Monday, July 24, 2017

Vermaerke and Simmons Win Junior National XC Titles!

The US National Championships have been a major focus for the Whole Athlete Team over the past eight seasons, and this year was no exception. Timing their peak to perfection, Kevin Vermaerke and Quinn Simmons won the Junior 17/18 and 15/16 National XC Titles with impressive rides on a technical, demanding course. The very next day Kelsey Urban followed the Juniors' success with a strong performance of her own, earning the bronze medal in her first Women's U23 XC Nationals.

Quinn Simmons
Simmons is the Junior 15/16 National Champion! (photo: Kenny Wehn)

The stellar rides by Vermaerke and Simmons in the XC came just a day and a half after they both featured on the Junior 15-18 Short Track podium as well, with Simmons just missing out on the win in 2nd and Vermaerke coming back from multiple crashes in the hazadous rock garden to finish 5th.
Kevin Vermaerke
Vermaerke on his way to a Junior 17/18 National Title on the highly technical course. (photo: PB Creative)

While Simmons had a mishap-free ride to win the 15/16 Junior Title in rainy, slick conditions, Vermaerke was faced with a last-lap puncture through one of the many rock gardens, placing his bid for victory in doubt. Although he had built a significant gap on second place at that point, he was passed while getting help in the tech zone. Staying focused and confident after a fast wheel change, Vermaerke charged across the gap to the leading rider and attacked to take a hard-earned, well-deserved win.

Kevin Vermaerke
Vermaerke gets a quick wheel change and some clean eyewear after a last-lap flat. (photo: Kenny Wehn)

After a strong prior weekend of racing in Vermont with two elite podium finishes in two days, Urban showed that her form is on target with a U23 Nationals podium as well. She will race next at the Boston Rebellion ProXCT this weekend then face some of the world's best U23 women at the Mont Sainte Anne World Cup in Quebec, Canada.

Kelsey Urban
Urban on her way to a podium finish at U23 Nationals. (photo: PB Creative)

Kevin Vermaerke
Junior 17/18 Men's XC podium. (photo: Kenny Wehn)

Quinn Simmons
Junior 15/16 Men's XC podium. (photo: Kenny Wehn)

Kelsey Urban
Women's U23 XC podium. (photo: Whole Athlete p/b DNA)

Quinn Simmons, Kevin Vermaerke
Junior 15-18 STXC podium. (photo: Whole Athlete p/b DNA)

Kevin Vermaerke
Until next year, Snowshoe! (photo: Kenny Wehn)

Next up for Whole Athlete p/b DNA:

07/29: US Cup Boston Rebellion ProXCT - Walpole, MA
08/06: World Cup #5 - Mont Sainte Anne, Quebec - Canada
08/13: Windham ProXCT - Windham, NY
09/07: World Championships - Cairns, Australia 

Nine years and 22 Junior & U23 National Titles...Stay tuned for more exciting news!

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