Logan Owen (Team Redline) made it seven junior national titles in a row when he dominated the Men Junior 17/18 race at the USA Cyclocross National Championships on Thursday.
“It was great, I felt smooth on the course, I was making sure to pit every lap and get a clean bike so nothing broke down. Everything worked out perfectly and I just rode away with it.” Owen said minutes after crossing the finish line.
Simply said, Owen almost led from the start to the finish of the race after he came around Tobin Ortenblad (CalGiant) who took the holeshot. From then on, he pushed the pace and switched bikes every lap.
“I made sure I pitted every lap, that was the big difference.” Owen explained. “Having those guys there with three bikes and having them being smooth with it and having the cleaning done. Without them, I couldn’t have won today, it came down to who could pit the most because the mud was just clogging in your derailleurs and I noticed it the first lap. I went a lap and a half without pitting and I was just ‘oh I need to get in there’. Good thing I did and I just started pitting every lap, it was smooth sailing, I felt strong.”
By the time, he crossed the finish line showing 7, Owen had almost two minutes on second place.
Behind him however, the battle was on for the other spots on the podium. Once Owen was off, Drew Dillman (Bob’s Red Mill) gave chase solo with the field shuffling behind him.
“The first lap was just the group trying to play each other and see what happens. Then on the second lap, I was in third and Drew was ahead of me with a gap and he bobbled in the mud and I was going a little slower but just trying to stay smooth through it and then I passed him there and never saw him again.” Ortenblad explained.
For the next two laps, Ortenblad was solo in second until a surging Cypress Gorry (Whole Athlete) caught him. After a very slow start, Gorry put in an impressive chase, moving up from 20th to second.
“It was my own fault.” Gorry said about his start. “I just didn’t have enough tire pressure in my front tire, I was hitting the pavement with the rim. Went into the pit and got some more air in my tires and was feeling really good today. ”
The battle was on in the second lap, between smaller climber Gorry and bigger faster Ortenblad.
“I passed Tobin at the very top of the climb, then he took me back before the barriers and then I passed him again in the corner after the second pit and then led him from there onto the pavement. Had a little bit of a gap coming in, he closed it and just came around me at the end.” Gorry said.
“I was solo for two and a half laps or so, then Cypress, I saw he was close and I knew on the hill that he’s passed me so I just let him pass me. Sat on his wheel, waited for the sprint. We were just in Belgium together, doing town sprints so I knew I could get him.” laughed Ortenblad.
Ortenbald took second ahead of Gorry. Both were happy with their race overall and are hoping that this result will get them onto Team USA for the World Championships.
“I’m stoked.” said Ortenblad. “The World Championships would be amazing and I think I have a good shot at going now, that’s the next big thing.”
“I’m happy. I was feeling really good out there, I just wish I had a better start, that happens.” said Gorry who thinks his chances of going to Worlds are good. “I think they’re improved by this place here. I’ve petitioned to go.”
Top 5 Junior Men 17-18
1. Logan Owen (Bremerton, Wash./Team Redline) 36:55
2. Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz, Calif./California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized) 37:43
3. Richard Cypress Gorry (Payson, Ariz./Whole Athlete-Whole Athlete Specialized) 37:43
4. Andrew Dillman (Fairdale, Ky./Red Zone Cycling) 38:24
5. Curtis White (Delanson, N.Y./Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team Inc.) 38:30