Jeremy took his fourth national championship title on Sunday in Asheville, North Carolina, on the Biltmore Estate with thousands of fans watching and cheering. The race wasn’t easy for the defending champion, though. In the early laps, competitors Stephen Hyde and Logan Owen were right on his wheel, and the three traded places at the front for the first half of the race. However, they couldn’t keep pace with Jeremy for the full hour, and he was able to eventually shed them and ride in to a solo victory.
“The race this weekend was historic for me,” Jeremy says. “Four national titles is obviously awesome, and Stephen Hyde and Logan Owen rode great races. The Biltmore Estate, which hosted the event, was so well taken care of. It was like Walt Disney meets cyclocross and everyone really enjoyed themselves. I think Tim Hopkins—the race organizer, USA Cycling, and everyone who had a part in it deserves a huge pat on the back because it was a really well run and well executed National Championships.”
The course design itself was a change from the typical courses in the US: it was much more technical than most, with plenty of tough features including drops and off-cambers, plus plenty of running sections and steep, punchy climbs. Rain and frigid temperatures over the weekend added another element of difficulty. “The course was particularly hard with a lot of running, something that people would probably say would not suit me very well—we were off the bike three times per lap,” Jeremy explains. Still, he had a trick up his sleeve: he’d changed his training in anticipation of late season running. “I have been doing a lot of run training in the lead up to this race, prepping for this and the races coming up in Europe, where I expect there will be a lot of running. But I was also anticipating rain for this event, so I was running a lot. The runs were the Kask run-up, by the barn—which was really cool—and on Ingles hill, I probably could have ridden it, but I elected to run to save my legs, since I was running 44×11-30 gearing.”
In the last two laps, Jeremy was able to get a gap between himself and Hyde and Owen, building it steadily, but it wasn’t until the last lap where the gap was finally large enough that he could relax. Still, he gave the course 100 percent, heading into the finishing chute with crowds roaring and time for a few high fives before posting up. “It was a really fast course in some spots, but was also really slimy and slick and, it had a lot of climbing. It was really good for me, but my legs were burning at the end,” he says. “I had to yell at my legs to stop, stop, stop it! I was hurting and they were burning the last time up the final climb. But it felt so good to cross the line, to see everyone there and to take that in. It was definitely the one that I was able to take in the most.”
For Jeremy, this season has had its ups and downs, and this win was one of his most hard-fought. “The other wins were great, but for some reason, this one I felt like I had a lot of perspective on it, and I really wanted to win it, but there was obviously a large target on my back,” he explained. “Being able to pull it off feels incredible and I’m really happy. I’m taking this momentum to Europe now, heading to the World Cup in France next, then Hoogerheide and then Worlds.”
Stay tuned for more of Jeremy’s European adventures as the season winds down!
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