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For full coverage, schedules and information on the 2012 Cyclocross National Championships at Badger Prairie County Park in Madison, Wisconsin, visit our 2012 Cyclocross National Championships homepage.

by Ted Burns

Paul Curley in control in the Masters 55-59 national championship. © Cyclocross Magazine

Paul Curley in control in the Masters 55-59 national championship. © Cyclocross Magazine

VERONA, WISCONSIN—Paul Curley (Gear Works – Spin Arts) held off Norm Kreiss (Cal Giant) to take yet another cyclocross national championship to add to his pile. With last year’s winner, Ned Overend not attending, Kreiss and Curley were sure to do battle for the podium, and Curley wasted no time in trying to control the race, gaining the holeshot and seizing the lead every chance he got through the race.

A strong 55-59 Men’s field that included last years runner-up Norm Kreiss (Cal-Giant) and cyclocross legend Paul Curley (Mid State Cycling Club-Gear Works) lined up for the last race at Badger Prairie Park today. Temperatures were a Wisconsin-balmy 50 degrees that saw some riders shed tights in favor of shorts and knee warmers. The warm temperatures created a technical course that favored the skilled tacticians.

Norm Kreiss out of the sand at 2012 Cyclocross National Championships, Masters 55-59. © Cyclocross Magazine

Norm Kreiss out of the sand at 2012 Cyclocross National Championships, Masters 55-59. © Cyclocross Magazine

Curley grabbed the hole shot off the line but it was Kreiss who would take the early lead and be first rider to enter the sand pit on lap one. Kreiss let up on the pace a bit which gave Curley a small breather and enabled Randall Root (Evolution Cycling Club), and Bobby Downs to join the duo. The quartet rode together until two laps to go when Randall Root fell in front of Kreiss. The bobble enabled Curley, who was riding at the front every chance he got, to get a gap which Kreiss could not close after clawing back to Bobby Downs.

“I was never afraid to take the lead. Anytime i could push to the front, no matter how bad I was hurting, I wanted to lead. I wanted to lead the uphills, I wanted to lead the  downhills, I wanted to lead into the headwind!” said Curley about his race strategy, “The corners are too technical, you don’t really trust anyone. I didn’t trust anyone going around the corners in front of me.”

Kreiss chased hard for the remaining laps, bringing the gap down to five seconds at one point, but Curley kept his eyes on the ground watching for shadows. Encouraged by his gap and lack of activity behind him, Curley put on his famous game face and kept the hammer down for the remainder of the race.

Curley winds around the course at the 2012 Cyclocross National Championships, Masters 55-59. © Cyclocross Magazine

Curley winds around the course at the 2012 Cyclocross National Championships, Masters 55-59. © Cyclocross Magazine

With one lap to go, Curley extended his lead to 15-seconds and rode in solo for his 25th National Championship. Curley, who has raced around the globe, compared the course to his stints overseas: “So many things reminded me of racing in Switzerland.  I spent four years racing there in the 80’s. We always raced at 3 o’clock, you never knew what the conditions were going to be, I was just playing it like that, thinking back to when I was doing it full time.”

Norm Kreiss, the 2010 runner up to to the legendary Ned Overend, mapped out his strategy for 2013. “Last year on the podium, Paul [Curley] said to Ned ‘You going to stay home and let somebody else win one of these?’ … So that’s what i said to Paul on the podium today.”

Stay tuned for photos, a full report, videos (and better captions).

Video interview with Paul Curley:

Video Interview with Norm Kreiss:

See all of Cyclocross Magazine’s 2012 USA Cycling National Championships video interviews here!

Photo Gallery by Tim Westmore and Andrew Yee:
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Full Results:

PlaceNameCity, StateTeam
1Paul CURLEY (1 - Cat3)Taunton, MAMid State Cycling Club/Gear Works/Spin Arts Cyclery
2Norman KREISS (1 - Cat1)Orinda, CACalifornia Giant Cycling/California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized
3Robert DOWNS (1 - Cat2)Madison, WIPlanet Bike
4Randy SHIELDS (2 - Cat2)Winston Salem, NCCarolina Masters
5Randall ROOT (2 - Cat1)Sterling, VAEvolution Cycling Club p/b Long & Foster
6Henry KRAMER (3 - Cat1)Menlo Park, CACalifornia Giant Cycling/California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized
7Jeffrey CRAFT (3 - Cat2)Madison, OHLake Effect Cycling Team
8Jim GENTES (4 - Cat1)Soquel, CA
9George SMITH (4 - Cat2)Menlo Park, CAAlto Velo Racing Club/Webcor/Alto Velo
10Brook WATTS (5 - Cat2)Longmont, COMichelob Ultra - Big Shark Racing
11Charles TOWNSEND (6 - Cat2)Mendota Heights, MNSt Paul Bicycle Racing Club/Bianchi/Grand Performance
12Dag SELANDER (7 - Cat2)Hudson, WITeam Plan C
13Glen JONES (2 - Cat3)Madison, WITrek Midwest Team
14Matthew MOORE (3 - Cat3)Manchester, VTClinton Cycling Club
15Rudy SROKA (8 - Cat2)N Royalton, OHLake Effect Cycling Team
16Geoffrey CHANDLER (1 - Cat4)IndianapolisMission Berry Farms Cycling
17Peter CROWLEY (4 - Cat3)Pelham, MANorthampton Cycling Club
18David GOODWIN (9 - Cat2)Amherst, MANorthampton Cycling Club
19Robert GARNER (5 - Cat3)Sturtevant, WIV.C. Bikesport
20Bruce BELL (6 - Cat3)Stowe, VTBurris Logistics-Fit Werx
21Mark WOLOWIEC (5 - Cat1)Davisburg, MIFlying Rhino Cycling Club
22Steven KINNEY (7 - Cat3)Geneva Switzerland, AECycle-Smart Inc.
23Michael CISEK (8 - Cat3)Minneapolis, MN
24Craig BUSCHE (2 - Cat4)Wauwatosa, WIVelo Trocadero
25James (Jimmy) DAY (9 - Cat3)Santa Fe, NMBike n Sport Racing
26Anthony (Tony) BILOTTA (10 - Cat2)Aiken, SCVan Dessel Factory Team
27David SIELOFF (10 - Cat3)Madison, WIBrazen Dropouts/Brazen Dropouts Cycling Team
28Joel ROTH (11 - Cat3)Chicago, ILTeam TATI
29Steven VORDERMAN (12 - Cat3)Fort Wayne, INDon Galligher-DRT Consulting
30Darryl MATAYA (13 - Cat3)Mount Horeb, WIMadCity Velo Club
31Jeff HUSER (14 - Cat3)Albuquerque, NM
32Chris BLACK (11 - Cat2)San Luis Obispo, CAMorgan Stanley Cycling Team/Morgan Stanley /Specialized
33James WHITE (3 - Cat4)Pocatello, IDIdaho Cycling Enthusiasts (ICE)
34Craig REYNOLDS (15 - Cat3)Terre Haute, INTerre Haute Cycling/J's Bikes Racing
35John REIMBOLD (16 - Cat3)Carbondale, ILHeckawee
36Randall SILVA (17 - Cat3)Albuquerque, NMNob Hill Velo
37Jeff TRIPP (18 - Cat3)Deerfield, NHBlue Steel Cyclery
38Jerry WHITE (19 - Cat3)Bedford, NHBlue Steel Cyclery/Blue Steel Cyclery
39John BUCKSBAUM (20 - Cat3)Chicago, ILVision Quest LLC
40Paul SADOFF (21 - Cat3)Santa Cruz, CABay 11/HRS/Rock Lobster Cyclocross/Bay 11/HRS/Rock Lobster
41Robert SCHUELER (22 - Cat3)Franklin, WIHampshire Cycle Club
42Joseph KING (23 - Cat3)Madison, WIBrazen Dropouts/Brazen Dropouts Cycling Team
43Richard ALDERMAN (4 - Cat4)Madison, WI
44Greg YOUNGEN (24 - Cat3)Urbana, ILWild Card Cycling
45Michael MERULLA (12 - Cat2)Iowa City, IAIowa City Cycling Club
46Chris CANFIELD (5 - Cat4)Westminster, COBlue Sky Velo
DNSScott REYNOLDSPipersville, PAGuys Racing Club
DNSSteve LAMONTDurango, CODurango Wheel Club

Keep up to date on all of the action at 2012 Cyclocross Nationals on Cyclocross Magazine’s 2012 Cyclocross National Championships homepage.