Craig Cozza’s fast start on the first lap was quickly interrupted by the treacherous climb up the embankment run-up, “It was crazy. I holeshotted and then obviously took the wrong line up the hill because I ended up like sixth or seventh. I tried to just ride the hill halfway up, and then I tried to ride the top and it was a catastrophe. So every lap after I was riding the bottom and that cleaned it up a bit.”
Cozza’s new plan proved to be a better way to go. He escaped solo off the front at the end of the first lap and maintained a gap back to his chasers to take home a National Championship to complement the one he won in 2015 in Austin.
Despite Cozza’s slow start, he was still able to work his way to the front halfway through the first lap to join Jonathan Card (unattached). At the Boathouse, the duo held a small lead over a chase group of four.
The technical corners and off-cambers in the gazebo section were rendered more challenging by the snow that began to melt as the afternoon progressed. Cozza was able to handle the technical challenge a little better to open up a six second gap after the first lap.
During the second lap, Cozza again stayed strong through the technical section to double his lead from 8 to 15 seconds to take control of the race. He eventually extended his lead to 40 seconds heading into the bell lap and overcame a last lap crash on an icy corner to finish out a National Championship ride.
Cozza said the effort took total concentration, “It was icy and slippery, and it was just crazy. You had to be so on guard the entire time because any place you could just go down and bust up.”
With Cozza dominating at the front, the race for second was the battle to watch in the 50-54 showdown. Early in the race Jonathan Card looked to have a strong grasp on second. At the end of the third lap, Patrick Morrissey (Team Cross Colorado) worked his way back to Card and created a two-man chase.
During the fourth lap, Card was able to again get a small gap on Morrissey for second. During that time, James Cochran (Atlas / Other Films Cycling Team) was slowly working his way up from sixth to fifth to fourth. He made contact with Card and Morrissey heading into the bell lap and the chase then became three.
When the riders descending off the levee, Card and Cochran had escaped, and Card held a small two-second lead. After leaving the woods, Cochran was able to seize on a bobble by Card and make a strong inside move on a corner take over second place for good. Card held on to take the bronze medal.
Cochran said the last lap was a full cyclocross experience for him, “I started cramping up the last lap. Jonathan Card was with me and we were just battling it out. I had to run some parts. The bike was clogging up, but I didn’t want to pit because I thought I’d lose time in there. Just let go a little bit and allowed the chaos to happen.”
2017 CX National Championships Hartford Day 4 Results Masters Men 50-54
|1||671||COZZA||Craig||UPMC/ Pro Bikes||42:00:00|
|2||668||COCHRAN||James||Atlas/Other Films Cycling Team||42:45:00||45|
|4||709||MORRISSEY||Patrick||Team Cross Colorado||43:13:00||1:13|
|5||654||AUGUST||Andrew||Park Ave Bike Shop||43:18:00||1:18|
|6||665||CASSAN||Todd||Rally Sport Cycling Team||43:22:00||1:22|
|8||697||KIMBALL||Troy||DNA Cycling pb Onion Creek Volk||43:39:00||1:39|
|9||695||JOHNSTON||Joseph||Slate Hill NY||43:47:00||1:47|
|10||670||CORSELLO||Kirk||Next Moto Champion Cycling p/b||43:57:00||1:57|
|11||687||GRIMM||Erik||Park Ave Bike Shop||43:59:00||1:59|
|14||681||FISHER||Mark||KUHL Cycling Team||44:27:00||2:27|
|19||710||MORSE||Samuel||Corner Cycle Cycling Club||45:29:00||3:29|
|23||730||STEPHENSON||Harold||Rally Sport Cycling Team||46:00:00||s.t.|
|24||677||DOMNARSKI||Matthew||Horst Engineering Cycling Team||46:05:00||4:05|
|26||744||ZEIMET||Raymond||Guys Racing Club||46:10:00||4:10|
|28||662||CARAMADRE||Richard||KUHL Cycling Team||46:24:00||4:24|
|29||692||HORROCKS||Tom||Squadra Flying Tigers||46:28:00||4:28|
|30||696||JONES||John||Kuat Team Racing||46:46:00||4:46|
|32||727||SMITH||Frank||Feedback Sports Racing||46:56:00||4:56|
|33||700||MARTIN||Jeff||Feedback Sports Racing||47:01:00||5:01|
|36||741||WELCH||Jeffrey||Fiets Maan Racing p/b Luna Cycl||47:27:00||5:27|
|37||682||GOLDEN||John||Blue Hills Cycling Club||47:35:00||5:35|
|38||707||MILLER||Ronald||Broken Spoke Cycling||48:21:00||6:21|
|42||702||MCCLUNG||Richard||Lake Washington Velo||48:49:00||6:49|
|43||711||OLSON||Chris||Planetary Cycles Racing Team||49:01:00||7:01|
|46||734||TRICAMO||David||San Francisco CA||50:02:00||8:02|
|47||683||GORRELL||Greg||Feedback Sports Racing||50:09:00||8:09|
|48||724||SEATON||Matthew||Finkraft Cyling Team||50:15:00||8:15|
|50||732||SUTHERLAND||Eric||GF Capital/ H&E Enterprise||50:43:00||8:43|
|54||673||DEBARTOLO||Paul||Finkraft Cyling Team||51:34:00||9:34|
|55||733||THOMPSON||T Scott||Squadra Coppi||51:37:00||9:37|
|58||666||CHEEK||Darron||CROSS PROPZ RACING||52:08:00||10:08|
|65||675||DIETRICK||Robert||Velo Racing Solutions p/b Verge||44:02:00||@1Lap|
|68||740||WEISS||Paul||Portland Velo Club||45:07:00||@1Lap|
|69||651||ADAMS||Evan||San Francisco CA||45:45:00||@1Lap|
|72||684||GOZICK||Christopher||W Long Branch NJ||49:33:00||@1Lap|
|73||653||AREKIAN||Armand||Old Time Cycling||50:31:00||@1Lap|
|74||718||ROSALES||Oscar||Finkraft Cyling Team||54:11:00||@1Lap|
|DNF||679||FASCZEWSKI||Mark||Trek Greensboro Generals|
|DNS||704||MCINTOSH||Geoff||Corner Cycle Cycling Club|
|DNS||659||BROWN||Joel||Stedmans Bicycle Co|
|DNS||729||STAFFORD||James||Stone Ridge NY|
|DNS||655||BERRY||James||Spinx Bike Race Team|
|DNS||690||HARRISON||Trevor||Park Ave Bike Shop|
|DNS||661||BYSTRYCKY||Igor||Cycle Craft Racing|
|DNS||689||HAGEN||David||Fort Lewis College|
|DNS||658||BOUDREAU||Paul||Essex County Velo|