Full 2016 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championship coverage can be found right here.

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#CXNats race reports from Wed-Saturday are brought to you in part by Verge Sport.

by Celeste Taylor

ASHEVILLE, North Carolina—Karen Tripp (Finkraft Cycling Team) took home the gold in Thursday’s Masters Women 55-59 national championship race after taking a decisive early lead.

Tripp took control right off the grid and had a significant gap on the rest of the field less than half of a lap into the race. In her wake, the rest of the field jostled for podium positions. Deirdre Garvey (Boulder Cycle Sport/YogaGlo) led the chase about fifteen seconds behind Tripp. Shortly behind Garvey, Jennifer Defalco (MidAtlantic Colavita Women’s Team), Susan Lynch (Bikeway Source/Bell Lap Racing), Lisa Coyne (Team Group Health) and Ellen Reichel (Live Love Velo) scrambled to establish dominance and secure a spot on the final podium.

Masters Women 55-59. © Cyclocross Magazine

Karen Tripp wins the Master Women’s 55-59 National Championship. © Cyclocross Magazine

As the field rounded the turn into the second lap, Tripp’s 15 second lead remained largely uncontested but Lynch, the second place finisher in the same event in 2014, had overtaken Garvey by a sizable margin. Behind Garvey, Coyne and Defalco rode neck and neck.

Lynch continued her quest to overtake Tripp while widening her own gap on the rest of the field. Through the off camber headed toward Heckle Hill, Garvey tried to keep an ever-growing chase group at bay. Karen Nash (Cross) and Jennifer Harvey (HRRT) had joined Coyne and Defalco and all four were working to reel Garvey in.

As the riders crossed the line with two to go, Lynch was still fifteen seconds down on Tripp but had over a 30 second gap on all of the other competitors. Barreling down the pavement, Nash led Coyne and Garvey with Defalco and Harvey doing their best to stay in the mix.

While Tripp held Lynch at bay, Nash worked to open a gap on Garvey, who was slowly edging out Coyne. Coyne and Garvey, the second and third place finishers of 2015, were not easily dropped and together they were able to reel Nash back in over the course of the final lap.

Masters Women 55-59. © Cyclocross Magazine

Congratulations all around in the Master Womens 55-59 race. © Cyclocross Magazine

Tripp won the event handily with Lynch coming in second in a solid showing behind her. Garvey was able to out ride her competitors for bronze with Coyne and Nash filling the final podium steps.

The 55-59 Masters Women's podium. © R. Riott / Cyclcross Magazine

The 55-59 Masters Women’s podium. © R. Riott / Cyclcross Magazine

Watch Tripp’s take on her victory and see the full race results below.

2016 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships Women's 55-59 Full Results

1Karen TRIPPFinkraft Cyling Team41:37.
2Susan LYNCHBikeway Source/Bell Lap Racing42:11.
3Deirdre GARVEYBoulder Cycle Sport/ YogaGlo42:58.
4Lisa COYNETeam Group Health43:09.
5Karen NASHCross43:10.
6Jennifer HARVEYHRRT44:13.
7Jennifer DEFALCO44:33.
8Sarah BARBERNew Pioneer Food Co-op45:44.
9Ellen REICHELLive Love Velo46:46.
10Marni HARKERColavita Midatlantic Womens Te46:57.
11Susan BERNATAS47:50.
12Lynn PITSONHearts Racing Club49:11.
13Elizabeth WILLIAMSSturdy Girl Cycling Club & Race49:20.
14Lisa FITZGERALD49:37.
15Lisa BONGIORNOFrazier Cycling49:45.
16Kari MYRLAND50:05.
17Clare BURKHART53:09.
18Lorri WARLICK54:07.
19Evelyn EGIZIPatapsco Bicycles41:04.
20Sandra MORRISSEYTeam Cross Colorado41:45.
21Ana BAILIEL5Flyers Cycling Team42:13.
22Denise CLEARWATER22:08.

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