AUSTIN, Texas — Lining up with Boulder Cycle Sport’s Pete Webber or Brandon Dwight at the Cyclocross National Championships in hopes of winning a Masters title lately has been an exercise in futility. Since the first year Nationals was held in Bend, Oregon in 2009, Webber or Dwight has owned the Masters 40-44 title. Webber took back-to-back titles in Bend, beating Don Myrah in 2009 and Dwight in 2010. In 2012, Dwight passed Webber for the win in Verona (2011 did not have Nationals due to the move from December to January). And then in 2013, Webber took the title back, and then successfully defended it on his own course design in Boulder in 2014.
In 2015 in Austin, Webber aged up to the 45-49 category, leaving Brandon Dwight to race for the title on his own. Need we write the rest of this report to tell you what happened?
During the early laps of the race, Dwight’s race to win the jersey certainly wasn’t a forgone conclusion.
A huge crash in the start stretch set the stage for the 40-44 men, one of the biggest races of the 2015 Cyclocross National Championships. By the time the crashed racers had picked themselves up and dusted themselves off, Brandon Dwight (Boulder Cycle Sport/YogaGlo) and Paul Bonds (Oklahoma City Velo Club) had a sizeable gap on the field. Might Dwight be upset by Bonds?
The early crash strung out the entire field, but former Masters World Champion Mark Savery (Trek Cyclocross Collective) battled his way up to third wheel and kept charging. Dwight took advantage of Bonds slipping a pedal to attack, as Savery continued his charge to claw his way up to Bonds’ wheel.
“I was doing a rain dance this morning,” said Savery, who is adept at handling the tougher conditions. The course continued to dry and harden through the race, however, removing any sign of the tricky, slippery conditions of this morning.
Dwight and Bonds battled at the front, and Dwight was waiting for his chance to attack. “I heard him slip a pedal or something, clip out in a corner, so I just gassed it a little bit, and then I heard from a fan, ‘You’ve got a few seconds!'” Dwight recalled. “So I was like, this is it, let’s go.”
Dwight confessed that once he got his lead, he had his doubts about his ability to keep it. “To be honest, when I came through, it said three to go, and I thought it was two to go, and I thought, oh no.”