The course at Valmont Bike Park this morning may have been set up the same as yesterday, but with gusting winds and freezing temperatures, the terrain was entirely different from the slippery mud of Thursday’s races. Instead, the course was bumpy and rutted, which made for faster but slightly-less-comfortable laps for the first race of the day, the Masters 45-49 race.

Jon Cariveau leads Tim Faia, Kenny Wehn and Don Myrah with Robson off the front. © Cyclocross Magazine

Jon Cariveau leads Tim Faia, Kenny Wehn and Don Myrah with Robson off the front. © Cyclocross Magazine

Michael Robson (Moots) took an early lead, with his teammate Jon Cariveau in the mix and working for him as he raced himself. The eight minute laps—the fastest of the week so far—made for more pack racing, and the front group was fairly large, with Tim Cannard, Kenny Wehn (Stan’s No Tubes), Tim Faia (Trek), James Cochran (Atlas Cycling Team) and race favorite Don Myrah, who had just returned from racing Masters Worlds in Switzerland, where he took the title there.

Robson held the lead coming into lap two, while Myrah was forced to pit after his brakes began to rub. “One of the springs in my rear brake came undone, I had to pit and it cost me a little time. It just killed me. I was happy with my race though. I was happy to give Tim a good race, especially after just getting back from Europe.”

It was congested the first time up the stairs. 2014 Masters 45-49 Cyclocross National Championships. © Steve Anderson

It was congested the first time up the stairs. 2014 Masters 45-49 Cyclocross National Championships. © Steve Anderson

Robson was steady in the lead, and it was apparent that while Cariveau wasn’t planning to concede his position, he wasn’t going to work to bridge up to his teammate with the group. “We’ve raced together and traveled together so much that we didn’t have to plan tactics, we knew what to do,” Robson told Cyclocross Magazine.

Don Myrah leading Tim Faia - 2014 Masters 45-49 Cyclocross National Championships. © Steve Anderson

Don Myrah leading Tim Faia – 2014 Masters 45-49 Cyclocross National Championships. © Steve Anderson

By 20 minutes in, Faia, Robson and Myrah had built up a slight gap on the rest of the leaders, who were being encroached upon by another case group including mountain biker Travis Brown, who was ironically stopped due to drivetrain issues on his singlespeed.

Robson later explained his strategy, saying, “With the ruts and how rough it was and how hard it was, we wanted to be up to the front I hadn’t planned on leading but nobody else went that hard. I’m used to doing a good hard one or two laps at the beginning of a race and then settling in, and I felt really, really good until the second lap, and then Myrah and Faia started to chip away and get back to me.”

With two laps to go in the five-lap race, Faia and Myrah had dropped Robson and were battling in earnest for the title. Behind them, there was a large gap to the now-spread-out lead group. “I was comfortable. I felt really good where I was riding, and I just stayed at that pace and opportunities presented themselves,” Faia explained. “The third lap, I got away.”

Coming in to the final lap, spectators were shocked to see Faia come through the finishing straight with 10 seconds on Myrah, but Faia told Cyclocross Magazine that it wasn’t “until the hill that I knew I had it.”

Faia crossed the line with plenty of time to celebrate, and even as he rolled through, he was grinning ear to ear and shouting, “How did that happen?”

After passing Robson, Faia takes control for good. 2014 Masters 45-49 Cyclocross National Championships. © Steve Anderson

After passing Robson, Faia takes control for good. 2014 Masters 45-49 Cyclocross National Championships. © Steve Anderson

Behind him, Myrah was uncontested for second and Robson rolled in for third, immediately going over to Faia to say, “I’m as happy as if I’d won,” as the two hugged.

“I was very surprised,” Faia said. “I started riding on Monday. Since the 12th of December, I’ve just been doing a lot of ski mountaineering. I don’t believe it. It was beautiful. It all worked out.”

Shocked to take the win, Faia crossed the line asking "How did that happen?" © Mike Albright

Shocked to take the win, Faia crossed the line asking “How did that happen?” © Mike Albright

Tim Faia was surprised with the win. © Steve Anderson

Tim Faia was surprised with the win. © Steve Anderson

Results below gallery.

Faia Surprises Crowd and Himself with Masters 45-49 Win – Gallery

.

Master Men 45-49 Results - USA Cycling National Championships of Cyclocross 2014

Place
Bib
Last
First
Team
1476FAIATim
2527MYRAHDonald
3537ROBSONMichael
4531OBRIENKevinGroove Subaru Excel Sports
5465COCHRANJamesAtlas Cycling Team
6523MILLERMattGreat Divide Brewing Company
7560WEHNKenny
8459BROWNTravis
9429HALLJeffreyTeam Kappius
10461CARIVEAUJon
11512LUGARPaulBoulder Running Company Cycling
12511LORTIEShawnRally Sport Cycling Team
13482FORRESTScott
14496HORROCKSTomX-Men The
15534PARMAINCharlesTeam Soundpony
16550STEPHENSONHaroldRally Sport Cycling Team
17563WINKLERJeff
18488GORRELLGregFeedback Sports Racing
19556VERHEULJohnScalo Veloce
20540SCHLAUCHEricSomerset Wheelmen
21463CHAVEZCesar
22554SWANSONMurrayPeninsula Velo Cycling Club
23497HUDSONDouglasFeedback Sports Racing
24464CHEEKDarronCROSS PROPZ RACING
25555TADDEUCCIJosephNatural Grocers Cycling Team
26467COOKEThomasX-Men The
27475DIXONMikeBoulder Running Company Cycling
28526MUNDELIUSJohnCalifornia Giant Cycling
29470CURTESJeff
30514MANSELLJohnRally Sport Cycling Team
31460CANNARDTimothy
32456BONENBERGERMike
33539SCALISEMikeVillage-Verdigris Cycling
34499JONESChristopherSalvagetti/Happy Coffee Cyclocr
35469COTTONJohnBlue Sky Velo
36457BONICarlRapid Racing
37525MILLERJWErik's Bike Club/Eriks Bike Sho
38486GIL MORENO DE MORARodrigo
39510LONERGANGregorySPY GIANT RIDE
40553SUTTERMIkeBoulder Orthopedics
41458BOUNDYTimVillage-Verdigris Cycling
42503KREBSKenVillage-Verdigris Cycling
43524MILLERDanInternational Christian Cycling
44507LEGGEmeryGreat Divide Brewing Company
45502KOENEMANBrianTeam Wheel & Sprocket
46518MCCLUNGRichardLake Washington Velo
47484GALLAGHERJon
48509LOHRENTZMatt
49451ARNOLDScottAthlete Octane
50478FISHERMarkRocky Mountain Cycling Club
51500KELSEYSean
52504LARRORenePeninsula Velo Cycling Club
53468COOKEChanceGreat Northern Cycling Club
54545SHOTWELLChristopherSRAM Factory
55565CARAMADRERichardClemson
56519MCNALLYDaniel
57549STEMBirtPactimo Cycling
58483FOXChristopherBoulder Cycle Sport
59466COLBURNStephenAlpha Bicycle Co.- Vista Subaru
60541SCHWADRONArtRally Sport Cycling Team
61481FLIEGELMANScott
62551STEVENSMikeBike Line
63473DELACEYJonathanDurango Wheel Club
64521MEISERThomasFeedback Sports Racing
65538RUSSELLPatrickWolverine Sports Club
66529NELSONJonathanSioux City Velo
67535PIQUETTEMarkAvout Racing
68454BECKMichaelRLW Cycling Team
69508LEHNERTAlexanderHutch's - Specialized - Sl
70536ROBINSONgeorgeSlimenundgrossen
71528NEEDYThomasInternational Christian Cycling
72513MANNINGWilliam
73501KHODORSamerThe Natural Way Racing Team
74477FERRYSteveReal D-Amgen Masters Cycling
75517MASCHKADonNorth Iowa Spin
76516MARLATTDuaneGroove Subaru Excel Sports
77494HARWOODBryanBoulder Cycle Sport
78462CARTERDouglasNorthStar Development
79472DAVISToddKryki Sports
80493HANGERDarrenNatural Grocers Cycling Team
81452BARNESTimothyAvout Racing
82453BATCHELDERBrett
83557WAGGONERWilliamDavis Bike Club
84542SEILERMichaelRogue Racing Project
85530NIQUETTEKellyCycleton
86552SULLIVANJoeFrites En Mayo Velo Club
87561WIBERGKylexXx Racing
88547SNODGRASSDwightOld Town Bicycle (OTB)
89562WINBORNEScottAlpha Bicycle Co.- Vista Subaru
90490HALEYJohnAlpha Bicycle Co. - All City
91474DEPAEMELAEREDaniel8 Sixteen Racing
92495HOLTONAndrew
93532OLIGERTravisDurango Wheel Club
94480FLANNERYColm
DNF546SMITHChristopherThe Fix Studio
DNF520MCSHANEMichaelBob's Red Mill Cyclocross
DNF559WEBERDavidTeam Kappius
DNF455BOLLENBERGHERonaldCadieux Bicycle Club
DNF522MELCHERJeffTeam Pedal Moraine

For all the best Cyclocross Nationals 2014 coverage, including bike profiles, race reports, results and video interviews, check out our 2014 Cyclocross National Championship Page here.


Get your free digital issue of Cyclocross Magazine here.