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by Dave Mable

While temperatures rose in the afternoon, so did racing action. The Masters 40-44 race featured a number of heavy hitters, including a number of former pros. One of the big names, Justin Robinson (Santa Cruz), started the fireworks early by taking the holeshot and getting a jump on the 70-man field. His fast start helped separate things early.

Justin Robinson got out to a fast start.Masters 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © J. Vander Stucken / Cyclocross Magazine

Justin Robinson got out to a fast start.Masters 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © J. Vander Stucken / Cyclocross Magazine

Taking Jake Wells (Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado) with him, Robinson got a bit of a gap on the first lap. Coming through the start-finish straight, Wells went to the front and kept the pace high, hoping to keep the gap on the rest of the chasers that included Alec Donahue (JAM Fund / NCC) and local hero Justin Thomas (Reno Wheelmen).

The chase group behind Wells featured several heavy hitters. Masters 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © J. Vander Stucken / Cyclocross Magazine

The chase group behind Wells featured several heavy hitters. Masters 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © J. Vander Stucken / Cyclocross Magazine

A gap on Robinson, and the lead, is what Wells got in return.

“We went out onto the start-finish with a little bit of a lead,” said Wells. “I just tried to drill it a little bit going into the wind to see if we could keep the gap. I looked back and I had the up on Justin (Robinson), so I thought, Well, if I can keep on the gas and make those guys chase solo into the wind, it might work out in my favor.”

Jake Wells had smooth sailing in front of him. Masters 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © J. Vander Stucken / Cyclocross Magazine

Jake Wells had smooth sailing in front of him. Masters 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © J. Vander Stucken / Cyclocross Magazine

In the World’s Biggest Little City, the odds were forever in Wells’ favor. He put seconds into Robinson and the rest of the field on every lap, turning 7:28 laps while fighting the wind alone. His were among the fastest of the day so far. With his deep fitness from racing in long gravel and mountain bike races, Wells was able to hold off all chasers, taking his first-ever national title.

Jake Wells rode along most of the race to win his first national championship. Masters 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Jake Wells rode along most of the race to win his first national championship. Masters 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Behind Wells, a battle was ensuing for the rest of the podium spots.

Justin Robinson leads a chase group. Masters 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © J. Vander Stucken / Cyclocross Magazine

Justin Robinson leads a chase group. Masters 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © J. Vander Stucken / Cyclocross Magazine

Robinson continued to hold on to second, but a hard chase from Steven Stefko (First City Cycling) and Donahue brought him back. Stefko powered by Robinson and was able to put a handful of seconds between the two, but Donahue stuck right with him.

The fight for second was an intense one eventually won by Steven Stefko. Masters 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

The fight for second was an intense one eventually won by Steven Stefko. Masters 40-44. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable/ Cyclocross Magazine

Rounding the final corner ahead of Robinson and Donahue, he would crossed the line in second to take home the Nationals silver medal.

Robinson would be the first around the final corner, Donahue on his tail. The two hit the gas for an all-out sprint for the line, Robinson holding on to take third. The two would share the time of 47:02.

Men Masters 40-44 Results: 2018 Reno Cyclocross Nationals

PlaceBibLASTFirstTeamCity STTimeGap
1326WELLSJakeBicycle Racing Association of CAvon CO46:09
2368STEFKOStevenFirst City Cycling TeamFort Collins CO46:5546
3311ROBINSONJustinSanta Cruz Factory RacingBonny Doon CA47:0253
4354DONAHUEAlecJAM Fund / NCCEasthampton MA47:02s.t.
5322THOMASJustinReno WheelmenReno NV47:241:15
6362BAKERJonathanSeattle WA48:142:05
7315ANDERSONEricZIPP Masters TeamIndianapolis IN48:15s.t.
8303PORTERDanielFirst City Cycling TeamFort Collins CO48:332:24
9341ESTESSeanCycle Sport - Specialized p/b MMorgan Hill CA48:592:50
10308HUSEBYJohannesBoulder Cycle SportBoulder CO49:072:58
11324HAMMONDKentPAA CyclingLos Angeles CA49:443:35
12356DAHLRyanSan Marcos CA49:523:43
13363MATTERNCraigPark Ave Bike ShopRochester NY50:053:56
14365SYVERTSENBrueSan Francisco CA50:05s.t.
15340MORGANJustinTop ClubPortola Valley CA50:104:01
16355PIGGAJoeLamprey SystemsBethlehem PA50:124:03
17316NIETERSJaredSEAVS/HaymarketAmissville VA50:474:38
18357SCHMITTDamianBend OR42:18@1Lap
19307DELINKSChandlerCannondale CyclocrossworldIpswich MA42:42@1Lap
20301HENDRICKSONJasonPark City UT42:45@1Lap
21351SPRANGERCalvinMafia RacingSammamish WA43:08@1Lap
22347BIGGSJasonJigawatt CyclingRaleigh NC43:16@1Lap
23309BOSCHAdrianMedford OR43:27@1Lap
24323MILLERPatrickThe Fast ForwardMorgan Hill CA43:34@1Lap
25352WORKAlexSanta Cruz CA43:44@1Lap
26327CLAYTONRyanCottonwood Heights UT43:47@1Lap
27749PATLASethPortland TitaniumForest Grove OR43:48@1Lap
28338PARKERJessAir Assurance Devo P/b Spoke HoTulsa OK44:08@1Lap
29349VRAMBOUTOlivierBayport MN44:10@1Lap
30343BURTONMichaelPark City UT44:28@1Lap
31310BRESSLERBrianBellingham WA44:29@1Lap
32358TORIANBryanCBC RacingOlympia WA44:42@1Lap
33334COOLEYDanielTeam Velo CityRichland WA44:53@1Lap
34359ELLISChris360 Racing p/b Kline Van / WoodPleasanton KS45:14@1Lap
35302HINTZJustinSacramento CA45:17@1Lap
36360MCNEALDavidD9 Foundation / DNA Race TeamNorth Hollywood CA45:26@1Lap
37306HOBBSRyanMatrix Cycling ClubDallas TX45:46@1Lap
38318ROMAGNATonyRacer X Cycling/ColoBikeLawWheat Ridge CO46:08@1Lap
39346COANDOAnthonySan Francisco CA46:17@1Lap
40329WILKYTravisStreamline Insurance Services CRound Rock TX46:29@1Lap
41320TUPAZRozelCBRE RacingPleasanton CA46:49@1Lap
42319MOROCCOSonnyChandler AZ46:51@1Lap
43304CUTLERGrantBerkeley CA46:52@1Lap
44328BRADLEYSethRouleur Devo p/b DNA CyclingSandy UT47:32@1Lap
45350PODCZERVINSKIAlanFeedback Sports RacingBroomfield CO47:41@1Lap
46353DUNHAMLannyRocky Mountain Road ClubParker CO47:55@1Lap
47313KOSTRIKINBillyModesto CO48:14@1Lap
48305BILODEAUJeffCBRE RacingBrentwood CA48:42@1Lap
49314BALIKAAndyLittleton CO48:46@1Lap
50321WHITEMichaelBoulder CO49:08@1Lap
51317ERICKSENSpencerReno WheelmenSparks NV49:29@1Lap
52364EDERChadChinook CyclingRichland WA49:41@1Lap
53361TRISKAMatthewSan Francisco CA49:54@1Lap
54336WENKERRyanFolsom CA42:41@2Laps
55369WILDEJohnCoreTechs Cycling TeamSan Francisco CA43:28@2Laps
56333DUMELINJoeVertical World CyclingMonroe WA43:52@2Laps
57342WINTERBERGDanSan Francisco CA45:56@2Laps
58348CATERyanCategory 6 Racing SquadReno NV47:57@2Laps
DNF337SUPERPeterHagens Berman CyclingIssaquah WA

For more from Reno, see our continuing coverage of the 2018 Reno Cyclocross Nationals on our dedicated Nationals page.

Photos from the races and reports are available to license here, with more to be added throughout the next week.

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