Master Blaster Chris Phipps Gets Gold At Nationals!
The official race report by NCNCA:
Hail of a day at Masters Road National Championships
Christopher Phipps (San Francisco, Calif./Thirsty Bear Cycling) won the first national title of his career when he emerged from a two-man breakaway to win the men’s 40-44 road race by two seconds. Phipps, who missed winning the time trial on Wednesday by less than one second, finished the 110-kilometer contest in 2:48:36.
With 82 talented competitors in the field, the riders were guarding against early attacks. With the field quickly answering any attacks, it remained together through the first two hours of the race. As the group approached its climb up Mt. Bachelor, Phipps and the winner of this race in 2012, Matthew Carinio (San Luis Obispo, Calif./Rock Solid Cycling), attacked. That duo traded pulls as they ascended Mt. Bachelor, but gradually Carinio ran out of gas. The winner of Wednesday’s time trial national championship, Richard Feldman (Ketchum, Idaho/Durance-Colnago), was bridging the gap. With approximately five kilometers remaining in the race, thunder struck and hail fell.
“I just put my head down and went as hard as I could,” Phipps said. “They (hail stones) were falling all around me and I thought they’d start to hit me soon. Sure enough, they started hitting me in the back and those things hurt. Then they started to cover the road, so you can’t get out of the saddle because it is so slick. Then, it’s like cyclo-cross. You’re just pedaling as hard as you can with your head down. That last turn, I had a big gap. I just put my head down and went for it as hard as I could.”
Phipps crossed the finish line two seconds ahead of Carinio, who placed second. Daniel Bryant (Carmichael, Calif./Folsom Bike-VW-Raley’s) finished only two seconds behind Carinio in third place. Local rider Ryan McKean (Bend, Ore.) placed fourth, edging Feldman, who placed fifth in the race.