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If you are even remotely connected to the cyclocross community then by now you have heard the news: Gage Hecht is the Elite Men’s National Champion! It was one of those days where everything came together — his training and preparation was perfect, the equipment was dialed and he had a bit of luck on his side, too. For Lance Haidet a very strong fifth place amongst the best in the country is nothing to hang one’s head about. Like Gage, Lance’s preparation and race went about as good as one could hope, but a slight mental lapse may have been what kept him on the podium. 

For those of you who are unaware of this, Gage and Lance are in their early twenties. In fact, Gage is young enough to compete in the Under-23 category, but because of his abilities he chose to race in the Elite field as he did last year in Louisville, KY where he finished third. These two amazing athletes are part of the future of cyclocross in America. This future looks bright.

Donnelly Gage Hecht National Cyclocross Champion

Wide open. "Everything seemed to go well, but I did get nervous that I went out too hard, too early. I went quickly though the first section and was breathing really hard. Luckily the course had a lot of opportunities to recover if paced well." - Gage Hecht

The way it should be. "This was honestly one of the best experiences I’ve had at Nationals. The course and conditions were super fun and challenging, both fitness and technique-wise. In order to win on that course, you certainly had to be the most prepared and best all-around racer. Exactly how it should be at Nationals." - Lance Haidet

 Clear mind. "I really didn’t think about making mistakes and getting caught by the chasers that much. I have been training and working on riding ruts a lot during the last few weeks. I think this gave me a lot of confidence. I felt great on the climbs and really good with my technical skills on the gnarly descents. " - Gage Hecht

Him or me.  "Not to sound cocky, but I was confident either Gage or I were going to come home with the Stars and Stripes. We both put in a ton of work and preparation, but more than anything we had some serious motivation to show up and demonstrate that although we are young, we are there to either win. That is exactly what Gage did. I am super proud and excited for him!"  - Lance Haidet

Lady luck. Beside the mishap that almost took me out I did not make another major mistake. I put a foot out here and there, but luckily I never really had any big issues. - Gage Hecht

Hindsight is 20/20. "Personally my race was ok. Looking back on it, I honestly feel that I threw away my chances within the first two minutes of the race. I had an amazing start off the line, and was leading it out until for some reason I started questioning myself. After that it seemed like I was just chasing." - Lance Haidet

One and done.  "I did not not swap a bike at all during the race. It was risky, but my 'A' was dialed thanks to our mechanics, James and Mark. The bike felt great and I really didn’t want to complicate things." - Gage Hecht

Already thinking about next year. "My other major mistake. was instead of chasing down the leaders I just rode around for a couple laps and watched the race go up the road. It was 100% my fault. I should have kept pushing the pace. As a first year elite, I am satisfied with 5th. I definitely wanted more, believe that I had ability to do so. I raced much to timidly and at the National Championships being timid and hesitate doesn’t fly. I know what I need to do for next year, and I’m already looking forward to it." - Lance Haidet

12 years in the making. "I’m pretty sure that my first 'cross race was at the old University of Colorado Research Park. I was nine years old and had just finished the road racing season. I had done a practice with the old Black Sheep Devo team the week before which was my first time really doing cross. The practice turned out to be really frustrating. I just couldn’t keep up with the other riders. We had already bought a bike, so we decided that I should at least try the race. It was a blast. I ended up having a blast and I believe I even won. Hard to believe 12 years later I can say I'm the National Champ!" - Gage Hecht

A dream come true.  "I can’t describe the excitement I feel to be wearing this country’s colors other than it feels amazing. Winning this as an elite is something I’ve dreamed of all my life. The season is not over yet though. I will be heading straight to Europe to race over Christmas week and all the way through Worlds." - Gage Hecht


Rider Tire Selection and Pressure 

Gage Hecht 

Front: PDX / 22 psi
Rear: PDX / 23 psi 

Lance Haidet
Front: PDX / 22 psi
Rear: PDX / 23 psi 

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Team Schedule (Tentative)
Rochester Cyclocross – Rochester, NY
Jingle Cross World Cup – Iowa City, IA
Trek CXC World Cup – Waterloo, WI
Fayettecross - Fayetteville Arkansas
US Open of Cyclocross – Boulder, CO
Cincinnati UCI Cyclocross - Cincinnati. OH
Silver Goose - Midland, ON
Pan Am Games - Midland, ON

Ruts N Guts CX – Broken Arrow, OK 

USA National Championships – Tacoma, WA

UCI World Championships – Dubendorf, CH