Cyclo-X Nationals Elite Race-Saturday

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Can’t say things went as planned for ‘Cross Nationals on Saturday. Somehow I had enough UCI points to line up on the 2nd row, which is way better than I thought. I had looked forward to riding in the front group . I totally screwed up the start and pulled my right foot out of my pedal on the road. After clipping that back in I pulled my left foot out. That being said, I hit grass in 30th or so. Great start. OK, new plan. I kept my cool and tried not to make any more stupid mistakes, because mistakes on the first lap of ‘cross races are minutes at the end. On the first road section, I hooked up with Chris Horner and passed 10 guys at least. I knew the course would be good for him, with little to no technical riding sections. At the end of the first lap, on the finishing road section, Chris was off his seat going super hard and the banner on the barriers blew out and “grabbed” his bars. He hit the ground so fast and hard, I’d bet he hardly knew what happened. This is the 2nd year he’s crashed hard right in front of me. Last year, he fell hard on the ice on the fastest descent and slid head first into a metal pole. Anyway, that was the end of the backup plan. I was still 10 seconds off the second group that was going for 7-15 or so. I finally got settled down and ended up riding with Eric Tonkin(Kona) and Tristan Schouten(Trek-VW) and that was how it went pretty much the rest of the race. Tonkin did virtually all the pulling on the road sections. I came by and tried to lead on the off-road sections, but we weren’t making much if any ground on the group ahead. A few guys started fading and we finally ended up sprinting for 12th, which is the place I finished. Kind of disheartening, but it was pretty much the place I deserved with the race I raced. It’s pretty strange. I finished 12th this year and 12th in 2005 on the same course. Completely different races. About the same feeling mentally, though. The sport never ceases to amaze me. More on Sunday.

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Elite Men

1 Ryan Trebon (Kona) 59.37
2 Jonathan Page (Cervelo) 0.33
3 Tim Johnson (Cannondale/cyclocrossworld.com) 0.34
4 Todd Wells (Team GT) 0.36
5 Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly) 0.37
6 Barry Wicks (Kona) 1.04
7 Ben Jacques-Maynes (cyclocrossworld.com/SRAM) 1.43
8 Matt White (FiordiFrutta) 2.05
9 Mark Mccormack (Clif Bar) 2.21
10 Andy Jacques-Maynes (California Giant Strawberries) 2.25
11 Jonathan Baker (Primus Mootry) 2.27
12 Steve Tilford (Verge/Shimano) 2.48
13 Justin Spinelli (RGM Watches – Richard/Sachs ) 2.49
14 Erik Tonkin (Kona) 2.50
15 Tristan Schouten (Trek/VW/Michelin) 2.53