The 2013 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships kicked off today at Badger Prairie State Park in Madison, Wis. and will continue for the next five days. The nation's pre-eminent cyclo-cross racers will toe the line in races for riders ages 10-and-up.
The highlight of the event will be Sunday, Jan. 13, when the elite riders contest their national championship race, which will be streamed live on YouTube. The elite women's race is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. CT and the elite men's contest begins at 2:15 p.m., capping the entire event. 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 2013 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Louisville on Feb. 1-3.
The elite men's contest is packed with a very deep field of powerful riders aiming to steal Jeremy Powers' (Team Rapha-Focus) crown as national champion. Leading that charge is two-time USA Cycling Cyclo-cross national champion, Ryan Trebon (Cannondale p/b cyclocrossworld.com). Trebon will be seeking revenge after finishing second by 17 seconds to Powers in last year’s race. Also hoping to dethrone Powers are Tim Johnson (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com), Jonathan Page (ENVT), mountain bike Adam Craig (Giant) and local rider Matt Shriver (Trek Cyclocross Collective).
The elite women's field features all of the heavy hitters, including eight-time defending national champion, Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective). Compton, who tops the UCI's Cyclo-cross World Cup standings, has produced a stellar season thus far. She won four UCI World Cup races and appears to be in position to win her ninth consecutive USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championship.
Lined up to challenge Compton is an all-star lineup of American talent, including the winner of the U23 race at the 2012 USA Cycling National Championships, Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com). Also poised to attempt to dethrone Compton is the bronze medalist in the women’s mountain bike race at the 2012 Olympic Games, Georgia Gould (LUNA Pro Team). Other viable contenders are the riders vying for the top spot of the USA Cycling Professional Cyclo-Cross Calendar (Pro CX) women’s standings, Crystal Anthony (Cyclocrossworld.com), Arley Kemmerer (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) and Laura van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom). Anthony is in third place with 592 points, 106 points ahead of Kemmerer and 147 points ahead of van Gilder, who sit in fourth and fifth, respectively. Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized), who is battling back from an early-season injury has been producing strong results lately.
Saturday's racing also promises to come down to the wire, featuring stacked U23 and juniors men's 17-18 fields. Serveral riders are vying to claim the U23 national champion, including Zane Godby (Clif Bar Development Cross Team), Cypress Gorry (Whole Athlete-Specialized), Cody Kaiser (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized), Kerry Werner (BMC U23 Development MTB Team) and Drew Dillman (Bob's Red Mill).
Similar to the elite women’s race, the field is taking aim at a heavy favorite in the juniors men 17-18 race. Logan Owen (Redline), who has collected seven consecutive national titles at different juniors levels – including the juniors men 17-18 in 2012 – is enjoying an extremely successful European campaign. Owen is currently sitting in second place in the UCI’s Cyclo-cross World Cup Juniors Men’s standings, trailing Mathieu Van Der Poel (NED) by 75 points. Owen has placed in the top five of each of four world cup races thus far, including a pair of podium finishes. Among the contenders to steal Owen's title are Stephen Bassett (Bob's Red Mill CX), Maxx Chance (Clif Bar Development Cross Team), Nathaniel Morse (Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team, Inc.), Taylor Squillaci (Get Out! New Mexico) and Curtis White (Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team, Inc.). White has also enjoyed success on the international level, and is tied for 16th in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup Juniors Men’s rankings with one race remaining.
Course Description. One lap of the course spans almost two miles and features a run up, sand pit and barriers. The start line sits at 978 feet above sea level and the course climbs as high as 1,067 feet above sea level as it winds through Badger Prairie State Park.
Race Schedule. The event begins Wednesday, Jan. 9, at 9:30 a.m., with a non-championship women's race. An hour later, men 10-29 will compete in a non-championship race. At 11:30 a.m., the men 30-39 ride in a non-championship race before the fourth and final non-championship race featuring men 40-and-up begins at 1 p.m. The first national championship race begins at 2 p.m. when the women's singlespeed national champion will be decided. The first day's final race, the men's singlespeed, is set to begin at 3 p.m.
The second day of racing features masters men 50-and-up and women 40-and-up beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Friday's slate features three masters categories (men 45-49 and women 30-34, 35-39) and juniors men 10-16 and women 10-18.
Saturday's action features the first two UCI categories as the juniors men 17-18 and U23 men take center stage. The penultimate day of competition also includes masters men 30-44 and collegiate women riding for Stars-and-Stripes jerseys.
Sunday marks the final day of racing beginning at 9:30 a.m. The Division II men begin the day, followed by the DI men an hour later. The elite races, slated to be streamed live on Youtube.com, complete the event beginning at 1 p.m. The elite and U23 women will race together beginning at 1 p.m. before the elite men cap the event at 2:15 p.m.