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National Championships

23 National Champions Crowned at the 2024 Esports National Championships

By: Matt Waite  January 09, 2024

Duffy and Kulchinsky earn Elite Esports National Titles.

The 2024 USA Cycling Esports National Championships presented by the Echelon Racing League (ERL) were held on Zwift over the weekend. Athletes from around the United States competed for the Stars and Stripes jersey from the comfort of their homes. Given the stacked field sizes, athletes were fully prepared for highly competitive and exciting racing.

"The USA Cycling eSports National Championships was an extremely rewarding experience for Echelon Racing Promotions, USA Cycling, and everyone involved in its production" Project Echelon Racing Director, Eric Hill, said. "We are extremely proud to have promoted the largest eSports National Championship event in the history of Zwift and to have such a high level of competitive integrity throughout the competition. We all know that eSports has a bright future as a discipline in the cycling ecosystem and it is events like this that show what is possible, the level of professionalism these teams and athletes have, and the highly engaging content we can produce through it. This is just the beginning. We are just getting started, but I believe that we have definitely moved the needle on esports through our work with the Echelon Racing League and USA Cycling National Championships events this season."

On Saturday, age-group categories raced three laps of the New York Park Perimeter loop for a total distance of 18.3 miles. In the Women’s 35-39, Stefanie Sydlik (Pittsburgh, Penn.; Coalition Alpha) took gold. Emily Nyquist (Herndon, Virginia; Team RIOT) held off the competition to take first in the Women’s 40-44. In the Women’s 45-49, Jenn Real (Fredericksburg, Texas; Team RIOT) rode strong to take the win. Theia Friestedt (Glenview, Ill.; Revolution Velo Racing/Fairlife Racing) took the win in the Women’s 50-54. Andi Smith (Bend, Ore.) took the win in the Women’s 55-59 for the second year in a row. Jennifer Slawta (Medford, Ore.; Team Landshark) took home the win in the Women’s 60-64 with Sherry Berde Townsend (Mendota Heights, Minn.; NorthStar Development) winning the Women’s 65-69. To round out the women’s fields, both Margaret Thompson (Clinton, N.Y.; Team Hammer Nutrition) and Wendy Skean (Nathrop, Colo.; Team Hammer Nutrition) won another Esports National title in the Women’s 70-74 and 80-84 categories, respectively.

In the Men’s 35-39, 2023 Elite Men’s winner, Scott Catanzaro (Washington, D.C.; NeXT eSport pb Enshored) took the victory. Multi-time National Champion, Jadon Jaeger (Wauwatosa, Wisc.; Restart Racing p/b Alex Coh), came out on top in the Men’s 40-44 and teammate Mason Rocca (Evanston, Ill.; Restart Racing pb Alex Coh) held off the competition in the Men’s 45-49. In the Men’s 50-54, Scott Cunningham (Salt Lake City, Utah) had a strong performance to take the gold. David Henderson (Columbia, Miss.; World Elite Zwifters) showed his Zwift skills to come out on top in the Men’s 55-59. Kevin Metcalfe (Pleasant Hill, Calif.; Creative Blue Racing) and Jeffrey Moreton (San Gabriel, Calif.; SC Velo) repeated their 2023 wins in the Men’s 60-64 and 65-69, respectively. Finally, in the Men’s 70+ field, Michael Kurtz (Lisle, Ill.; EMC2), Scott Bulfinch (Lincoln, Neb.; Team KAOS), and Dominic Rossetto (Grafton, Wisc.; Project Echelon Vanguard) took home the win in the Men’s 70-74, 75-79, and 80-84 categories, respectively.

In the Collegiate division, Fred Meredith (Indianapolis, Ind.; Marian University) rode his way to gold in the Men’s Collegiate category, while Megan Lester (Eagle River, Wisc.; Lindenwood University) became the new Women’s Collegiate National Champion.

On Sunday morning, the Elite Men and Women competed in a three-race omnium-style event with a road race on the 2015 UCI Worlds Richmond course, the Bologna Time Trial, and finished on the Neokyo Criterium Circuit. A live stream of the events treated spectators to fast and furious racing, commentated by Nathan Guerra and Dave Towle. In the Men’s Elite omnium, Brian Duffy (King of Prussia, Penn.; NeXT eSports pb Enshored) came away with a commanding win for the overall by taking first in the Road Race and Time Trial, and finishing second in the Neokyo Criterium just behind Neal Fryette (Seattle, Wash.; Premier Racing Seattle) in a close two-up sprint. Kristin Kulchinsky (Dix Hills, N.Y.; Virginia’s Blue Ridge TWENTY24) took first in the Road Race and second in the Time Trial. Despite falling behind the lead pack in the Neokyo Criterium, she managed to secure a sixth position, accumulating adequate points to secure both the overall victory and the national title.

After careful review with IndieVelo, the final breakdown of results can be found here.

Hill understands that results are important to the virtual racing community. "We are proud to have partnered with IndieVelo to ensure the highest level of governance possible, allowing us to crown our national champions with the greatest degree of sporting integrity and certainty. We understand that there has been a sense of urgency from the esports community to publish results as quickly as possible, but with the guidance of the experts at IndieVelo we can say due process was followed. In a sport where speed is king, we all want things to come quickly, but we must recognize that esports is still evolving. This is still a young discipline and with it, we will evolve too. With time, we will improve our process and things like verification will be more real time. That said, sometimes we need to go slow to go fast. Verifying our national champions, who will be qualifiers for UCI World Championships later this Fall, is one of those instances."

The Echelon Racing League continues with three more events on Zwift throughout the month of January. Learn more and register here.

Watch the full Elite race on YouTube.