Area Cyclocross Racer Dillon McNeil Takes 3rd at Nationals
I interviewed Dillon McNeil last week on The Patrick Lalley Show as he was preparing to travel to Reno, Nev., for the USA Cycling Cyclocross Nationals.
Dillon has just turned 16 but he's raced on Sunday in the 17-18 junior men's division. The Omaha teenager came up racing in the Omaha area with stops in Sioux Falls and LeMars, Iowa, on his regular schedule.
Regional racing may all be in the past for Dillon, as he took 3rd at Nationals with an impressive performance. He dodged some crashes and benefited from others mishaps along the way, but that's racing, to end up on the podium with the bronze.
Cyclocross is a growing segment of bike racing that happens in the fall and winter. It's contested on a closed course on grass, sand and mud with riders forced to get off their bikes and run by barriers and natural features. The courses are from 1 to 2 miles with multiple laps making it spectator friendly.
The rest of the top contenders on Sunday were in the 18-year-old range so the future looks good for Dillon, who was racing for the Trek Cyclocross Collective. He is coached by former Master's World Champion Mark Savery and his father is former mountain bike racer Kent McNeil.
Dillon had just returned from a stint with the U.S. National Junior Team in Belgium and said during the interview he hoped to finish in the top 10 at nationals. He certainly did.