Eric Brunner will take the Pan American Championship jersey home to Colorado for the second year in a row after the Blue Competition Cycles p/b Build rider claimed victory ahead of last year’s runner-up Curtis White (Steve Tilford Foundation Racing) today in Falmouth, Massachusetts. Lance Haidet (L39ION of Los Angeles) finished third.
The championship, held at the Cape Cod Fairgrounds, was held in conjunction with the Really Rad Festival of Cyclocross, the final stop of the US Cyclocross Series (USCX), a four-race series hosted in the Northeast.
With a similar start list to last year’s competition, 27 riders took the line for their chance at the Pan-Am title, however, familiar names rose to the top after Brunner immediately nabbed the hole shot and White, McGill, Haidet and Scott Funston (Blue Competition Cycles p/b Build), and Michael van den Ham (Giant x Easton) followed, keeping a close eye on the defending champ.
A front group of six established early, and, by lap 4, Haidet, White, and Brunner produced a six-second separation on McGill, Funston, Van den Ham and Caleb Swartz (Giant/ENVE). The four chasers eventually connected with the leaders on the next lap to make a group of seven after 35 minutes of racing.
Brunner launched an attack one lap later to move ahead by five seconds, with White in pursuit of the defending champion, determined not to be the runner-up for the second year in a row. McGill and Haidet worked together to regain contact another five seconds behind.
On the penultimate lap, McGill and Haidet eventually caught White, while Brunner continued to charge away from his rivals. Brunner finished the race with a time of 1:04, 25 seconds ahead of White, who dug deep to claim silver ahead of Haidet. The L39ION rider finished another 36 seconds in arrears after nine laps of racing.