Paul Haley (Red Zone Cycling) took the gold in the 9-10 race.  ©Brian Nelson

Paul Haley (Red Zone Cycling) took the gold in the 9-10 race. © Brian Nelson

Sometimes a race is won and lost on technical skills, the power in your legs, the air in your lungs, or pushing one’s self to the brutal limits.  Other times, a race is won on confidence alone.

[See the 9-10 Junior Men and Women race for the holeshot here]

When I asked Alison McKeithan (Evolution Jr. Devo Team) what the most challenging part of the course was, she stared at me with a look of surprise more than anything.  The winner of the Women’s 9-10 thought about her response, finally telling me that “there was nothing hard about that race.”  She rode her new disc brake mountain bike, complete with a carbon fork, around corners and through mud without much difficulty.  Isabella Meyers (Rad Racing NW) followed behind for a lone finish for second place.

Alison McKeithan (Evolution Jr. Devo Racing Team) took gold in the Women's 9-10 race.  ©Brian Nelson

Alison McKeithan (Evolution Jr. Devo Racing Team) took gold in the Women’s 9-10 race. ©Brian Nelson

Clair Beeler (Alpha Bicycle Co.-Vista Subaru) pumped her fist emphatically as she crossed the line for third.  She came out with a game plan.  As the Women’s 9-10 race bottle-necked on the staircases, with some riders having to lift their bikes over their heads to get them up the stairs, Beeler waited patiently.  She pulled into the off-camber in seventh place.  She leaped off her bike and ran while her fellow racers rolled into race tape and slammed on the breaks.  By the time the dust settled, she was sitting in second place.

Third place Seamus Keller (Boulder Junior Cycling). © Brian Nelson

Third place Seamus Keller (Boulder Junior Cycling). © Brian Nelson

On the Junior Men’s side of things, Paul Haley (Red Zone Cycling) jumped off to a fast start, swinging his bike side to side as he sprinted forward, creating a small gap.  He paced himself well, and never allowed himself to be caught for the remainder of the race.  Traveling from Louisville, KY, Haley has been racing for nearly four years now.  “The hilly section was technical and tricky…I just loved this course,” he told us before calling this his best result ever.

Kahill Bailey (Boulder Junior Cycling) finished in second.  He thought the course was very slippery, but he thought the stairs were the most difficult part.  “You were so tired once you got done with those,” he recalled, adding that in the end you just had to walk up them. Racing for two years, Bailey had a plan going into the race.  He pushed himself hard at the start and with every climb he could ride up.

With the 9-10 fields now filling with such experienced riders, we can only imagine good things for the future of American cyclocross’s role in the world.

Junior Men 9-10 Results - USA Cycling National Championships of Cyclocross 2014

Place
Bib
Last
First
Team
18HALEYPaulRed Zone Cycling
22BAILEYKahillBoulder Junior Cycling
310KELLERSeamusBoulder Junior Cycling
47CLINEKAYDENBoulder Junior Cycling
56CARTERJackNorthStar Development
612KINGParkerRad Racing NW
711KINGCardenBoulder Junior Cycling
81ALLWEINGianniCincinnati Cyclocross
916STACKPeter
105BONINicholasBoulder Junior Cycling
114BICKMORERandBoulder Junior Cycling
1214MARLATTJakeGroove Subaru Excel Sports
1317WATKINSMichaelOklahoma City Velo Club
149HUDSONJackFeedback Sports Racing
153BARNESRyanBoulder Junior Cycling
1615SIEGELSTONENoahBoulder Junior Cycling
DNF13LONGYannickBoulder Junior Cycling

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Junior Women 9-10 Results - USA Cycling National Championships of Cyclocross 2014

Place
Bib
Last
First
Team
121MCKEITHANAlisonEvolution Jr. Devo Team
222MEYERSIsabellaRad Racing NW
318BEELERClaireAlpha Bicycle Co.- Vista Subaru
419CLINEKayaBoulder Junior Cycling
524MUSGRAVEKaya
620KLANJSEKMargoAlpha Bicycle Co.- Vista Subaru
723MOORHEADAudreyAlpha Bicycle Co.- Vista Subaru

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.