Matt Pacocha wins the 30-34 Baby Masters race. © Tim Westmore

Matt Pacocha wins the 30-34 Baby Masters race. © Tim Westmore

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

At the gun, Eric Rasmussen (KUHL) threw himself off the front and quickly gained a comfortable solo lead over chasers Mathew Pacocha (Hudz-Subaru), Weston Schempf (Charm City Cycling LLC) and Ryan Leech (Hilton Head Cycling). The riders caught Rasmussen after he bobbled near the run-up, and for a few moments the four rode together.

Soon, however, Pacocha decided it was time to assert himself and launched a powerful attack that would see him soloing all the way to the finish, crossing the line over forty seconds ahead of the next in line. “I just tried to ride smooth the whole race,” said Pacocha. “I just took it out hard, and kinda stayed calm, waited to see how long they were gonna go, and then I just kept riding my own speed. I got a little worried when they kept saying I wasn’t the fastest guy out there, so I thought I was getting caught.”

Pacocha got a fast start, gave up the lead and then took it over for good. © Cyclocross Magazine

Pacocha got a fast start, gave up the lead and then took it over for good. © Cyclocross Magazine

“The course eats up all your power, which was a mental battle for me to just keep going, honestly. Over here [by the brewery] it was just brutal. Sloggy and soupy and and power-sucking.”

“I’m excited about returning to defend next year,” Pacocha said. He plans on forgoing UCI racing next season to focus on Masters in Louisville.

The big battle of the race was for second place. Cody Peterson passed Eric Rasmussen on the second lap to move into third and set off after Schempf. “Some lines opened up that I didn’t expect – I was able to maneuver through the field,” said Peterson. He then moved ahead of Schmepf and held a slim margin until the Mid-Atlantic rider pulled out all the stops in the final minutes of the race. Schempf chose to run the thick grassy and muddy slog towards the stairs and briefly passed Peterson as they battled to be first on the stairs. Peterson upped the pace, and regained a tenuous lead, then Schempf outkicked him on the pavement.

“That was one of the hardest things I’ve done in a long time,” said Schempf. “Just trying to stay upright. Once I saw Matt [Pacocha] get away, that was pretty much the end, we were racing for second place.

“I saw he was pretty strong in the thick stuff,” Schempf said of Peterson on the last lap. “But he was using a lot of energy and when we got to the straights, he was bogging down so I figured what the heck, why not run it, see what happens, no harm no foul.

“I feel I saved some energy because he was really struggling to get out there. So when I saw him on the stairs, he was suffering, so I tried to punch it. I took a smoother line, took the high side on that thing and cut him off a little bit. It’s my last year in this category, so I get to do it all over again next year!”

“[Schempf] got me at the end,” said Peterson. “I gave everything I could and he out rode me at the end of the last lap.”

“I gave it everything I had,” he continued. “So I’m happy with that. He was running it towards the stairs – when I saw that, I was worried, because I knew that he was going to do better on the steps than me. I was suffering on the steps, it wasn’t quite steep enough for the power I have. I think mentally he got me there a little bit, but I just kept trying. I tried to go into the big ring where he passed me [on the final stretch of grass], and that’s where I fell back.”

Peterson doing his best to keep second place. © Cyclocross Magazine

Peterson doing his best to keep second place. © Cyclocross Magazine

Peterson’s relatively new to cyclocross, and his fellow Bend resident, Canadian national cyclocross champion Chris Sheppard, was the one who got him started. Sheppard was out cheering on his teammate, and at one point got so excited running around and trying to snap photos that he dropped his camera in the mud. “Sheppard was the first guy to give me a shot as a Pro mountain biker about 10 years ago, so I was super-excited when he thought of me for the Rocky Mountain cyclocross team,” said Peterson.

Peterson chose to run tubeless, which he said he likes, but he did flat one in the singlespeed race. “It cost me a podium spot. I like the tubeless system. As a mountain bike racer, it really makes sense to run tubeless – I’m not a tubular guy, I hate running those things,” he said.

One racer who had a superb ride was fourth place finisher Damian Schmitt, who had a huge following cheering for him here at Bend –including two vocal women with blue satin capes who led a group running alongside Schmitt on the grass section after the stairs. We caught up with him to hear about his race.

“I had a great start,” he said, “and we came through the grass by Deschutes Brewery where my supporters are at the Sunnyside tent, we rounded the corner and I was riding the grass lines, and I hit one of the stakes. I pre-rode it with Adam Myerson, and we talked about it – the fastest lines are along the stakes, but the risks are hitting them, and I did it, right on the first lap and I went sliding on my back. I kind of thought it was over on the first lap, and 10 or 12 guys passed me.

“I just started riding hard, I kept riding the tape, and not everyone was doing that. I’d find little patches of grass and move a few pedal strokes faster and close some ground. I felt really fast after the pavement, after turn 1 all along the pits and the off-cambers after the pits where there were some falls.

“If you’d asked me a couple of weeks ago, I would’ve said that I thought I’d win this race. But after Portland I was a little down – Matt and Josh Snead were way ahead of me at the GPs. So, I was hoping for a top 10. I was calm all week, and I think that played a part, and I live five minutes away.

“The local factor was amazing, I had so many friends out here from in town, or from Portland that know me now. That wall of sound – every time up the stairs, I could barely move my legs, but I knew I had to take two stairs at a time and make my way to the front. That left line along the tape after the stairs was really fast, and if you just cut right for that corner you’d have a really good line for the pavement. [This is the same line that Baker took to win the 35-39 race]

“I’ve done Masters Nats twice, once in Kansas City and once here, and both times I met with mechanicals after riding good races. I felt like I’d won, I was so excited.”

Photo Gallery:

Full Results:

Place Points NameCity, StateBibTeam
1150Matthew Pacocha (1 – Cat1)Boulder, CO278Hudz-Subaru
2135Weston Schempf (2 – Cat1)Bethesda, MD203Charm City Cycling LLC
3120Cody Peterson (3 – Cat1)Bend, OR215
4ExpDamian SchmittBend, OR226
590John Curry (4 – Cat1)Bozeman, MT247Gallatin Valley Bicycle Club/Gallatin Alpine Sports/Intrinsik Archite
685Josh Snead (5 – Cat1)Larkspur, CA248
780Ryan Leech (6 – Cat1)Savannah, GA239Hilton Head Cycling
875Brett Nichols (7 – Cat1)Garden City, ID206Trek Mountain Co-op
970Brue Syvertsen (1 – Cat2)San Francisco, CA265MURDER
1065Jared Nieters (8 – Cat1)Haymarket, VA281Haymarket Bicycles
1160Jesse RientsShakopee, MN205
1255Davy Yeater (9 – Cat1)Portland, OR263River City Bicycles / Cannondale
1350Adam Driscoll (10 – Cat1)Halethorpe, MD270Adventures for the Cure
1445Krishna Dole (2 – Cat2)San Mateo, CA255
1540Eric Rasmussen (11 – Cat1)Bountiful, UT241KUHL
1638Brandon Gritters (12 – Cat1)Mission Viejo, CA231Rock N Road
1736Ross Brody (1 – Cat3)Salem, OR221
1736Justin Morejohn (2 – Cat3)Davis, CA277Davis Bike Club
1932Seth Patla (13 – Cat1)Hillsboro, OR234
2030Ty Kady (3 – Cat2)Brea, CA269
2128Wiley Mosley (4 – Cat2)Austin, TX272North American Velo
2226Luke DeMoe (3 – Cat3)Eugene, OR225
2324Matthew Fox (14 – Cat1)Bend, OR208
2422Paul LaCava (5 – Cat2)Portland, OR254
2520Matthew Wills (15 – Cat1)Portland, OR204
2619Christopher Fisher (16 – Cat1)Inver Grove Hieghts, MN236velorochester
2718Matthew Pronovost (6 – Cat2)Steamboat Springs, CO271Steamboat Velo p/d MOOTS
2817Matt Russell (4 – Cat3)Bend, OR232
2916John Frey (7 – Cat2)Bend, OR252Hutch’s Westside Bend OR
3015Benjamin Rathkamp (8 – Cat2)Bellingham, WA279Shuksan Velo Club/Fanatik Bike Co.
3114Benjamin Dodge (9 – Cat2)San Jose, CA260Los Gatos Bicycle Racing Club
3213Daniel Miller (5 – Cat3)Columbia, MO249Columbia Bike Club Race Team
3312Aaron Wilcher (6 – Cat3)San Francisco , CA276
3411Michael Kennedy (10 – Cat2)Louisville, KY257Fetzer
3510Adam Mills (17 – Cat1)Lawrence, KS224Mercy Cycling Team
369David Wilcox (11 – Cat2)Jamaica Plain, MA212Pedro’s Grassroots Cycling Club
378jeremy whitman (12 – Cat2)Boise, ID282Broken Spoke Cycling
387aaron mickels (13 – Cat2)Camano Island, WA240
396Dylan VanWeelden (7 – Cat3)Portland, OR243
405Patrick Blair (14 – Cat2)Halethorpe, MD259Adventures for the Cure
414Matt James (15 – Cat2)St. Louis, MO237Mesa Cycles Shop and Racing Team
423George Barthel (18 – Cat1)Sherman Oaks, CA219Helen’s
432Alan Adams (16 – Cat2)Seattle, WA223Lake Washington Velo/Hagens Berman Cycling
440Jason Siegle (19 – Cat1)Costa Mesa, CA216Bike Religion
450Jeremy Dunn (17 – Cat2)Portland, OR284
460Brian Holcombe (8 – Cat3)Ftcollins, CO267
470Alex Wilson (18 – Cat2)Seattle, WA286Boat Street Cycle Club (BSCC)
480Eric Zuber (9 – Cat3)Boise, ID256Bobs Bicycles Cycling Club
490Gabriel Byrne (10 – Cat3)San Francisco, CA258Squadra Ovest Cycling
500Evan Sarna (11 – Cat3)Oakland, CA2683rd Rail Cycling Club/Missing Link Bicycle Co-op
510Gregory Lyeki (12 – Cat3)St. Louis, MO209Manchester Racing Club/Trek Bicycle Store of St Louis
520Chandler Delinks (13 – Cat3)Ipswich, MA285Cyclocrossworld
530Andrew Boone (20 – Cat1)Bend, OR227
540Paul Guerra (14 – Cat3)Los Gatos, CA242Alto Velo Racing Club/Webcor/Alto Velo
550Forest Hynes (15 – Cat3)Chicago, IL250Johnny Sprockets
570Anthony Broadman (16 – Cat3)Bend, OR246
580Justin Howe (17 – Cat3)Arlington, MA235Northeast Bicycle Club (NEBC)/NEBC/Cycle Loft/Devonshire Dental
590Jeffrey Bramhall (18 – Cat3)Watertown, MA217Threshold Cycling
600Gregory Saylor (19 – Cat3)Frederick, MD222Adventures for the Cure
610Matthew Hennessy (20 – Cat3)Baltimore, MD233Charm City Cycling LLC
620Rey Madolora (21 – Cat3)Austin, TX211
630Jay Kwan (22 – Cat3)Carlsbad, CA266The TEAM /The TEAM SoCalCross
640Jared Vigil (23 – Cat3)Seattle, WA230
650Christopher Bassett (24 – Cat3)Los Angeles, CA262Mafia Racing
660Adam Stern (25 – Cat3)Bothell, WA214Puget Sound Cycling Club
670Daniel Breyer (26 – Cat3)Carlsbad, CA275
680Joseph Czerwonka (27 – Cat3)Louisville, KY202
690Daniel Fuhrmann (28 – Cat3)Rolla, MO283
700Terry Deeble (29 – Cat3)Boise, ID251
710Nicholas Salerno (30 – Cat3)Hillsborough, NJ273DeathRow Velo
720Noah Silverman (31 – Cat3)Reno, NV213Reno Wheelmen
730Stephen Riskus (32 – Cat3)Silver Spring, MD261All American Bicycle Club Inc./All American Bicycle Center
740Eddie Wang (33 – Cat3)Portland, OR228
DNS0Matt ShriverDurango, CO207
DNS0Aaron OdellSan Jose, CA210
DNS0Chuck MeyerBend, OR220
DNS0Geoff CaseySeattle, WA245Stranamanti Cycling/Keller Rohrback Cycling
DNS0Justin MakaAlbuquerque, NM253Ten Speed Drive Racing/Ten Speed Drive / BH Bicycles
DNS0Ryan WeaverPortland, OR264River City Bicycles
DNS0Nate DenningBoise, ID280Treasure Valley Cycling Club/Team Reel Theatre
DQ0Jay ArmstrongBoise, ID238GS Casella/Look! Save a Life
DNF0Rob BrandtSparks, NV218Kryki Sports
DNF0Brad ColeFort Collins, CO244KCCX Verge Elite Cyclocross Team
DNF0Matt ClinePortland, OR287
DNF0Peter VraniakSeattle, WA288