also expected to turn in strong showings, as should the hometown Buffaloes of the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Last year's Division II omnium could not have been any closer, with Brevard College edging Mars Hill College on a tiebreaker after both schools finished with the same point total. The two institutions are set to do battle again in Boulder, but will be challenged by Colorado Mesa University who currently leads the 2013-14 collegiate omnium Division II standings.
An exciting new addition to this year's collegiate competition will be the team relay held on Friday afternoon. Results in the team relay will count toward the team omnium.
The event begins on Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 9 a.m. with a non-championship women's race. An hour later, the men 10-29 will compete in a non-championship race. At 11 a.m., the men 30-44 ride in a non-championship race before the fourth and final non-championship race featuring men 45-and-up begins at noon. Following industry races at 1 p.m., the first national championship race will get underway at 2 p.m. when the women's singlespeed national champion will be decided. The final race of the first day, the men's singlespeed national championship, is set to start at 3 p.m.
The second day of racing on Thursday features masters men 50-and-up and masters women 40-and-up beginning at 9 a.m.
Friday's slate features two masters categories (men 45-49 and women 30-34), juniors men 9-16, juniors women 9-18, and the collegiate team relays.
Saturday's action features the first UCI category as the U23 men take center stage. The day also includes the masters men 30-44, masters women 35-39 and collegiate women riding for the coveted Stars-and-Stripes jerseys.
Sunday marks the final day of racing beginning at 9 a.m. The Division II men begin the day, followed by the Division I men an hour later. Live streaming of races will begin with the juniors men 17-18 at 11 a.m. The elite and U23 women will race together beginning at 1:30 p.m. before the elite men cap the event at 2:45 p.m.
Live Streaming of Races
Sunday's juniors men and elite men and women races will be streamed live on USA Cycling's YouTube channel beginning at 11 a.m.
For complete details on this event, including a schedule, results, course map and photo gallery, please visit the event website. If you can't make it out for the event, follow all of the action throughout the week on Twitter using the hashtag #CXNats.
About USA Cycling: Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including road, track, mountain bike, BMX and cyclo-cross. As a membership-based organization, USA Cycling comprises 74,400+ licensees; 2,750+ clubs and teams; and 34 local associations. The national governing body sanctions 3,130+ competitive and non-competitive events throughout the U.S. each year and is responsible for the identification, development, and support of American cyclists. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit usacycling.org.