Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) took home his third stars and stripes jersey at the USA Cycling Cyclo-Cross National Championships in Bend, Oregon yesterday.
The Massachusetts native took the prestigious single-day event by storm, winning the elite men's race by nearly 10 seconds ahead of local star Ryan Trebon (Kona-FSA) and Jonathan Page (Planet Bike).
Johnson, who won his last 'cross national title in 2007, was the odds-on favourite after taking nearly 10 season victories and winning the North American Cyclo-Cross Trophy series overall title.
"Oh my God, I can't believe this," he said. "It feels amazing to have the jersey back. Last time I traded frozen fingers for the win in Kansas City and I did the same thing today. My fingers are killing me.
"It was so easy to make a mistake today. The race isn't won in the first lap but it's lost in the first eight or nine of the 10 laps we did. I felt smooth and fast, and that was all I was thinking about. I broke the race down into chunks and tried to have a trouble free last few laps."
In the elite women's race, Katie Compton (Planet Bike) claimed her sixth consecutive victory, finishing nearly a minute ahead of runner-up Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry Farms) and an additional 10 seconds ahead of Amy Dombroski (Primus Mootry) in third place.
Compton said: "All my titles are special and I always like winning. Today was tough because the course was so technical and it was changing every lap. The lines were changing and the ice was thawing under the mud and the water. It was a tough course."
More than 1,600 riders competed on a technical course made even more demanding by wintry temperatures – it was covered in snow just days before racing began – in the championships in Bend, Oregon's Old Mill District at the weekend. For a full report, results for all categories and more pictures, see www.cyclingnews.com.