The 2015-2016 Cyclocross Season came to a close this past weekend with the USA Cycling National Cyclocross Championships in Asheville, North Carolina. Yannick Eckmann led the team’s results, with an impressive 9th place in the Elite Men’s field. For Eckmann, the result was validation of a season of hard work and improvement. After a slow start to the ‘cross season, where he struggled to break the top-20, Eckmann worked to improve focus and condition in the later half of the season to prepare for the national championships.
With a second row starting position, Eckmann had to battle to get towards the front of the race, “I had a couple of small mishaps on the first lap, but after that I fought back strongly into the top 10.” As riders began to tire on the challenging course, Eckmann stayed focused and moved steadily through the field, “Towards the end I found a good rhythm again and just kept pushing forward and started to close some gaps to the riders in front of me,” Eckmann continued.
The determination paid off, as Eckmann crossed the line in 9th, a standout performance for the rider against the best in the United States. Teammate Danny Summerhill finished just a handful of positions back, in 17th.
In the women’s field, Erica Zaveta also claimed a solid 17th place, with teammate Cari Higgins further back, but showing great promise and progress as a first-year cyclocross racer at the top level of American competition.
The historic Biltmore Estate outside of Asheville provided a fitting venue for the championship race. The course was widely heralded as the most entertaining and challenging track ever seen in the USA, and with slick conditions, the terrain was a worthy battleground for the fierce competition.
The Maxxis-Shimano Professional Cyclocross Team was launched in September of 2015, by Momentum Sports Group, as a tool to promote the valuable team sponsors and partners involved with the program. In their first season of racing, the program earned consistently impressive results, including back-to-back wins by Danny Summerhill at the North Carolina Grand Prix of Cyclocross.