Cole, Arensman defend titles on first day of Amateur Road Nationals

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The women's 17-18 podium (l to r): Emma White, Janelle Cole and Madeleine Boutet. (photo by Karl Hendrikse)

Blue Mounds, Wisconsin (July 2, 2014) -- The first five Stars-and-Stripes jerseys were awarded on Wednesday as the 2014 USA Cycling Amateur & Para-cycling Road National Championships got underway with road races around the course at Blue Mounds State Park.


The juniors 17-18 women began the day with a three-lap (71km) race that saw Janelle Cole (Rockford, Mich./West Michigan Coast Riders) successfully defend her road race title and earn the win by five seconds ahead of Emma White (Delanson, N.Y./Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team) and Madeleine Boutet (Anchorage, Alaska/TWENTY16 Pro Cycling).


Another successful defense by a reigning national champion occurred in the juniors 15-16 women's road race where Hannah Arensman (Rutherford College, N.C./TWENTY16 Pro Cycling) edged Megan Heath (Alpharetta, Ga./Frazier Cycling) by two seconds in the 49km race at Blue Mounds to add another Stars-and-Stripes jersey to her collection. Anya Malarski (Duluth, Minn./NorthStar Development Cycling) finished 16 seconds down from Arensman. Paige Shumskas (Pipersville, Pa./T-Town Elite) earned fourth place and Alijah Beatty (Washington, Iowa/NorthStar Development Cycling) was fifth.


Two juniors men's races followed on the schedule with the 15-16 men traversing three laps (71km) and the 17-18 men racing four laps (94km).


Colorado teammates Christopher Blevins (Durango, Colo./NCCF-Team Specialized Juniors) and Gage Hecht (Parker, Colo./NCCF-Team Specialized Juniors) claimed two of the top three spots in the 15-16 race as Blevins took the win in 1:56:14 and Hecht crossed the line third, 17 seconds behind. Blevins improved upon his silver-medal performance at last year's race while Hecht repeated as the bronze medalist. In between the two Coloradans was Matteo Jorgenson (Boise, Idaho/BYRDS (Boise Young Rider Dev Squad)) who claimed the silver medal by finishing nine seconds back of Blevins. Rounding out the top five in the field of 77 were Daniel Willett (San Clemente, Calif./Monster Media Racing Team) and Brandon McNulty (Phoenix, Ariz./Landis-Trek).


A large field of 128 riders took to the line in the men's 17-18 race and it was USA Cycling National Development Program rider Jonathan Brown (Covington, Tenn./Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team, Inc.) pulling away for a three-second victory over Noah Granigan (Cape May Court House, N.J./Race CF). David Lombardo (Crystal Lake, Ill./Hincapie Development Team) crossed the line in third, six seconds back of Brown.


The first day of racing culminated with an exciting race in the U23 women's division. Defending champion Kaitlin Antonneau (Racine, Wisc./TWENTY16 Pro Cycling) escaped on a two-woman break with 2013 Junior Road World Championship Team member Kelly Catlin (Arden Hills, Minn./NorthStar Development). Entering the third of the four-lap (94km) race, the duo had built up a gap of 2 minutes, 15 seconds on the field. It came down to a head-to-head sprint at the finish with Catlin nipping Antonneau in a photo finish to take the Stars-and-Stripes jersey. Katherine Shields (Salisbury, N.C./PainPathways Cycling Team) pulled away from the rest of the field to claim the bronze medal.


The road races continue on Thursday, and will feature the top level of amateur men's road cyclist in the nation, as the U23 and category 1 men toe the line at Blue Mounds State Park. The Fourth of July will see 39 national titles awarded in the time trial, held east of Madison in Waterloo. The action moves to Rockdale on Saturday for road races in the para-cycling categories in addition to the junior men and women age 9-14. Sunday's criteriums in downtown Madison conclude the event and will feature fast-paced racing that will take the riders around the Wisconsin state capitol on a four-corner, one-kilometer course.


For more information on the event, including course maps, a schedule of each day’s races, results and photos, visit the 2014 USA Cycling Amateur & Para-cycling Road National Championships event page. Look for updates from Madison on the USA Cycling and channels, or follow on Twitter with the hashtag #RoadNats.

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