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Erin Huck, Luke Vrouwenvelder win USA Cycling Marathon MTB National Championships

Huck nabs the stars and stripes seven months after giving birth to her first child.

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Erin Huck and Luke Vrouwenvelder are the new US marathon mountain bike national champions.

The elite race, held on Sunday in Gambrill State Park in Frederick, Maryland, saw small fields of 12 women and 19 men competing on a technical singletrack course.

Deanna Mayles and Lea Davison rounded out the women’s podium. Defending champ Alexis Skarda put in a solid effort for fifth after traveling from Bentonville, Arkansas on Saturday where she placed third in the 100-mile Big Sugar Gravel race.

In the men’s race, defending marathon champ Stephan Davoust was second, and Carson Beckett was third.

Although the venue was unchanged from last year, the 2022 marathon nationals course was different. Organizers added a 7.2 mile prologue loop that added 950 feet of climbing. Riders then tackled a 16-mile loop with nearly 2,000 feet of climbing two times. Men and women raced the same distances.

According to Huck, the course was “super rocky and pretty technical, tricky technical, which is a nice change from what we’re used to racing on. It was also pretty non-stop singletrack.” 

Read also: Endurance racing and motherhood — Erin Huck’s new adventures

This is Huck’s first marathon title, although the 41-year-old has twice won the XCO stars and stripes and is a three-time short track national champion.

Vrouwenvelder, 27, is a six-time mountain bike national champ who rides for the Giant Factory Off-Road team. Last year, he finished second at marathon nationals to teammate Stephan Davoust; this year, the order was reversed.

Huck’s first marathon title is particularly poignant; the Colorado rider gave birth to her son Brennen seven months ago. While she has been training and racing in the last few months, “I’d say that training and racing is just a little different now,” she said.

“Getting to the start of races is a whole other challenge. Once you’re at the start it’s like, ‘we’ll see what I have on this day.’ Some days you don’t have a whole lot but sometimes you can pull some things together. I knew I’d be able to finish but I wasn’t sure where I’d find myself today.” 

Elite women’s results

  1. Erin Huck, 4:08:31
  2. Deanna Mayles,  4:13:32
  3. Lea Davison, 4:15:09
  4. Kelly Catale,  4:15:30
  5. Alexis Skarda, 4:19:06
  6. Britt Mason, 4:32:36
  7. Julie Medema, 4:40:55
  8. Liz Wolf,  4:58:26
  9. Abigail Snyder,  5:24:01
  10. Melissa Cooper,  5:32:58

Elite men’s results

  1. Luke Vrouwenvelder, 3:20:05
  2. Stephan Davoust, 3:23:12
  3. Carson Beckett, 3:26:56
  4. Cody Cupp, 3:32:09
  5. Eddie Anderson,  3:34:08
  6. Kerry Werner, Jr,  3:36:24
  7. Ryan Johnson, 3:37:25.
  8. Eli Kranefuss, 3:37:52
  9. Truman Glasgow, 3:40:51
  10. Philip Ford, 3:46:05