Bahnson in control © Janet Hill

Bahnson in control © Janet Hill

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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.”

Photo Gallery:

Full Results:

Place Points Name City, State Time Bib Team
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/Aims@Unm
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