Eric Marcotte (Smartstop Pro Cycling), of Scottsdale, brought home his second championship Saturday at USA Cycling’s Pro Crit Nationals in Greenville, S.C.
As the national pro road champion, Marcotte now holds both stars-and-stripes jerseys.
“The field wasn’t deep but it was talented,” Marcotte said. “[It was] blow after blow from every rider. You just had to catch the guys off guard, and that’s what I did. Just setting up like we did last year at road nats.”
As the nearly 40-rider field began its two-hour race, eventually the pack split into two groups with riders attacking off the front.
Thomas Soladay (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) stayed away for several laps, but the group eventually came back together with three laps to go.
In the final lap, Marcotte moved up around the right side of the group right before the final turn, placing himself just meters ahead of the front of the group, and launched a final sprint that carried him across the finish line to the top of the podium.
“It’s pretty special,” Marcotte said.. “I woke up this morning and before we drove over here, I felt so good I took a photo of my national road jersey, and I believed we could do it again today.”
The 35-year-old said Saturday’s championship was the second crit he’s raced since June, and winning two national championships within one year’s time hasn’t yet registered.
“I mean like last year it’s gotta settle in,” Marcotte said.
Marcotte’s teammate, Travis McCabe, who lives in Tucson and is from Prescott, posted to his Facebook page that it was a team win.
“We raced the way we said we would and in the end no one was as strong as Captain America AKA @ericdmarcotte!” McCabe wrote. “Thank you everyone for your support and congratulations! So proud to be on such an amazing team!”
Craig Streit (Stone House Group p/b VeloVie), who has ridden with Marcotte in Arizona, said he was glad to see Marcotte get the win.
“I’m so happy for Eric,” Streit said. “He works super hard and it nice to see it pay off. I remember when he first moved here and started racing. It was obvious he was on a different level.”