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What junior winner Gage Hecht saw in the Colorado Cross Classic elite men’s race

October 13, 2013

On Saturday Gage Hecht (Specialized Racing Team) won the junior men’s 15-16 category at the Colorado Cross Classic on the Boulder Reservoir. He took his prize on the podium and then he waited.

Gage Hecht wins junior men 15-16 at the Colorado Cross Classic

Gage Hecht wins junior men 15-16 at the Colorado Cross Classic

A few hours later he took a look into his future as he watched the elite men’s race, taking notes on what he saw. Then at 9 p.m. he took a break from homework in constitutional literacy and shared some of his observations.

“In the beginning it looked like a normal start. They stayed together because of how dry and smooth the course was.” The 3.5 kilometer course didn’t require a lot of dismounting. It had a set of barriers, a log almost all of the elite men bounced over, and a sandpit that forced some riders to run.

Elite men's field in lap 1 at Colorado Cross Classic

Elite men’s field in lap 1 at Colorado Cross Classic

“It was amazing how Jeremy Powers made it up to second. I don’t think any of us expected that,” Gage said.

Jeremy Powers (Rapha Focus) tries to get his chain back on

Jeremy Powers (Rapha Focus) tries to get his chain back on

Powers slid out in one of the next turns after the holeshot and dropped his chain. By the time it caught back onto the chainring the entire field had waved goodbye. But he steadily moved up and finished second.

How do I not get run over?

How do I not get run over?

“They stayed together. It was pretty tactical compared to most cross races,” Gage said. “The top 7 were together most of the race, worrying about who was up front and attacking more so than regularly.”

As the guy at the front of the lead group switched from Danny Summerhill (K Edge/Felt) to Ryan Trebon ( Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld.com), or Ben Berden (Raleigh-Clement) or Todd Wells (Specialized Factory Racing) and back to Summerhill again, they had to keep an eye on each other.

Danny Summerhill at the front in the pump track

Danny Summerhill at the front in the pump track

“Berden’s move was smart, he knew he had to sprint. But it backfired, he crashed in sandpit.”

Ben Berden in the sandpit by the Boulder Reservoir

Ben Berden in the sandpit by the Boulder Reservoir

“It was pretty cool for Ryan to win. I saw him win at Boulder Cup last year. He had a great ride, really deserved it.” What Gage felt Trebon did right – “He was composed. He let everyone fight out their places, waiting until he knew he could get away and stay away.”

Ryan Trebon (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld.com) sharing the work at the front

Ryan Trebon (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld.com) sharing the work at the front

“It was really cool how the top 17-18 [and U23] from last year are now top 5-6 in pros — guys like Zach McDonald (Rapha Focus) and Logan Owen (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized).”

Logan Owen (Cal Giant/Specialized) finished sixth

Logan Owen (Cal Giant/Specialized) finished sixth

What did Gage find surprising? Aside from Berden not winning, “It was pretty surprising where local riders like Robin Eckmann placed. It’s not like he was far from the leaders, just that he’s been doing so well in local Colorado races.”

The UCI field rode more strongly than local riders in general, and it was odd to see them out of the running for the podium they typically stand on most weekends. They were not contacted to determine if they experienced mechanicals.

Chris Baddick (Gear Movement) won local races last weekend and finished out of the top twenty.

Chris Baddick (Gear Movement) won local races last weekend and finished out of the top twenty.

A big thanks to Gage Hecht for sharing his wisdom.

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From → Cyclocross

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