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National Championships

Women Shine on Day Three of Cyclocross Nationals in Derby City

By: Peloton Sports  December 14, 2018

Louisville, Ky. -- The third day of racing at the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships 18.2 included two Collegiate Women events, five Masters Women categories as well as the non-championship team relay. Warm conditions continued to thaw the top layer of the previously frozen track at Joe Creason Park in Louisville, Ky. and delivered tacky, deceptively muddy conditions.

The Masters Women 35-39 category started the day’s action on Thursday. Holly LaVesser (New Berlin, Wisc./Neff Cycle Service) claimed her first Stars-and-Stripes jersey, crossing in 42 minutes, 35 seconds. Newly-crowned world champion Laura van Gilder (Cresco, Penn./Van Dessel Factory Team) showed off her rainbow jersey along with world championship form and took the national title in the women's 55-59 division.

“I felt a lot pressure to do the world champion jersey proud, and of course, I wanted to win another national championship in my age group,” said van Gilder, who won the 50-54 title in 2017. “I took the holeshot, that was my hope and plan. I was able to control the lines that I had today. It was definitely a bit tacky, somebody called it hero mud. I kind of channeled that thought through the day. I was just trying to be as smooth as possible and then put down some power in the sections that I felt I could gain some extra time,” added van Gilder, who crossed the line with a time of 35:01.

Defending champion Stacey Barbossa (Mountainside, N.J./Colavita-Whole Foods Market Racing) soloed to a repeat victory in the Masters Women 50-54 event in 34:19. The 45-49 title went to Kristin Weber (Boulder, Colo./Full Cycle Cyclocross Team), winner of the 40-44 title in 2015, in a time of 43:23. Melissa Barker (Longmont, Colo./Feedback Sports Racing) powered to victory in the 40-44 division, winning in 41:20. Barker won the Masters Women 40-44 title in 2016.

The first collegiate Stars-and-Stripes championship jersey was awarded to Jane Rossi (Newburyport, Mass.) of the Rhode Island School of Design in the Women Club category. Rossi overcame two mechanicals to win her first title in a time of 41:58. Rossi had pulled away from the front group of four riders when she faced her first mechanical on the third lap of the five-lap event.

“I was feeling it was a pretty good race, I was feeling smooth and then I had a tire pressure issue. I started losing air so I was feeling really slow. I wasn't sure if it was me or the bike, and then I got up to one of the technical sections, I fumbled with my derailleur, dropped my chain. I was able to get it back on,” explained Rossi, who once again had the same issue on the next lap. “ It was a really close race and it felt good to finish strong. It was a huge deal for me. I had raced cyclocross a couple of years ago and took some time off. And to be back is huge. Cycling has really been the best thing for me in life, and it feels great to be here.”

Rossi was able to hold to a five-second lead on Cara O'Neill (Tucson, Ariz.) of the University of Arizona for the win. Melanie Beale (Boulder, Colo.) of Colorado State University was third.

Samantha “Sammi” Runnels (Austin, Texas) of Lindenwood University pulled away from the 44-rider field to win the Women Varsity title in a time of 38:06. Runnels turned the fastest lap of the day, a time of 7:29, the first time around the 2.41-kilometer track with its relentless elevation changes. Emma Swartz (Madison, Wisc.) of Marian University crossed the line 12 seconds later for second place. Hannah Arensman (Brevard, N.C.) of Brevard College was third. The Mixed Team Relay non-championship race closed a full day of racing on Thursday, as Team 16 (Bowen, Uetrecht, Bowen, Bowen) took the win in 29:11.

Day Four of the Championships continue Friday, Dec. 14, starting with 11-22 Non-championship events for men and women at 8:30 a.m. Collegiate and Masters events for men will follow.

Live streaming will be available on USA Cycling’s YouTube channel for Saturday races 12:30 - 5 p.m. ET and for Sunday races 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. The USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships will conclude on Sunday with the Junior Men’s, youth Women’s (ages 17-22), U23 men’s, Elite Women’s, and Elite Men’s races.

Fans can follow races on all USA Cycling social channels using hashtag #CXNats. Championship and non-championship aces will be covered all week on Twitter via @USACyclingLIVE. Galleries will be posted nightly on USA Cycling’s Facebook Page. Follow your favorite athletes this week at www.livelynxresults.com. One2Go Results will provide live lap splits for every athlete every time they cross the line for all events.

Day Three results can be found here. Day Four start lists and call ups can be found here. More information about the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships is available on the event webpage.