For a third-straight Nationals, it looked like Curtis White (Steve Tilford Foundation Racing) would have another heartbreaking race with a disappointing second place.

2021 Champ Eric Brunner (Blue Competiton Cycles p-b Build) had a 12-second gap with just two laps remaining, with his teammate Scott Funston chasing down White for second. Rounding a right-hand turn, Brunner got his front wheel stuck in a rut and went over the bars.

Suddenly White had a chance to exorcise his Nationals demons.

White finished sixth in the U23 race as the favorite the last time Nationals was in Hartford, and wasn’t available for interviews after the race. We later caught up with him weeks after the event, and he told Cyclocross Magazine that he made too many mistakes and raced like an amateur:

“I was in the pits a couple times just kind of changing the pressures, changing tires. I crashed early on and I let myself get way too frustrated. It was a course that really rewarded you for staying as calm as possible which it’s kind of silly to say, but I raced it more like an amateur and just went balls to the wall and crazy from turn to turn trying to catch up and that was just really destructive. It just caught up to me in the end and then the last two laps, there was just no way I could have brought the gap back.”

Could he use that tough lesson to his advantage?

The first lap was chaos, with Lance Haidet (L36ion of LA) getting the best start and leading the first lap.

White conservatively got off and ran the steep hill before the finishing straight in the middle of the race, while Brunner repeatedly rode it and gained a few seconds.

White has had plenty of second place experience. He was second in 2021 in Chicago, second in 2019 in Lakewood, sixth as the U23 favorite in Hartford, second as a U23 in Asheville and second in 2013 in Juniors. And that’s an incomplete record of the cyclocross racer’s impressive podium track record, but without hitting the top step.

With one Brunner crash, White found another gear, caught and passed the defending champ, and then stretched out a gap to five seconds.

Then White put his recent motorpacing and cyclocross skills training to work:


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Brunner kept White in distance, but dabbed in several corners on the final lap and couldn’t quite put together a clean lap to take back the lead.

White rolled down the finishing straight, with all the emotions of an accomplished racer who finally accomplished his biggest goal.

Doing it in front of his local family and friends made it even sweeter.


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See the full results at the bottom of this post. Stay tuned for more coverage.

Featured photo: Curtis White takes his first National Championship in Hartford in the 2022 Elite Men’s race. USA Cycling/Tory Hernandez/Evrgrn Photo

2022 USA Cycling Cyclocross Nationals Hartford, CT Results: Elite Men

12Curtis WHITESteve Tilford Foundation Racing1:03:217
21Eric BRUNNERBlue Competiton Cycles p-b Build1:03:257
35Kerry WERNERKona Adventure Team1:04:277
44Scott FUNSTONBlue Competiton Cycles p-b Build1:05:057
56Lance HAIDETL39ION of Los Angeles1:05:367
63Caleb SWARTZENVE Composites1:06:177
711Tobin ORTENBLADSanta Cruz Bicycles1:06:477
818Ben FREDERICKThe Small Monsters Project p-b Ritchey-Ornot1:07:007
913Jonathan ANDERSONJ Moneys Racing1:08:217
1015Casey HILDEBRANDT1:08:267
117Andrew DILLMANIgnition p-b Rigd-Leitner1:08:367
1221Sam NOELCompetitive Edge Racing1:08:367
139Brannan FIXFix Racing1:09:187
1410Sam BROWNAlpha Bicycle Co - Groove Silverthorne1:10:507
1533Max JUDELSONRock Lobster1:12:287
1612Keiran EAGENTeam Durango Segment 281:01:086
1720Jack TANNERForever Endurance1:01:276
1836Cody KAISERKinetic Cycles - Specialized - SRAM - Zipp1:01:376
1917Andrew GINIATPony Shop Cyclocross Team1:01:446
2030Terol PURSELLForever Endurance1:01:496
2135Allan SCHROEDERHigh Desert Hustle1:01:526
2234Ethan JEDLICKAMarian University52:15:005
2339Trevor RAABRSCX - House Industries52:21:005
248Scott MCGILLBlue Competiton Cycles p-b Build52:22:005
2516Tyler CLOUTIERTCCX52:28:005
2631Tayne ANDRADERio Grande Elite Cycling Team53:34:005
2737William HARDINProject Echelon53:35:005
2841Andrew WULFKUHLERock Lobster53:49:005
2919Nicholas LANDOCompetitive Edge Racing43:42:004
3038Devon FEEHANDevon Feehan Racing44:11:004
3144Michael MARSTONDaedalus inc44:12:004
3232Frederick JUNGEBroom Wagon Works44:15:004
3348Phillip SMITH44:24:004
3440Alden COPLEYLudwig and Larsen44:55:004
3545Eli WOODARDVelocious Sport34:17:003
3655Thomas FULLERLindenwood University35:20:003
3747Darren PIOTROWAlpine Carbon Racing35:20:003
3852Eric FOLLENDFCX35:26:003
3951Joshua FITZGERALDLindenwood University36:06:003
4054Bjorn SELANDERBianchi Collective R-D36:13:003
4153Erik CARLSONUniversity of Rhode Island26:34:002
DNF50John FLACKKinetic Cycles - Specialized - SRAM - Zipp0
DNS42Noah HAYESRock Lobster0
DNS49Joshua NOGGLEGambit Racing p-b Sleepy Hollow Bikes0

See all our 2022 USA Cycling Cyclocross Nationals coverage here.

Win a custom-built-for-you Chris Sallen Cycles fillet brazed or lugged frame, Ibis mountain bike wheels, a Marin Pine Mountain 29er, Ritchey WCS cockpit, Coefficient Cycling handlebars and much more in the silent auction fundraiser.