By Robbie Stout, VeloNews.com
Keith Norris (AEG-Toshiba-JetNetwork) won the U23 stars-and-stripes jersey in a field-sprint of 174 riders on Sunday, July 15, at the USA Cycling National Festival in Champion, Pennsylvania.
It was a close call for Norris, who jumped out front early to position himself for the final sprint, proving his strength and holding the lead without a lead-out. Cody O’Reill (Kodak Gallery-Sierra Nevada) and Jacob Keough (CL Noonan-Coast to Coast) finished second and third, respectively.
“The whole race was much faster than I anticipated,” Norris said. “My plan was to be in the top three coming out of the final turn. I didn’t do one pull the whole race, and I knew I had to be in the top three entering the last corner. I jumped a good bit before the turn and went into it first.”
Norris, a strong sprinter and criterium rider, has had several good finishes this year, including a second-place finish at the Indio Grand Prix.
Riders whose strength is endurance attempted to break away earlier in the race, but the presence of powerhouse teams Slipstream-Chipotle and VMG Racing kept their efforts from succeeding.
Erica Allar (Salamander) won the women’s U23 national criterium championship by outsprinting Natalie Klemko (Advil-Chapstick).
2007 USA Cycling National Festival at Seven Springs
presented by California Giant Berry Farms
U23 men’s criterium
1. Keith Norris (Miami, FL), 1:15:42.8
2. Cody O’Reilly (Beverly, MA), s.t.
3. Jacob Keough (Sandwich, MA), s.t.
U23 women’s criterium
1. Erica Allar (Foglesville, PA), 1:01:20.1
2. Natalie Klemko (Bristol, WI), s.t.
3. Jacquelyn Crowell (Gainesville, FL), s.t.
Junior men’s 17-18 criterium
1. Iggy Silva (San Diego, CA) 1:07:26.5
2. Alfredo Cruz (San Ysidro, CA), s.t.
3. Andy Baker (Easley, SC), s.t.
Junior women’s 17-18 criterium
1. Sinead Miller (Pittsburgh, PA), 34:10.9
2. Missy Erickson (Alexandria, MN), s.t.
3. Samantha Schneider (West Allis, WI), s.t.
Junior men’s 15-16 criterium
1. Gavin Mannion (Dedham, MA)
2. A.J. Meyer (Cohutta, GA)
3. Robin Eckman (Boulder, CO)
Junior women’s 15-16 criterium
1. Coryn Rivera (Tustin, CA), 25:06.8
2. Shelby Reynolds (Cypress, TX), at 0:01.3
3. Elspeth Huyett (Alburtis, PA), s.t.
Junior men’s 13-14 criterium
1. Ben Gabardi (Collierville, TN), 28:45.6
2. Justin Koelbl (Fairfax Station, VA), s.t.
3. Cory Williams (Los Angeles, CA), s.t.
Junior women’s 13-14 criterium
1. Ashlyn Gerber (Sanford, FL), 35:23.1
2. Kaitlyn Lawrence (Emmaus, PA), s.t.
3. Antonina Esposto (Blandon, FL), s.t.
Junior men’s 10-12 criterium
1. Curtis White (Delanson, NY), 24:33.6
2. Pedro Zaragoza (El Paso, TX) at 0:07.2
3. Max Mancuso (Greentown, PA), s.t.
Junior women’s 10-12 criterium
1. Katrina Howard (Fresno, CA), 26:01.3
2. Sarah Huang (Kenosha, WI), s.t.
3. Michelle Blake (Orlando, FL), at 0:02.4