Joey Rosskopf claimed the men’s team’s first-ever US Pro Road Race national title in Knoxville, TN on Sunday. Rosskopf capped off a dominant display by the team which saw Kyle Murphy take the bronze medal while Gavin Mannion crossed the line in seventh.
“It’s amazing,” said Rosskopf. “I didn’t expect it. We always had numbers up there and the way we raced it was only a matter of time before one of us got off the front. When I went, they hesitated, and that’s all it takes, especially when you have the team to support you.”
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The team skipped Friday night’s criterium championships to focus fully on the road race. The gamble paid off.
“The team was incredible,” added Rosskopf. “Every time there was a selection, we had four or five guys in the front. In the last lap, it was anyone’s race. Everyone just taking their opportunity and making decisions super fast.”
Early in the 191km race, Kyle Murphy escaped the peloton on the third of 15 laps and wasn’t reeled in by the group of leaders until the final hour of racing. Despite this, Murphy still had the legs to follow dangerous moves in the finale along with Mannion and finish on the podium.
“Kyle was unbelievable,” said Rosskopf. “He was out there all day. I have no idea how he had the legs to do that and still finish on the podium. Every single person played a role and Kyle led the way.”
Murphy had added motivation with it being Father’s Day as his wife and kids were on hand for their first professional bike race.
“When I turned left onto the finish straight, I was thinking about my kiddos and how badly I wanted to stand on the podium with them,” said Murphy. “I went for it and held on for third. I can’t believe Joey won, he’s the nicest guy in the world.”
Jonas Carney has been the team’s Performance Manager since 2007 and the day’s result was as meaningful as you’d expect.
“It feels great,” said Carney. “We’ve been trying to win this race for 15 years and we finally did it! The guys rode a superb race. Kyle Murphy was an absolute animal and we couldn’t have done it without his amazing ride. And on top of that, Clark Sheehan won the USPRO RR as a first-year director. Simply amazing.”
US Pro Road National Championships results
1 ROSSKOPF Joey Rally Cycling 4:38:12
2 BOOKWALTER Brent Team BikeExchange 0:03
3 MURPHY Kyle Rally Cycling 0:05
4 VERMEULEN Alexey 0:06
5 CRADDOCK Lawson EF Education – Nippo 0:10
6 HAGA Chad Team DSM 0:13
7 MANNION Gavin Rally Cycling 1:13
8 BOARDMAN Samuel L39ion of Los Angeles 1:41
9 HECHT Gage Aevolo 1:43
10 MCGILL Scott Aevolo 2:32