After an extremely untimely flat tire on the last lap of Saturday's cross-country race, Todd Wells (Specialized Racing) was out for revenge in Sunday's short track cross-country race. He served it by topping the 53-rider pro men's field, to collect his third short track cross-country national championship. Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale Factory Racing) made a late move on Adam Craig (Rabobank-Giant) and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Trek) to place second, 16 seconds behind Wells. Craig was five seconds behind Bishop and six seconds in front of Horgan-Kobelski. Stephen Ettinger (BMC Mountain Bike Team) rounded out the top five, finishing only seven seconds out of fourth place.
"Last year, I also had good form," Wells said. "I led the whole race until the finish line. I wasn't going to do that, this year. Once I saw that I had a gap, I gave it everything to hold it."
Wells got the hole shot and was riding with Ryan Trebon during the first lap with the field monitoring the front of the race. Trebon dropped his chain late in the first lap, allowing Wells to open a gap he would not relinquish, leaving the field to fight for second place. A chase group of Craig, Bishop, Horgan-Kobelski, Jonathan Page and newly-minted pro men's cross-country national champion Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek) were unable to reel Wells in.
Women's Short Track
In the professional women's short track cross-country race, the two 2012 Olympians quickly distinguished themselves as the cream of the 28-rider crop. The same duo, Georgia Gould (LUNA PRO TEAM) and Lea Davison (Specialized Factory Racing), that battled in Saturday's cross-country race were off the front in the early stages of the short track cross-country race on Sunday. In the end, Davison, who finished second to Gould in Saturday's cross-country race, attacked Gould late in the last lap and held on to win by only one second. Mary McConneloug (KENDA-Seven-NoTubes) earned the bronze medal while Chloe Woodruff (Crankbrothers Race Club 11) and Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized) placed fourth and fifth, respectively.
"My strategy was for the first half of the race just to patrol the front," Davison said. "I wanted to make sure nobody got away, no big gaps. Then the second half of the race I started to think about where to pass. I left it until the last lap which is kind of risky, but it paid off."
After two laps, the top five finishers led the field with a slight advantage on a hard-charging Kelli Emmett (Giant Mountain Bike Team), who was stuck between the leaders and the field. Gradually, McConneloug and Woodruff were unable to keep up with the pace set by Davison and Gould as the gap steadily grew between the two leaders and the field. Davison attacked on a climb late in the lap and sprinted to the finish line.
Junior Men's Short Track
In the juniors men 15-18 short track cross-country race, two riders, Keegan Swenson (Cannondale Factory Racing) and Tobin Ortenblad (Ritte Elite U23 Development Team) set a blistering pace from the beginning of the race, forcing the field's hand. In the end, Swenson won his third national title of the event, finishing the race 23 seconds ahead of Ortenblad. Casey Williams (Big Bear City, Calif./Whole Athlete-Specialized), who rode with Swenson and Ortenblad through the first half of the race, placed third eight seconds in front of Chase Dickens (Mount Airy, N.C.) and 10 seconds ahead of Sepp Kuss (Durango, Colo.).
"I didn't expect to sweep," Swenson said. "My main goal was the cross-country. After that, it was just to do the best I could. It feels awesome to win the other two jerseys."
Pro Men's Super D
Adam Craig (Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team) was the first rider to tame the Super D on Sunday morning and he posted the best time, traversing the six-mile course which loses over 2,000 feet of elevation in 21:26.11 to collect his seventh national title in the downhill race.
Craig's time was only 1.32 seconds faster than the silver medalist, Carl Decker (Giant Factory), who finished his race in 21:27.43. Macky Franklin (Orbea-Tuff Shed), who finished fifth in this race in 2011, placed third this year while Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek) and Colton Andersen (Durango, Colo./Durango Devo) round out the five-man podium.
"It's always good," Craig said of winning the national championship. "It's good that we have this. It continues making people more aware that we have Super D and enduro racing and that it's a pretty good time up there. We had a pretty strong field today. This is the strongest national championship field I've seen, I think. It's good to take another one, for sure."
Pro Women's Super D
Kelli Emmett (Giant Mountain Bike Team), who was second place in the 2011 Super D, took the next step up the podium this year, traversing the course in 24:33.02 to win her third Super D national title. Emmett's time was 18 seconds faster than Elizabeth English (Whitefish, Mont.), who earned the silver medal. The defending national champion, Lea Davison (Specialized Factory Racing), rode away with the bronze medal this year, finishing ahead of Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek) and Katherine Sherwin (Stan's NoTubes Elite Women's Team).
"I had a pretty clean run out there," Emmett said. "I really went for it on the climb. It was a pretty long Super D, it was almost 25 minutes. There was probably an eight-minute climb in there. I just really went for it. I tried to ride a smooth race on the descents. It was good, it was fun."
Junior Men's Super D
Keegan Swenson (Park City, Utah/Cannondale Factory Racing) scorched the Super D course and finished with a time of 21:57.1, which would have placed fifth in the pro men's results. In fact, the top three finishers of the juniors men 15-18 Super D posted faster times than the fifth-place rider in the pro men's Super D. The juniors silver medalist, Bryan Duke (Ritte Elite U23 Development Team), registered a 22:00.3 and Casey Williams (Whole Athlete-Specialized) posted a time of 22:02.2 while Colton Andersen (Durango Devo), who placed fifth in the pro men's Super D, recorded a time of 22:02.5.