Stephen Hyde (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld) has rightfully earned the reputation as one of the toughest cyclocross racers out there. This season, however, dealt Hyde a number of setbacks that not even he was sure he could bounce back from.
First, Hyde broke his sternum in a crash at World Cup Waterloo. After a month-long recovery, he was seemingly back to form at the Pan-American Championships when he slipped and crashed hard into the unforgiving stone stairs.
As he headed to Louisville to defend his two straight national championships, Hyde faced a tough challenge from the unforgiving course and a host of riders looking to knock him from his perch atop U.S. cyclocross.
In what proved to be a masterful performance, Hyde outlasted his teammate Curtis White at Louisville Nationals to take home his third straight national championship and put his name alongside an impressive list of athletes who have won U.S. Nationals at least three times.
As he has since signing with the Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld team in 2015, Hyde rode a Cannondale SuperX to the win in Lousiville.
We take a closer look at Hyde's SuperX for our latest Nationals bike profile.
Stephen Hyde's Louisville Nationals Cannondale SuperX
Cannondale SuperXes did a lot of heavy lifting at Louisville Nationals, with Alex Morton riding his to a win in the Junior Men 17-18 race and Spencer Petrov getting a U23 Men's win as well. An older-generation SuperX also helped local George Frazier to a Junior Men 11-12 victory.
Morton and Petrov each rode bikes with the team's 2018 green paint scheme, but as two-time National Champion, Hyde's had a more custom look.
Last year, Hyde had one special bike to pay homage to his 2017 title in Hartford.
This year, why do one when you can have three? Earlier this year, we chatted with Hyde about his three bikes—one red, one white, one blue—and the stories behind the emblems on each. You can read about them in our three-in-one bike profile from earlier this season.
Thanks to the thick mud at Joe Creason Park, Elite riders pitted every half lap, putting two bikes into heavy rotation for each. Hyde opted for his red frame with the raccoon logo and white frame with a throwback Dig-magazine-inspired emblem that pays homage to his two U.S. Nationals and Pan-American Championship titles.
Hyde finished the race on his white frame. We grabbed it right after the race to take a closer look at his winning bike in its natural, muddy habitat.
The Cannondale SuperX features a carbon frame with the company's slack OutFront geometry, and it is fully modern with 12mm thru-axles and flat mount disc brakes. As we saw this summer at the Dirty Kanza 200, the frame is also right at home on rough gravel roads.
The most unique aspect of Hyde's winning bike is the paint scheme and personalized emblem. His white frame has a sprocket design inspired by the British BMX magazine Dig. Hyde got his start in cycling via BMX while growing up in the Florida panhandle, and the emblem combines his formative background with his professional cyclocross accomplishments—two U.S. National Championships, two Pan-American Championships.
SRAM is a longtime sponsor of the Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld team, and Hyde races on the Force 1 mechanical groupset. Hyde and his team have used the 1x mechanical setup for years now, and it remains to be seen if the team will adopt the new SRAM Red eTap 1x drivetrain Hyde's mentor Jeremy Powers rode this year.
His setup included a 44t X-Sync chain ring mounted to a SRAM Red DZero BB30 crankset with built-in Quarq power meter. Hyde ran a 42t at World Cup Waterloo, so it is a bit interesting he used a 44t chain ring with all the climbing at Joe Creason Park. Katie Clouse, for example, opted for a smaller front chain ring and bigger cassette to adjust for the healthy amount of elevation change.
His rear derailleur was Force 1 and for the second-straight Nationals, his hanger stayed intact.
The Force 1 drivetrain was complemented by Force 1 HRD hydraulic disc calipers paired with a SRAM Force Shift/Brake Control lever on the right and Force 1 ErgoDynamic Brake Lever on the left.
Zipp is also a team sponsor, and so Hyde ran 45mm-deep Firecrest 303 carbon tubulars. As far as we could tell, his tubular rims also escaped unscathed this year. Hyde ran Terreno Wet tubulars from team tire sponsor Vittoria.
Zipp also provided Hyde's Service Course SL handlebar and stem and Service Course SL (20) 20mm-setback seatpost. His saddle was a Fabric Scoop, and this season, Hyde ran Shimano XTR M9000 SPD pedals.
Soon after his Louisville win, Hyde took his bikes to Europe for World Cup Namur and a number of other races during Kerstperiode. His customized bikes will continue to get good use as he targets Bongense Worlds and an improvement on his 15th-place finish at the 2018 Valkenburg World Championships.
For more on Hyde's Nationals-winning bike, see the photo gallery and specs below.
See our bike profile archive for our growing collection of notable Nationals bikes.