June 24, 2018
National Championships 2018 – USA – Stage 1 – Knoxville – Knoxville : 193,1 km
The United States National Professional Road Race Championships began in 1985.
June 24, 2018
National Championships 2018 – USA – Stage 1 – Knoxville – Knoxville : 193,1 km
The United States National Professional Road Race Championships began in 1985. They are run by the governing body, USA Cycling. Until 2006 the race was open to all nationalities, the first American to finish being named the winner and given a distinctive jersey. Since the championship in Greenville, South Carolina, in 2006, all riders have had to be American.
Jonny Brown (Hagens Berman Axeon) shocked the men’s peloton Sunday at the US Pro Road Race Championships in Tennessee, taking an upset win after dropping his breakaway companions on the penultimate lap of a course in his adopted hometown of Knoxville and soloing across the line to thunderous applause from the thrilled crowd.
Robin Carpenter (Rally Cycling) finished second, and Jacob Rather (Jelly Belly-Maxxis) rounded out the podium on a brutally hot and fast day that saw less than 20 riders actually make it to the finish line. The rest were given pro-rated times as the race envelope became too big, and straggling groups were pulled off the course.
Brown, who at 21 is the youngest-ever US Pro Road Race champion, joined Carpenter, Rathe and UnitedHealthcare’s Gavin Mannion in a four-rider moved that sneaked away from the field about halfway through the 191.2km race. Brown then jumped away from his breakaway companions on the second-to-last lap and built up a gap of over a minute as the remaining trio was unable to get back on terms.
“I was in tears, honestly,” Brown told Cyclingnews after the podium ceremony. “Seeing the finish right there and knowing I had it, I just couldn’t believe it. Especially in my new city. It’s just unbelievable.”
Brown attacked the breakaway just after the descent off the day’s major climb when he saw a lull in the action.
“Everyone was just kind of looking at each other a little bit because Gavin Mannion went really hard up the climb that time, and through the feedzone everyone was just kind of looking at each other, so I knew it was my chance to get ahead, because once I did then they would just be, like, ‘Oh, who’s going to chase?'”
Mannion said the trio behind believed they’d be able to pull Brown back after he showed signs of weakness throughout the day.
“We went pretty hard and then lulled after the descent coming into the feedzone, and he just hit us and everyone kind of looked at each other,” Mannion said. “I think he was playing poker with us all day, because he didn’t look so strong and he was missing turns, so we thought we’d just bring him back, and it never happened.”
Brown told Cyclingnews he used his relative youth and inexperience to play a bit of possum with his breakaway companions.
“I was doing way fewer pulls than everyone else, and they would pull way longer than me, and I was using that to my advantage, being like, ‘I’m the young guy in this. You guys are stronger and more experienced,’ and they just let me keep doing it, which played into my strength to the end.”
Rathe agreed with Mannion that the chasing trio never believed Brown would be able to hold his attack to the line.
“It was a long ways out, and hats off to him,” Rathe said. “It blew me away. We were pulling, and Carpenter’s no slouch – Mannion same story – so I figured just stick with the strong guys, but no. It was really impressive. I could not fathom how he was just going away. We were rolling, and he was 50 seconds, then 1:10. It was, like, ‘What’s going on here?'”
How it unfolded
The men’s peloton tackled 15 laps of a 12.75km course for a total of 191.2km. The lumpy, twisty course included a major obstacle in the climb up Sherrod Road – a 1km ascent that started just over a kilometre from that start/finish, reaching pitches of 10 per cent on the twisty-but-narrow tarmac. At the finish, a short kicker into the final corner about 125 metres out led to a slightly downhill run to the line.
Temperatures nearing 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the typical high humidity of the American southeast added to the challenge of the day, while several rain showers late in the race cooled things down for the finale.
A breakaway of four formed near the start of the second lap, with Cole Davis (Hagens Berman Axeon), Eric Young (Rally Cycling), Austin Stephens (303 Project) and Kirk Albers (First Internet Bank) peeling off the front on the Sherrod Road climb.
Neilson Powless (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Zeke Mostiv (Hagens Berman Axeon) bridged on the descent off the climb to boost the numbers to six. Sean Bennett (Hagens Berman Axeon) and Ben Schmutte (First Internet Bank) bridged up to the leaders next, and the bunch decided the move was too dangerous to let go and reeled them back in.
A new break formed by the start of the third lap, with 12 riders jumping away before the start/finish and quickly solidifying a 45-second gap. The escapees then had 1:15 going up Sherrod Road for the third time.
In the group were UnitedHealthcare’s Travis McCabe, Hagens Berman Axeon’s Chris Blevins, Jonny Brown and Thomas Revard, Holowesko-Citadel’s Morgan Schmitt, Rally Cycling’s Kyle Murphy and Emerson Oronte, 303 Project’s Andrew Clemence, Aevolo’s Lance Haidet, Elevate-KHS’s Kevin Girkins and Jelly Belly-Maxxis’ Steve Fisher.
A second group of eight riders bridged to the leaders to form a new lead group of 20, which looked like an unmanageable situation, but the peloton appeared unconcerned as the gap started to go up. The leaders’ advantage was 1:10 as they started lap 4.
Ben King (Dimension Data) jumped away from the field next, attempting to bridge to the leaders and sweeping up three riders who had fallen out of the front group along the way. The attempt was short lived, however, as the group lost impetus and were quickly swallowed up by the field.
The lead group of 17 started the lap 5 trip up Sherrod Road with a gap of about one minute. Among the revised lead formation were WorldTour riders Powless, Chad Haga (Team Sunweb) and Joey Rosskopf (BMC Racing). Other riders who bridged to the group were Jelly Belly’s Jacob Rathe, UnitedHealthcare’s Daniel Eaton, and First Internet Bank’s Ryan Knapp and Nicholas Torraca.
EF Education First-Drapac didn’t like the group up the road and sent Nathan Brown and Logan Owen to bring the race back under control. The WorldTour duo dragged the leaders’ advantage down to just 30 seconds as they started lap 6.
The field brought the group back over the next lap, and a new group of four formed off the front that included Rathe, Rally’s Robin Carpenter, UnitedHealthcare’s Gavin Mannion and Hagens Berman Axeon’s Brown. Holowesko-Citadel’s Brendan Rhim jumped out of the field to try to bridge.
The lead quartet came through the start/finish with eight laps to go with a two-minute lead over the splitting peloton. On the ensuing lap, Powless jumped away from the field and quickly put a minute into the bunch as he attempted to chase down the leaders.
With seven laps to go, the leaders come through the line with 2:05 on Powless, 2:30 on Dimension Data’s King, 3:25 to 303 Project’s Cullen Easter and Rally’s Kyle Murphy, while the field was 4:15 behind the leaders.
King connected with Powless during the next lap, giving the bridging move a better chance at success, but the gap was 2:50 when they came through with six laps to go. The field came through at 3:36, led by BMC’s Bookwalter.
The leaders rebuilt their advantage on the next lap, with the gap back to Powless and King going to 3:40 and the field at 4:25. Six riders from the field caught King and Powless in the feedzone, with Bookwalter, McCabe, Revard, Kiel Reijnen (Trek-Segafredo), Brandon McNulty (Rally Cycling) and defending champion Larry Warbasse (Aqua Blue Sport) forming a new chase group of eight.
The chase languished about 3:50 behind the leaders as they saw four to go, while the much-reduced field was almost five minutes back, led across the line by Haga. Over the following lap, McCabe dropped form the chase, which peeled only five seconds away from the leaders, crossing the line with three to go, 4:45 back. Riders in the field appeared to realise their race was over, as the gap ballooned to well over five minutes.
Powless lost contact on the climb up Sherrod Road, reducing the first chase group down to Bookwalter, Revard, Reijnen, McNulty, King and Warbasse, who were 3:25 behind the leaders with two laps remaining.
Brown took his leave from the breakaway on the penultimate lap, distancing his former three breakaway mates early in the lap and powering on alone. He opened an initial 20-second gap over the trio he left behind, while the second chase of six remained 3:15 back.
Brown took the bell with one lap to go with a one-minute gap over Carpenter, Rathe and Mannion, while the second chasing group of six riders splintered as the riders crossed the line with a gap of nearly four minutes.
From there, Brown just had to hold on, crossing the finish line for, in his own words, an “unbelievable” win, 45 seconds ahead of Carpenter to become the road race national champion.
1 Jonathan Brown (USA) Hagens Berman Axeon 4:41:11
2 Robin Carpenter (USA) Rally Cycling 0:00:45
3 Jacob Rathe (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis 0:01:17
4 Gavin Mannion (USA) UnitedHealthcare 0:01:21
5 Benjamin King (USA) Team Dimension Data 0:02:41
6 Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-Segafredo
7 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:02:42
8 Lawrence Warbasse (USA) Aqua Blue Sport 0:02:44
9 Thomas Revard (USA) Hagens Berman Axeon 0:02:48
10 Brandon Mcnulty (USA) Rally Cycling 0:03:24
11 Joseph Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:07:53
12 Chad Haga (USA) Team SunWeb 0:07:59
13 Alex Howes (USA) EF Education First-Drapac 0:08:03
14 Kevin Girkins (USA) Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling
15 Alexey Vermeulen (USA) Interpro Stradalli Cycling 0:08:09
16 Emerson Oronte (USA) Rally Cycling 0:08:27
17 Alex Hoehn (USA) Aevolo Cycling Inc. 0:09:45
18 George Simpson (USA) Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling 0:09:57
19 Kyle Murphy (USA) Rally Cycling 0:09:58
20 Neilson Powless (USA) Team Lotto NL – Jumbo 0:09:59
21 Travis Mccabe (USA) UnitedHealthcare
22 Taylor Shelden (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
23 Samuel Boardman (USA) Marc Pro Cycling Team
24 Jarret Oldham (USA) First Internet Bank Cycling
25 Eric Brunner (USA) 303 Project
26 Scott Mcgill (USA) Gateway Harley-Davidson Trek De
27 Lance Haidet (USA) Aevolo Cycling Inc.
28 Ryan Knapp (USA) First Internet Bank Cycling 0:10:02
29 Stephen Bassett (USA) Silber Pro Cycling
30 Noah Granigan (USA) CCB Foundation – Sicleri
31 Corey Davis (USA) Cyclus Sports
32 Justin Mauch (USA) Marc Pro Cycling Team
33 Nicholas Torraca (USA) Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling
34 Dennis Ramirez (USA) Gateway Harley-Davidson Trek De
35 Ben Schmutte (USA) First Internet Bank Cycling
36 Kent Ross (USA) Hedrick Racing
37 Griffin Easter (USA) 303 Project
38 Austin Gomes (USA) Project Echelon Racing
39 Gavin Murray (USA) Marc Pro Cycling Team
40 Kyle Stoffan Thornton (USA) Hedrick Racing
41 Brett Wachtendorf (USA) Gateway Harley-Davidson Trek De
42 Curtis White (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
43 Gage Hecht (USA) Aevolo Cycling Inc.
44 Grant Ellwood (USA) 303 Project
45 Connor Sallee (USA) Cyclus Sports
46 Sean Gardner (USA) Gateway Harley-Davidson Trek De
47 Quinten Kirby (USA) Marc Pro Cycling Team 0:10:04
48 Evan Huffman (USA) Rally Cycling
49 Timothy Savre (USA) Project Echelon Racing
50 John Mccann (USA) First Internet Bank Cycling
51 Tyler Stites (USA) Aevolo Cycling Inc.
52 Evan Bausbacher (USA) Gateway Harley-Davidson Trek De
53 Eric Hill (USA) Project Echelon Racing
54 Evan Hartig (USA) Project Echelon Racing 0:10:05
55 Andrew Giniat (USA) Cyclus Sports
56 Patrick Collins (USA) CCB Foundation – Sicleri
57 Cory Lockwood (USA) Project Echelon Racing
58 Spencer Downing (USA) Gateway Harley-Davidson Trek De
59 Matthew Zimmer (USA) Gateway Harley-Davidson Trek De
60 Franklin Deese (USA) Cyclus Sports
61 Richard Randall (USA) Cyclus Sports
62 Evan Bybee (USA) Holowesko-Citadel p/b Arapaho
63 Daniel Lausin (USA) Gateway Harley-Davidson Trek De
DNF Nathan Brown (USA) EF Education First-Drapac
DNF Logan Owen (USA) EF Education First-Drapac
DNF Edward Anderson (USA) Hagens Berman Axeon
DNF Sean Bennett (USA) Hagens Berman Axeon
DNF Christopher Blevins (USA) Hagens Berman Axeon
DNF Cole Davis (USA) Hagens Berman Axeon
DNF Ian Garrison (USA) Hagens Berman Axeon
DNF Ezekiel Mostov (USA) Hagens Berman Axeon
DNF Miguel Bryon (USA) Holowesko-Citadel p/b Arapaho
DNF Andrew Dahlheim (USA) Holowesko-Citadel p/b Arapaho
DNF Taylor (T.J.) Eisenhart (USA) Holowesko-Citadel p/b Arapaho
DNF John Murphy (USA) Holowesko-Citadel p/b Arapaho
DNF Brendan Rhim (USA) Holowesko-Citadel p/b Arapaho
DNF Morgan Schmitt (USA) Holowesko-Citadel p/b Arapaho
DNF Charles Huff (USA) Rally Cycling
DNF Colin Joyce (USA) Rally Cycling
DNF Tyler Magner (USA) Rally Cycling
DNF Danny Pate (USA) Rally Cycling
DNF Eric Young (USA) Rally Cycling
DNF Daniel Eaton (USA) UnitedHealthcare
DNF Adrian Hegyvary (USA) UnitedHealthcare
DNF Eric Marcotte (USA) UnitedHealthcare
DNF Tanner Putt (USA) UnitedHealthcare
DNF Dillon Caldwell (USA) 303 Project
DNF Charles (Mac) Cassin (USA) 303 Project
DNF Maxx Chance (USA) 303 Project
DNF Andrew Clemence (USA) 303 Project
DNF Cullen Easter (USA) 303 Project
DNF Isaiah Newkirk (USA) 303 Project
DNF Jake Silverberg (USA) 303 Project
DNF Austin Stephens (USA) 303 Project
DNF Taylor Warren (USA) 303 Project
DNF Michael Hernandez (USA) Aevolo Cycling Inc.
DNF Nicholas Mckey (USA) Aevolo Cycling Inc.
DNF Imeh Nsek (USA) Aevolo Cycling Inc.
DNF Jason Saltzman (USA) Aevolo Cycling Inc.
DNF Denzel Stephenson (USA) Aevolo Cycling Inc.
DNF Gabriel Mendez (USA) CCB Foundation – Sicleri
DNF Spencer Petrov (USA) CCB Foundation – Sicleri
DNF Conor Schunk (USA) CCB Foundation – Sicleri
DNF Jake Sitler (USA) CCB Foundation – Sicleri
DNF Cooper Willsey (USA) CCB Foundation – Sicleri
DNF Winston David (USA) Cyclus Sports
DNF Oliver Flautt (USA) Cyclus Sports
DNF Michael Gearren Ii (USA) Cyclus Sports
DNF Parker Kyzer (USA) Cyclus Sports
DNF Benjamin Renkema (USA) Cyclus Sports
DNF Samuel Bassetti (USA) Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling
DNF Gavin Hoover (USA) Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling
DNF Cory Williams (USA) Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling
DNF Steve Fisher (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
DNF Keegan Swirbul (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
DNF Benjamin Wolfe (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
DNF Kirk Albers (USA) First Internet Bank Cycling
DNF Robert Sroka (USA) First Internet Bank Cycling
DNF John Becker (USA) First Internet Bank Cycling
DNF Chaz Hogenauer (USA) Hedrick Racing
DNF Lewis Whiley (USA) Hedrick Racing
DNF Christopher Horner (USA) Team Illuminate
DNF Tyler Williams (USA) Israel Cycling Academy
DNS Richard Arnopol (USA) Project Echelon Racing
DNS Ryan Oboyle (USA) Project Echelon Racing