Para-cycling road national champions crowned in Chattanooga

By Brianna Tammaro | May 24, 2015, 6:33 p.m. (ET)
Jon Copsey celebrates a road race win in the men's C4 class at the 2015 USA Cycling Para-cycling Road National Championships in Chattanooga, Tenn. on May 24, 2015.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The 2015 USA Cycling Para-cycling Road National Championships awarded twenty-three athletes, including two tandem pilots, with road race national titles on Sunday in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

A total of five Paralympians, including three from the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, took gold with four coming into the event as time trial champions from the previous day’s race. They were joined by ten other TT champions returning to the podium for road victories.

“It was really good racing [today] and I think Team USA is looking good going into 2015-2016,” road race MC2 national champion Aaron Keith said. “It’s great to see a lot of young riders out here coming through the pipeline. Hopefully we’ll just continue on towards Rio.”

The morning began with the men’s and women’s tandem and men’s C3-5 classes racing 58.1-kilometers on the paved course within Enterprise South Nature Park. The men’s tandem pair of Aaron Scheidies (Seattle, Wash.) and pilot Benjamin Collins (Chicago, Ill.) set the pace for all eleven laps to finish with the gold medal. Scheidies, a paratriathlete, adds his second title of the weekend after winning the time trial TT championship on Saturday.

In the men’s and women’s handcycle and trike classes, the race featured a series of tight finishes including in the men’s H5 class between Oscar “Oz” Sanchez (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Dan Cnossen (Topeka, Kans.). The two military members went back-and-forth for the lead for 42.2km (eight laps) before Cnossen (Navy) edged out Sanchez (Marine Corps) for the win.

The men’s C1-2 and women’s C1-5 classes closed out the day of road race championships as Samantha Heinrich (Spring Hill, Fla.) and Megan Fisher (Missoula, Mont.) pushed the pace with Aaron Keith (Woodinville, Wash.) and Matt Bigos (Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Calif.) to finish at the top of their respective classes. This was also the second title for Heinrich and Keith this weekend.

“It was a lot of climbing and descending,” road race WC5 national champion Heinrich said. “You not only had to be smart with your fitness but also on the road and not zone out on a turn. You had to handle your bike the whole race.”

2015 Road Race National Champions:

  • Aaron Scheidies (Seattle, Wash.), pilot Benjamin Collins (Chicago, Ill.) men’s tandem
  • Shawn Cheshire (Camillus, N.Y.), pilot Mackenzie Woodring (Belmont, Mich.), women’s tandem
  • Mark Gyulafia (Westwood, Kans.), men’s C5
  • Jon Copsey (Carmel Valley, Calif.), men’s C4
  • Joe Berenyi (Oswego, Ill.), men’s C3
  • Aaron Keith (Woodinville, Wash.), men’s C2
  • Matthew Bigos (Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Calif.), men’s C1
  • Samantha Heinrich (Spring Hill, Fla.), women’s C5
  • Megan Fisher (Missoula, Mont.), women’s C4
  • Jamie Whitmore (Mount Aukum, Calif.), women’s C3
  • Allison Jones (Colorado Springs, Colo.), women’s C2
  • Dan Cnossen (Topeka, Kans.), men’s H5
  • Tom Davis (Freemont, Ind.), men’s H4
  • David Randall (Mansfield, Ohio), men’s H3
  • Brian Sheridan (Clarkston, Mich.), men’s H2
  • Barry Wilcox (West Jordan, Utah), men’s H1
  • Oksana Masters (Louisville, Ky.), women’s H5
  • Carly Pearson (Knoxville, Tenn.), women’s H4
  • Alicia Dana (Putney, Vt.), women’s H3
  • Ryan Boyle (Marietta, Ga.), men’s T2
  • Jay Lapointe (Aurora, Colo.), men’s T1
  • Jill Walsh (Jamesville, N.Y.), women’s T2
  • Amanda Kloepfer (Rockford, Ill.), women’s T1

Para-cycling road nationals finishes on Monday with the handcycle criterium championship. The Memorial Day race will begin at 12:30 p.m. EST in downtown Chattanooga and in conjunction with the pro cycling championships, is expected to draw thousands of spectators.

The USA Cycling Para-cycling Road National Championships help to select the team for the UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships and Parapan American Games this summer.

For more information and full results from the national championships, visit the event website