Bob Downs (Planet Bike) takes the 55-59 win at 2013 Nationals. © Cyclocross Magazine

Bob Downs (Planet Bike) takes the 55-59 win at 2013 Nationals. © Cyclocross Magazine

VERONA, WISCONSIN – Henry Kramer (Cal-Giant) took an early lead, riding off of the front – typically a risky move, but in course conditions as uncertain as these, a smart tactic. He was followed by Alan Blanchard (Century Road Club) and Paul Curley. The first lap saw the bulk of the field staying close together, with gaps of mere seconds between them. However, by the second lap, Kramer and Blanchard had established a gap, and a muddy scrum of racers followed behind.

Defending champ Paul Curley hit the deck hard and wouldn't factor for the title. ©Cyclocross Magazine

Defending champ Paul Curley ahead of Brad Young hit the deck hard and wouldn’t factor for the title. ©Cyclocross Magazine

Curley had some problems keeping his bike upright, and was relegated farther back in the field by halfway through the race. Blanchard also fell back, and Downs made his move into second spot while Kramer still held an impressive lead. Behind the two leaders, Randy Shields (Hearts Racing Club) chased, and behind him, a group including Curley and Blanchard, as well as John Thompson (Team Plan C), Norman Kreiss (Cal Giant), Brad Young (Woodstock Bike Club), Scott Paisley (MVC/Blue Wheel/Monticello Velo Club), Lennard Zinn (Boulder Cycle Sport) and Russell Thorstrom (Intermountain Cycling).

Three laps in, Kramer was still well away from the rest of the field, with the exception of Downs, who had narrowed the gap to mere seconds. Ten seconds back from the leader, Shields had pulled away from the rest of the pack. There was a large gap, and then Kreiss, Paisley, Thompson and Young struggled to catch Shields to steal away the last spot on the podium.

As the men sailed into their last lap, Downs had closed the gap to Kramer and the two were battling in earnest. Halfway through the lap, the men came into the barriers nearly side by side. Behind them, Shields, Kreiss and Paisley were together again, battling for third.

Tragedy struck for Kramer. A dropped chain in the turns before the pavement allowed Downs to pull away and come in for victory alone, looking very pleased with his success. However, he wasn’t afraid of a sprint on the pavement. He later told Cyclocross Magazine that his sprinting ability was developed during road nationals, and he was confident that he could have won a pavement sprint today. Behind them, a sprint for third took place, with Paisley just edging out Kreiss at the line.

“I live four miles from the course,” Downs confided. “I ride in the snow a lot, so I knew I could handle this well.” He also admitted to watching a lot of Euro races, and planning to play his race like Sven Nys often does: patiently, knowing just when to attack.

Stay tuned for results and photos!

Bob Downs, 2013 Masters 55-59 National Champion Interview:

[youtube 7kiW4L_7KMk 580 380]

Masters Men 55-59 Photo Gallery:

2013 Nationals Masters Men 55-59 Results

Place NameCity, StateTime Team
1Robert DOWNS   Madison, WI0:40:01 Planet Bike
2Henry KRAMER   Menlo Park, CA40:29:00 California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized/California Giant Cycling
3Scott PAISLEY   Charlottesville, VA40:52:00 MVC/Blue Wheel/Monticello Velo Club
4Norman KREISS   Orinda, CA40:53:00 California Giant Cycling
5Randy SHIELDS   Winston Salem, NC41:20:00 Hearts Racing Club
6Brad YOUNG   Porter Corners, NY41:45:00 Woodstock Bicycle Club
7Russell THORSTROM   Boise, ID41:51:00 Intermountain Cycling Organization
8John THOMPSON   Shoreview, MN42:08:00 Team Plan C
9Lennard ZINN   Boulder, CO42:18:00 Boulder Cycle Sport
10Brook WATTS   Longmont, CO42:51:00 Michelob Ultra - Big Shark Racing
11Alan BLANCHARD   Congers, NY43:01:00 Century Road Club Assoc
12Edwin RAMBUSKI   San Luis Obispo, CA43:07:00 Team Rambuski Law/Team Rambuski Law
13Thomas PREHN   Boulder, CO43:15:00 Boulder Running Company Cycling Team
14William KUSTER   Anoka, MN43:16:00 
15Dag SELANDER   Hudson, WI43:20:00 Team Plan C
16Jim GENTES   Soquel, CA44:14:00
17Paul CURLEY   Taunton, MA44:23:00 Spin Arts Cycling
18Geoffrey CHANDLER   Indianapolis44:27:00 Speedway Wheelmen
19John ADAMIK   Byfield, MA44:27:00 Riverside Racing
20John BLISS   Boulder, CO44:38:00 Team Kappius
21William STEVENS   Bolton, MA45:18:00 Spin Arts Cycling
22George SMITH   Menlo Park, CA45:49:00 The 99%ers
23Glen JONES   Madison, WI45:51:00 Trek Midwest Team
24Tom MAHANEY   Marquette, MI46:04:00 
25Darryl MATAYA   Mount Horeb, WI46:04:00 MadCity Velo Club
26Jeffrey SCHEPPER   Greenwood, IN46:39:00 Speedway Wheelmen
27Mark MCGEEN   Waukesha, WI46:43:00 Team Mack Racing Assoc. LTD
28Hardwick GREGG   Helena, AL47:24:00 MG & G Racing
29Mike BOWN   West Bend, WI47:46:00 
30Robert GARNER   Sturtevant, WI48:11:00 V.C. Bikesport
31Michael LARSON   Cambridge, MN48:12:00 
32Bruce PORTER   Woodbury, MN49:57:00 St Paul Bicycle Racing Club
33James WHITE   Pocatello, ID51:06:00 Idaho Cycling Enthusiasts (ICE)
34Jeffrey BROWN   Boulder, CO@1Lap Real D-Amgen Masters Cycling
35Randall SILVA   Albuquerque, NM@1Lap Nob Hill Velo
36Paul SADOFF   Santa Cruz, CA@1Lap Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobster Cyclocross
37James HOPSON   Iowa City, IA@1Lap Mercy-Specialized/Iowa City Cycling Club
38Jeff HUSER   Albuquerque, NM@1Lap 
39Mark CONSIDINE   Iowa City, IA@1Lap Goosetown Racing Club
40Chris BLACK   San Luis Obispo, CA@1Lap Morgan Stanley /Specialized/Morgan Stanley Cycling Team
41Marshall LEININGER   Canton, OH@1Lap Stark Velo
42John REIMBOLD   Carbondale, IL@1Lap Heckawee
43Don CARR   Wauwatosa, WI@1Lap ISCorp Cycling/NCSF
44Peter ACKERMANN   Whitefish Bay Wi@1Lap 
45David MCCOLLUM   Cedarville, IL@2Lap 
46Thomas WILSON   Shaker Heights, OH@2Lap 
47Andrew MISHLOVE   Glendale, WI@2Lap Hampshire Cycle Club
48Michael MERULLA   Iowa City, IA@2Lap Iowa City Cycling Club
DNSSteven VORDERMAN   Fort Wayne, INDon Galligher-DRT Consulting
DNSScott REYNOLDS   Pipersville, PAGuys Racing Club
DNSJoel ROTH   Chicago, IL
DNSMathew BAROLI   Troy, MIWolverine Sports Club
DNSCraig BUSCHE   Wauwatosa, WIVelo Trocadero
DNSBrad DEMOTT   Shelbyville, INGray Goat Sports
DNSBruce LOS   Holland, MI
DNFMark WOLOWIEC   Davisburg, MIFlying Rhino Cycling Club
DNFJeffrey CRAFT   Madison, OHTeam Lake Effect/Lake Effect Cycling Team
DNFDavid COAR   Ft Wayne, INMen of Steel Racing /Men Of Steel Racing LLC

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