KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Travis McCabe won a tight sprint to take the men’s criterium and Emma White built a big enough gap in the women’s race to win comfortably at the U.S. road national championships Friday night.
The men’s race over the twilight course in downtown Knoxville was sparked by several breakaway attempts that proved unsuccessful. And when the field came together, it was the Rally UHC Cycling team that established the pace at the front of the field with two laps to go.
The team began shedding riders on the final lap, and McCabe – who lost a close sprint to Peter Sagan during the Tour of California – made his move on the penultimate corner.
The 30-year-old McCabe, who rides for the Floyd’s Pro Cycling team of Floyd Landis, held off Eric Young and Miguel Bryon to win the stars-and-stripes jersey.
The women’s race was shaken up with five laps to go when a crash dropped defending champion Leigh Ann Ganzar from contention. Riders are given a free lap under those circumstances if it occurs earlier in the race, but the late juncture meant Ganzer’s race was over.
Sprint specialist Summer Moak and all-around standout Coryn Rivera moved to the front late in the race, but it was White who took control on the final lap. The 21-year-old, who swept the under-23 road race, time trial and criterium a year ago, put a gap into the field entering the final turn.
That allowed White to relish the victory as she crossed the finish line.
Lily Williams finished second and Kendall Ryan was third.
“We won this race two years ago with Erica (Carney),” said White, who competes for the Rally UHC Cycling team. “It’s just a special win for our team.”
The national championships conclude Sunday with the men’s and women’s road races.
Watch world-class cycling events throughout the year with the NBC Sports Gold Cycling Pass, including all 21 stages of the Tour de France live & commercial-free, plus access to renowned races like La Vuelta, Paris-Roubaix, the UCI World Championships and many more.