Asheville, NC, provides fitting finale to the program’s first season.
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 support team was the deciding factor in today’s race. The equipment was flawless and I could focus on just racing” – Yannick Eckmann
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.
"My season highlight was winning back-to-back races at the North Carolina Grand Prix. Racing with a fully supported team made this season extra special!"
"Having my two Parlee bikes to race each day made a huge difference in my season. I could compete knowing that the bike and my equipment was totally dialed. The team's support really pushed my racing to the next level this year."
"For a first year-team and a first-year cyclocross racer, I have been spoiled by the outstanding equipment and support. Having Parlee, Shimano, and Maxxis as sponsors for this team was incredible! And, for me, the mentorship from my teammates was the defining factor on making this year a success."
"My season highlight was racing into the top 10 at USA National Championships! I worked hard for it, but I couldn't have done it without the support of the team through the season."
Coming Up Next!
For the riders of the Maxxis-Shimano Professional Cyclocross Team, attention now turns to the 2016 road racing season. Danny Summerhill and Cari Higgins will continue with the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team on the road, also owned and managed by Momentum Sports Group. Erica Zaveta and Yannick Eckmann will also race on the road in 2016, before hitting the dirt again in September for the start of the North American cyclocross season. To follow the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team on the road in 2016, click here.