• 2012/10/15 Eckmann Wins U23 and Claims Top 6 in Elite at USGP!
    • Eckmann Wins U23 and Claims Top 6 in Elite at USGP!

      California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized rider Yannick Eckmann continued to impress in Sunday’s USGP Smartwool Cup in Ft Collins where he finished sixth in the men’s elite race after making the first selection and climbed to the top of the under-23 podium for the second day in a row.

      “I’m really happy, it was one of my best races.” said the 18-year old rider who also solidifying his lead in the USGP under-23 series. “I’m pretty happy to increase the points for the jersey but now I just want to get more UCI points and get results in the elite races.”

      Saturday’s tacky conditions were gone as the elite men’s field was greeted by a dry and fast course for the final race of the weekend. The race exploded early on under attack at the front. After a good start which put him in the top 10, Eckmann started to slowly move up. He made junction with the select group at the front in the second lap.

      “I was sitting behind (Chris) Jones most of the time until he crashed in front of me. I got around and closed the gap to (Jeremy) Powers, I was sitting on his wheel the whole time, trying to be there; if something went he’d probably be the one making the move so just trying to stay on his wheel as long as possible. I got blown off the group a few times but I got back on.” Eckmann explained. “With three and a half laps to go, the lead group just exploded, Powers attacked and then it got really fast and gaps opened between riders and I just tried to do my best.”

      While eventual winner Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) made his move at the front, Eckmann hung in with the chase group. “Ryan Trebon was in front of me so I tried to keep his wheel actually, and I was really excited. I was really motived today because before the race I told Trebon, I’ll be there,”he laughed, “ and I was thinking let’s see if I can make it happen.”

      Going into the final lap, Eckmann was in a group with Ben Berden (Raleigh-Clement), Ryan Trebon (Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com) and Danny Summerhill (Chipotle Development Team); fighting for fourth place.

      “On the last lap, Trebon crashed in front of us, that moved him back, I just stayed in that group. Got a little gapped off in the back towards the finish but I was like I’m not going to give up now and closed the gap to that group again and sprinted for 4th place, and I ended up sixth.” Eckmann concluded.

      Halfway through the series, Eckmann has a 16-point lead in the under-23 overall standings