Mark’s National Champ Wrap Up

To the individual who told me at Uncle Sam GP that these emails were spam and needed to stop, know that your comment emboldened me to double down and keep this going. To everyone else who’s said in person or sent by email compliments and encouragement (who well outnumbered the complainer), your comments kept this going and made me excited to do these every week.

There are no spoilers for the elite races below, you can find those details elsewhere, like in the Bulletin.

Day one on Tuesday was the non-championship races before the rain came, with Brad Young 9th in the 50+.

Day two brought us the baby masters and the rain… and the mud. Nate Porter got early belled and was finished first. Unfortunately, he ended up one lap down, finishing 14th in the Men’s 30-34. In the Men’s 35-39, Jeff K did the same thing, ending up 17th, while Nick Groll finished 13th on the lead lap. In the “actual” Masters, Terry Blanchet finished 22nd in the 60-64 and Brad Young finished 5th on the wide angle podium in the 65-69.

In Thursday’s Collegiate Club Race, Pat Frank finished 6th while wearing his Catamounts kit.

On Friday, Ryan Conley rounded out the Goon squad delegation at Nats with his 19th-place finish in the Men’s 40-44, and Peter Dinolfo finished 26th in the 45-49. In the 55-59, Lance Law finished 23rd, while the 50-54 (which was won by Adam Myerson) saw Bret Young finish in 51st place, still on the lead lap.

In the Women’s 13-14, we had Lilli O’Donnell and Maddie Hanna, as well as Anne-Sophie Laloe. Lilli got a good start and slotted in fourth or fifth on the road, and worked her way up to fourth by the time the group got to pit 1. At that point though first and second had put a large gap, which just extended throughout the day. From the TV, it looked like Lilli was on her B bike after lap 2, and Erin Faccone mentioned seeing mud on her side. By the end of the third lap though she had gotten back within 15 seconds of third place but ended up finishing about 30 seconds down from third and two and a half minutes down from the blistering pace set by the leader (she was second last year in this category). Maddie, unfortunately, did not get any airtime, but she finished in lucky thirteenth place, one lap down, and Anne-Sophie finished in 25th.

In the Men’s 11-12, we had Chase O’Donnell and Parker Ruppe (my apologies to Parker for missing him in last weekend’s preview). Chase took the holeshot after the light turned green, with first and second putting a gap on by the time they got to the pit 1 exit. By 2/3rds of the way through the lap, Chase was all alone off the front (splits are hard to estimate on TV, and then the director decided Chase was boring and gave the triplets behind him more TV time) but at the end of the first of three laps had a 15-second lead, extending to 40 seconds at the second lap, and 45 seconds at the finish. (Chase I saw that tongue when you were on the pavement before the second half of your last lap!) Brad Sohner said Chase’s post-race interview was one of the best he’s seen. Like Maddie, I couldn’t see much of Parker after the start, but he finished 34th, 2 laps down.

Finally, for my Saturday morning viewing, we had the Women’s 11-12, with Liddy Breslin, Hannah Dinolfo, Lilly Hanna, Ava Koniowka, and Abby Romlein. Abby slotted in behind the Cole sisters at the start, ending up around sixth place after pit 1, until an unhelpful slip in the mud by a rider ahead of her caused a delay before the first run-up (just after Katherine Hepburn’s course crossing), separating her from the first 5 on the road. Ava also looked to get snarled in a different pile-up in the muddy rut just prior to pit 1. By the end of the first lap, the top 4 riders were all spaced about 20 seconds apart with Abby just 5 seconds behind 4th place. After the second lap, Abby fell behind the Finkraft rider into sixth place, staying there until the end. Lilly finished in eighth, Hannah in 15th, Liddy in 18th, and Ava in 24th, one lap down. Side note, Anna (the winner) finished second to Lilli last year.

I didn’t stick around to watch the Men’s SSCX, but I did see that Jerry Warner (or was it Kenny?) won, and Tommy Servetas finished 18th.

Sunday morning brought the Men’s and Women’s 17-18 races, followed by the Men’s U23. From my couch, it smells like the 80% rule was in effect today based on the lap results. In the Men’s race, Jacob Gilson finished 62nd, two laps down. After that in the Women’s race, Haylee Johnson finished in 12th, with Maya Healy finishing 25th, two laps down. And for the final race covered in this email (Men’s U23), Jack Carey finally set his team name in Bikereg to CBRC to make him easy to find and finished in 45th, behind Pat Frank who finished 35th (wearing bib 123).

These have been a lot of fun to put together this year, and definitely something I’m going to bring back next season! Everyone now go enjoy the off-season / fat bike season!