Lewis Gaffney on the way to the D2 Collegiate win at Nationals. © Matt Lasala

Lewis Gaffney on the way to the D2 Collegiate win at Nationals. © Matt Lasala

The mild conditions of yesterday have given way to harsher conditions where the wind dictated the feel of the race.  Supporters lined up by the pavement, some wearing nothing little more than shorts and t-shirts to cheer on their collegiate favorites.  The D2 Collegiate Men lined up at the start, many opting to not wear gloves despite the brutal weather.  The course dried up over the night, transforming the energy sapping muddy sections into hard-packed dirt, encouraging a faster race overall.

Lewis Gaffney (Brevard College), sprinted for an early lead and the eventual win, although the D2 race provided one of the more exciting number of lead changes so far of the weekend’s races.  Charlie Hough (Furman University) contested well at the start, although he took the right hand off-camber a little hot, causing his bike to buck him forward off his saddle and into the race tape.  Kacey Campbell (Front Range Community College) also had a good first lap with the lead pack although he couldn’t keep up with the intense pace.

At the start of the second lap, Samuel O’Keefe (Middlebury College) led a group of four riders onto the pavement, only to find himself working against one of the toughest head winds of the week.  He slowed his pace and pulled to the side, but Gaffney and the others only followed suit, forcing O’Keefe to take on all the dirty work for them.  Once the front pack made the turn to the long climb with a tailwind, it looked as if Gaffney had relinquished control to one of the other race favorites, Nathanial Morse (Furman University).

Charlie Hough crashing on the off-camber in the D2 Collegiate race. © Matt Lasala

Charlie Hough crashing on the off-camber in the D2 Collegiate race. © Matt Lasala

Morse dug in with a hard effort, and was rewarded with a sizable ten second gap by the time he left the tight turns at the top of the course.  By the time the top riders were approaching the long flight of steps, he was no where to be seen.  “On one of the early sweeping off-cambers, my derailleur swept right into my spokes and my hanger split clean off,” Morse told us after he crossed the finish line.  Having a serious mechanical on the opposite side of the pits would destroy the chances for most riders, particularly against this strong D2 field of 46 starters.  An undeterred Morse put forth a strong effort, especially after mounting his pit bike, and finished the race within the top ten.

Gaffney discovered his opportunity to pounce over the remaining three contenders, and found a good rhythm to pull away with each successive lap.  The workhorse, O’Keefe, was eventually rewarded second place for his efforts.  Joseph Welch (East Tennessee State University) kept on O’Keefe’s wheel for most of the second half of the D2 race, although he was unable to capitalize on his tactical positioning and would eventually finish for third.

Results after gallery.

Lewis Gaffney Takes D2 Collegiate Men’s Win at the 2014 National Cyclocross Championships – Gallery by Matt Lasala

D2 Collegiate Men Full Results 2014 US Cyclocross Nationals

1163GAFFNEYLewisBrevard College
2178O'KEEFESamuelMiddlebury College
3192WELSHJosephEast Tennessee State University
4167HOUGHCharlieFurman University
5154BAILEYAndrewKing University
6176NEAGOSBradUniversity of Denver
7181RIMMERRobertVirginia Intermont College
8175MORSENathanielFurman University
9188VALDEZZacharyBrevard College
10183SENKERIKBenjaminRipon College
11184SIKESJefferyColorado Mesa University
12169KEITHMichaelMars Hill University
13189WAGNERDevinRensselaer Polytechnic Institut
14166GOGUELYJulesRhode Island School of Design
15191ZAVISLANStefanUS Air Force Academy
16162FISCHEREricCollege of William and Mary
17170LAVERGNEZackColorado Mesa University
18158COCHRANstephenColorado Mesa University
19190WELBORNCalebBrevard College
20160EASTERCullenColorado Mesa University
21168JENKINSONTimothyMars Hill University
22200RUHMANNGrahamWestern State Colorado Universi
23182SCHROEDERKarlUS Air Force Academy
24173MAREKKeithBrevard College
25164GAIDISAlexanderBrown University
26177NEARJosephMassachusetts Institute of Tech
27161ECKMichaelMassachusetts Institute of Tech
28165GIELARIanRochester Institute of Technolo
29179PHILLIPSSamuelColorado Mesa University
30185STALLARDCaseyEast Tennessee State University
31155BERGHELRobertThe University of Tennessee at
32172LOWDENSpencerBrevard College
33193TANKERSLEYNolanMilligan College
34180RESEKHunterMars Hill University
35159DANGELMAIERRayBrevard College
36174MEHTAWilliamVirginia Intermont College
37187THOMASLukeRochester Institute of Technolo
38195NORDAHLMitchNorth Dakota State University
39194ALLEMANAlexWestern State Colorado Universi
40156BURDICKScottMassachusetts Institute of Tech
41171LIMatthewMassachusetts Institute of Tech
42186STALLINGSAndrewMilligan College
43157CAMPBELLKaceyFront Range Community College
DNF151ADAMSBlakeKing University
DNS152ANSELDouglasUniversity of Notre Dame
DNS153ARNDTChristopherOhio Dominican University

For all the best Cyclocross Nationals 2014 coverage, including bike profiles, race reports, results and video interviews, check out our 2014 Cyclocross National Championship Page here.