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Ashland’s Honsinger captures another U.S. title

Ashland native Clara Honsinger did what she does best again Sunday, dominating the field to claim another cyclocross national championship.

The reigning U.S. national champion defended her title Sunday in Wheaton, Illinois, at the Elite Women USA Cyclocross National Championships, taking control from the first lap and never relenting to win in impressive fashion at 47 minutes, 42 seconds.

Honsinger won the title in 2019 but the 2020 national championships were canceled due to COVID-19 precautions, allowing Honsinger to wear the champions jersey she won in 2019 for an additional year.

With Sunday’s effort, she won’t have to adjust her wardrobe anytime soon in earning her second elite national cyclocross title.

In the first lap, Honsinger sat in sixth position, but halfway through the nearly 12-minute circuit she built a 20-second gap on her counterparts and ultimately stretched that advantage by minutes on a challenging course that began with slick conditions but gradually began to dry.

Three dozen women started the championship race but only Honsinger was able to complete the course in under 50 minutes. Raylin Nuss finished second in 50:58 and Sonny Gilbert was third in 51:05.

Clara Honsinger, cyclocross