Steve Tilford on the run-up for the last time. © Cyclocross Magazine

Steve Tilford on the run-up for the last time. © Cyclocross Magazine

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

BEND, ORE. – A nasty wintry mix awaited the Masters men’s races that started off today’s race action. The temperatures hovered around freezing and a cold rain coated racers and the course as the 50-54 year-old men took the course. Cycling legend and multi-time national champion Steve Tilford (Tradewind Energy-Trek) would slowly carve out a lead in the early goings, but by then end Tilford was in cruise control and would finish with 1:30 gap. Kevin Hines (Corner Cycle) looked to repeat his stars ‘n stripes-winning performance of last year, but an early crash would make for an all-but-insurmountable setback.

“A rider T-ed right into me when we first came onto the dirt,” said Hines. He would careen through the tape as the peloton continued to storm by, and went from his first-row start all the way back to 55th. Once Hines got up and going again, he had a ton of traffic to work back through, and another tangle as he attempted to pass riders resulted in more time on the ground.

At the front, Tilford was one of only a few riders in this group with the technical skills and formidable power to ride the run-up, and he led Bobby Langin (Platinum Performance), Karl Kiester (Cody Racing), Rich Cramer (Bicycle, Randy Iddings, Brett Lambert, Alan Blanchard (Westwood Velo) and Randy Shields (Carolina Masters).

Tilford continued to pour coals on the fire for the first lap and into the second lap, and built a 30-second lead. From there, Tilford told Cyclocross Magazine that he went into steady-state mode, and he continued to string together consistent power and lap times en route to a dominating win.

On the second lap, Langin botched his attempt to ride the run-up and had difficulty getting up and over the top. In the process, Cramer made his catch and powered passed him in the muddy straightaway immediately following.

Further back, Hines was steadily progressing through the pack, and was already threatening the top ten. He used his history as a top off-road motorcycle competitor to find the fastest lines and rail around the course. Once Hines hit open ground without traffic crowding him, he raised the pace and looked to be step-for-step with Tilford, albeit some two minutes back.

Hines came all the way up to Cramer, catching the Oregon riders just as they hit the stairs leading into the final lap, and the two would battle for second place. The pressure caused Cramer to bobble slightly at the top of the stairs, and before long Hines came around and set off in second place.The two would stay there, with Hines and Cramer claiming second and third, respectively, and Cramer duplicating his bronze medal performance of 2009.

Tilford had more than enough time to enjoy his final go-around and post up the victory as he crossed the line. The new 50-54 age division champion will be one of the older competitors also gunning for a result in the Elite race – in fact, that’s the event Tilford told Cyclocross Magazine that he’s targeting. “This is really just a warm-up for the Elite race, that’s what I really care about,” said Tilford.

That’s not an unrealistic goal – Tilford reported that he had to go out of his way to avoid getting UCI points during the season, since doing so would have made him ineligible for the Masters event. “I had to avoid getting UCI points in the UCI races I did.” At Jingle Cross he had to finish 11th or worse for the C2 races and in 16th or worse for the C1.

Last year Tilford missed the Championship race due to an injury the day before, but made the trip and was out cheering. But he’s won National titles in three of the last four years, with the last one in the 45+ division in Kansas City, near his home town of Topeka.

Update: More photos here.

Photo Gallery:

Full Results:

Place Points NameCity, StateTimeLicenseBibTeam
1150Stephen TilfordTopeka, KS0:43:0935598668Tradewind Energy/Trek
2135Kevin HinesEast Wareham, MA44:31:0016266651Mid State Cycling Club
3120Richard CramerBeaverton, OR45:00:008058658
4105Bobby Langin (1 – Cat2)Thousand Oaks, CA45:22:00254985700Platinum Performance Cycling Te
590Thomas PriceOverland Park, KS45:35:0028705713Mercy Cycling Team/Mercy Cycli
685Karl KiesterDenver, CO46:35:0049398695Cody Racing
780Brett LambertScotts Valley, CA46:58:00241560672
875Ron HuebnerWaterford, VA47:03:00145895698Evolution Cycling Club P/B Long
970Alan Blanchard (2 – Cat2)New City, NY47:14:00255105652Westwood Velo/Westwood Cycle/Tr
1065Robert MeighanSan Jose, CA47:38:0040227731California Giant Cycling/Califo
1160Edwin RambuskiSan Luis Obispo, CA47:54:0029071720Team Rambuski Law
1255Mark Henry (3 – Cat2)Incline Village, NV47:58:00121396696Team Clover
1350Jim Miller (4 – Cat2)Portland, OR48:18:0054985699
1445John WilsonCorvallis, OR48:20:00222495708
1540Randy IddingsEnumclaw, WA48:24:0094612729
1638Tim James (1 – Cat3)Lafayette, CO48:50:00271425724Foxtrot-Echelon Racing
1736Bill Reed (5 – Cat2)Eagle, ID48:57:00104415655
1834Joseph Burtoni (6 – Cat2)Durango, CO49:01:005632686Durango Wheel Club/Rocky Mounta
1932Michael Nyberg (2 – Cat3)Bend, OR49:08:0040773725
2030Roy Colven (7 – Cat2)Seattle, WA49:15:00285221687Union Bay Cycling/Bikesale.Com
2128Rudy Sroka (8 – Cat2)N Royalton, OH49:39:0033715703Lake Effect Cycling Team
2226Brad Laesch (3 – Cat3)Seattle, WA49:44:002010970720/20 Fuel
2324William Kuster (4 – Cat3)Anoka, MN49:44:0059499706Loon State Cyclists
2422John Weyhrich (9 – Cat2)Missoula, MT49:49:0037860659Team Stampede/Five Valley Velo
2520John ThompsonShoreview, MN49:50:0063849723St Paul Bicycle Racing Club
2718Pete Krumins (10 – Cat2)Tacoma, WA50:02:00207996654Old Town Bicycle (Otb)/Old Town
2817Wayne Barlow (5 – Cat3)Lyme, NH50:37:002609719New Hampshire Cycling Club
2916Alan Ott (11 – Cat2)Eugene, OR50:58:00302636711
3015Jim Gentes (12 – Cat2)Soquel, CA51:07:0013042662Team Rambuski Law
3114Paul (rhino) Marquart (6 – Cat3)Tacoma, WA51:09:00136628704
3213Joe Fabris (7 – Cat3)Los Gatos, CA51:11:00189959670
3312Doug Smith (13 – Cat2)Bend, OR51:17:00302682718
3411Paule Bates (14 – Cat2)San Francisco, CA51:19:00112364663Team Roaring Mouse
3510Don Wright (8 – Cat3)Bend, OR51:19:00328910721
369Karl Ehlert (9 – Cat3)Redwood City, CA51:22:0010559685Alto Velo Racing Club
378Joseph Hoerner (10 – Cat3)Portland, OR51:25:00305351688
387Shawn Downing (11 – Cat3)Baltimore, MD51:35:0045276683
396John VergisPortland, OR51:39:00330750701
405Richard Stone (15 – Cat2)Half Moon Bay, CA51:54:0034282656Sterling Sports Group
414William Stevens (16 – Cat2)Bolton, MA51:58:0034102677Mid State Cycling Club/Gear Wor
423Darrell DavisSalt Lake Cty, UT52:08:008770664
432John Bliss (12 – Cat3)Boulder, CO52:18:0083145671Justin’S / Titus Mountain Bike
440Logan KelseyMill Valley, CA@1Lap18851730Team Rambuski Law
450Thane Jennings (17 – Cat2)Hermiston, OR@1Lap17767666
460Thomas Prehn (18 – Cat2)Boulder, CO@1Lap53465674Rockymounts~Izze Racing
470Roger Joys (19 – Cat2)Portland, OR@1Lap82969681
480Alan OverholtRancho Cordova, CA@1Lap329110691Team Revolutions
490Kevin Raymond (13 – Cat3)Seattle, WA@1Lap272601714Union Bay Cycling/Bikesale.Com
500Brian Smith (14 – Cat3)Bend, OR@1Lap131413728Webcyclery Racing/Webcyclery.Co
510Daniel Davis (15 – Cat3)Bend, OR@1Lap51610684Webcyclery Racing/Webcyclery.Co
520Tim Ellerbruch (16 – Cat3)Lakeoswego, OR@2Lap302573653
530Jeff Traugott (17 – Cat3)Santa Cruz, CA@2Lap328882732
540John Seivert (18 – Cat3)Grass Valley, CA@2Lap212792689Sert/Sho-Air
550Ambrose Su (20 – Cat2)Bend, OR@2Lap34532733
560William Macy (19 – Cat3)Statesville, NC@2Lap255531709Carolina Masters /Carolina Mast
570David Smith (20 – Cat3)Portland, OR@2Lap302550679
580James Thiele (21 – Cat2)Hillsboro, OR@2Lap220305665
590Mitchell Moses (21 – Cat3)Birmingham, AL@2Lap303934694
600David Williams (22 – Cat3)Cypress, CA@2Lap300925678Celo Pacific
610Brian Blackwell (23 – Cat3)Jeffersonville, IN@2Lap137673722Rogue Racing Project
620David Queen (24 – Cat3)Shoreline, WA@2Lap23644169720/20 Fuel