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Future faces of American elite cyclocross contest national championship in Boulder

January 13, 2014
Peter Goguen, the new 17-18 U.S. cyclocross champ

Peter Goguen, the new 17-18 U.S. cyclocross champ

[updated 1/14/2014]

It’s hard to imagine American cyclocross without superstars Katie Compton and Jeremy Powers. But U.S. cycling fans need not worry. If either rider retires by five years from now, fans will still have a lot to cheer about. Perhaps even more so.

Maxx Chance makes 'cross fun for the fans

Maxx Chance makes ‘cross fun for the fans

By then the elite ranks will be packed with today’s 17 to 18 year-old juniors. Together with the younger riders coming up behind them, the depth of this junior talent treasure trove promises an increased American presence on the future cyclocross scene.

Cyclocross national championships in Boulder presented an opportunity yesterday to witness fifty-seven 17 to 18 men lean over their handlebars at the start line, speed into one of the fastest opening laps at the five day event, and then pour a season’s worth of preparation and hopes into 40 minutes of hard racing.

Just before diving into the first corner, Peter Goguen leads the pack

Just before diving into the first corner, Peter Goguen leads the pack

Peter Goguen (Race CF) from Massachusetts was fastest down the Valmont Bike Park start/finish straightaway. While others reached the first turn with mouths open and tense shoulders, Goguen appeared loose and at ease, as if he rode alone on a training ride.

Maxx Chance (Clif Bar Devo) knew Goguen was the rider to beat and tailed him around the corner and up the first hill. Goguen soon separated himself from the field while Chance remained in second. “Peter drilled it from the gun,” Chance later said. “I held on as long as I could. He got a gap and I just tried to keep it consistent each lap.”

Nearly all of the chasers had recently returned from a stint in Belgium either with EuroCrossCamp or the Clif Bar clan. Austin Vincent (Race CF), Lance Haidet (Bear Devo Team), Cooper Willsey (Cannondale p/b Cyclocross World.com), Boo’s Brannan Fix, Grant Ellwood (Boulder Cycle Sport/Junior Cycling), and Ethan Reynolds (Hot Tubes) made up the early first group behind Chance. The second group included Clif Bar’s Garrett Gerchar, Nolan Brady (RAD Racing), Javier Colton (Bend Endurance Academy), Gavin Haley (Red Zone), and Ian McShane (Sophisticated Living p/b Bob’s Red Mill).

Cooper Willsey ahead of Brannan Fix, Grant Ellwood, and Ethan Reynolds going into lap three

Cooper Willsey ahead of Brannan Fix, Grant Ellwood, and Ethan Reynolds going into lap three

In the initial laps Ellwood quickly moved up. Together with Vincent and Haidet they pursued Chance but wouldn’t catch him.

Vincent defended third place to the finish. Reynolds surged into fourth while Haidet slid back for sixth.

Ellwood rode consistently and finished fifth, a significant result for the mountain biker and alpine ski racer in his first cyclocross season.

Willsey, who said at the finish that he found it hard to breathe and recover after a hard effort he put in during the third lap, got seventh. Brady, Gerchar, and Fix rounded out the top ten.

Those results mattered a lot; they factor into USA Cycling’s selection of the five juniors who will take part in world championships. Goguen, Chance, Willsey, Vincent, and Haley made the selection. They’ll represent the U.S. faces of the future in Hoogerheide, Netherlands during the first two days of February.

Listen to comments from Maxx Chance, Cooper Willsey, Grant Ellwood, and Liam and Cormac Dunn in this video.

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From → Cyclocross

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