Julian Kyer needed strong finishes on the amateur circuit to overcome consecutive down years. Two wins at the USA Cycling National Championships, including the Elite Men’s national title, did just that.
Kyer held off two trailing riders and pumped his fists as he crossed the finish line of the elite race Sunday, winning the final event of the cycling championships in Augusta.
“It’s been a tough past couple seasons,” Kyer said. “Last year, I was sick all year, and I had to step down to the amateur level. But my team has been very supportive, and to ride with a good result is sweet.”
The 24-year-old rider from Boulder, Colo., took the gold medal with a 4:02:29 finish at the 168K course at Fort Gordon. Mathew Davis finished second at 4:02:32, and Stefaro Barberi finished third at 4:02:40.
It was the second win for Kyer this week, as he also took first in the Men’s Category ½ Time Trial Thursday at Strom Thurmond Dam.
“I didn’t know this morning how I would do,” he said. “I came in having traveled a lot, so I had no idea how it would go. But I left it all out on the road, and this was the biggest win of my career.”
Miguel Bryon overtook Logan Owen in a sprint and photo finish to win the Men’s Junior 17-18 road race.
Coming around the final turn and eyeing the finish, Bryon and Owen sprinted the last 150 to 180 meters to the finish line. Bryon, a Miami native, nosed ahead of Owen to take his second national title, the first coming as a 15-year-old in Oregon in 2010.
Bryon crashed in the final lap of the Men’s Junior 17-18 Criterium Friday, and he said that built up anger and determination for his final attempt at a title. The 17-year-old won with a final time of 2:25:22 in the 96K race.
“There were a lot of good guys out there, and it was a hard race,” he said.
“I knew I had a good shot coming down to the sprint, and I stayed focused.”
The Elite Women’s national title went to Megan Guarnier. The Mountain View, Calif., native posted a time of 3:10:21, also taking the title in a sprint at the finish.
Guarnier overtook Lauren Hall and Carmen Small in the final sprint after the three and Alison Powers remained in a tight group throughout the race.