Kramer finding his footing on the off-camber on his way to the win. © Matt Lasala
Henry Kramer just defended his World Championship title in Goassau just five days ago, and while the two-time World Champ seems like he should have a stack of National Champ jerseys sitting in his closet, the truth of it is that this is his first National title, after a long string of second place finishes.
However, unlike the race at Worlds on Saturday, Kramer didn’t have a lock on the win until he took the sprint over his Cal-Giant teammate Norman Kreiss at the finish. The two had battled with Karl Keister (Great Divide Brewing Company) throughout the race, and going into the last lap, he had the lead on the Cal-Giant racers.
“I flew home for a night, kissed my wife, ran my dog, then flew here. It was a tough race,” he laughed.
The 55-59 men wind around the upper section of the course on Lap One. © Matthew Lasala
The race started with last year’s winner Bob Downs snagging the holeshot, but he didn’t keep the lead for long, and within half a lap, Kiester had moved into the lead with Kreiss close behind. Kramer told Cyclocross Magazine that he suffered a rough start and spent most of the race working his way back up to the lead group, sitting in eighth spot for much of the race. Coming into the last lap though, he had worked his way through the field and was hunting down Kreiss and Keister.
Downs kept up with the leaders for the first half of the race but faded into the third chase group, while John Wilson worked his way up steadily throughout. Russell Thornstrom was also in the mix, riding with Downs and Kramer after Kramer began to pick off racers.
Temmates Kramer and Kreis, once together, worked together to chased down Keister.
By two to go, the top three were determined, and it was Kreiss, Kramer and Kiester fighting for the win, and after a slight misstep on the stairs, Kiester fell behind the CalGiant racers, who would battle until the last second for the win.
Norm Kreis (l) and Henry Kramer (r) sprint for the win in the 50-54 men. © Mathew Lasala
“I was able to take control of that last lap. My gears weren’t shifting very well but… It was great. This is my first win. I finished second six times in cyclocross Nationals!” [Read and watch the full interview here.]
Results below gallery.
Henry Kramer Gets First National Title in Masters 55-59 at the 2014 National Championships – Gallery
2014 USA Cyclocross National Championships Men 55-59.csv
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.