For full coverage, schedules and information on the 2012 Cyclocross National Championships at Badger Prairie County Park in Madison, Wisconsin, visit our 2012 Cyclocross National Championships homepage.

Steve Tilford takes another masters cyclocross national championship - 2012 Cyclocross National Championships, 50-54. © Tim Westmore

Steve Tilford takes another masters cyclocross national championship – 2012 Cyclocross National Championships, 50-54. © Tim Westmore

by Chris Bagg

VERONA, WISCONSIN—Steve Tilford wasted very little time in winning his 7th Masters Cyclocross National Championship, taking the holeshot and establishing a seven second gap by the end of the first lap over silver medalist Kevin Hines. On a course Tilford described as “slick mud, not power mud,” the multiple-discipline national champion (and mountain bike world champion) steadily rode away from his rival Hines, eventually winning by almost half a minute.

“The Masters race begins to be more important,” Tilford said, “as the elite race becomes less important,” referring to his start position for the elite race on Saturday. “So when you can win a race rather than coming in 30th it’s always better.” Tilford “just tried to ride smooth” on the course which is becoming greasier as Nationals proceeds, as warmer than expected temperatures keep Madison thawed rather than frozen.”Once you get a cushion you don’t really need to make the cushion bigger, so I was trying to ride smooth and not make any big mistakes.”

Tilford’s gap with four laps to go was seven seconds, and then 12, and then 16 before Hines clawed back some ground with a lap-and-a-half to go. The rest of the field was minutes back from the two contenders. Tilford was conservative, running the course’s steep hill and the sand pit, whereas Hines was riding the climb. Tilford tipped Ryan Trebon as his favorite for Sunday’s elite race, and the two riders do share similar riding styles. “I think the time gaps will be huge on Sunday. It’s pretty hard to ride with someone else when everybody’s making micro-mistakes all the time.”

In second, Hines battled gamely, but just couldn’t close the gap once Tilford had established it. Riding for iconic Corner Cycle, Hines went down early on the tricky corner just before the barriers. He seemed to be taking the sandpit faster, but the power course simply favored the lanky rider from Topeka, Kansas. Tilford plans to travel to Louisville for next weekend’s UCI Masters World Championships, and said that he was “tuning up” in this competition today.

Interview with Kevin Hines:

[youtube O2EHqJ9po3c 580 380]

Keep up to date on all of the action at 2012 Cyclocross Nationals on Cyclocross Magazine’s 2012 Cyclocross National Championships homepage.

Full results below photo gallery

Masters 50-54 Cyclocross National Championships 2012

1Stephen TILFORDTopeka, KS
2Kevin HINES (2 - Cat1)East Wareham, MACorner Cycle Cycling Club
3Wayne SIMON (3 - Cat1)Lake Barrington, ILPSIMET Racing/Enzo's-PSIMET
4Tim HACKER (1 - Cat3)Madison, WIPlanet Bike
5Ron HUEBNER (4 - Cat1)Waterford, VAEvolution Cycling Club p/b Long & Foster
6Danny WARNER (2 - Cat3)Trout Valley, ILVillage-Verdigris Cycling/Verdigris-Village CX Team
7Gregory GOBLIRSCH (3 - Cat3)River Falls, WILoon State Cyclists
8Phillip KENEALY (1 - Cat2)Bedford, NHUniversity of New Hampshire
9Stephen SONGER (2 - Cat2)Overland Park, KS360 Racing
10John THOMPSON (5 - Cat1)Shoreview, MNSt Paul Bicycle Racing Club/Bianchi/Grand Performance
11Russell THORSTROM (6 - Cat1)Boise, IDIntermountain Cycling Organization
12John MOSHER (3 - Cat2)Boxborough, MAWheelworks Racing
13John BLISS (4 - Cat3)Boulder, COTeam Kappius
14Alan BLANCHARD (7 - Cat1)Montvale, NJCentury Road Club Association/Blue
15Mark MCGEEN (4 - Cat2)Waukesha, WITeam Mack Racing Assoc. LTD
16Bill REED (5 - Cat2)Eagle, IDLost River Cycling Club/St. Lukes Sports Medicine
17David LUCZYNSKI (5 - Cat3)Elgin, IL0
18William KUSTER (6 - Cat3)Anoka, MNLoon State Cyclists
19Tim JAMES (7 - Cat3)Lafayette, COCROSS PROPZ RACING
20Edwin RAMBUSKI (8 - Cat1)San Luis Obispo, CATeam Rambuski Law /Team Rambuski Law
21Kenneth SMITH (9 - Cat1)Mansfield, TXOklahoma City Velo Club
22Mathew BAROLI (6 - Cat2)Troy, MIWolverine Sports Club
23Allan THOM (8 - Cat3)Clarendon Hills, ILHalf Acre Cycling
24Tedd JACOBSON (9 - Cat3)Pewaukee, WI0
25Gregory ANDERSON (10 - Cat3)South Elgin, ILSpin Doctor Cyclewerks Cycling Club/Spin Doctor Cyclewerks
26Paul NYBERG (7 - Cat2)Canton, CTTWZ Masters Cycling Team/Horst Engineering Masters Cycling Team
27Larry KAUFMAN (11 - Cat3)Princeton, NJVan Dessel Factory Team
28Lennard ZINN (8 - Cat2)Boulder, COBoulder Cycle Sport
29Randal WARREN (9 - Cat2)Chicago, ILxXx Racing
30Tony TRATTENERO (12 - Cat3)Simi Valley, CAThe TEAM /The TEAM - SoCalCross
31Kirk RHINEHART (13 - Cat3)Santa Fe,
32Daryl RAINS (10 - Cat2)Winston Salem, NCMock Orange Bikes
33Bill OKEEFE (14 - Cat3)Baltimore, MDCharm City Cycling LLC
34William STEVENS (11 - Cat2)Bolton, MAMid State Cycling Club/Gear Works/Spin Arts Cyclery
35William KOEHLER (15 - Cat3)Cedarburg, WIBVC/Nomad Cycling
36Tim LEROY (12 - Cat2)Waukesha, WITeam Mack Racing Assoc. LTD
37Michael METEYER (13 - Cat2)Madison, WITrek Midwest Team
38Richard TOLER (16 - Cat3)Dayton, OHTeam Dayton Bicycling/MERRILL LYNCH CYCLING
39Martin SOETAERT (17 - Cat3)Austin, TXTeam Brain and Spine Cycling
40Kenny SIPES (18 - Cat3)Flaherty, KYScheller's Racing Team
41Dwayne LETTERMAN (19 - Cat3)Elizabethton, TNTri Cities Road Club/MSG Cyclocross
42Gregory CLAUSEN (20 - Cat3)Lake Geneva, WI0
43Jeff SYMPSON (21 - Cat3)Rockford, ILBig Ring Flyers
44Chris CLAUSEN (22 - Cat3)St Louis, MOPfoodman Racing
45William ANDERSON (14 - Cat2)Lawrence, KS360 Racing
46Colonel REYNOLDS (23 - Cat3)Bend, OR0