Day two of the USA Cycling Juniors, U23, Elite and Road National Championships was a day of repeat champions as four of the five young junior criterium winners also triumphed in yesterday’s road race competition. In all, over 150 of the country’s top young bike racers fought their way around the Northwest Crossing section of Bend, Ore on Wednesday in pursuit of the Stars-and-Stripes.
The small, but strong junior women’s 10-12 field saw a group of five separate itself from the gun in the 15-kilometer affair. Skylar Schneider (West Allis, Wisc.), Mina Anderberg (Louisville, Colo./Flatiron Flyers Junior Cycling), Julyn Aguila (El Paso, Texas), Jenna Gardner (West Jordan, Utah/PCIM) and Joan Ponath (Lake City, Colo.) jumped out front and were able to hold a 20 second lead throughout the 15-kilometer affair. Starting her sprint at precisely the spot directed by her older sister, Samantha, a professional racer with the TIBCO/To the Top squad, Skylar was able to out kick Anderburg at the line yet again and earn her second Stars-and-Stripes in as many days.
“I’m used to doing crits with the Cat 4 women, so it was nice to race against people my own age and in the same gears,” explained Schneider.
The 10-12 men’s race also broke up front the start with an early race crash helping form two lead groups off the front of the 30+ rider field. The large lead group whittled down to around 10 riders as the pace quickened and team tactics even came into play. Matteo Jorgenson (Boise, Idaho/Boise Young Rider Dev. Squad) and Michael Hocking (Boise, Idaho/Boise Young Rider Dev. Squad) were among the riders animating things on the back side of the one-kilometer course, but ultimately it was again Grant McElroy’s (Portland, Ore./Beaverton Bicycle Club) day as he won the surge to the line.
“I’ve been racing on the road for six years and this was one of the toughest races of my life,” stated the 12-year-old McElroy. “People were going into the corners really hard so I just tried to stay up front. Coming into the finish I knew Gage was a good sprinter and I had better be up out of the saddle and in the right gear.”
It was all Katrina Howard (Fresno, Calif./Vapor Racing) again today as the 14-year-old lapped the field to collect her ninth overall national title in the 13-14 women’s criterium contest. Howard took off in pursuit of eventual silver medalist Emma White (Delanson, N.Y./Capital Bike Racing Club) and simply kept going until she caught the back of the nearly 20-rider field. Howard attacked off the front at the end of the 20th and final lap, winning the sprint even though she had a lap on the field. White came in second and yesterday’s road race silver medalist Laurel Rathburn (Monument, Colo.) finished third.
“She took off and everyone just kind of looked at each other,” said Rathburn. “We tried to work together, but obviously not well enough.”
Although Philip O’Donnell (Suwanee, Ga./Frazier Cycling) repeated his victory from yesterday’s road race in the 13-14 men’s criterium, Daniel Parks (Dallas, Texas/GS Tenzing) was the story of the day. O’Donnell and Parks jumped off the front early, dominating the race and riding at a pace nearly 20% faster than the field. Unfortunately for Parks the pair caught the back of the main group on the final lap where the Texan got tangled in a small crash. Although he quickly recovered, his bike did not, leaving him to sprint the remainder of the final lap where he was awarded the same time as the pack and earned the silver medal. O’Donnell emerged from the late-race crash unscathed and rode easily to another national title.
The 15-16 women ended the evening’s racing around the festive Northwest Crossing District in exciting fashion with dynamic racing throughout. A lead group of what would be the top eight finishers broke free and it eventually came down to a final bunch sprint where Tara McCormick (Long Beach, Calif./Helen’s Racing-Cannondale) took the title ahead of Kayla Sterling (Allen, Texas/Plano Cycling/PAC) and yesterday’s winner Melissa Garcia (Bethlehem, Pa./Chester County Cycling). McCormick and the 15-16 women’s division was the only group of the day able to dethrone yesterday’s road race champ.
A pair of U.S. Paralympic National Champions were also as Sam Kavanaugh (Bozeman, Mt./Gallatin Sports) won the men’s C1-C5 class and Greta Neimanas (Colorado Springs, Colo./XXX Racing) collected her second Stars-and-Stripes in as many days on the women’s side.
For more detailed coverage of the para-cycling portion of the event, visit www.usparalympics.org.
Racing will continue at the USA Cycling Juniors, U23, Elite and Paralympic Road Cycling National Championships tomorrow as all age divisions will contest the race against the clock leaving from Bend’s Summit High School tomorrow.
All junior riders are invited to attend a Q&A session with USA Cycling’s Junior Programs Manager Benjamin Sharp at the Phoenix Inn in Bend on Friday, June 25 at 6:00 p.m. Mr. Sharp will discuss USA Cycling’s development pathway and field questions about track programs. The Q&A session will be held in the boardroom at the Phoenix Inn and registration is not required.
Day 2 Top 5 Results (Complete Results)
Junior Women 15-16 Road Race
1. Tara McCormick (Long Beach, Calif./Helen’s Racing-Cannondale) 31:39.00
2. Kayla Sterling (Allen, Texas/Plano Cycling/PAC) 31:39.10
3. Melissa Garcia (Bethlehem, Pa./Chester County Cycling) 31:39.40
4. Grace Alexander Boise, Idaho/Boise Young Rider Dev. Squad) 31:39.60
5. Kaitlyn Lawrence (Emmaus, Pa./Vortex/Team Vortex) 31:40.00
Junior Men 13-14 Road Race
1. Philip O’Donnell (Suwanee, Ga./Frazier Cycling) 20:09.60
2. Daniel Parks (Dallas, Texas/GS Tenzing) 20:09.60
3. Dylan Drummond (Walnut Creek, Calif./Tieni Duro Juniors) 20:09.60
4. Noah Granian (Cmch, N.J./Somerset Wheelmen) 20:09.60
5. Matthew Valencia (Los Altos, Calif./Team Specialized Racing) 20:09.60
Junior Women 13-14 Road Race
1. Katrina Howard (Fresno, Calif./Vapor Racing) 32:01.00
2. Emma White (Delhanson, N.Y./Capital) 32:05.20
3. Laurel Rathbun (Monument, Colo.) 32:06.00
4. Zoe Reeves (Grand Rapids, Mich./Priority Health) 32:06.20
5. Dominique Shore (Suwanee, Ga./Frazier Cycling) 32:06.40
Junior Men 10-12 Road Race
1. Grant McElroy (Portland, Ore./Beaverton Bicycle Club) 24:26.70
2. Christopher Blevins (Durango, Colo./Durango Devo) 24:26.80
3. Michael Hocking (Boise, Idaho/Boise Young Rider Dev. Squad) 24:26.80
4. Gage Hecht (Parker, Colo./Intl. Christian Cycling) 24:27.20
5. James Todd (Norcross, Ga./Frazier Cycling) 24:27.50
Junior Women 10-12 Road Race
1. Skylar Schneider (West Allis, Wisc.) 27:15.90
2. Mina Anderberg (Louisville, Colo./Flatiron Flyers Junior Cycling) 27:16.50
3. Julyn Aguila (El Paso, Texas) 27:17.40
4. Jenna Gardner (West Jordan, Utah/PCIM) 27:18.00
5. Joan Ponath (Lake City, Colo.) 27:22.70