Skip to content

Clash of the masters: Jake Wells vs. Russell Stevenson at cyclocross nationals

January 15, 2014
Russell Stevenson and Jake Wells sprint for the win

Russell Stevenson and Jake Wells sprint for the win

“Middle-aged” isn’t a very friendly label. It typically gives rise to undesirable connotations like going soft or past the prime of energetic youth. Once middle-age arrives, a woman falling into that category noted, people look through you like you don’t exist.

Masters bike racing, where riders aged 30 or 35 years or more compete, might be described that way. Aside from family and friends, most fans typically look past it to the pro/elite races for excitement.

That would have been a mistake at this year’s cyclocross national championships.

The battle between Jake Wells (Stan’s NoTubes) and Russell Stevenson (Voler) in the masters 35 – 39 age group provided more thrills than the men’s elite race. In the final lap the two traded first and second position multiple times. Sprinting to the line Wells and Stevenson rocked their bikes side by side, the winner decided by millimeters as they threw their bikes forward.

Jake Wells & Russell Stevenson after the 35-39 race finish

Jake Wells & Russell Stevenson after the 35-39 race finish

Wells’ cyclocross racing age is 36; Stevenson’s, 38. They fought each other. They also fought mother nature. During 45 minutes of racing they faced some of the event’s harshest weather conditions; wind gusts tossed riders a foot or more off their lines, forcing them into course tape tangos as they negotiated turns.

After the finish spectators held their breath as the officials examined the photo finish. Their decision brought elation for Stephenson and disappointment for Wells who led for much of the race until the final lap.

“It’s a bummer to not win; I definitely would have liked to win,” Wells said after the results were announced. “But you can’t ask for much better than that, just a bike throw.”

From → Cyclocross

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: