by Jacob Sisson
Cyclocross riders in the United States had a shot at taking home multiple national titles in Granby, Colorado, with titles up for grabs in the Cross Country and Short Track discipline. Many of the nation’s best ‘crossers had been gearing up for a shot at the title, with the likes of Todd Wells and Adam Craig looking to shine in the men’s arena and Katie Compton looking to both add another set of stripes to her trophy case and fend off a strong challenge from Georgia Gould. (And yes, we’re claiming the multi-discipline riders as our own, on loan to mountain biking.)
Katie Compton Suffers Asthma Attack While Leading Elite Women’s Cross Country
In a repeat experience from the Bump n Grind weekend in Alabama, current National Champion Katie Compton went from leading the way in the Elite Women’s cross country to struggling to hold on to third place after suffering from an ill timed asthma attack. Compton had a sizable lead over second place until, with two laps to go, Compton began to have issues keeping up her pace. In fact, following the end of the race, Compton was taken to a local hospital for observation. Despite her breathing issues, Compton was able to hold out for the bronze medal, certainly short of what she was aiming for, but a significant feat nonetheless. Compton rode the day under the banner of Katie Compton Racing/Independent Fabrication, indicating that she may have settled on at least one sponsor for the rest of the season – Independent Fabrication.
Behind Compton, perennial challenger Georgia Gould wrapped up her day in fourth, after suffering from a first lap mechanical. After replacing her chain, Gould was off and chasing, but was in a significant hole with a long way to go. Gould finished up the day 4:55 behind eventual winner Heather Irmiger. Kelli Emmett managed to grab a top 10 finish on the day, finishing up in 9th place. Sue Butler rode to a strong 12th place finish.
Wells’ Bad Luck Continues in Men’s Cross Country
Todd Wells has been plagued by bad luck this entire season, with mishaps at multiple world cup events as well as domestic events to boot. This weekend was no different, as Wells went from a commanding position at the front of the race, to finishing 18th, almost 18 minutes off the pace of winner Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski. The reason for Wells’ misfortune was a faulty crank that fell out on the day’s final climb, just as Horgan-Kobelski had put in his final attack. Behind Horgan-Kobelski, Adam Craig had been riding in a strong third place, until Wells’ relegation allowed him to move up to the silver medal position. Jeremiah Bishop, fresh off winning the Breck Epic, was able to bring home a strong fourth place.
Current National Champion Ryan Trebonwas able to improve on some of his recent results, finishing in 8th place on the day, two places ahead of his Kona teammate, Barry Wicks. Erik Tonkin placed 12th, putting all three of Kona’s ‘cross regulars inside the top 15 in the cross country event. Troy Wells was just behind Tonkin in 13th place. Ned Overend put in one of the more impressive performances of the day, taking home 21st place, while Brandon Dwight finished up the day in 25th.
Craig Trades Up in Short Track
Adam Craig traded in his silver medal from the cross country event for a set of stars and stripes in the short track race besting second placed Todd Wells, who also recovered from a lackluster day one, riding to the silver medal. Ryan Trebon managed to improve on his first day performance, missing out on the podium but taking home solid fourth place finish. Carl Decker was two spots behind Trebon in 6th place, followed by Jeremiah Bishop in 7th. Troy Wells was next, in 11th place, followed by Barry Wicks in 15th place.
Georgia Gould Rebounds with Short Track Gold
Georgia Gouldwas another member of the improvement team on day two, making up for her disappointment on day one by taking home a convincing victory in the ‘ short track event. Gould beat out cross country gold medalist Heather Irminger to take the national title, her first in the short track discipline. Gould hit the front of the race on lap three and never looked back, leaving her rivals in her wake. Kelli Emmett was the next cyclocross regular to hit the line, taking home 6th place. Allison Dunlap continued her un-retirement party, finishing up the day in 11th place, one place ahead of Sue Butler, who finished 12th.
Amy Dombroski Gets Things Rolling in the U23 Women Category
Not generally known as a mountain biker, Amy Dombroski, who already holds multiple Espoir titles in the cyclocross realm, emerged as a surprise winner of the U23 ‘ cross country title, holding off a strong charge from Chloe Forsman in what amounted to a sprint finish. Dombroski’s road pedigree helped give her the final kick to the line and secured another set of stars and stripes to go along with her three cyclocross titles. Dombroski was able to fight through a second lap crash that put her title hopes in jeopardy, but her ability to take home the final sprint was never really in doubt.
Colin Cares wins, Nick Weighall Sixth in the U23 Men’s Race
Collegiate Cyclocross National Champion Colin Cares took home another national title, winning the U23 men’s title, with current U23 national champion Rad Racing’s Nick Weighall taking home a strong sixth place, 8:19 behind Cares. Weighall finished just behind the next great American stage racing hope, Peter Stetina, who finished 5th at 8:01 behind.
Eric Emsky Takes Bronze in Junior Men’s Race
Eric Emsky, who made a name for himself as a member of this year’s junior World Championships team, rode to a strong third place in the junior men’s category, a mere 3:25 behind the gold medal. Emsky is back after a bit of a hiatus with some knee issues and has done little racing to date this season. Considering his lack of racing this season, his third place is all that much more impressive. Current Junior cyclocross champion Zach McDonald was also on hand to take in the Colorado air, finishing the day in 17th place. Inside the top ten was another Dombroski, this time Joe Dombroski who rode his way into 9th place on the day.
Jeff Bahnson 4th in 15-16 Race
East Coast and national caliber phenom Jeff Bahnson finished just out of the medals in the junior men’s 15-16 age group, with a time 3:55 off the leader.
Cyclocrossers Upset in Super D
Retired cyclocross start Rachel Lloyd, who just narrowly missed the All Mountain title at Downieville, did not attend to defend her Super D title in Colorado, while Adam Craig’s domination of the mostly-downhill event ended with a disappointing 11th place. Giant’s ‘cross stars love this event, and Kelli Emmett rode to a strong third place behind eventual winner, retired downhiller Elke Brutsaert. In the men’s race, Nick Weighall made an impressive showing with a strong seventh place, while Giant’s Carl Decker finished in 15th.