Lakewood, Wash. – The second day of racing at the 2019 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships included five contests in Masters categories, as well as the Non-Championship team relay. Cold, rainy conditions led to a slick, slippery course at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood, Wash., on the south side of Tacoma, the “Grit City.” Athletes had to grit their teeth and dig in their spikes to ensure good positioning on the first climb of the course, nicknamed Sludge Hill.
The first of the Master’s categories featured Danielle Arman (Boulder, Colo.; Tenspeed Hero p/b Bitchstix) taking the Women’s 30-34 title in 39:44. Arman accelerated away from Stephanie Taplin (Tacoma, Wash.; Indigenous Wheel Co.) on the final turn to claim her first Stars-and-Stripes jersey.
“I was either going to try to make a move right at the sandpit, or right at the finish, and the finish seemed like the right spot,” said Arman, who crossed the finish line with a scant one-second gap on second place. “It was close.”
A native of nearby Tacoma, Taplin enjoyed her experience close to home. “It’s great to have everything so close. (My team) Indigenous Wheel Co. is a local bike shop and we are a team that was setup a few years ago as soon as this venue was announced. The goal was to have a team represent at Nationals,” she noted. “The venue is awesome. It has everything you could want. It’s got a great bike wash station. It’s got excellent terrain. The parks department has been wonderful, letting them adapt that terrain to the course.”
Bradford Perley (Brevard, N.C.; Brevard College) captured the Men’s 30-34 crown in 45:19, a race with multiple lead changes in the five-lap contest.
“We had a great race,” said Perley, who is the cycling coach at Brevard College in North Carolina. “I think that there were a lot of guys in that race that could have potentially won that one. There were a lot of mistakes happening on everyone’s part and it went back and forth a little bit.”
Morning fog rolled in from Puget Sound, then led to intermittent light showers throughout day yielding a muddy but fast course.
“There’s a lot of sand in the ground and it’s interesting because it’s muddy, and it’s been raining almost the whole time I’ve been here or close to it, but it really doesn’t bog you down. You can carry a lot of speed through things,” added Perley.
The Masters Men 65-69 title was taken by George Smith (Menlo Park, Calif.; Menlo Velo Cyclocross) in 42:13. After a tough duel, Smith outsprinted multi-time national champion Paul Curley (Taunton, Mass.; Spin Arts/American Lung Association Cycling Team) to win his first Stars-and-Stripes championship jersey.
In the largest field of the day, Harry Hamilton (Madison, N.J.; Colavita-Whole Foods Market Racing) made his move in the sandpit to power away from 50 other riders and win the Masters Men 60-64 title in 40:46.
Starting from the third row, Caleb Thompson (Durango, Colo.; CRC Janitorial Scott P/b 2nd Ave Sports) worked his way to the front to win the Masters Men 35-39 race. Thompson, who finished second in Reno in 2018, claimed his first Stars-and-Stripes jersey in 46:18.
The Mixed Team Relay non championship race closed a full day of racing on Wednesday, as Team Van Der Not (Amanda Nauman, Savid Sheek,Ryan Drummond, Aubrey Drummond) took the win in 37:49.
Day Three of the Championships continue Thursday, Dec. 12 with events for Collegiate and Masters events for men beginning at 8:15 a.m. PT, the Collegiate Women Club contest . The day’s racing will also include the Men 11-22 non-championship event.
The USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships will conclude on Sunday, Dec. 16. Live streaming will be available on USA Cycling’s YouTube channel for the Junior Men’s, youth Women’s (ages 17-22), U23 men’s, Elite Women’s, and Elite Men’s races. Racing will begin at 8:15 a.m. PT with commentary by Tim Johnson, Meredith Miller and Brad Sohner.
The official hashtag for the event is #CXNats. Championship and Non-Vhampionship races will be covered all week on Twitter via @USACyclingLIVE, with behind the scenes content posted to the USA Cycling Instagram Stories. Galleries will be posted nightly on USA Cycling’s Facebook Page and on Instagram. Follow your favorite athletes this week at www.livelynxresults.com. One2Go Results will provide live lap splits for every athlete every time they cross the line for all events.