Stephen Hyde continues his streak of victories with a Pan-American Championship Sunday in Louisville.

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (VN) — Stephen Hyde continued his streak of victories with a Pan-American Championship Sunday in Louisville. The rider soloed to victory like he did Saturday in the US Cup-CX/Derby City. Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz-Donkey Label) was second ahead of Canadian Michael van den Ham (Garneau-Easton Cycling).

“It feels really good after the beginning of the season that I’ve had,” Hyde said. He had suffered gastritis that put him off the bike for nine days before the season started. “Then I got a cold — same cold everybody else got at Iowa [World Cup #1].”

At first, the U.S. champion looked to be on the back foot. Ortenblad and van den Ham took off and rode off the front for the first two laps. Hyde chased behind with Kerry Werner (Kona) and Fernando Riveros (Stan’s NoTubes ).

Soon, Hyde bridged the gap. A group of six coalesced at the front with Hyde, Werner, Riveros, van den Ham, Ortenblad, and Jeremy Powers (Aspire Racing).

Powers was yo-yoing on and off the group in the early laps. However, once Hyde made his winning move four laps in, Powers was the one to set the pace.

The effort proved too great. The former U.S. champion Powers withdrew two laps later and quickly left the pits with his mechanic.

“Jeremy was rolling pretty hard,” said Ortenblad. “The thing with Jeremy is he can be hot and cold, but when he’s hot he just puts on an effort and holds it, so he’s a good wheel to follow in that regard.”

With Riveros dropped earlier, van den Ham and Ortenblad were left to chase Hyde, but soon they resigned themselves to jockey for second place.

“We were keeping Hyde within about five seconds thanks to Jeremy, but then Jeremy blew,” said van den Ham. “Hyde just grew it from there on in. He was in a league of his own today.”

Van den Ham rode with Ortenblad until the course’s only barriers, late in the lap. The Canadian positioned himself on the front because Ortenblad was hopping the planks. However, Ortenblad unleashed one final, decisive acceleration after the dismount. Van den Ham couldn’t respond, his legs cramping.

“My goal here … I was dreaming for a podium at Conti champs,” van den Ham added, “but I can’t help but be ecstatic about this.”

Ortenblad expressed a bit more regret at having to race for a silver medal, not the multicolor champion’s jersey.

“I was definitely hoping to maybe be able to duel a bit with Hyde a bit more, but he just had more today,” the Californian said.

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