ASHEVILLE, North Carolina—Thursday’s racing kicked off with the Master Women’s 30-34 race. All eyes were on Jenna Blandford (VO2) last year’s second place finisher, 2015 bronze medalist Leslie Timm and Avanell Schmitz (Mermaid Winery) as the sun started to fully rise.
With breath visible from the effort in the cold air and a fierce look of determination, Blandford was the first off the line and around the course’s first turn and seemed set about taking one more step on the podium this year.
But it wasn’t to be.
Coming from a second to last call-up, Melinda McCutcheon (Canyon Bicycles-Shimano) took the race by the horns before the first pass through the barn and the climb up Ingles Heckle Hill and never looked back. Putting in a first lap time of 9:01, she kept the gas on putting in consistently quick laps and took the title, her first win and second time on the podium, having finished fourth in Boulder two years ago.
The race behind McCutcheon was on as Blandford held second despite a charge from Schmitz and Stacy Kalemkiarian (Power Fix CX). The later two seemed to be working together at the race’s half way point, but Schmitz set out on her own at one to go in pursuit of Blandford. It wasn’t enough in the end though for any of the race’s chasers.
In the end, with the title secured by McCutcheon with her blistering, steady laps, it was Blandford who held on for her second second-place finish in as many years, with Schmitz taking third.
2016 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships Women's 30-34 Full Results
|1||Melinda MCCUTCHEON||Canyon Bicycles-Shimano||36:19.|
|3||Avanell SCHMITZ||Mermaid Winery||38:16.|
|4||Stacy KALEMKIARIAN||Power Fix CX||38:45.|
|6||Amanda SCHAAP||Speed Merchants||40:41.|
|9||Amanda SCHAPER||Giro Sport Design||41:55.|
|10||Brittany MONTGOMERY||Sorella Cycling p/b Hincapie Sp||43:13.|
|11||Rebecca LEWANDOWSKI||Rare Disease Cycling||44:22.|
|12||Jenna DOWNEY||Sorella Cycling p/b Hincapie Sp||44:53.|
|13||Marayah DEESE||Portland Bicycle Studio||45:17.|
|15||Ali WHITTIER||Privateer Cyclocross Chattanoog||45:50.|
|16||Christy QUIRK||SpokesWomen Syndicate||48:19.|
|18||Jenna LATOURNICHOLS||Rutgers University-New Brunswic||36:35.|
|19||Vicky PABON||Sugar Cycles/Wholesome Sweetene||36:50.|
|20||Cambrie EPPERSON||Sorella Cycling p/b Hincapie Sp||17:00.|
2016 Women’s Masters 30-34 Cyclocross National Championship Photo Gallery