Cyclocross

Raylyn Nuss, Eric Brunner take U.S. double at Pan-American cyclocross championships

American pair Nuss and Brunner take titles in Texas to mark first time the Pan-Ams have been held in the U.S. since 2017.

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Raylyn Nuss (Steve Tilford Foundation) and Eric Brunner (Blue Competition Cycles) took a U.S. double at the Pan-Am cyclocross championships Sunday.

Nuss claimed her first win of the season after a dozen top-10 finishes through the fall, beating rising Canadian Ruby West and U.S. rider Caitlin Bernstein.

Brunner, 23, topped an all-U.S podium, with Curtis White and defending champion Kerry Werner taking the second and third steps.

“I’m so grateful. To have the hard work pay off and win the Pan-American championships. For [coach] Grant Holicky’s endless support, outside of cycling more than in. For my bike and equipment that has honestly been a game-changer this season. For my parents being there the whole way,” Brunner wrote on Instagram.

Brunner has been on a tear in the past months, winning both races of the “Really Rad” Festival in Massachusetts and taking victory on day one of the Kings CX Cup.

“This is the season that I feel I’ve put it all together. Not that it’s been easy, it’s been harder than ever at times. But getting to a point where everything seems to flow and where I’m truly enjoying the sport,” he wrote. “Thanks y’all.”

Nuss, 30, had placed 15th and 6th in her past two Pan-Am appearances. Sunday saw her continue the progression with her dominant 43-second win.

“I’m not really sure where to even begin other than I’m still processing and soaking in this moment. This is a heavy win for me – my first ever elite win at the Pan-American championships in the Steve Tilford Foundation jersey and landing my name on the start list for the World Championships,” Nuss wrote on Instagram.

“I was not feeling the riding swag during pre-ride on Friday, and woke up Saturday deciding to make it my day.”

Defending women’s Pan-Am champion Maghalie Rochette and U.S. national champ Clara Honsinger both sat out the women’s competition having based themselves in Europe for the winter to race in the World Cup and Superprestige series.

Staged in the Winters Park Amphitheater in Garland, Texas, this year’s Pan-American championships were the first held on American soil since 2017.

The Texan races formed a preview of-sorts for next weekend’s U.S. nationals in Wheaton, Illinois.

Werner said he’s hoping to bounce back better Sunday.

“A little disappointed I have to give up the Pan-Am stripes but there is so denying that Eric Brunner certainly deserved them yesterday,” wrote Werner on an Instagram post. “One week away from another jersey race and motivation is even higher! Here we come CX Nats.”