Running across the finish line on foot ahead of a sprinting Jamey Driscoll (Clement) is probably not how Stephen Hyde (Cannondale Cyclocrossworld) envisioned winning his first U.S. Cyclocross National Championship, but it will suffice for the red-haired rider.

Stephen Hyde (Cannondale Cyclocrossworld) pulled out all the stops in the Elite Men’s race. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Men. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Stephen Hyde (Cannondale Cyclocrossworld) pulled out all the stops in the Elite Men’s race. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Men. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

“You never know how races are going to work out, and this is a particularly epic race course and conditions. So it went as good as it could’ve gone.”

After taking the lead midway through the race, Hyde dominated the latter portion of the race until a mechanical-plagued last half lap almost dashed his National Championship dream.

Stephen broke his rear derailleur hanger with just three turns before the finishing straight. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Men. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Stephen broke his rear derailleur hanger with just three turns before the finishing straight. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Men. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Hyde hit the back half of the course with a 15-second gap back to Driscoll when he suffered a flat front tire. Already past the pits, Hyde was forced to continue riding on the damaged front tire as Driscoll made one final late-race surge to get back to him.

With the finish line in sight, Hyde suffered a second, more catastrophic mechanical on the last off-camber before the steep elite-only section. His flat front tire slipped out on the icy, rutted off-camber and when he crashed to the ground, he broke his derailleur hanger, leaving the component dangling lifelessly off his bike.

After summiting the run-up, Hyde coasted down the descent onto the start/finish straight. He gave a few skateboard pushes on the pavement, looked back, and when he saw Driscoll’s new red Clement kit rounding the corner, he hopped off his bike and sprinted the last few meters with his bike raised above his head.

Hyde said ultimately, it was the gap he built up that gave him the win, “I was focused. I was terrified. I had a front flat tire for the last half lap. Jamey [Driscoll] was coming pretty good. And another mechanical right before the line. It was hairy, for sure, but I had a good gap built up, and it worked out.”

Jamey Driscoll came on strong, knowing anything could happen, and he almost repeated teammate Lance Haidet's stunning, last-minute U23 win. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Men. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Jamey Driscoll came on strong, knowing anything could happen, and he almost repeated teammate Lance Haidet’s stunning, last-minute U23 win. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Men. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Fast Start for Eckmann

Hyde took the holeshot and led the racers into the first trip up the embankment, but once on the top, he crashed while trying to ride the narrow high line at the top of the unique feature. A traffic jam formed behind Hyde, and the lower line emerged as the better choice for the first lap.

The climb up the run-up proved to be the racer's first geometry and running test. Riding the low line initially proved faster but conditions changed, making it harder to ride. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships - Elite Men. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

The climb up the run-up proved to be the racer’s first geometry and running test. Riding the low line initially proved faster but conditions changed, making it harder to ride. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships – Elite Men. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Hyde said this mistake made his challenge on Sunday a bit tougher:

“I had a mishap. I got the holeshot and did exactly what I wanted to do, but then I kind of slipped on the run-up and I just got clobbered. I mean those guys just came running up over me. I just made mistake after mistake the first 45 seconds of the race, and it’s critical there. So I had some ground to make up and I made some smart moves where I could, and had some battling with Jonathan Page back and forth, and luckily was able to pedal my way back up.”

Allen Krughoff followed Yannick Eckmann's lead by taking the low line and riding it. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Men. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Allen Krughoff followed Yannick Eckmann’s lead by taking the low line and riding it. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Men. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

One of the beneficiaries of Hyde’s mishap was Yannick Eckmann (Boulder Cycle-Sport/YogaGlo). Eckmann rode half of the embankment section along the bottom before running up the hill. He was able to open up a sizeable gap heading off the levee as the other riders dealt with the melee behind Eckmann.

Powers flew the Aspire flag but two crashes hurt his title chances. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Men. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Powers flew the Aspire flag but two crashes hurt his title chances. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Men. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

One of the riders caught in traffic was three-time defending National Champion Jeremy Powers. Powers fell behind Hyde and then suffered a major crash in the woods that injured his knee and essentially ended his chance at contending for the podium in Hartford.

Jeremy Powers had a tough day, after two crashes and banging his knee. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Men. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Jeremy Powers had a tough day, after two crashes and banging his knee. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Men. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Hyde Breaks Away, Kisseberth Has Career Day

With two laps in the books, a large group of seven riders sat at the front of the race. Hyde had worked his way up to the front and took the lead of the group heading out onto the course for lap three. Hyde crashed on the slick levee off-camber, but was able to retain his lead because other riders could not maneuver around him.

Hyde eventually got off the front solo while the chase behind him sorted itself out. Kerry Werner (Kona Endurance Team) was with Hyde for a while, and then Jack Kisseberth (JAM Fund/NCC) took up the chase in second.

As the afternoon progressed, Kisseberth would emerge as one of the stories of the afternoon. The JAM Fund rider has experienced success in the Northeastern U.S., but on Sunday the entire nation would begin to learn his name.

He would ultimately finish the race in fourth, drawing huge cheers from the New England crowd each time he rode up the steep elite-only section and navigated the icy descent. As he crossed the finish line he pumped his right arm to celebrate the ride of his young cyclocross career.

Driscoll Diesels to the Front

Jamey Driscoll came into Sunday’s race as a bit of an X-factor. Driscoll recently became a father; his child was born two months ago. He took a month off of racing between October and November before returning to the cyclocross circuit two months before Nationals.

Driscoll got off to a slow start on Sunday, but could be seen slowly working his way through the field while getting stronger and stronger as the race progressed. He eventually worked his way to the second position midway through the race and took over the duty of chasing down Hyde.

Jamey Driscoll fought his way into second place after a slow start. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Men. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Jamey Driscoll fought his way into second place after a slow start. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Men. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Driscoll said it was challenging to ride hard but clean and deal with the ice that continued to emerge as temperatures dropped in the late afternoon:

“Everyone was telling me smooth and steady, and people were kinda going too deep and making mistakes because of it, and I just had to ride inside my limits and try to minimize mistakes, and I think it succeeded. I actually had to pit a couple of times because there were times where I was doing the long sections in between pits unable to clip in because the mud on the sunny hill would then freeze in the shade. That was a tough part. I can only imagine that other people were dealing with the same issue.”

Werner Has Rad Afternoon for Third

Coming into the Hartford Nationals, Werner had won three Collegiate Cyclocross National Championships, but his best Elite finish was 5th in Asheville in 2016. After having a successful ‘cross season this year, Werner told Cyclocross Magazine he had his sights set on the podium.

Werner put himself in position to achieve his goal by getting off to a strong start and distinguishing himself from the large group that formed early in the race. He rode with Stephen Hyde for a while before settling into the bronze medal position behind Driscoll.

 

Kerry Werner carefully picks his way down the icy chicane on his way to third place. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Men. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Kerry Werner carefully picks his way down the icy chicane on his way to third place. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Men. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

A former teammate of Driscoll’s, Werner said he knew holding off the new father was going to be difficult,

“I was teammates with Jamey last year, and I’m very aware of his style of racing. So it was kind of a bittersweet moment, because you know, I was still up there for the second-place battle. But I knew that with Jamey up there at the end of the race, usually if he’s up there toward the end of the race he’s going to go full gas. He usually gets better at the end of the race so I knew I had my work cut out for me.”

Werner hails from Pennsylvania and has a strong mountain bike background, so he said he was prepared for whatever weather New England had to dish out at the Hartford Nationals:

“It was weird because it definitely kept changing throughout the race. It actually did the opposite of what I thought it was going to do. I thought it was going to get more muddy and wet but it actually got way more icy, which was interesting because by the end of the race maybe muds weren’t the best option. But yeah, the course was rad. Definitely a bit out there in terms of what we’re normally used to seeing. But that’s New England and you gotta live up to what it’s gonna give you. I’m excited. It was fun.”

2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Men. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Kerry Werner goes flat-out through the rutted corner. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Men. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Hyde Risk, Hyde Reward

Stephen Hyde has made a name for himself by riding cyclocross courses aggressively. This season part of his success is due to his ability to minimize big crashes or other untimely mistakes. As it became apparent a healthy amount of snow would fall on Riverside Park before the race, one of the questions that emerged was whether Hyde would be too aggressive for the slick, rutted, technical course.

The sun peeked through on Stephen Hyde in Hartford, and he shined despite two late mechanicals. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Masters Elite Men. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

The sun peeked through on Stephen Hyde in Hartford, and he shined despite two late mechanicals. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Masters Elite Men. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Hyde said his plan was to push the pace as far as he could on the tough course:

“On a course like this, there’s not a lot of pedaling to do, so time can come from just being, not reckless, but being on the edge. So I changed tires a couple laps in, and things started to freeze back up, so it was getting colder, so I switched back over to file treads, and it made a world of difference. A lot of the snow was getting pushed out of the lines and it was just sheet ice everywhere. I really just needed to take some chances here and there, and be as smooth as possible in the other ways.”

Hyde took a few laps to move into the lead but once he did the race was his. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Men. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Hyde took a few laps to move into the lead but once he did the race was his. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Men. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Driscoll echoed Hyde’s sentiments about feeling good with the technical aspects. He said if he had gotten going a little earlier, maybe he could have been able to take advantage of Hyde’s misfortune as his teammate Lance Haidet did in the Men’s U23 race,

“I was just in the zone even more. I felt like I had the course pretty dialed. And yeah, I just wish I had a little bit more in the tank. The legs didn’t feel awesome today but you know, the skills definitely were there, and yeah, I just wish I had a little bit more to make it a real race, because he got away and just not quite enough combo legs and skills to bring him back.”

Both high and low lines were used by the racers. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, © D. Perker / Cyclocross Magazine

Both high and low lines were used by the racers. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships, © D. Perker / Cyclocross Magazine

Stay tuned to Cyclocross Magazine for more coverage from the 2017 Cyclocross Nationals in Hartford.

2017 CX National Championships Hartford Results - Elite Men

PlaceBibNameTeamTime
12Stephen HYDECannondale Cyclocrossworld1:05:03
25James DRISCOLLClement Pro Cycling1:05:05
34Kerry WERNERKona Enduance Team1:05:34
412Jack KISSEBERTHJAM Fund / NCC1:05:59
53Tobin ORTENBLADSan Cruz Factory Racing1:06:07
611Yannick ECKMANNBoulder Cycle Sport/ YogaGlo1:06:36
79Jonathan PAGEFuji1:06:43
817Todd WELLSSRAM-Troy Lee Designs Racing Te1:07:52
918Cody KAISERLange Twins/Specialized1:01:16
1010Allen KRUGHOFFBoulder Cycle Sport/ YogaGlo1:01:47
118Jeremy DURRINNeon Velo Cycling Team1:01:51
1215Justin LINDINEApex/NBX/TREK1:02:03
1330Merwin DAVISCyclus Sports1:02:19
1425Scott SMITHJAM Fund / NCC1:02:47
1545Bjorn SELANDERBorah Teamwear55:45:00
1622Kevin BRADFORD-PARISHSET Coaching55:54:00
1716Tristan COWIE55:56:00
1826Andrew JUILIANOROCK LOBSTER56:22:00
1927Daniel CHABANOVHOUSE INDUSTRIES - WITHINGS - S48:21:00
2024Casey HILDEBRANDTThe Underground Project48:34:00
2119Robert MARIONAmerican Classic Cyclocross Tea48:36:00
2220Eric THOMPSONHED p/b Molten Speed Wax48:44:00
2347Skyler TRUJILLOFort Lewis College48:52:00
241Jeremy POWERSAspire Racing48:59:00
2514Anthony CLARKSquid Bikes49:17:00
2633Dylan POSTIERRenewed Cyclocross49:18:00
2734jordan SNYDERC3-202049:30:00
2835Brendan MCCORMACKCCB Racing49:36:00
2923Max JUDELSON49:43:00
3032Samuel OKEEFEHOUSE INDUSTRIES - WITHINGS - S50:12:00
3140Michael MIHALIKJ Mac Cycling LLC41:34:00
3239Tyler CLOUTIERRenewed Cyclocross41:35:00
3313Dan TIMMERMANStans NoTubes Elite CX41:37:00
3441Mike FESTAPhiladelphia Ciclismo42:09:00
3529Alex RYANMOB PRO CYCLING TEAM42:38:00
3628Jake WELLSStans NoTubes Elite CX42:38:00
3731Ryan WOODALLTeam TGB34:02:00
3837Andy SCOTTRiverside Racing34:30:00
3938Jules GOGUELYApex/NBX/Trek34:32:00
406Daniel SUMMERHILLUCI PCT: UnitedHealthcare34:38:00
4143Jesse STAUFFERLateral Stress Velo Inc.35:15:00
4242Tim WILLISKing Kog35:19:00
DNF7Travis LIVERMON
DNF21Dylan MCNICHOLAS
DNS36Cody CUPP
DNS44David GREIFSabino Cycles Racing
DNS46Erik TONKINTeam S&M