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
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.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.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:
Photo Gallery by Tim Westmore and Andrew Yee:
1 Paul CURLEY (1 - Cat3) Taunton, MA Mid State Cycling Club/Gear Works/Spin Arts Cyclery 2 Norman KREISS (1 - Cat1) Orinda, CA California Giant Cycling/California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized 3 Robert DOWNS (1 - Cat2) Madison, WI Planet Bike 4 Randy SHIELDS (2 - Cat2) Winston Salem, NC Carolina Masters 5 Randall ROOT (2 - Cat1) Sterling, VA Evolution Cycling Club p/b Long & Foster 6 Henry KRAMER (3 - Cat1) Menlo Park, CA California Giant Cycling/California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized 7 Jeffrey CRAFT (3 - Cat2) Madison, OH Lake Effect Cycling Team 8 Jim GENTES (4 - Cat1) Soquel, CA 9 George SMITH (4 - Cat2) Menlo Park, CA Alto Velo Racing Club/Webcor/Alto Velo 10 Brook WATTS (5 - Cat2) Longmont, CO Michelob Ultra - Big Shark Racing 11 Charles TOWNSEND (6 - Cat2) Mendota Heights, MN St Paul Bicycle Racing Club/Bianchi/Grand Performance 12 Dag SELANDER (7 - Cat2) Hudson, WI Team Plan C 13 Glen JONES (2 - Cat3) Madison, WI Trek Midwest Team 14 Matthew MOORE (3 - Cat3) Manchester, VT Clinton Cycling Club 15 Rudy SROKA (8 - Cat2) N Royalton, OH Lake Effect Cycling Team 16 Geoffrey CHANDLER (1 - Cat4) Indianapolis Mission Berry Farms Cycling 17 Peter CROWLEY (4 - Cat3) Pelham, MA Northampton Cycling Club 18 David GOODWIN (9 - Cat2) Amherst, MA Northampton Cycling Club 19 Robert GARNER (5 - Cat3) Sturtevant, WI V.C. Bikesport 20 Bruce BELL (6 - Cat3) Stowe, VT Burris Logistics-Fit Werx 21 Mark WOLOWIEC (5 - Cat1) Davisburg, MI Flying Rhino Cycling Club 22 Steven KINNEY (7 - Cat3) Geneva Switzerland, AE Cycle-Smart Inc. 23 Michael CISEK (8 - Cat3) Minneapolis, MN 24 Craig BUSCHE (2 - Cat4) Wauwatosa, WI Velo Trocadero 25 James (Jimmy) DAY (9 - Cat3) Santa Fe, NM Bike n Sport Racing 26 Anthony (Tony) BILOTTA (10 - Cat2) Aiken, SC Van Dessel Factory Team 27 David SIELOFF (10 - Cat3) Madison, WI Brazen Dropouts/Brazen Dropouts Cycling Team 28 Joel ROTH (11 - Cat3) Chicago, IL Team TATI 29 Steven VORDERMAN (12 - Cat3) Fort Wayne, IN Don Galligher-DRT Consulting 30 Darryl MATAYA (13 - Cat3) Mount Horeb, WI MadCity Velo Club 31 Jeff HUSER (14 - Cat3) Albuquerque, NM 32 Chris BLACK (11 - Cat2) San Luis Obispo, CA Morgan Stanley Cycling Team/Morgan Stanley /Specialized 33 James WHITE (3 - Cat4) Pocatello, ID Idaho Cycling Enthusiasts (ICE) 34 Craig REYNOLDS (15 - Cat3) Terre Haute, IN Terre Haute Cycling/J's Bikes Racing 35 John REIMBOLD (16 - Cat3) Carbondale, IL Heckawee 36 Randall SILVA (17 - Cat3) Albuquerque, NM Nob Hill Velo 37 Jeff TRIPP (18 - Cat3) Deerfield, NH Blue Steel Cyclery 38 Jerry WHITE (19 - Cat3) Bedford, NH Blue Steel Cyclery/Blue Steel Cyclery 39 John BUCKSBAUM (20 - Cat3) Chicago, IL Vision Quest LLC 40 Paul SADOFF (21 - Cat3) Santa Cruz, CA Bay 11/HRS/Rock Lobster Cyclocross/Bay 11/HRS/Rock Lobster 41 Robert SCHUELER (22 - Cat3) Franklin, WI Hampshire Cycle Club 42 Joseph KING (23 - Cat3) Madison, WI Brazen Dropouts/Brazen Dropouts Cycling Team 43 Richard ALDERMAN (4 - Cat4) Madison, WI 44 Greg YOUNGEN (24 - Cat3) Urbana, IL Wild Card Cycling 45 Michael MERULLA (12 - Cat2) Iowa City, IA Iowa City Cycling Club 46 Chris CANFIELD (5 - Cat4) Westminster, CO Blue Sky Velo DNS Scott REYNOLDS Pipersville, PA Guys Racing Club DNS Steve LAMONT Durango, CO Durango Wheel Club
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