Baker and Stevenson gasp for air after their sprint finish. Cyclocross National Championships. © Cyclocross Magazine

Baker and Stevenson gasp for air after their sprint finish. © Cyclocross Magazine

BEND, ORE. – Just as he did last year, Jonathan Baker came back from a slow start to win the 35-39 National Championship. Baker rode back to a lead group that included former 35-39 champion Justin Robinson (Cal Giant-Specialized) and Masters newcomer Russell Stevenson (Cycling Northwest), before dispatching both in the final lap. For many of the rest of the field, however, the race ended before the first turn, as a massive pileup split the race, giving a selection of 20 riders an insurmountable gap.

Jon Baker wins his second 35-39 title. © Tim Westmore

Jon Baker wins his second 35-39 title. © Tim Westmore

Baker, although he didn’t get caught up in the crash, had “A slow start. I couldn’t get into my pedal, so I was kinda coming back, and those guys started really fast.” “Those guys” were 20-year veteran Robinson and Seattle-based racer Stevenson, who came from nowhere last weekend (or, more accurately, from the last row) to win Day 2 of the Portland USGP.

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Robinson leading Stevenson early in the 35-39 race. © Cyclocross Magazine

Baker stayed calm, though, and rode calmly back up to the duo over the first lap-and-a half. Baker even naysayed the ever-enthusiastic Richard Fries, who asked him “How deep did you have to go in the pain cave to ride back up to those guys?” Baker replied: “I knew it was going to be a hard race, so I just kept my own pace.” That pace suited him just fine, as the group of three quickly distanced the rest of the already diminished field. Stevenson admitted that once Baker made the bridge, the trio went tactical and “soft-pedaled” for a couple of laps. Baker agreed, saying the riders tried to find shelter in the wind and push it in the muddy sections.

During the penultimate lap, Robinson came off the group and had to fight to get back on, re-connecting with about half a lap to go. That effort proved a bit too much, though, as Robinson bobbled at the top of a hill at the west end of the course: “We were all together going through the barriers, and then I missed my pedal at the top of the hill when they were all stuttering over the top, and that was it. The gap opened up, and I had to get off and run for a second, and you can’t make up gaps on this course very easily.”

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Baker trailling Stevenson on the final run-up. © Cyclocross Magazine

The last selection didn’t occur until the final turn, when Baker came from the left side of the course to the inside of the turn, and was able to get the jump on Stevenson. “I didn’t want to just lead him and show him all my secrets,” Stevenson said about trying to outfox Baker. “But obviously Jonathan had the best secret, the biggest of all – the final turn secret.” Baker looked at it similarly, saying that he waited until the last moment to make his move, which “worked out.”

Not far back from the leading trio, JT Fountain defied belief, as he rode to a fourth-place finish on a singlespeed. When asked if we was surprised by his performances, Fountain said, “Yeah, I was surprised – but over the last few days I’ve been getting used to being surprised by things.”

“I don’t think it slowed me down at all, except for the real boggy, slow grass sections, like down below the stairs,” Fountain said about his decision to stick to his singlespeed for the geared race. “And on the far stretch, I was not moving very fast.”

A jubilant, but exhausted, Baker greeted Stevenson after the finish. Both riders were complimentary towards each other and the course, saying that organizer Brad Ross had really gotten the course design just right, with the right amount of running, mud and power sections. Stevenson summed up the race, and the conditions, saying: “That was epic. It’s just such a hard course, and muddy! You’re better off to lead in that crap, in the muck. I thought I had him, but in the final turn I had an in-to-out line, he came out to in, and that was the difference. Baker was strong to make a bridge like that.”

For full Cyclocross National Championships coverage and information, visit our 2010 USA Cycling National Championships Page.

Photo Gallery:

Full Results:

Place Points NameCity, StateBibTeam
1150Jonathan Baker (1 – Cat1)Boulder, CO301Groove Subaru Cycling Team
2135Russell Stevenson (2 – Cat1)Seattle, WA351Cycling Northwest
3120Justin Robinson (3 – Cat1)Bonny Doon, CA393California Giant Cycling/California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized
4105JT Fountain (1 – Cat2)Moscow, ID3123FCX/cyclocrossracing.com
590Troy Heithecker (4 – Cat1)Ft Collins, CO348Echelon Energy
685Grant Berry (5 – Cat1)Durango, CO311Rocky Mtn Chocolate Factory
780Benjamin Thompson (6 – Cat1)Bend, OR337
875Bo Pitkin (2 – Cat2)Park City, UT368
970Eric Sheagley (7 – Cat1)Portland, OR379Essex County Velo
1065Brian Sheedy (8 – Cat1)Banner Elk, NC383Raleigh Allstars Cycling Club
1160Scott Frederick (9 – Cat1)Raleigh, NC316Inland/Back to Dirt/Inland Construction
1255Kristopher Holden (10 – Cat1)Spokane, WA323Vertical Earth Specialized
1350Louie Fountain (3 – Cat2)Moscow, ID3533FCX/cyclocrossracing.com
1445Michael Gallagher (11 – Cat1)Portland, OR399Cyclocrossracing.com P/B Blue
1540John Rollert (12 – Cat1)Bend, OR358WebCyclery Racing/WebCyclery.com
1638Timothy Jones (13 – Cat1)Bend, OR338
1736Maurice Gamanho (4 – Cat2)Lebanon, NJ389Van Dessel Factory Team
1834Andrew Messer (14 – Cat1)Bloomington, IN346Don Galligher-DRT Consulting/DRT Racing
1932Chris Brandt (15 – Cat1)Carbondale, CO370Brandt-Sorenson.com
2030Evan Plews (16 – Cat1)Salem, OR350
21ExpKevin Koen (5 – Cat2)Cypress, TX390
2226Benjamin Kubas (17 – Cat1)Eugene, OR398TAI Cycling/Gen8
2324Joel Wilson (6 – Cat2)Eugene, OR354
2422Chris Snyder (18 – Cat1)Portland, OR359
2520Eric Anderson (7 – Cat2)Indianapolis, IN331Indianapolis Cycling Club/NUVO Cultural Trail
2619Aaron Bouplon (19 – Cat1)Boulder, CO396RockyMounts~Izze Racing
2718Jerry Long (8 – Cat2)Moscow, ID410Coeur d ‘Alene Velo Racers (CDAVR)/Vertical Earth
2817Christian Litzsinger (9 – Cat2)Eagle, ID308Lost River Cycling Club/Team Reed Cycle
2916Michael Carroll (10 – Cat2)Durango, CO305Durango Wheel Club
30ExpFrederick BottgerSouth Pasadena, CA412Pasadena Athletic Assoc (PAA)/PAA / RE/MAX
3114Kyle Wuepper (11 – Cat2)Bend, OR415
3213Craig Faulkner (20 – Cat1)Mendota Heights, MN318crossniacs
3312Joshua Whitmore (21 – Cat1)Sylva, NC339Globalbike Racing/Team Globalbike
3411Nate Woodman (12 – Cat2)Lincoln, NE414
3510Todd Dye (13 – Cat2)Corvallis, OR314
369Michael DiCenso (14 – Cat2)Seattle, WA327Mafia Racing
378Tim Joslin (15 – Cat2)Portland, OR321
387Peder Horner (1 – Cat3)Denver, CO361ColoBikeLaw.com
396David Sheek (16 – Cat2)Huntington Beach, CA326
405Adam Whitney (2 – Cat3)Waitsfield, VT362
414Chris Winans (17 – Cat2)Bend, OR420
423Robert Braun (22 – Cat1)Gardnerville, NV320
432Barney Gill (3 – Cat3)Vashon, WA344Cycle Therapy-4 Corners Cycling
440Chris Matthews (4 – Cat3)Redwood City, CA329Third Pillar
450Eric Bostrom (5 – Cat3)Las Vegas, NV425
460Jason Jablonski (18 – Cat2)Wenatchee, WA400
470Slate Olson (23 – Cat1)Portland, OR376Hup United
480Craig Virr (24 – Cat1)Austin, TX343Team Lifesize
490Nicholas Brown (6 – Cat3)Kirkland, WA384Boat Street Cycle Club (BSCC)/Recycled Cycles Racing
500Dean Poshard (25 – Cat1)Santa Cruz, CA378
510Andrew Rigel (26 – Cat1)Seattle, WA349Mafia Racing
520Michael Schindler (27 – Cat1)Bend, OR387
530Zachary Daab (19 – Cat2)Seattle, WA392Hup United
540Chip Sloan (20 – Cat2)Vancouver, WA413
550Eric Russell (21 – Cat2)San Anselmo, CA408
560Adam Carroll (7 – Cat3)Bend, OR419
570John Craft (8 – Cat3)Bend, OR388
590Alan Vos (22 – Cat2)Phoenix, OR409
600Ryan Brown (9 – Cat3)Richland, WA340Chinook Cycling Club Inc/Chinook Cycling
620Keith Heinzelman (10 – Cat3)Bainbridge Island, WA402
630Graham Christensen (23 – Cat2)Coeur D Alene, ID366Coeur d ‘Alene Velo Racers (CDAVR)/Vertical Earth
640Luke Mason (24 – Cat2)Bend, OR426
650Chad Berg (28 – Cat1)Arlington, WA407Pilchuck Cycling Club/Collision 1
660Andrew Weir (25 – Cat2)Ann Arbor, MI364Ann Arbor Velo Club/Two Wheel Tango/Morgan & York
670Mike Beretta (11 – Cat3)El Dorado Hills, CA357Team Revolutions
680Brian Fuller (26 – Cat2)Eagle, ID333Broken Spoke Cycling
690Mark Roughgarden (12 – Cat3)Kirkland, WA345Puget Sound Cycling Club
700Seth Graham (13 – Cat3)Bend, OR335
710Eric Teel (27 – Cat2)Ashland, OR367
720Christian Martin (14 – Cat3)Portland, OR371
730Justin Morgan (29 – Cat1)Portola Valley, CA397CalNorte VC Switchbacks
740Rick Jerabek (15 – Cat3)Seattle, WA347
750Aaron VanderWaal (16 – Cat3)Seattle, WA325Mafia Racing
760Mark Albrecht (17 – Cat3)Draper, UT372Revolution Cafe Rio
770Ron Shevock (28 – Cat2)Folsom, CA427Team Mad Cat
780Arthur Nease (18 – Cat3)Kirkland, WA386Seattle Super Squadra/Cucina Fresca Cycling Team
790Marcus Biancucci (19 – Cat3)Bend, OR365
800doug laplaca (30 – Cat1)Bend, OR421
810Greg Miranda (20 – Cat3)Bend, OR423
820Michael Prater (21 – Cat3)Seattle, WA322Lake Washington Velo/Hagens Berman Cycling
830Matthew Triska (22 – Cat3)San Francisco, CA429Squadra Ovest Cycling
840Jeffrey Bonsall (23 – Cat3)Lincoln, NE406
850James Gantz (24 – Cat3)Portland, OR416
860Darren Smith (25 – Cat3)Bend, OR332
870Alex Telitsine (26 – Cat3)Renton, WA417Thumbprint Racing/FareStart p/b Cobalt Mortgage
880Paul Hernandez (27 – Cat3)North Hollywood, CA405
890Jerry Bueno (28 – Cat3)Austin, TX355Team Hotel San Jose
900Jesus Ortega (29 – Cat3)Downey, CA380Celo Pacific
DNS0Alex WorkSanta Cruz, CA324
DNS0Brendan ConnollySeattle, WA328
DNS0Scott KeiperSeattle, WA330
DNS0Paul AdamsCortez, CO341
DNS0Eric DenningMeridian, ID342Treasure Valley Cycling Club/Team Reel Theatre
DNS0Marc BavineauGloucester, MA352Centraal Cycle Devo Team
DNS0Joshua RoeserMontrose, MN356Flat City Cycling Club Inc.
DNS0Joel LiefkeLangley, WA360Bikeman.com
DNS0Shane GibsonPortland, OR369
DNS0Oliver VramboutMarine, MN373Chilkoot Velo
DNS0Matthew KrausPleasantville, NY374North American Velo/North Atlantic Velo/ClassBook.com
DNS0Erik BergstromBend, OR375
DNS0Anthony CoandoSan Francisco, CA377Squadra Ovest Cycling
DNS0John CutlerWashington, DC382CycleLife/Raw Talent Ranch Racing
DNS0Edwin BullMendham, NJ385Van Dessel Factory Team
DNS0Andrew ShatzSan Francisco, CA391Team Roaring Mouse
DNS0Patrick MurphyFolsom, CA394Team Mad Cat
DNS0Jason SagerOgden, UT395Jamis Factory Team
DNS0Arn AllemandMeridian, ID401
DNS0Patrick WilderPortland, OR403
DNS0Daniel StudleyBothell, WA404Mafia Racing
DNS0Daniel LangloisPhiladelphia, PA411Bicycle Therapy
DNS0paul zweigartTurner, OR418
DNS0Dean DealyAptos, CA629Verge Sport/Test Pilot/Verge Sport / Test Pilot
DNF0Michael TrowbridgeBellingham, WA303
DNF0James BenderSeattle, WA306Berkeley Bicycle Club (BBC)
DNF0Rolando RomanAustin, TX307
DNF0Wayne MackeySparks, NV309
DNF0Gabriel KeckFairfax, CA310Summit Bicyles
DNF0Ariel BrownBoulder, CO313
DNF0Andrew KennedyMartinez, CA315CalNorte VC Switchbacks
DNF0Timothy SpenceFircrest, WA317Mafia Racing
DNF0Lane MillerLafayette, CO319