Thirty-one national champions were awarded on Friday at the 2013 USA Cycling Masters Road National Championships at Mt. Bachelor. Over 300 competitors contested road races as temperatures hovered in the mid-50s and a morning rain greeted the day’s first races. As the day continued, the temperature slowly warmed, drying the pavement throughout the course.
After winning the time trial on Wednesday, the tandem of John Elgart (Sacramento, Calif./Alto Velo Racing Club) and Jan Elsbach (Davis, Calif./VOS Racing) topped the men's 110-and-over field to secure the road race national championship.
The duo of John Schiefer (Union City, Calif./Peninsula Velo Cycling Club) completed their 84-kilometer road race in 2:14:47 to win the men's 70-and-over tandem road race by 58 seconds. Timothy Jones (Bend, Ore.) and his partner Ryan Ness (Bend, Ore.) placed second after finishing their ride in 2:15:45.
The tandem of Joshua Frick (Park City, Utah/DC Velo Limited) and Mark Sommers (Washington, D.C./DC Velo Limited) turned in an extremely impressive ride to win the men's 90-and-over tandem road race by over four minutes. Frick and Sommers attacked from the start line, quickly opened a lead of 40 seconds, continued to push the pace and increase their advantage before winning by 4:31.
"We decided to attack at the start and see if the field would react," Sommers said. "If they didn't react, we wanted to see what kind of gap we got. Once we got a gap, the moto would come up to tell us what the gap was. It held steady, so we knew some people would come to the front of the field and chase us. It was just a matter of maintaining tempo to see if that gap would hold. It held at about 20, 30, 45 seconds for a long time. Then we got to the first hill and we increased it about 20 seconds. We did a lot on that first hill to see where we'd be. Then we rolled over the hill and decided we'd just keep hard tempo to the corner and see what the gap is. We knew there were some others that were at the front chasing. We figured eventually the field would break. It took a while for the field to break. When it finally broke, we just held our tempo."
Paul Bourcier (Eugene, Ore./Veloce Racing p/b smith&nephew) won the men's 45-49 road race national championship after winning a sprint against Frederic Thomas (Cape Elizabeth, Maine/Portland Velo Club-Cyclemania). Paul Thomas (Tucson, Ariz./White Mountain Road Club) earned the bronze medal after completing the 84-kilometer contest only three seconds after Bourcier and Thomas.
Wayne Watson (Denver, Colo./Natural Grocers Cycling Team) won a three-rider sprint to the finish line by a half-wheel length to win the men's 60-64 road race. A group of four riders were riding together off the front. Josef Lemire (Nevada City, Calif./Team Hammer Nutrition) attacked the four riders. Watson went with him and worked his way around Lemire as they approached the finishing stretch. Watson, who won the men's 60-64 time trial on Wednesday, held his line and won the three rider sprint over Lemire and Thomas Officer (Litchfield, Conn./Cycle Fitness Cycling Club), who placed second and third, respectively.
"It feels fantastic," Watson said. "I started masters racing in 1987. I came to 10 national championships. I got on the podium a few times, but never on top. Last year, I broke through and got the criterium. This year, I was really shooting for the time trial and got it. I didn't have a great expectation here. It's one of those days where you felt good, your legs were good. I'll take it."
One of the first races of the day featured the men's 65-69 field testing their endurance on a soggy, 62-kilometer course in cold, foggy conditions. Ed Chamberlin (Grand Junction, Colo./LTR Sports), who topped the field in the time trial on Wednesday, bested the bunch again on Thursday by completing the race in 2:04:14. Ron Lebard (Grass Valley, Calif./Victory Velo Racing) edged Scott Hennessy (Salinas, Calif./VOS Racing) and Jim Fox (Aptos, Calif./Team Hammer Nutrition) in the race for second place. Hennessy earned the bronze medal, Fox placed fourth while Danny Pierce (Aspen, Colo.) rounded out the five-rider podium.
James Wagner (Auburn, Wash./4 Corners Cycling) won the 62-kilometer men's 70-74 road race by 20 seconds on Friday. Dan Taylor (Alamo, Calif./Team Hammer Nutrition) finished second, 28 seconds ahead of the bronze medalist Michael Freeman (Martinez, Calif./Team Hammer Nutrition).
William Meyers (Oak Creek, Colo./Schwab Cycles Racing Team) doubled up on his Stars-and-Stripes jerseys on Friday. After winning Wednesday's time trial, Meyers topped the men's 75-79 field in the 62-kilometer road race by over five minutes. Meyers completed the race in 2:14:46 while Alan Stockland (Ogden, Utah), who placed third on Wednesday, finished second on Friday, 1:40 ahead of Leon Sowers (San Diego, Calif./San Diego Cyclo Vets).
Walter Axthelm (Durango, Colo./NoTubes Endurance Racing) added a second gold medal to his haul, thus far, this week. Axthelm topped Frederic Schmid (Waco, Texas/Jubilee Subaru) and Albert Piemme (Sequim, Wash.), who placed second and third, respectively.
The team of Melissa Boyd (Corvallis, Ore.) and Beth Dayton (Salem, Ore.) finished their 84-kilometer race in 3:05:01 to win the women's tandem 110-and-over road race. Kristina Hughes (Sherwood, Ore./Hutch's-Slocum-Co Motion) and Susanna Julber (Bend, Ore.) registered a time of 2:34:23 to win the women's tandem 70-and-over road race. The team of Catherine Dickson (Glendale, Ariz./Team Winded) and Louis Larson (Glendale, Ariz./Team Winded) topped the tandem of Sharon Gregg (Seattle, Wash./Avanti Racing Club) and Kathryn Woodford (El Cerrito, Calif.) to win the women's tandem 90-and-over national title.
Stephanie Gonzalez (Wilmington, Del./Equipe Vitesse), who started bike racing in March of 2013 after competing as a triathlete for two years, won the women's Category 1/2/3 road race on Friday.
Gonzalez credited her familiarity with the course after racing in the Bend Memorial Cascade Cycling Classic earlier in the year as a major factor in today's victory. Gonzalez completed her 84-kilometer race in 2:29:49, 1:26 ahead of Marley Smith (Roseville, Calif./Folsom Bike-VW-Raley's), who placed second. Lucia Mokres (Redwood City, Calif./Los Gatos Bicycle Racing Club) earned the bronze medal.
"It feels amazing," Gonzalez said. "I started bike racing this year as a Cat 4 in March. I can't believe it. It's been an amazing season. A whirlwind. I'm so thankful to everyone who helped me do it. Amazing!"
After the field stayed together through the early part of the race, Gonzalez attacked on the climb. Despite notification from the officials that her gap was growing Gonzalez was nervous that, given the length of the climb, she had attacked too early. But steadily, her advantage grew and she drilled it on the flat section after the climb into the finish line.
Julie Cutts (Las Vegas, Nev./Velo Club LaGrange), who won the women's 45-49 time trial on Wednesday, added another Stars-and-Stripes jersey to her closet after winning the 84-kilometer road race on Friday. Cutts completed the race in 2:46:35 while her closest competitor, Ginny King (Dallas, Texas/KingRacingGroup), finished in 2:47:23. Local rider Kerry Martin (Bend, Ore.) earned the bronze medal after finishing her race three seconds behind King.
Ruth Clemence (Newport Beach, Calif./Sisterhood of Cycling) coasted to victory after winning the women's 50-54 road race by 53 seconds. Clemence, who won this race in 2012, felt the eyes of her field on her throughout the race.
"Everybody's marking me," Clemence said. "Nobody would work with me. They all kind of waited to see what I was going to do. I just felt like I had good legs. I felt like I had a little bit of an opportunity. I had an acceleration point, so I just took off."
Clemence finished the 84-kilometer race in 2:47:16. Kris Walker (Pocatello, Idaho/The Contender Club) won a two-rider sprint against Debbie Phelps (Rockledge, Fla./Infinity Bike Shop) to earn the silver medal.
Lynne Anderson (Saint Louis, Mo./Michelob Ultra-Big Shark Racing) topped the women's 55-59 race. She completed the 84-kilometer contest six seconds ahead of Arrietta Clauss (Madison, Wis./Trek Midwest Team), who claimed the silver medal. Margaret Douglass (Salt Lake City, Utah/Bountiful Mazda Cycling Team) was 10 seconds behind Clauss in third place.
The top five riders of the women's 60-64 race completed the 62-kilometer contest were separated by only seven seconds. Phyllis Orlich (Grass Valley, Calif./Victory Velo Racing) topped the bunch after narrowly beating Sheila Walsh (Seattle, Wash./Jet City Velo) in a sprint. Orlich and Walsh completed the race in 2:19:53. Elizabeth Tyrell (Annandale, N.J./Somerset Wheelmen) was one second behind them and one second ahead of Kathleen Pratt (Happy Valley, Ore./Fred Meyer Cycling Team). Laura Lindgren (Long Beach, Calif./Sisterhood of Cycling) rounded out the top five, only seven seconds behind Orlich and Walsh.
Melinda Berge (Park City, Utah) won her second national championship of the week by winning the 62-kilometer women's 65-69 road race with a time of 2:29:15. Patricia Kimper (Solana Beach, Calif./San Diego Bicycle Club) was the runner up after finishing her race in 2:31:10. Priscilla Woods (Hailey, Idaho/Durance-Colnago) won the women's 70-74 race by completing her race in 3:03:24.
The pair of John Cacabelos (Sumner, Wash.) and Margareta Germeaux (Bellevue, Wash.) topped the other pair of twosomes in the mixed tandem 110-and-over field by completing their 84-kilometer road race in 2:18:34. The team of Terry Malouf (Boulder, Colo.) and David Walker (Lafayette, Colo.) claimed the silver medal after finishing 5:25 behind the winners and 11:06 in front of the bronze medalists Sue Buck (Irvine, Calif./Team Velosport Club) and Bruce Hartley (Norco, Calif./Radsport Cycling Team).