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Emma White (Rally-UHC Cycling) and Travis McCabe (Floyd’s Pro Cycling) powered to criterium national titles at the road championships in Knoxville on Friday. The 1.7-kilometer course, also used in 2018, made for technical, aggressive racing.
White, who finished fourth in the 2018 criterium national championships, went early on the final lap of a cagey, tactical race. She held off a surging chase, just beating Lily Williams (Hagens Berman-Supermin) and 2015 champion Kendall Ryan (Silicon Valley Bank), who took second and third respectively.
At 21 years of age, White becomes the youngest woman to ever win the national criterium title.
“I’m thrilled, I’m really, really happy,” said White. “Right from the gun, it was fast, Hagens Berman were putting people up the road left and right, so we knew that it was going to be a tough race and we had to play our cards right.”
Williams commented that “we all love it, we love to race hard, we love to race our bikes, we love to take chances and see what will happens. Sometimes it pays off,” when asked about her team’s active and aggressive performance.
White also claimed the under-23 criterium title for the second year in a row. Second place in the U23 category went to Chloe Dygert-Owen (Sho-Air TWENTY20), and Skylar Schneider (Boels-Dolman) came third.
In the men’s, McCabe positioned himself perfectly for the tricky second-half of the circuit to enable his victory. He went into the final three corners at the front of the pack, and managed to hold himself there before launching a long sprint for the win. Eric Young (Elevate-KHS) and Miguel Bryon Jr. (Hincapie p/b BMC) came second and third respectively.
Attacks went from the very start of the race, but none lasted long as the pack kept any breakaways in close check.
“It was really fast,” said McCabe. “I knew from last year that you had to come into the third to last corner in first place. And so I did. I sprinted for what felt like an eternity, probably half a mile, and I held on to the win. It was just picture perfect, it was just what I expected to do and we came out with the win.”
The victory marks McCabe’s second national criterium championship title, having also won in 2017. “This really is a proud moment,” he said. “All the highs and lows of racing kind of all come down to winning a national championship and being able to represent the USA. Being able to wear the jersey for another year is pretty fantastic.”
The road race championship will be contested on Sunday over a 114km course for the women, and a 191km course for the men. The women will start at 9am ET, and the men will start at 1.15pm ET. Both races can be streamed live on USA Cycling’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.
USA Cycling Professional Criterium Championships
- Emma White, Rally-UHC, 1:05.49
- Lily Wililams, Hagens Berman-Supermint
- Kendall Ryan, TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank
- Coryn Rivera, Sunweb, all at s.t.
- Samantha Schneider, CWA Racing-Trek, at 0.10
- Travis McCabe, Floyd’s Pro Cycling, 1:17.53
- Eric Young, Elevate-KHS
- Miguel Bryon, Hincapie-BMC, all at s.t.
- Samuel Bassetti, Elevate-KHS, at 0.10
- Colin Joyce, Rally-UHC, at s.t.