Lewis Gaffney on the way to the D2 Collegiate win at Nationals. © Matt Lasala
The mild conditions of yesterday have given way to harsher conditions where the wind dictated the feel of the race. Supporters lined up by the pavement, some wearing nothing little more than shorts and t-shirts to cheer on their collegiate favorites. The D2 Collegiate Men lined up at the start, many opting to not wear gloves despite the brutal weather. The course dried up over the night, transforming the energy sapping muddy sections into hard-packed dirt, encouraging a faster race overall.
Lewis Gaffney (Brevard College), sprinted for an early lead and the eventual win, although the D2 race provided one of the more exciting number of lead changes so far of the weekend’s races. Charlie Hough (Furman University) contested well at the start, although he took the right hand off-camber a little hot, causing his bike to buck him forward off his saddle and into the race tape. Kacey Campbell (Front Range Community College) also had a good first lap with the lead pack although he couldn’t keep up with the intense pace.
At the start of the second lap, Samuel O’Keefe (Middlebury College) led a group of four riders onto the pavement, only to find himself working against one of the toughest head winds of the week. He slowed his pace and pulled to the side, but Gaffney and the others only followed suit, forcing O’Keefe to take on all the dirty work for them. Once the front pack made the turn to the long climb with a tailwind, it looked as if Gaffney had relinquished control to one of the other race favorites, Nathanial Morse (Furman University).
Charlie Hough crashing on the off-camber in the D2 Collegiate race. © Matt Lasala
Morse dug in with a hard effort, and was rewarded with a sizable ten second gap by the time he left the tight turns at the top of the course. By the time the top riders were approaching the long flight of steps, he was no where to be seen. “On one of the early sweeping off-cambers, my derailleur swept right into my spokes and my hanger split clean off,” Morse told us after he crossed the finish line. Having a serious mechanical on the opposite side of the pits would destroy the chances for most riders, particularly against this strong D2 field of 46 starters. An undeterred Morse put forth a strong effort, especially after mounting his pit bike, and finished the race within the top ten.
Gaffney discovered his opportunity to pounce over the remaining three contenders, and found a good rhythm to pull away with each successive lap. The workhorse, O’Keefe, was eventually rewarded second place for his efforts. Joseph Welch (East Tennessee State University) kept on O’Keefe’s wheel for most of the second half of the D2 race, although he was unable to capitalize on his tactical positioning and would eventually finish for third.
Results after gallery.
Lewis Gaffney Takes D2 Collegiate Men’s Win at the 2014 National Cyclocross Championships – Gallery by Matt Lasala
D2 Collegiate Men Full Results 2014 US Cyclocross Nationals
|3||192||WELSH||Joseph||East Tennessee State University|
|6||176||NEAGOS||Brad||University of Denver|
|7||181||RIMMER||Robert||Virginia Intermont College|
|11||184||SIKES||Jeffery||Colorado Mesa University|
|12||169||KEITH||Michael||Mars Hill University|
|13||189||WAGNER||Devin||Rensselaer Polytechnic Institut|
|14||166||GOGUELY||Jules||Rhode Island School of Design|
|15||191||ZAVISLAN||Stefan||US Air Force Academy|
|16||162||FISCHER||Eric||College of William and Mary|
|17||170||LAVERGNE||Zack||Colorado Mesa University|
|18||158||COCHRAN||stephen||Colorado Mesa University|
|20||160||EASTER||Cullen||Colorado Mesa University|
|21||168||JENKINSON||Timothy||Mars Hill University|
|22||200||RUHMANN||Graham||Western State Colorado Universi|
|23||182||SCHROEDER||Karl||US Air Force Academy|
|26||177||NEAR||Joseph||Massachusetts Institute of Tech|
|27||161||ECK||Michael||Massachusetts Institute of Tech|
|28||165||GIELAR||Ian||Rochester Institute of Technolo|
|29||179||PHILLIPS||Samuel||Colorado Mesa University|
|30||185||STALLARD||Casey||East Tennessee State University|
|31||155||BERGHEL||Robert||The University of Tennessee at|
|34||180||RESEK||Hunter||Mars Hill University|
|36||174||MEHTA||William||Virginia Intermont College|
|37||187||THOMAS||Luke||Rochester Institute of Technolo|
|38||195||NORDAHL||Mitch||North Dakota State University|
|39||194||ALLEMAN||Alex||Western State Colorado Universi|
|40||156||BURDICK||Scott||Massachusetts Institute of Tech|
|41||171||LI||Matthew||Massachusetts Institute of Tech|
|43||157||CAMPBELL||Kacey||Front Range Community College|
|DNS||152||ANSEL||Douglas||University of Notre Dame|
|DNS||153||ARNDT||Christopher||Ohio Dominican University|
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.