It seemed to be a sure thing that defending multi-time National Champion Emma White would take the win in the 17-18 race this morning. But, as we all know, in cyclocross, anything can happen, and no matter how good your track record is, mechanicals can end races for even the best.
Hannah Arensman taking the 15-16 Women’s win at Nationals. © Mike Albright
With two races taking off just a minute apart—the women’s 17-18 and 15-16— it was a matter of minutes before the fields began to combine and calling the racing action became hard on the announcers as racers like Hannah Arensman (Evolution Jr. Devo Team) moved through the earlier 17-18 field and into the top of the race in front. It was a similar story to last year, when Emma White moved from the 15-16 field to the top three of the 17-18 field, despite the minute deficit.
In the 17-18 field, Dygert (Midwest Developmental Cycling Inc) took the holeshot, but Emma White (Cyclocrossworld) was quick to take the lead, building a gap of nearly 30 seconds. The race was only 30 minutes, a three-lap affair, and White’s lead stayed steady at 30 seconds while KK Santos (Red Zone Cycling) and Dygert chased. Behind them, Ksenia Lepikhina was also working hard to hold on to the leaders.
While it isn’t clear what happened in the last lap, White’s lead dwindled as Santos moved up, and Santos told CXM that she had passed White heading into the barriers, then heard White scream and saw her wheel come off in a barrier mishap. “I had to take advantage of that,” Santos later said. “I passed her, and then I heard her scream. I was surprised when I passed her, this is Emma White, she should be kicking my butt!”
After that, Santos stepped on the gas and worked to stave off Laurel Rathburn (TWENTY16 Pro Cycling), who was slowly chipping away at the gap between them, with Lepikhina close on their heels. Coming in to the finishing straight, Santos had the lead—barely—and put her head down and sprinted to ensure the win.
“I can’t believe I just did that. So excited,” she wheezed at the end of the race. “I thought I would do well, but not that well. I love the mud though. I’m so happy.”
KK Santos snags the 17-18 title. © Mike Albright
In the 15-16 race, Ashley Zoerner (Alpha Bicycle Co) took the holeshot. However, it was Arensman who emerged quickly as the leader and made her way through the 17-18 field, followed by Mina Anderberg (Sports TEAM). Zoerner followed behind them, along with Summer Moak. “I got the gap on the straightaways and the hill, they were good power sections,” Arensman explained.
However, Arensman couldn’t be beat, and handily took the win on her disc-brake equipped Felt. “They’re amazing,” she said of the brakes. “They stopped on anything!”
“I’ve never won cyclocross Nationals before,” she said, though she’s raced three of them now. “It’s hard, it’s like, who’s 15-16, who’s 17-18, who am I racing?!”
Results below gallery.
Santos and Arensman Snag Junior Women 17-18 and 15-16 Titles at the 2014 National Cyclocross Championships – Gallery
Junior Women 15-16 Results - USA Cycling National Championships of Cyclocross 2014
|1||302||ARENSMAN||Hannah||Evolution Jr. Devo Team|
|3||316||ZOERNER||Ashley||Alpha Bicycle Co.- Vista Subaru|
|4||312||MOAK||Summer||TWENTY16 Pro Cycling|
|5||309||LINDER||Jessie||Get Out! New Mexico|
|7||300||ADAMS||Kennedy||WAS Labs Cycling|
|10||314||SHAW||Elizabeth||The Bike Lane|
|11||311||MALLORY||Shannon||Fanatik Bike Co. Cycling Team|
|12||304||CARLIN||Claire||Boulder Junior Cycling|
|13||313||MOORHEAD||Allison||Alpha Bicycle Co.- Vista Subaru|
|14||303||BEATTY||Alijah||Iowa City Cycling Club|
|17||307||GREEN||Hannah||BYRDS (Boise Young Rider Dev Sq|
|18||315||VAN MALDEGIAM||Amelia||Spin Doctor Cyclewerks Cycling|
Junior Women 17-18 Results - USA Cycling National Championships of Cyclocross 2014
|1||354||SANTOS||Katherine||Red Zone Cycling|
|5||340||DEHORNEY||Tiziana||Get Out! New Mexico|
|7||359||WILLIAMS||Kirsten||TWENTY16 Pro Cycling|
|9||338||CASEBOLT||Andrea||Rad Racing NW|
|11||356||SMITH||McCauley||Boulder Junior Cycling|
|12||342||DYGERT||Chloe||Midwest Development Cycling Inc|
|13||351||ORTENBLAD||Maddie||Bear Development Team|
|14||343||FALK||Emily||Red Zone Cycling|
|16||350||MORRIS||Marta||TWENTY16 Pro Cycling|
|18||353||RYAN||Katie||Bend Endurance Academy|
|19||337||ADAMS||Savannah||Prestige Imports/Porsche/Audi R|
|20||346||KEESLER||Elizabeth||Liberty Cycle Inc.|
|22||348||LUCKE||Jenny||Naked Women's Racing|
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.