Stephen Hyde and Kaitie Keough win Sho-Air US Cup-CX series, demonstrating the strength of their Cannondale team.

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (VN) — Stephen Hyde and Kaitie Keough won overall titles in the Sho-Air US Cup-CX Saturday, demonstrating the strength of their team. Plus, Cannondale’s Emma White finished second in the women’s classification. It was the inaugural edition of the series and the first national-level cyclocross series since the U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross folded in 2013.

Ahead of the final race, Hyde had the men’s series all but locked up with a 70-point lead. He simply had to earn one point by finishing 25th or better. The national champion could not have done any better in the final series race, winning the day and the $12,500 check as US Cup-CX series champion.

“All I had to do was finish top-25 today,” Hyde said. “The top-four today was really, really strong. Kerry and Tobin and Gage were all riding so well.”

The battle for second and third, however, was tight. Kona’s Kerry Werner was merely 20 points up on Hyde’s teammate Curtis White. Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz-Donkey Label), who raged through the first two weekends of the US Cup, was only six points off the podium.

“I’ve done the calculations,” Werner said before the race. “Curtis is in third. I’ve got to finish at least three or better behind him to maintain second, and four or better behind Tobin to maintain third. I’m not cocky at all, I’m not complacent coming into this.”

With his fourth-place finish in US Cup-CX/Derby City, Ortenblad moved past White for the third spot on the podium. Werner stayed second in the series with his third-place result Saturday. His payout was $3,000; Ortenblad took home $2,000.

Like her Cannondale teammate, Hyde, Keough was in command prior to the Derby City Cup, holding a 25-point advantage on Emma White, who also wears Cannondale green. Aspire Racing’s Ellen Noble was not far behind. She went into the weekend only five points out of second place. Noble was also keeping an eye on fourth place Rebecca Fahringer, who was 11 points out of the money.

“My number-one objective was to just try to make sure I didn’t botch the series or anything like that,” Keough said.

There weren’t any shake-ups in the final women’s standings with Keough, White, and Noble finishing first through third, respectively. Keough was second to national champion Katie Compton Saturday. Noble was fifth, and white was ninth in the Louisville race. The women’s series payout was equal to the men’s.

Riders were enthusiastic about the first running of the US Cup-CX series.

“I was pretty skeptical at the start of the season at whether or not people would follow it,” Werner said, citing the original winner-take-all approach to prize money as a concern. However, midway through the series, Sho-Air raised money to pay out three-deep. “It’s cool because a lot of people that I don’t know have been talking to me about it,” he added. “People actually are paying attention to it.”

“It’s a huge deal for us to have the series, to have a big payout, to have everybody fighting so hard,” Hyde said. “This is the best racing we’ve seen in years. This is amazing. We have four to five guys on any given day fighting for the front end of this race.”

Sho-Air US Cup-CX final top-10 results, elite men

Full men’s series results (PDF) >>

Sho-Air US Cup-CX final top-10 results, elite women

Full women’s series results (PDF) >>