St. Elmo's Spencer Whittier first in USA Cycling title race

Spencer Whittier

Spencer Whittier had an early wake-up call Wednesday in Asheville, N.C., but the cyclist had no complaints about how he'd spent his morning after riding to victory in the USA Cycling Cyclo-Cross National Championships.

The St. Elmo resident took the lead on the next-to-last lap in the Masters 30-34 race to earn the title in his first attempt at a national championship for cyclo-cross - a blend of road and mountain biking that takes competitors over varying terrain while negotiating obstacles.

"I'm used to racing in the afternoon, and we started at 8:30 this morning," Whittier said. "I was dealing with my hands going numb and my feet going numb about halfway through.

"That's certainly one of the more painful parts."

Whittier recovered from a crash on the first lap of the 3.3-kilometer