McDonald has time to celebrate. © Janet Hill

McDonald has time to celebrate. © Janet Hill

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

Once again, Zach McDonald (U. Washington) rode up to the start line of the Men’s Collegiate Championships looking for revenge after missing the top podium spot of the U23. And, once again, he delivered, taking home his second Collegiate Jersey.

The race wasn’t his from the gun, however, as Braden Kappius (UC Boulder) took the hole shot and set the pace for the opening lap. McDonald, looking collected and focused, stayed on Kappius’ wheel. Soon, Eric Thompson (Lees-McRae) joined and the three quickly established a gap.

As the three battled at the front, Kappius’ early effort began to show and he slipped off the wheels of McDonald and Thompson. From then on, it was McDonald’s race, as his smooth technical skills kept Thompson fighting to hold on. McDonald wasn’t shaking him, however, and the race looked to remain tight to the finish before disaster struck Thompson. On the thick, tacky mud of the lower bowl, Thompson attempted to power by McDonald when the effort snapped his derailleur. It would cost Thompson the chance at gold, but he was undeterred – he shouldered the bike and began the long, half-lap run to the pits as he watched McDonald ride away.

Crashes in the straights were quite common - Rutgers shows how to do it in style. © Janet Hill

Crashes in the straights were quite common - Rutgers shows how to do it in style. © Janet Hill

“Unfortunately Eric snapped his derailleur,” said Mcdonald, “which is a bummer, no one wants to win that way. I feel really bad for him, he was riding great, sticking on my wheel the whole time. It was really going to be a fun and interesting last couple of laps, but unfortunately he had some really terrible luck. It’s a bummer to see that happen, but, it happens, you know? He didn’t hit a spectator, though [smiles].”

Behind them, Chris Hurst (UC Boulder) was riding his own race, slowly making ground on the leaders. He caught up to Bradford Perley (Lees-McRae), and the two together overtook Kappius. In a great show of strength and tenacity, Thompson clawed his way up to this group after getting his pit bike, but not before Hurst had launched his bid for second and had a clear gap.

“The U23 race yesterday really took it out of my legs,” said Hurst. “But I finally came around after a few laps. Racing with these guys is just awesome. I didn’t really know what to expect. I was tired, it was an early start. I just wanted to go out and have fun and race hard, and that’s what I did. I tried not to kill myself too early because I knew if I burned too many matches I wouldn’t have anything for the end. So I just settled in.“

With plenty of room to enjoy his victory, McDonald relaxed after his final run on the stairs and took time to clap hands with his many fans lining the finishing straight. A charging Hurst came in soon after, followed by Perley, Kappius, and then Thompson.

McDonald Happy After Securing His Second Collegiate National Title. © Cyclocross Magazine

Though McDonald made it look easy, he was quick to say otherwise. “The course is really tough. You can try to just set a tempo and motor around, and that’s all I was trying to do. It worked out. “

“I started four rows back,” said 3rd place Purley. “I knew this initial section has had some pileups, like the U23 race yesterday, and everyone was expecting a crash on the inside, I think, so they were all riding outside and the inside line was clear. I made up a few spots there. It’s pointless to try to pass on the real rough stuff, there’s only four or five distinct lines you can ride, so I just tried to stay behind people and draft on the pavement and just punch around when I could, I think there were three or four sections of the course where you could really put power down and all the rest of the time just try to ride smooth. I saw my teammate Eric Thompson riding second, I heard on the intercom he was battling with MacDonald so it was awesome to hear that, I was doing my best to get up there and help but I couldn’t quite make it. Hats off to both the CU guys, they were flying and riding real strong. I caught up to them and got off the front a little bit, and then they pulled me right back. They were working together real well, with three to go, two to go we were all together and Chris put in an attack which kinda separated us out and I was able to pull him back and Brady was starting to dangle a little bit. I pulled Hurst in with about half a lap to go, and we were riding right on each other, but I couldn’t quite get around him. It’s tough to get around people, unless you’re on the pavement, and then you’ll just lose the draft. I tried to get around him in the mud here at the bottom of the stairs and slipped up a little bit and lost some time, but he was riding real smooth.”

Photo Gallery:

Full Results:

Place Points NameCity, StateTimeBibTeam
1150Zach McDonaldBainbridge Island, WA0:41:30151University Of Washington-Seattl
2135Chris HurstLake Geneva, WI41:38:00191University Of Colorado-Boulder
3120Bradford PerleyBanner Elk, NC41:43:00173Lees-Mcrae College
4105Braden KappiusLittleton, CO42:14:00207University Of Colorado-Boulder
590Eric ThompsonBanner Elk, NC42:19:00184Lees-Mcrae College
685Colton AndersenDurango, CO42:36:00167Fort Lewis College
780Eric EmskyFall City, WA43:11:00217Fort Lewis College
875Brian SheedyBanner Elk, NC43:20:00206Lees-Mcrae College
90Rotem IshayDurango, CO43:39:00161Fort Lewis College
1065Jack HinkensEden Prairie, MN44:12:00187Fort Lewis College
1160Clayton OmerLouisville, KY44:38:00190Appalachian State University
1255Lucas PerezDurango, CO45:02:00287Fort Lewis College
1350Brendan ShaferDurango, CO45:08:00211Fort Lewis College
1445Chris JacksonSan Luis Obispo, CA45:17:00202California Polytechnic-San Luis
1540Adam LeibovitzIndianapolis, IN45:22:00200Marian University
1638Alder MartzCharlotte, NC45:28:00178Marian University
1736Christopher HamlinJonesville, VT45:34:00193University Of Vermont
1834Patrick BradleyRichwood, NJ46:02:00176Rutgers University-New Brunswic
1932Kerry WernerBanner Elk, NC46:03:00203Lees-Mcrae College
2030Gregory CarpenterCanton, CT46:11:00157Fort Lewis College
2128Alex RyanLewisville, NC46:29:00155Appalachian State University
2226Weston LuzadderCarmel, IN46:42:00214Marian University
2324Jordan GillespieBanner Elk, NC46:51:00210Lees-Mcrae College
2422Christopher BogedinRochester, MI47:17:00182Lindsey Wilson College
2520Robert DahlBerkeley, CA47:26:00180University Of California-Berkel
26ExpStefan SweckerMaryville, TN47:32:00228591154Lindsey Wilson College
2718Joseph WelshCordova, TN47:54:00259649192Lees-Mcrae College
2817Kip SpaudeWatertown, WI48:24:00199775140Lindsey Wilson College
2916Reid BeloniBoone, NC48:31:00221018170Appalachian State University
3015Christopher DaleRaleigh, NC48:33:00210339159Lees-Mcrae College
3114Charles ThompsonEwing, NJ48:46:00259535216Rutgers University-New Brunswic
320Zeb KingRutherfordton, NC48:52:003077516198Appalachian State University
3312Ryan ClevelandDurango, CO48:52:00210683188Fort Lewis College
3411Joshua NagodeSheboygan, WI48:53:00174734166Lindsey Wilson College
3510John HerrickContoocook, NH48:59:00296573183University Of Vermont
369Johnathan FreterColumbus, OH49:29:00266654172Lindsey Wilson College
378Matthew DooleyYreka, CA49:30:00258110196Lindsey Wilson College
387Kyle ShourAlbuquerque, NM49:30:00234308160University Of New Mexico
396Matthew MainerHinesburg, VT50:03:00229526175University Of Vermont
405Joseph KukollaIndianapolis, IN50:24:00187714179Marian University
414David StrootSt. Charles, MO50:25:00273581201Lindenwood University
420Blair BronsonCorvallis, OR50:28:00330510199Oregon State University
432Matthew BatheNew Brunswick, NJ50:52:00273257158Rutgers University-New Brunswic
440Sean SevillaLafayette, CA50:54:00238706195University Of California-Berkel
450Evan SchmittRoslyn, WA51:15:00194871156University Of Washington-Seattl
460Daniel WilliamsMurphysboro, IL@1Lap227015177Lindenwood University
470Justin EvansBoone, NC@1Lap267363185Appalachian State University
480Peter DeucherIndianapolis, IN@1Lap225739153Marian University
490Russell WillifordCorvallis, OR@1Lap229467152Oregon State University
500Pat TerryMapleton, UT@1Lap293984205Utah Valley University
510Kendal JohnsonBend, OR@1Lap302677169California Polytechnic-San Luis
520Brendan LehmanSanta Cruz, CA@1Lap285173189University Of California-Santa
530Joseph JohnsonProvo, UT@1Lap311991209Utah Valley University
540Jake ZimmermanColumbia, KY@1Lap212663171Lindsey Wilson College
550Brandon FeeheryHomewood, IL@1Lap193035212Lindenwood University
560Adam LooneyLaramie, WY@1Lap283977162University Of Wyoming
570Kent NewmanOakland, CA@1Lap226111197University Of California-Berkel
580David YoheWilloughby, OH@1Lap290032164Marian University
590Benjamin GrierClemson, SC@1Lap275075174Clemson University
600Taylor LaddPaducah, KY@1Lap246264181Lindsey Wilson College
610Matthew WilsonOrem, UT@3Lap301884194Utah Valley University
620James StoutLajolla, CA@3Lap286392165University Of California-San Di
63ExpSean-Ross McCoyBanner Elk, NC@3Lap274112204Lees-Mcrae College
640Colin SmithClemson, SC@3Lap307414208Clemson University
650Travis FinanDefiance, MO@3Lap307713186Lindenwood University
660Isaiah NewkirkIndianapolis, IN@3Lap282064168Marian University
DNS0Justin BursteinPalo Alto, CADNS279706215Stanford University