Talking with Tim Rutledge brought back some memories of days long gone.
So we went down the rabbit hole of old race videos and found this highlight film of the 1998 Elite Men’s Cyclocross National Championship race held in Ft. Devens, Massachusetts, in a park Rutledge once described as “Cyclocross Disneyland.” Some of the names mentioned by Rutledge in our interview with him are listed in the top-10 from ’98, including Dale Knapp and Johnny “El Gato” Sundt, who was on Redline and took 6th. There are a host of other familiar names as well.
The 1998 Elite Men’s race is memorable to those that were there in part because Sundt was riding the barriers that were a top the first part of what was essentially a two-section run-up. Each lap, Sundt was picking up speed on the cinder track below and riding up the first portion of the run-up, then hopping the barriers at the top before continuing on.
Frank McCormack, perhaps sensing that the gains Sundt was making could be the difference maker, took the inside line on a late lap forcing Sundt into the fencing and off his bike. That was essentially McCormack’s attack that put him in the lead and gave him the victory.
The day prior was memorable as well. In the U23 race Tim Johnson took the win ahead of a number of notables including Jonathan Page. Page had looked good throughout the race, but near the end rolled a tubular. Johnson took the win and went on to Worlds where he earned a bronze medal. Many wonder what may have been for Page had that tire held. The fact that Page took bronze the following day in the Elite race goes to show just how strong he was.
Also notable from the day prior to the Elite Men’s race was the Junior Men’s event. It was there that Matt Kelly won the National Championship title before heading off to Worlds and taking the victory there.
Take a look at the highlights from the ’98 Elite Men’s National Championship posted to YouTube by Henry Jurenka back on March 1, 2014, and see the race’s full top ten, shared by Jurenka in his original post, below the video.
1. Frank McCormack (Saturn) 1.03.48
2. Steve Larsen (Schwinn-Toyota) 0.19
3. Jonathan Page (Head Shok-Cannondale) 0.20
4. Mark McCormack (Saturn) 0.21
5. Bart Bowen (Saturn) 0.22
6. Jonathan Sundt (Redline-JogMate) 0.42
7. Marc Gullickson (Team GT) 1.07
8. Dale Knap (Control Tech-Kona) 1.35
9. Peter Webber (Gary Fisher) 1.43
10. Jed Fox (LeMond-Reynolds) 2.12