Easthampton’s Stephen Hyde wins 2nd straight cyclocross national championship

  • Southampton’s Jeremy Powers leads Easthampton’s Stephen Hyde down a stretch at the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships in Reno, Nevada, on Sunday. KATIE MACARELLI / FEEDBACK SPORTS

  • Easthampton’s Stephen Hyde won his second straight cyclocross national championship Sunday. He finished first at the Cycling Cyclocross National Championships in Reno, Nevada. KATIE MACARELLI / FEEDBACK SPORTS

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Stephen Hyde knew he’d have to fend off Jeremy Powers to defend his cyclocross national championship.

He dethroned the then three-time champion last year in Hartford last year, and Hyde chased down Powers on Sunday at Rancho San Rafel Regional Park in Reno, Nevada, to go back-to-back in stars and stripes.

Hyde, who lives in Easthampton, crossed the line in 59 minutes, 9 seconds, edging powers by 13 seconds for the title.

We’ve been competing since the beginning, he’s been a really big mentor to me,” Hyde said in a post-match interview with USA Cycling. “It’s great to see him on form like that. If I were to fight anybody for the win, it’s going to be him.”

Hyde sprinted in front of Powers, who lives in Southampton, on the final lap leading up to a hill the cyclists needed to dismount their bikes to climb. He navigated remounting his bike for the last stretch and cruised across the finish line fists raised with a victory shout.

“ It seemed like this Nationals was either gonna go down in flames for me or I was gonna have to muster every bit of strength and determination to make it happen,” Hyde wrote in an Instagram post. “Well, I had to squeeze every bit out.”

Powers was second, a bounce-back performance after taking 24th last year.

Westhampton’s Jack Kisseberth, who races for JAM Fund, Powers’ development team, found his way into the top 10 in sixth. He finished in 1:00:32.

Scott Smith, who also lives in Westhampton and races for JAM Fund, took 16th.

Noble second in elite debut

Westhampton’s Ellen Noble couldn’t halt Katherine Compton’s dominant run.

Compton won her 14th consecutive national title in Reno, while Noble finished second just seven seconds behind her.

Noble was a three-time champion in the under-23 category but moved up to the elite ranks this season.