When a foot of snow landed on the Valmont Bike Park a week ago, many packed their mud tires, expecting a sloppy, wet mess of a course.
Peter Goguen (Race CF) got his two bikes ready with the new Challenge Tires Chicane file tread. Goguen was all-in for maximum speed, and used it to his advantage, quickly taking the holeshot over Maxx Chance (Clif Bar), and hit the 5280 staircase with a four second gap over Chance that would only increase with each pedal stroke and step.
Chance, a local boy who rides Valmont regularly, checked out the park three years ago on his road bike, and decided the lower stairs were totally rideable. So from the very first lap, like Cody Kaiser did yesterday, he hopped up the stairs without a single pedal stroke, wowing the crowd.
Behind, Lance Haidet (Bear Development Team) took up the chase, with Goguen’s teammate, Austin Vincent hanging on.
“Peter, my teammate, drilled it and started pulling away from the gun,” Vincent said. It wasn’t a team plan, as former Junior National Champion Vincent was motivated to go for the win as well, but to the observer, it looked like perfect teamwork as Vincent then moved into third, dragging five others around the course, including Kurtis Barth (Boulder Cycle Sport), Cooper Willsey and Haidet. “I wasn’t feeling the best today…so I had to think about not going too hard in altitude because if you go too far into the red, you might not be able to come out.”
Up front, Goguen poured it on, quickly extending the gap over Chance and the rest of the group. Soon, he had time to smile and look around, despite turning out lap times that rivaled U23 National Champion Logan Owen.
“This definitely went as planned,” Goguen revealed to Cyclocross Magazine. “I just rode it one section at a time and tried to be smooth.” Once Goguen got the gap, and saw with two to go his lead was insurmountable barring disaster, Goguen took it all in. “I started to smile. There were people everywhere cheering me on, and that just really kept me going.”
Meanwhile, Chance kept hopping the stairs, and looked to be pulling away from the rest of the chasers. “It was hard…Peter drilled it at the front, I hung on for as long as I could, but he got a gap,” he said. “I just tried to keep it consistent and I’m really happy with second place.”
When asked about the stairs and whether Cody Kaiser inspired him, Chance said, “I ride here all the time…I was riding the steps and I felt really smooth on the course.” He didn’t think it was necessarily faster, but knew the crowd would love it, and they did.
With Goguen and Chance on their own, Vincent dropped his companions and set off to seize his own medal at the 2014 National Championships, gaining back time on Chance. But it was too late.
“I went with all of their moves, and when I felt like I could go, I went and I was able to get third,” Vincent said. “I was closing on Maxx but he definitely had me by a good 15 seconds.”
The course has dried out completely, with no snow in sight. “The course conditions have changed so much in the past few days,” said Vincent. “I was hoping for it to be muddier than it was. But it’s a great course and I had a blast racing it.”
We’re sure that some Elite Men and Women will be happy with the conditions, while defending champion Jonathan Page told Cyclocross Magazine he was hoping for really sloppy conditions.
Results following gallery.
Goguen Solos to Junior 17-18 Win at the 2014 National Cyclocross Championships – Gallery by Matt Lasala