ASHEVILLE, N.C.—On a blustery December morning in western North Carolina, Gage Hecht (Alpha Bicycle Co. / Vista Subaru) added another cyclocross National Championship to his palmares, taking his fifth 'cross Stars and Stripes jersey in a solo victory in the 17-18 Elite Juniors race.
Cameron Beard (Cyclocrossworld.com) grabbed the holeshot, as Hecht missed his pedal at the start line, being swarmed by the field.
Eric Brunner (Boulder Junior Cycling) jumped out to an early lead and dominated the first lap of the race, with all the pre-race favorites—Spencer Petrov (Cyclocross Network Racing), Hecht and Denzel Stephenson(Boulder Junior Cycling)—in tow.
The front of the race would stick together through the first lap as Petrov drove the pace through the Heckle Hill—a feature that would prove to be decisive later in the race.
Biding his time to strike, Hecht went all-in on lap two, attacking on the Heckle Hill and stretching his gap throughout the rest of the course. Knowing Hecht's prowess, Petrov put a strong effort in to close down Hecht's gap, and was able to bring it down to 19 seconds as Petrov rolled through the finish line to start the third lap.
Behind Petrov, the Boulder Junior Cycling teammates Brunner and Denzel Stephenson worked together to close down the gap to second place. Their teamwork was rewarded as Petrov slid out on an off-camber section, allowing the duo to reclaim even more time.
Stephenson overtook Petrov and went out in pursuit of Hecht, cutting into Hecht's solo lead. Behind him, his teammate Brunner was able to make a pass on Petrov in the final lap and bump him off the podium.
While Stephenson was charging hard—bringing Hecht within a few seconds—Hecht's gap was insurmountable and Hecht was able to roll across the finish line solo for his fifth cyclocross National Championship.
Stephenson finished three seconds behind Hecht with Brunner rolling in three seconds behind him for third.
Stay tuned for photos of the 2016 Cyclocross National Championships 17-18 Juniors race.
2016 Cyclocross Nationals 17-18 Junior Men's Results
|1||201||Gage HECHT||Alpha Bicycle Co.- Vista Subaru||39:23:00||9:58||4|
|2||205||Denzel STEPHENSON||Boulder Junior Cycling||39:26:00||9:38||4|
|3||203||Eric BRUNNER||Boulder Junior Cycling||39:29:00||9:44||4|
|4||202||Spencer PETROV||Cyclocross Network Racing||39:58:00||10:10||4|
|5||206||Evan CLOUSE||Alpha Bicycle Co.- Vista Subaru||41:05:00||10:25||4|
|7||207||Caleb SWARTZ||Trek Cyclocross Collective||42:23:00||10:33||4|
|8||222||Ross ELLWOOD||Boulder Junior Cycling||42:37:00||10:25||4|
|10||209||Cade BICKMORE||Boulder Junior Cycling||43:30:00||11:17||4|
|11||210||Jack TANNER||Boulder Junior Cycling||43:43:00||10:59||4|
|12||225||Scott MCGILL||Lee & Associates/Scott/Race Pac||44:39:00||11:12||4|
|13||211||Colton BROOKSHIRE||NCCF/ Team Specialized Juniors||44:49:00||11:09||4|
|14||221||George SCHULZ||Van Dessel Factory Team||45:08:00||11:15||4|
|15||261||Brayden BUCHANAN||Rad Racing NW||45:12:00||11:20||4|
|16||231||Drew SOTEBEER||Alpha Bicycle Co.- Vista Subaru||45:14:00||11:26||4|
|17||223||Joshua ANDERSON||Riverside Racing||45:39:00||11:21||4|
|18||230||Cassidy BAILEY||Boulder Junior Cycling||45:45:00||10:55||4|
|19||232||Henry COPPOLILLO||Rad Racing NW||45:45:00||11:13||4|
|21||235||Clyde LOGUE||Colonial Bicycle Company||46:40:00||11:44||4|
|22||220||Kevin GOGUEN||RACE CF||46:48:00||11:13||4|
|23||227||Jordan LEWIS||Cycle-Smart Inc.||46:50:00||11:28||4|
|24||273||Jack WARNER||Village-Verdigris Cycling Team||47:27:00||11:43||4|
|25||224||Nicholas BEIRNE||Better Cycling of Louisville||47:29:00||12:01||4|
|26||258||Donovan BIRKY||Bend Endurance Academy||47:44:00||12:14||4|
|27||233||Cameron SCOTT||Northampton Cycling Club||48:30:00||12:00||4|
|28||270||Cole DAVIS||NCCF/Team Specialized Juniors||48:53:00||11:42||4|
|29||237||Ethan STORM||Dallas Bike Works CX||49:29:00||12:21||4|
|30||234||Ryan AITTANIEMI||Bay Hill Capital p/b Corner Cy||49:34:00||13:35||4|
|31||241||Tommy STEINEBRUNNER||Lee & Associates/Scott/Race Pac||49:55:00||12:38||4|
|34||267||Eli GOLD||Rad Racing NW||51:10:00||13:51||4|
|36||250||Henry DAVIS||Wenzel Coaching Junior Developm||38:21:00||12:54||3|
|37||244||Garrett SMITH||Reedy Creek Bicycles||38:24:00||13:09||3|
|38||242||Zachary YOUNG||Lionhearts Junior Racing||38:37:00||12:58||3|
|39||268||Charlie ORMSBY||Blue Ridge Cyclery Racing p/b R||38:41:00||13:20||3|
|40||252||Ethan DELLAMAESTRA||Storm Racing Team||38:53:00||12:48||3|
|41||253||Collin SALLEE||Be Real Sports||38:57:00||13:10||3|
|44||254||Cole WEIDENBACH||787 Racing||39:33:00||12:35||3|
|45||246||Thomas CAREY||Rogue Velo Racing||39:35:00||12:30||3|
|46||259||Tyler CURTIS||NorthStar Development||39:45:00||13:11||3|
|47||248||Zachary ROSS||Bishop Bicycles||39:52:00||13:19||3|
|50||240||Alexander CHRISTIAN||Lionhearts Junior Racing||40:10:00||13:17||3|
|51||260||Aidan POUNDER||AYC Junior Development Race Tea||40:14:00||13:45||3|
|53||245||Perry ANDRE||Somerset Wheelmen||40:24:00||13:15||3|
|54||247||Paul HARTNER||Bonkers Cycling||40:37:00||14:02||3|
|55||251||Eli HOUSE||Veloworks Urban Cyclery||41:08:00||13:45||3|
|56||262||Jacob BANKS||Veloworks Urban Cyclery||41:11:00||13:43||3|
|57||264||Mark MYLES||Be Real Sports||41:46:00||14:02||3|
|58||255||Christian NORVOLD||Cannondale Sports New England||42:00:00||14:13||3|
|59||263||William HARDIN||Hearts Racing Club||27:56:00||13:51||2|
|60||212||Nicolas PADILLA||G2 Bike||28:00:00||13:58||2|
|61||272||Jules GILLIAM||NCCF/ Team Specialized Juniors||28:01:00||13:53||2|
|62||271||Sean MCELROY||NCCF/ Team Specialized Juniors||29:12:00||15:49||2|
|63||266||Luke THOMAS||Hawleys Bicycle World Racing T||31:20:00||16:02||2|
|64||269||Jack WHITE||Indian Cycle||31:22:00||15:43||2|
|DNF||243||Jack CRUMP||Red Zone Cycling||15:31||1|