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The Junior Men 17-18 lined up just as the morning snow turned to a steady rain, helping to create a sloppy, boggy course. With last year’s winner, Cody Kaiser, moving up to the U23’s, the race was open but Jeffrey Bahnson (Van Dessel Factory Team) was a heavy favorite going in. At the gun Gunner Bergey and Sam O’Keefe (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) charged off the line in white ‘stormtrooper’ skinsuits to take 1-2 in the holeshot.
Their lead was short lived, however, as Zane Godby (Clif Bar Development Cross Team), Bahnson, and Andrew Dillman (Prochain Cycling) joined O’Keefe as Bergey faded slightly. The four races established a strong lead over the remainder of the field as they dropped into the bowl for the first time. Godby put in a hard effort on the backside and looked to be establishing a lead, but was caught by Bahnson and Dillman before the stairs, forming a strong trio.
Bjorn Fox (Clif Bar Development Cross Team) bridged the gap to Bergey and O’Keefe, who had rejoined behind the three leaders, and two groups of three now battled for the order on the podium. The rain, which began to let up, had done it’s work – the course by now was slippery with large sections completely submerged. A large pond had formed at the base of the stairs, covering the first step and causing at least one racer to catch his foot and come crashing into the wet wood.
The trio at the front did not stay together long, as Bahnson put in a hard effort and surged ahead of Godby and Dillman, just as Fox caught up. Fox pushed by and passed Bahnson, bringing Dillman along for the ride and dropping Godby. Bahnson responded, and it looked like the fight among the top three might continue until the line.
Dillman couldn’t quite keep the pace, however, and soon it was Fox leading Bahnson, with riders increasingly distanced behind them. Godby, Bergey and Gorry rounded out the top six.
With two laps to go Bahnson made his move, putting in a huge effort and dropping Fox on the frontside of the course. By the time he dropped into the bowl, he was on his own with a ten second gap on Fox. He never relinquished the lead. Dillman was hanging strong thirty seconds behind Fox. This was the order across the line, with Gorry and Bergey rounding out the top five.
“It feels pretty good, I guess,” said the often reticent Bahnson. “I had a pretty shitty start on the sprint with the mud and water. I was going back and forth a bit with Bjorn, but I attacked on the finishing straight and tried to keep the power down and keep the gap. When I got ten seconds on him, I knew I had it pretty much on the bag.”
|1||150||Jeffrey Bahnson||Newark, DE||0:42:32||106||Van Dessel Factory Team|
|2||135||Bjorn Fox||Incline Village, NV||43:01:00||124||Clif Bar Development Cross Team|
|3||120||Andrew Dillman||Fairdale, KY||43:50:00||115||Prochain Cycling|
|4||105||Richard Cypress Gorry||Payson, AZ||44:15:00||105|
|5||90||Gunnar Bergey||Lederach, PA||44:25:00||118||C3-Athletes Serving Athletes|
|6||85||Samuel O’Keefe||Baltimore, MD||45:07:00||122||Charm City Cycling Llc|
|7||80||Alex Howard||Mill Valley, CA||45:14:00||127||Above Category Racing|
|8||75||Tobin Ortenblad||Santacruz, CA||45:19:00||126|
|9||70||Zane Godby||Louisville, CO||45:23:00||112||Clif Bar Development Cross Team|
|10||65||Kolby Preble||Forestgrove, OR||45:51:00||119||Clif Bar Development Cross Team|
|11||60||Luke Haley||Louisville, KY||45:57:00||136||Red Zone Cycling|
|12||55||Jack MacClarence||Loudonville, NY||46:14:00||103||Capital Bicycle Racing Club|
|13||50||Brandon Dillard||Cottonwood, CA||47:37:00||121||Owens Healthcare|
|14||45||Zachary Semian||Mertztown, PA||47:52:00||129||Chester County Cycling Foundati|
|15||40||Tyler Coplea||Fountain Hills, AZ||48:08:00||109|
|16||38||Evan Renwick||Federal Way, WA||48:19:00||114||Northwest Velo/First Rate Mortg|
|17||36||Cole Sprague||Bend, OR||48:19:00||125|
|18||34||Samuel Dobrozsi||Loveland, OH||48:56:00||110||Queen City Wheels|
|19||32||Zachary Bender||Glen Rock, NJ||49:04:00||132||Cycle-Smart Inc.|
|20||Exp||Alex Darville||Santa Barbara, CA||49:23:00||134||Echelon Santa Barbara|
|21||28||Adam Artner||Central Point, OR||50:53:00||102|
|22||26||Callum Read||Albuquerque, NM||51:13:00||116||Active Knowledge/Cottonwood Cla|
|23||Exp||Johnny Mullane||Watsonville, CA||51:25:00||123||Bike Station Aptos|
|24||22||Kyle Miller||Harleysville, PA||52:24:00||117|
|25||20||Andy Su||Bend, OR||@1Lap||135|
|26||19||Cary Adams||Corvallis, OR||@1Lap||120|
|27||18||Timothy Jaynes||Grantspass, OR||@1Lap||113|
|28||17||Joshua Keener||Albuquerque, NM||@1Lap||139||Active Knowledge/[email protected]|
|29||16||Kaleb Anderson||Meridian, ID||@1Lap||108||Byrds (Boise Young Rider Dev Sq|
|30||15||Ayden Hibner-Hereford||Albuquerque, NM||@1Lap||141||Active Knowledge|
|31||14||August Lehnert||Beaufort, SC||@1Lap||107|
|32||13||Mark VanBergen||Portland, OR||@1Lap||138|
|33||12||Zachary Colton||Bend, OR||@1Lap||140|
|34||11||David Yamamoto||Auburn, WA||@1Lap||104||Asc Junior Development Associat|
|DNS||Exp||Ryan Geiger||Flagstaff, AZ||DNS||111|
|DNF||0||J Fette||Woodinville, WA||DNF||133||Lake Washington Velo/Hagens Ber|
|DNF||0||Ben Bertiger||Altadena, CA||DNF||128||Major Motion Cycling Club|
|DNF||0||Jeremiah Dyer||Valdese, NC||DNF||130|