ELLEN NOBLE WINS HER SECOND U23 U.S. CYCLOCROSS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
What a day! Ellen Noble won her second consecutive U23 National Championship today, starting an incredible day for the JAM/NCC/Vittoria team. Noble and Emma White (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com) took the early lead in the first lap in extremely slippery conditions after a night of steady rain. White came off the first major climb on Heckle Hill in front of Noble. Sofia Gomez Villafane wasn't far behind. But Noble wouldn't let White get away for long, and by the time they hit Bonk Breaker Hill, Noble was out front with no one else in sight. Noble dominated the rest of the race, riding solo up front for the last three laps to victory.
"This is a huge win for me going into worlds in a couple of weeks," Noble said. "Winning it last year felt really good, but to win it with our own race and going into worlds means so much more. It's such an amazing feeling. Doing it on a mud course is an extra bonus."
Noble finished 17 seconds ahead of Gomez Villafane. White got third.
Noble heads to Belgium to compete in World Championships in Zolder at the end of the month.
In the men's U23, Scott Smith finished a strong 4th place, just missing the podium, in a strong field of 59 racers. The course was still slick when the race started at 12:30 p.m.
"I started feeling good later in the race," Smith said. "It was just fun to ride the drop offs and slippery parts of the course, so that kept it motivating."
Jack Kisseberth raced in the elite men's field that started at 3:30 p.m., after the sun and wind dried up conditions a bit. He finished 11th in a field stacked with extreme talent.
"My last two laps were my fastest," Kisseberth said. "I felt good. Wish it was sloppier. It dried up from the races earlier in the day. It was still a cool course."
Jena Greaser rode a solid race, finishing 11th in the women's elite field, which was won for the twelfth time by Katie Compton (Trek).
JAM Fund co-founder Jeremy Powers (Aspire Racing) wowed the crowd in the final race of the day, winning his fourth Cyclocross National Championship, ten seconds ahead of his JAM protege Stephen Hyde (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com).
Full results from all today's national championships are on One to Go.
Story and photos by Vicky Sama