Saturday brought repeat winners at the USA Cycling Juniors, U23, Elite Road National Championships. Following his surprise win in the U23 Men Criterium yesterday, Benjamin King (Trek-Livestrong) made it two by soloing to win the U23 men’s road race. Hat trick for Coryn Rivera (Peanut Butter Co TWENTY12) who continued to dominate the junior 17-18 races, winning the third and final race, the road race. With this win, Rivera has now racked up 28 national titles to her name – so far. Miguel Bryon (Velocity) claimed his first national title by taking the bunch sprint in the junior men’s 15-16 road national title.
Solo King. Just like he did three years ago in the junior 17-18 national championship road race, King soloed to title, this time ahead of a U23 field stacked with talent. Racing was animated in the early going of the 160-kilometer affair with Bend’s own Carson Miller involved in nearly every move.
“The whole team was up there covering stuff so it took a lot of pressure of me.” said King. “I tried a few moves early on, obviously I was a target. Me and Talansky were just laughing because every time we would twitch it was all like ‘aaahhh’ so I had to wait until later in the race.”
After four of six trips around the 27-kilometer Awbrey Butte Circuit, Austin Allison (Dogfish Racing) and Kevin Gottelieb (Lateral Stress Velo) were able to get a one minute gap. The powerful peloton quickly reeled them back in and a counter-attack stuck.
“Andrew Talansky tried to go and Carter Jones covered; everyone was kind of frustrated that nothing was sticking,” explained King.
With 50K to go, Nathaniel Wilson (Lateral Stress-Kelly Benefits), Jerome Townsend (BikeReg), David Williams (BISSELL) and Allister Ratcliff (BikeReg-Cannondale) went with King, but one-by-one each fell off his wheel.
Not that King put in an attack per say. “I was trying to go steady up the hill, it’s obviously selective. I knew if I wanted a chance to stay away we needed more than one minute going into the last lap so I just had to go.”
And go he did.
Danny Summerhill (Garmin-Transitions-Holowesko), Josh Yeaton and Andrew Dahlheim (Metro Volkswagon), amongst others, tried to chase but without much organization were unsuccessful.
“I knew there was some disorganization,” said King. “I didn’t feel confident until maybe the final kilometer. I pushed it all the way to the line.”
King crossed the line with almost a two-minute lead to take his second title in two days. “I couldn’t be more happy. “ said King about the double.
Last year’s USA Cycling U23 Road Race National Champion Alex Howes (Team Holowesko Partners) won the field sprint to earn the silver medal. Dahlheim finished third, Cheyne Hoag (Kelly Benefits) fourth and King’s teammate Julian Kyer (Trek-Livestrong) pulled the final podium spot from the bunch sprint.
Rivera Again. Twenty two junior women toed the line Saturday morning to contest two laps of the 27-kilometer loop. Racing was quiet early until a trio of underdogs was able to open a more than a minute gap on the field. Zoe Reker (St. Paul Bicycle Racing Club), Lisha Herold (Minnesota Junior Cycling) and Ivie Crawford (VRC-NOW-MS Society) opened up a seemingly sizeable gap on the second lap, but it was only a matter of time before Rivera chased it down and Kaitlin Antonneau (Team Kenda) and Kendall Ryan (VRC-NOW-MS Society) helped pull it all back together at the foot of the final time up the Archie Briggs climb.
With around five-kilometers remaining Rivera took off with Antonneau on her wheel and Ryan chasing. Approaching the final few hundred meters Rivera showed why she is the most decorated junior cyclist in American history, shedding Antonneau and heading into the finishing straight alone. Fifteen seconds later Antonneau grabbed the silver with Ryan earning bronze. Ruth Winder (Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY12) and Somersby Jenkins (Echelon Santa Barbara) rounded out a podium that ended nearly identical to yesterday’s criterium.
“There was an attack of three and they got up to 1:15 gap, but it all came back together,” explained multiple-time national championship medalist Antonneau. “At the top of the steeper climb Coryn and I got a gap and Kendall was solo behind us. Then I just went as hard as I could to the line.”
First for Byron. After all 60-kilometers of the punchy, rolling Awbrey Butte circuit course 40 of the 78 starters in the 15-16 men’s division came roaring toward the finish together. Miami Florida’s Miguel Byron (Velocity) took the bunch sprint to earn his first Stars-and-Stripes; edging Logan Owen (Lake Washington Velo) who finished a close second to earn his second silver medal of the week. Lucas Wardein (Orlando Road Club), Darrell Kohli (Team Geargrinder) and crit champion Erik Volotzky (Cycle World) were just off their wheels earning the final podium spots in a heated pack finish.
Tomorrow’s racing will mark the final day of competition at the USA Cycling Juniors, U23, Elite and Paralympic Road Cycling National Championships. The elite men and women as well as the junior men 17-18 contest the road race with things kicking off at 8:00 a.m. near Bend’s Summit High School.
Top 5 U23 Men Road Race Results (Complete Results)
1. Benjamin King (North Garden, Va./Trek-Livestrong) 3:46:01.30
2. Alex Howes (Boulder, Colo./Team Holowesko Partners) 3:57:59.90
3. Andrew Dahlheim (Richardson, Texas/Metro Volkswagon) 3:58:00.5
4. Cheyne Hoag (Centennial, Colo./Kelly Benefits) 3:58:04.90
5. Julian Kyer (Boulder, Colo./Trek-Livestrong) 3:58:06.70
Top 5 Junior Women 17-18 Road Race Results (Complete Results)
1. Coryn Rivera (Tustin, Calif./Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY12) 1:42:35.40
2. Kaitlin Antonneau (Racine, Wis./Team Kenda) 1:42:50.10
3. Kendall Ryan (Ventura, Calif./VRC-NOW-MS Society) 1:42:57
4. Ruth Winder (Lafayette, Calif./Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY12) 1:42:02.10
5. Somersby Jenkins (Santa Barbara, Calif./Echelon Santa Barbara) 1:42:02.40
Top 5 Junior Men 15-16 Road Race Results (Complete Results)
1. Miguel Bryon (Miami, Fla./Velocity) 1:25:33.50
2. Logan Owen (Bremerton, Wash./Lake Washington Velo) 1:25:33.90
3. Lucas Wardein (Naples, Fla./Oralndo Road Club) 1:25:33.90
4. Darrell Kohli (Rapid River, Mich./Team Geargrinder) 1:25:34.10
5. Erik Volotzky (Chatsworth, Calif./Cycle World) 1:25:34.40