June 28, 2005 – A determined Steven Cozza (Petaluma, Calif.) was rewarded for his efforts and dedication this afternoon with a win in the U23 time trial at Antelope Island. The 20-year-old Cozza not only earned his first national title with his commanding win, but he also rode his way onto the 2005 World Championship squad.
The 67 riders departed in one-minute intervals onto the 34km course that ran alongside the Great Salt Lake. Cozza and fellow U23 phenomenon Tyler Farrar (Wenatchee, Wa.) were the last men out of the gate, and it was obvious from the get-go that Cozza had what it took to post the winning time.
The unwavering 20-year-old fought a strong headwind and powered his way along the winding road to the turn-around point. On the way back, he showed his strength by passing several riders who had started before him. With a winning time of 45 minutes and 44 seconds, Cozza was the only one in the 67-rider field to break the 46 minute mark.
Brent Bookwalter (Comstock, Mich.) posted the second fastest time of 46:12 to earn the silver medal while Blake Caldwell (Boulder Colo.) claimed third place. Tyler Farrar, who won a silver medal in the U23 road race on Saturday, posted the fourth fastest time this afternoon. Justin Morgan (Bainbridge Island, Wa.) rounded out the podium in fifth place.
Today’s events marked the end of U23 national championship competition and the beginning of the Masters and Tandem national championships. Twenty masters riders were awarded stars and stripes jerseys this afternoon in the scorching temperatures that are common on the island this time of year. 91-year-old John Sinibaldi (St. Petersberg, Fla.) delighted the crowd when he claimed his 18th age-group national championship title. The two-time Olympian completed his time trial in an hour and three minutes.