VERONA, WISCONSIN – As temperatures continued to drop, German-cum-American Yannick Eckmann (Cal Giant-Specialized) showed the U23 men that cold weather and goopy conditions are nothing to worry about.

Yannick Eckmann (Cal Giant) grabs the U23 Men's title in his first time competing in the USA National Championships. © Meg McMahon

Yannick Eckmann (Cal Giant) grabs the U23 Men’s title in his first time competing in the USA National Championships. © Meg McMahon

Eckmann established an early lead and sailed to a solo win ahead of Andrew Dillman (Bob’s Red Mill) and Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant-Specialized) to take the national champion’s jersey. Joshua Johnson (Indianapolis Cycling Club) and Skyler Trujillo (Boo-Enve) rounded out the top five.

How it happened:

First year U23 racer Andrew Dillman took the holeshot and the early lead, stringing the pack out behind him with Eckmann close on his wheel. On the first long hill, Eckmann took over, with Skyler Trujillo slotting into second and Dillman falling into third as the three separated from the rest and made their way around and down the rolling descent into the barriers. About ten seconds later, Joshua Johnson, Tobin Ortenblad and Cody Kaiser (Cal Giant-Specialized) followed.

Eckmann, however, decided he didn’t want company, and used the back half of the course to shed his rivals and open up an impressive gap. By the end of the first lap, Eckmann had a twenty-five second lead over Trujillo, with Dillman another five seconds down, chasing in pursuit. Johnson and  Ortenblad, having dropped Kaiser, followed a further five seconds back. The podium, already, was decided – all that was left was to determine the order.

Though first place was never again contested, the remaining slots remained an exciting back and forth for the rest of the race. Halfway through the second lap, Dillman caught Trujillo in the pits, just as Trujillo dropped his chain and was forced to dismount, opening up a wide gap for Dillman in second and allowing Johnson and Ortenblad to close in on third.

Andrew Dillman finished second in his first year as a U23. © Meg McMahon

Andrew Dillman finished second in his first year as a U23. © Meg McMahon

Dillman’s race wasn’t finished, however, as a tangle with the course tape saw him off his bike, yanking himself free. The misstep nearly brought the rest back into striking distance, but Dillman rallied, stayed smooth, and re-established his gap to cross the finish line comfortably in second.

Ortenblad, too, had to battle hard for third, as with just over a lap to go Johnson and Trujillo had left him off the back. Ortenblad dug deep, made contact on the hill, and managed to open up enough of a gap to secure third place. Trujillo continued to fade, and Johnson was able to sneak ahead for fourth.

Tobin Ortenblad had a strong last lap to finish thrid in the U23 Men. 2013 National Championships. © Meg McMahon

Tobin Ortenblad had a strong last lap to finish thrid in the U23 Men. 2013 National Championships. © Meg McMahon

Confusion over whether Eckmann, who plans to race the World Championships for Germany, qualifies for the title, continued after the race. Eckmann told Cyclocross Magazine in a video interview in Chicago one week prior to Nationals that he would be able to race but not win the title, but USA Cycling officials believed he could win the title. Stay tuned.

Interview with Yannick Eckmann:

[youtube n-J3eM2gj08 580 380]

Interview with Andrew Dillman:

[youtube PKzPgZVzqX8 580 380]

Interview with Tobin Ortinblad:

[youtube m6ACXuUHOOM 580 380]

Stay tuned for more photos, video interviews and full results. Tune into for LIVE VIDEO COVERAGE of the Elite races starting at 1:00 p.m. Central time on Sunday. And don’t forget to enter to win a trip to Worlds courtesy of  Raleigh!

Tune in regularly right here to Cyclocross Magazine’s 2013 National Championship Homepage for the most comprehensive source of Nationals 2013 info. We will be updating this page hourly for race reports, results, photos and videos!

U23 Men Cyclocross National Championships Photo Gallery:

photos by Meg McMahon:

2013 Cyclocross Nationals U23 Results

PlaceÊNameCity, StateTimeÊTeam
1Yannick EckmannBoulder, CO0:44:42ÊCalifornia Giant Berry Farms/Specialized/California Giant Cycling
2Andrew DillmanFairdale, KY46:31ÊBob's Red Mill Cyclocross
3Tobin OrtenbladSantacruz, CA46:53ÊCalifornia Giant Berry Farms/Specialized/California Giant Cycling
4Skyler TrujilloFort Collins, CO47:08ÊBoo/Enve
5Joshua JohnsonFort Wayne, IN47:31ÊIndianapolis Cycling Club
6Kerry WernerBanner Elk, NC48:20ÊBMC U23 development MTB team
7Cody KaiserEl Dorado Hills, CA48:28ÊCalifornia Giant Berry Farms/Specialized/California Giant Cycling
8Samuel O'KeefeBaltimore, MD50:38ÊCharm City Cycling LLC
9Kolby PrebleForestgrove, OR51:03ÊClif Bar Development Cross Team
10Kevin FishAustin, TX51:34ÊKCCX Fuji Elite Cyclocross Team p/b Challenge Tires
11Luke HaleyLouisville, KY52:12ÊBob's Red Mill Cyclocross
12Chase DickensMount Airy, NC52:45ÊAmerican Classic
13Richard Cypress GorryBrevard, NC54:12ÊWhole Athlete / Specialized/Whole Athlete
14Tyler CopleaFountain Hills, AZ55:05ÊMTB PRO Team: ORBEA-TUFF SHED
15Brandon FeeheryHomewood, IL56:04ÊAstellas Oncology Cycling Team/Astellas Cycling Club
16Morgan RyanVentura, CA56:44ÊThe TEAM SoCalCross/The TEAM
17Samuel DobrozsiLoveland, OH57:02Ê
18Luke WoodardMason, OH57:13Ê
19Maxwell AckermannWhitefish Bay, WI57:57Ê
20Casey HildebrandtWeston, WI58:11ÊTwin Six
21Daniel GerowGrosse Pointe Farms, MI@2LapÊWolverine Sports Club
22Zachary BenderGlen Rock, NJ@2LapÊCycle-Smart Inc.
23Brian JorgensenBend@2LapÊLees-McRae College
24Zachary SemianMertztown, PA@2LapÊPure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA
25Samuel DriesWest Bend Wi@2LapÊBrazen Dropouts Cycling Team/Brazen Dropouts
26Johnathan FreterColumbus, OH@2LapÊDon Walker Cycles Racing
27Lewis GaffneyAngel Fire, NM@2LapÊ
28Ben BertigerAltadena, CA@2LapÊThe TEAM
29Davis BentleyMill Valley, CA@2LapÊLees-McRae College
30Kevin BurgessCharlotte, NC@2LapÊCarolina Break- U23/Carolina Break
31Samuel BramelLittle Canada, MN@2LapÊGopher Wheelmen
32Will MasseyVirginia Beach, VA@2LapÊu-neak | DESIGNS/Central Velo Racing & Development
33Mitch NordahlAnoka, MN@2LapÊTeam Plan C
34Justin EvansBoone, NC@2LapÊAppalachian State University
35Caleb WelbornBrevard, NC@2LapÊEarthfare/i9 pb Cyclesport Concepts/ABRC/Asheville Bicycle Racing Club
36Oliver DonkervoetHonolulu, HI@2LapÊu-neak | DESIGNS/Central Velo Racing & Development
DNSZane GodbyLouisville, CODNSÊClif Bar Development Cross Team
DNSInnokenty ZavyalovMinneapolis, MNDNSÊBasso pb Tonka Cycle/Minnesota Cycling Team
DNSEzra MullenNottingham, NHDNSÊ
DNFEmmanuel GoguenHopedale, MADNFÊC.F. Racing
DNFJesse KeoughSandwich, MADNFÊChampion System p/b Keough Cyclocross /Corner Cycle Cycling Club
DNFJason MidkiffBoone, NCDNFÊAppalachian State University
DNFMatthew ZimmerDe Witt, IADNFÊVelosport Iowa /American Equity