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Para-cyclists, juniors take the course at USA Cycling amateur nats

Saturday's actions sees visually impaired tandem teams and youngsters battling for stars-and-stripes jerseys

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Stars-and-stripes jerseys were awarded in 22 road race categories Saturday at the 2013 USA Cycling Amateur & Para-cycling Road National Championships in Wisconsin.

The blind or visually impaired tandems were the first to head out on the 9km course in Marshall.

David Swanson (Sabino Cycles Racing) and Clark Rachfal (Tachycardia Racing) took home gold in the men’s race, while Rachael Scdoris and Lisa Turnbull prevailed in the women’s contest.

The C5 and C4 men’s races both came down to sprints, with Mark Gyulafia (Guinness Cycling Team) and Jonathan Copsey (Wired Athletes) winning their respective categories.

Joseph Berenyi (ABD Cycling Team) took home the C3 jersey, Aaron Keith (U.S. Paracycling) topped the C2 category, and Matthew Bigos (RIDE Cyclery) did likewise in C1.

Three members of the U.S. Paralympics team that raced during the 2012 London Olympics claimed stars-and-stripes jerseys in their respective road races. Greta Neimanas (Exergy Twenty16) won the C5 race, while Megan Fisher (Union Bay and Allison Jones (Globalbike Racing) took the C4 and C2 women’s titles, respectively.

In the men’s handcycling categories, the four winners in the criterium national championships held in May in Chattanooga, Tenn., repeated their winning rides in Wisconsin.

Alfredo de los Santos (Paralyzed Veterans Racing) topped the H4 race, Butch Martin won a tight finish in the H3 race, David Randall (Team Roger C Peace) earned gold in the H2 category, and the H1 race went to William Groulx (Paralyzed Veterans Racing).

On the women’s side, Thea Rosa (Team PossAbilities) won the H3 contest and Marianna Davis (Utah Handcycle) prevailed in the H2 race.

The T2 category races saw Ryan Boyle (Team Roger C Peace) and Beth Hope (Paralyzed Veterans Racing) take top honors in their respective races.

Juniors’ races

Two close races translated into exciting finishes in the juniors 10-12 races.

In the women’s event, a group of four riders formed before the halfway mark and hung together until the final kilometer. Katie Clouse (Cole Sport) took the victory ahead of Ava Sykes (TBTS Junior Cycling) by just four seconds. Cheyenne Comer (Stage 17 Racing-Major Motion Development) won the sprint for third ahead of Annalise Oestreich (Junior Flyers).

In the men’s 10-12 race, a bunch sprint to the line saw Luke Lamperti (Team Swift) emerge victorious ahead of Tyler Reynolds (Pella Bike Racing-Jimmy John’s) in second and Gianni Lamperti (Team Swift) in third. Osvaldo Mora (Bahati Foundation Elite Team) was barely a second back in fourth and Alex Morton (Flying Rhino Cycling Club) only a couple seconds back in fifth.

The two 13-14 juniors races were different stories, with the winners soloing to the line well ahead of their nearest competitors. The Boise Young Rider Dev Squad notched a one-two finish in the women’s’ race when Megan Doherty claimed the win ahead of Abigail Youngwerth.

“The first lap the breakaway didn’t really work, so me and Abby didn’t really get away. So we just waited until the second lap where we would try to attack on the hill,” said Doherty. “And Abby got blocked in, so I just went with [another rider].

“We worked together for a little bit and she said ‘Oh, they’re going to catch up.’ I told her, ‘Never give up’. She went back to the field and I just kept on going and, I soloed the whole thing.”

Courtney Comer (Stage 17 Racing-Major Motion Development) won the sprint for third ahead of Alijah Beatty (Iowa City Cycling Club-Mercy) and Ann Weigel (GS Tenzing).

The men’s 13-14 race played out in similar fashion. Sean McElroy (Team Specialized Racing) attacked after the first lap and managed to stay off the front through the finish line.

“I soloed with about a lap and three quarters laps to go. I had a pretty good gap,” said McElroy. “I was hurting, but I just pushed on and eventually won the race.”

Sandor Delgado (Interactive Metronome Development) won the runner-up sprint ahead of Samuel Kophazi (Les Amis-Calder Brothers Development), Sam Margolis (Vortex Cycling Club) and Simon Jones (NCSF-ISCorp Cycling Team).

Nationals conclude Sunday with criteriums in downtown Madison.