Growing up, I was really into baseball, which is a sport where numbers and milestones are often revered. Accomplishments such as Roger Maris’ 61 home runs in a season, Cy Young’s 511 career wins and Ted Williams’ 0.406 batting average in 1941 took on a greater meaning, even though they were just … numbers.
In cyclocross, numbers of distinction are a bit harder to come by. Courses and fast times change each year and there are not specialized stats like most tailwhips dropped or bunny hops converted. Given the importance of Nationals and Worlds in ’cross, one way of defining excellence is most wins and podium appearances at those two revered races.
Last year when I interviewed Jeremy Powers before Hartford Nationals I asked him, with four Nationals titles to his name, if getting number five and tying the male record was important to him. His response was, “Who has won five? I’m curious. Who has won five? It’s not a modern rider because I’ve never heard of anyone winning five. I don’t know who’s won five.”
Needless to say, I was surprised! If I were an athlete with four Nationals wins, I would probably want to get number five and at least tie the mark.
For the record, the current record for the men belongs to Laurence Malone, who won five straight titles from 1975 to 1979. His 5, of course, put him third all-time behind Katie Compton with 14 and Alison Dunlap with 6.
After my interview with Powers, I became interested in learning more about U.S. Cyclocross Nationals superlatives. Using the power of the internet — while trying to avoid going too far down the rabbit hole — I found three resources to help me out. The U.S. Nationals Wikipedia page has decent results for the last two decades or so, this compilation is impressive and then a site called the-sports.org has a fairly comprehensive collection of podium finishers. Some results for the full Women’s podiums from 1986 to 1991 are still missing.
Elite Nationals wins and podiums can define cyclocross superlatives. The table and accompanying discussion below summarize the accomplishments of the 26 men and women who have won Elite U.S. Cyclocross Nationals and the 75 (unofficially) who have finished on an Elite Nationals podium. Full tables of Elite U.S. Nationals podiums are at the bottom of this post.
Many of these riders also have National Championships and podiums to their names in younger categories, so we might tackle U23 and Junior podiums another day.
The Pantheon of Champions
The conversation about U.S. champions begins and ends with Katie Compton. In fact, if numbers are relevant in cyclocross, it is probably because we cannot help but gawk at Compton’s 14 straight Nationals wins. When Compton first won Nationals, Barack Obama was a just-elected Senator from Illinois, the Dow Jones was around 10,500 and Facebook was still called TheFacebook.
In a sport where racers describe mechanicals and crashes as “all in the game,” Compton’s string of success is that much more impressive.
U.S. Cyclocross Nationals Multiple-Time Winners
When Compton won her first Nationals in 2004, she faced what seemed like an insurmountable record at the time. Alison Dunlap won five straight Nationals from 1997 to 2001 and six overall. Compton won her sixth in 2009 and then took hold of the record in 2010. Since then, she has doubled that mark.
With years of dominance by Compton and Dunlap, the men are left battling for the third spot on the U.S. cyclocross superlatives podium. When the first officially sanctioned Nationals were held in 1975, Laurence Malone wasted no time in setting a record for his fellow cyclocrossers to aspire to. Malone won five-straight titles from 1975 to 1979 and still holds the record for the men.
The — magic or perhaps tragic — number for the sport’s top men is four. Four riders have four wins. Don Myrah won four times in the 1980s and 90s; Jonathan Page won three-straight from 2002 to 2004 and then another a decade later in 2013, and Jeremy Powers won the 2012 and 2014 to 2016 races. Page’s second behind Powers in 2015 in Austin and Powers’ second behind Stephen Hyde last month in Reno were both men’s shots at the elusive fifth title.
There have been a total of eight women who have won U.S. Cyclocross Nationals through 2018. With 14 wins, Katie Compton has won nearly half (40%) of the U.S. Nationals raced from 1975 to 1977 and 1986 to the present. Dunlap has six titles, and Elizabeth Muhich is the other women to win Nationals at least three times.
Eighteen different men have won U.S. Nationals since 1975. In addition to Malone and the three with four, Clark Natwick, Tim Johnson and Todd Wells have three titles. When Stephen Hyde lines up this December in Louisville, he will be chasing not only his third-straight title but also a spot in a very select group of excellence with 1 other athletes.
Consistency and Tough Luck Podiums
Landing on a cyclocross podium at Nationals is an accomplishment worth celebrating; placing in the top three among your peers in the sport is hard to do! Podium finishes can be moments of triumph, as we saw when Michael Vanthourenhout celebrated finishing second at the 2018 World Championships, but they can also signify near misses or just plain bad luck.
U.S. Cyclocross Nationals: Four or More Podium Finishes
Not surprisingly, Katie Compton and Alison Dunlap have left a several excellent women racers in the “tough luck” category. The two most affected by the duo’s shared dominance are Rachel Lloyd and Ann Knapp (Grande). Both Lloyd and Knapp have the distinction of finishing second behind both Dunlap and Compton.
Knapp finished second behind Dunlap three straight years from 1998 to 2000 before getting her revenge in 2002 and ending Dunlap’s five-year winning streak. Second place in 2002? Rachel Lloyd. Dunlap won once more in 2003 and then Knapp finished second in 2005 when Compton won her second title.
Lloyd reached seven Nationals podiums and Knapp six during their respective careers. Lloyd’s run is notable for its longevity. She finished third in 2000 and then got her seventh podium finish with a third in Austin in 2015. Rachel Lloyd finally got to see the Stars-and-Stripes jersey on a Lloyd when her sister Monica won the Masters 40-44 race in Reno last month.
Another member of the Katie Compton Tough Luck Club? Georgia Gould. Gould finished second behind Compton four times! Which is, fittingly, the same number of times Compton has finished second at the World Championships, so Compton can empathize with her fellow silver medalist.
The newest member of the KFC TLC is Kaitie Keough, who finished second in 2012 and 2015 and has finished third each of the last three years.
The top two spots in the U.S. podium pantheon are pretty easy to figure out. First is Compton, duh, and second is the recently retired Jonathan Page with 12. Page’s only podium misses between 2002 to 2015 were 2010 in Bend and 2014 in Boulder. His competitors during that era included fellow four-time winner Powers, three-time winners Tim Johnson and Todd Wells and two-time winner Ryan Trebon.
The third spot goes to a male rider who can feel the pain of the KFC TLC members. Ryan Trebon won Nationals in 2006 and 2008, but finished second a whopping six times! All told, he has nine U.S. Nationals podiums to his name. From 2004 to 2014, Trebon finished 1st or 2nd 8 of the 11 years. The riders who beat Trebon? The murderer’s row of Page, Wells, Powers and Johnson.
Next up behind Trebon are Clark Natwick and Don Myrah with eight podiums each. The two share seven Nationals wins and another seven Nationals silver medals.
Second or third-place finishes do not necessarily signify near misses; often gaps in cyclocross races are large, but given the “all in the game” nature of cyclocross, they can show how if things were a little different on a given day, the shape of the U.S. cyclocross record book could be different.
U.S. Cyclocross Nationals Podiums
The full history of Elite U.S. Cyclocross Nationals podiums since 1975, based on available information, is below.
If there are any errors or if you have info on some of the missing podium positions please let us know at news [at] cxmagazine.com.
Updated: Podium finishers.
Women's U.S. Nationals Podiums: 1975-1978, 1986-2018
|2018||Reno, NV||Katie Compton||Ellen Noble||Kaitlin Keough|
|2017||Hartford, CT||Katie Compton||Amanda Miller||Kaitlin Keough|
|2016||Asheville, NC||Katie Compton||Georgia Gould||Kaitlin Keough|
|2015||Austin, TX||Katie Compton||Kaitlin Keough||Rachel Lloyd|
|2014||Boulder, CO||Katie Compton||Elle Anderson||Meredith Miller|
|2013||Madison, WI||Katie Compton||Jade Wilcoxson||Nicole Duke|
|2012||Madison, WI||Katie Compton||Kaitlin Keough||Nicole Duke|
|2010||Bend, OR||Katie Compton||Georgia Gould||Meredith Miller|
|2009||Bend, OR||Katie Compton||Meredith Miller||Amy Dombroski|
|2008||Kansas City, KS||Katie Compton||Georgia Gould||Rachel Lloyd|
|2007||Kansas City, KS||Katie Compton||Rachel Lloyd||Georgia Gould|
|2006||Providence, RI||Katie Compton||Georgia Gould||Kerry Barnholt|
|2005||Providence, RI||Katie Compton||Ann Knapp||Maureen Bruno Roy|
|2004||Portland, OR||Katie Compton||Gina Hall||Ann Knapp|
|2003||Portland, OR||Alison Dunlap||Rachel Lloyd||Gina Hall|
|2002||Napa, CA||Ann Knapp||Rachel Lloyd||Gina Hall|
|2001||Baltimore, MD||Alison Dunlap||Carmen D’Aluisio||Rachel Lloyd|
|2000||Overland Park, KS||Alison Dunlap||Ann Knapp||Rachel Lloyd|
|1999||San Francisco, CA||Alison Dunlap||Ann Knapp||Shari Kain-Rodgers|
|1998||Fort Devens, MA||Alison Dunlap||Ann Knapp||Carmen Richardson|
|1997||Lakewood, CO||Alison Dunlap||Miranda Briggs||Ruth Matthes|
|1996||Seattle, WA||Shari Kain-Rodgers||Janice Bolland||Alison Dunlap|
|1995||Leicester, MA||Janice Bolland||Shari Kain-Rodgers||Laurie Brandt|
|1994||Seattle, WA||Shari Kain-Rodgers||Laurie Brandt||Cheryl Moores|
|1993||Sonora, CA||Lisa Muhich||Cheryl Moores||Nancy Reynolds|
|1992||Golden, CO||Lisa Muhich||Nancy Reynolds||Kathy Riggert|
|1991||Waltham, MA||Kathy Riggert|
|1990||Bremerton, WA||Elizabeth Muhich||Dina DiSantis|
|1989||Milwaukee, WI||Elizabeth Muhich|
|1988||Plymouth, MA||Elizabeth Muhich|
|1987||Bremerton, WA||Elizabeth Chapman||Dina DiSantis|
|1986||Scotts Valley, CA||Elizabeth Chapman||Jacquie Phelan|
|1977||Milwaukee, WI||Joyce Sulauke||Debra Schadewaldt||Joan Johnson|
|1976||Sunriver, OR||Mary Ann Allan||Carolyn Peterson||Joyce Sulauke|
|1975||Berkeley, CA||Mary Ann Allan||Linda Searl||Clara Teyssier|
Men's U.S. Nationals Podiums: 1975-2018
|2018||Reno, NV||Stephen Hyde||Jeremy Powers||Kerry Werner|
|2017||Hartford, CT||Stephen Hyde||Jamey Driscoll||Kerry Werner|
|2016||Asheville, NC||Jeremy Powers||Stephen Hyde||Logan Owen|
|2015||Austin, TX||Jeremy Powers||Jonathan Page||Zach McDonald|
|2014||Boulder, CO||Jeremy Powers||Ryan Trebon||Tim Johnson|
|2013||Madison, WI||Jonathan Page||Zach McDonald||Jamey Driscoll|
|2012||Madison, WI||Jeremy Powers||Ryan Trebon||Jonathan Page|
|2010||Bend, OR||Todd Wells||Ryan Trebon||Jeremy Powers|
|2009||Bend, OR||Tim Johnson||Ryan Trebon||Jonathan Page|
|2008||Kansas City, KS||Ryan Trebon||Jamey Driscoll||Jonathan Page|
|2007||Kansas City, KS||Tim Johnson||Jonathan Page||Todd Wells|
|2006||Providence RI||Ryan Trebon||Jonathan Page||Tim Johnson|
|2005||Providence RI||Todd Wells||Ryan Trebon||Jonathan Page|
|2004||Portland, OR||Jonathan Page||Ryan Trebon||Todd Wells|
|2003||Portland, OR||Jonathan Page||Todd Wells||Ryan Trebon|
|2002||Napa, CA||Jonathan Page||Todd Wells||Travis Brown|
|2001||Baltimore, MD||Todd Wells||Tim Johnson||Marc Gullickson|
|2000||Overland Park, KS||Tim Johnson||Mark Gullickson||Mark McCormack|
|1999||San Francisco, CA||Mark Gullickson||Bart Bowen||Tim Johnson|
|1998||Fort Devens, MA||Frank McCormack||Steve Larsen||Jonathan Page|
|1997||Lakewood, CO||Mark McCormack||Frank McCormack||Dale Knapp|
|1996||Seattle, WA||Frank McCormack||Mark McCormack||Jan Wiejak|
|1995||Leicester, MA||Jan Wiejack||Mark McCormack||Daryl Price|
|1994||Seattle, WA||Jan Wiejack||Don Myrah||Dale Knapp|
|1993||Sonora, CA||Don Myrah||Pete Webber|
|1992||Golden, CO||Mark Howe||Don Myrah||Steve Tilford|
|1991||Waltham, MA||Don Myrah||Mark McCormack|
|1990||Bremerton, WA||Don Myrah||Larry Hibbard||Laurence Malone|
|1989||Milwaukee, WI||Don Myrah||Jan Wiejak||Paul Curley|
|1988||Plymouth, MA||Casey Kunselman||Don Myrah||Frank McCormack|
|1987||Bremerton, WA||Clark Natwick (4)||Don Myrah||Paul Curley|
|1986||Scotts Valley, CA||Clark Natwick||Paul Curley||Casey Kunselman|
|1985||Nutley, NJ||Paul Curley||Ned Overend|
|1984||Santa Cruz, CA||Steve Tilford||Roy Knickman||Laurence Malone|
|1983||Plymouth, MA||Steve Tilford||Clark Natwick||Tim Rutledge|
|1982||Nutley, NJ||Roy Knickman||Clark Natwick||Steve Tilford|
|1981||Pacifica, CA||Clark Natwick||Myron Lind||Joe Ryan|
|1980||Colorado Springs, CO||Joe Ryan||Mark Jansen||Davis Phinney|
|1979||Eugene, OR||Laurence Malone||Joe Ryan||Clark Natwick|
|1978||Austin, TX||Laurence Malone||Clark Natwick||John Howard|
|1977||Milwaukee, WI||Laurence Malone||Clark Natwick||Joe Ryan|
|1976||Sunriver, OR||Laurence Malone||Joe Ryan||Mark Pringle|
|1975||Berkeley, CA||Laurence Malone||Dan Nall||Joe Ryan|