Hundreds of riders took over Asheville, N.C. this weekend for USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships.
As usual, muddy terrain and a tough, technical course determined the race in many cases, and mistakes by some added up to pave the way toward securing a win for others.
Katie Compton (Trek Factory Racing) locked in her 12th consecutive national title Sunday for the elite women, beating out Georgia Gould (LUNA Pro Team) and Katie Antonneau (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld).
Jeremy Powers (ASPIRE Racing) took the win for the men’s elite ahead of Stephen Hyde (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld) and Logan Owen (CalGiant/Specialized) for the win in the men’s elite race.
Tristan Uhl (Ride Biker Alliance) took the men’s single speed victory, while Nicole Mertz (ISCorp p/b SmartChoice MRI) won the women’s single speed national title.
Mertz, a pro road racer, is in her first season of cyclocross, and nationals was her first single-speed race.
“I initially signed up for the [singlespeed] race so that I could get to know the course and open up my legs for the elite race on Sunday, but as the race drew closer I knew that I had a chance to get on the podium,” Mertz said. “I was hoping for the win, but didn’t actually think I would get it since I had never raced, or even ridden, a singlespeed, and there were so many talented women in the field. I knew I just had to trust my training and bike handling skills on race day and that it would all fall into place.”
Mertz said she knew the women chasing her could put out more power so she had to “rail it on the technical sections.”
Arizona’s cyclocross and mountain bike racing phenom Kyle Trudeau (UA Cycling) finished sixth Friday in collegiate men’s D1 but unfortunately didn’t finish the men’s elite race.
Of the collegiate race, Trudeau said overnight rain and wet conditions before the race added a slick element to an already challenging course filled with steep climbs, off-camber corners and technical descents.
“I was able to get a front row call-up and got out of the start well,” Trudeau said. “I was sitting about fourth battling with some guys until I settled in for sixth. I was working my way up to fifth when I went wide in a corner, clipped a wooden stake and went down. After that there [were] only two laps to go and I didn’t have enough time to close the gap again. Overall I felt all right but my legs felt a little flat which hurt me since this course is really hilly.”
Trudeau said he had to DNF after a crash in the men’s elite race.
“I had a last row call-up and was about 20 positions up from where I started when a guy cut over on a straight, we hooked bars and both crashed,” he said. “I ended up getting stuck in my bike and it wasn’t rideable so I wasn’t able to finish. Bad luck but I’m already looking forward to mountain season.”
Tiziana Dehorney (University of New Mexico) finished fifth on the day for women’s collegiate Division 1.
— Andrew Shanks (@wvutri) January 8, 2016
Find full results on USA Cycling or @One2Go_Results on Twitter.