• 2013/01/13 Jonathan Page clinches US 'cross national title!
    • Jonathan Page clinches US 'cross national title! Jonathan Page clinches US 'cross national title! Jonathan Page clinches US 'cross national title!

      Jonathan Page (ENGVT) won an emotional victory in Verona, Wisconsin to take the 2013 Elite Men's US Cyclo-cross Championships. Page established a small lead two laps into the race over Zach McDonald (Team Rapha-Focus) and used a combination of finesse and power to win his first championship in eight years.

      Without a title sponsor Page rode the current season under his own banner named after his children, 'MiloEmmaPerle.' Immediately after the finish Page called his wife and kids, who are currently en route to meet him. "They just flew from Belgium this morning and now they are in New York or New Jersey just getting on the plane," said Page at the finish line. "My wife and kids are pretty dang happy. They probably thought she was drinking too much because she was in hysterics and crying."

      The day worked out perfectly for Page who excels in challenging conditions. "I was pleasantly surprised that it warmed up and it got sunny, so it got more slippery," said Page who recently bought a house in Utah to escape Belgian summers. "It was cold. My fingertips are still numb. All in all it turned out better than I expected. I was a little worried yesterday when they started taking the Bobcat to the course."

      At the start Ryan Trebon (Cannondale-Cyclcocrossworld.com) grabbed the hole shot and looked to be an early contender as he led a group of riders which included Zach McDonald, Justine Lindine (Redline), Jamey Driscoll and Tim Johnson, both riding for Cannondale-Cyclcocrossworld.com.

      Towards the end of the second lap Page had dialed in the course and proceeded to open up a gap on MacDonald, Trebon, and Driscoll. "I felt like the guys were holding me up a bit," said Page about his acceleration. "I just punched it to see what I got, and got gap, and then kept the power on." McDonald was the only rider able to keep Page in sight, and with McDonald in-tow, the two riders proceeded to grow their lead on the dwindling chase group.

      While both men rode without hesitation through the ruts and ice Page managed to grow his gap over McDonald to 12 seconds making it almost impossible for the young rider to catch barring a late race catastrophe. Page rode in cleanly for the win, followed by McDonald, for second.

      It was not an easy route to the championship for Page. Page relied on his strong network of supporters including Robert Downs, founder of Planet Bike, and ENGVT President, Jerry Chabot, to help make a trip to nationals possible. "I gave up a weekend of racing, a race tomorrow in Belgium, and next weekend will be another race in the World Cup, because they financially could get me over here and take care of me. It worked out well obviously, but I couldn't do it without them. It took a lot of the weight off of myself, and my family, and gave me the opportunity to come here and do what I did."

      As the only top American racing full time cyclo-cross in Europe the US Page sees the US championship as key ingredient to sponsorship success. "I had bad timing over the Christmas period, but now I'm glad I waited," said Page about his sponsorship search. "No one can ignore the National Champion. I'm happy to stay in the United States, and I'm happy to go over to Europe."

      Page will spend the next several weeks stateside with his family before heading to Louisville, KY for the World Cyclo-cross Championships on February 3rd.