It’s as easy as 1-2-3 for Boulder bike team

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

Robin Eckmann of Boulder and the California Giant/Specialized team won Monday’s Iron Horse time trial on East Animas Road. The 19-year-old finished third in the omnium.

By Dale Strode Herald staff writer

Threes ran wild in the professional men’s division of the 2012 Iron Horse Bicycle Classic.

That’s 1-2-3: The road race, the criterium, the time trial.

Throw in three young cycling teammates for the Boulder-based California Giant/Specialized team, crunch their numbers three times, and you have the top three overall finishers among the pro men.

Twenty-one-year-old Nate Wilson of Boulder, the winner of Sunday’s downtown criterium, finished second in Monday morning’s time trial out County Road 250 (East Animas Road) to secure the men’s omnium title. He was third in Saturday’s road race.

Teammate Robin Eckmann, 20, won the time trial and finished second overall in the omnium.

Yannick Eckmann, their 19-year-old cycling pal and Robin’s younger brother, finished third overall in the omnium, completing the podium sweep for the youthful red-clad Cal Giant/Specialized three-member team.

“I think the team did exceptionally well,” said coach Juergen Eckmann, Robin and Yannick’s father and president of Pearl Izumi.

“In every race, they were in the top three. With a little bit of luck, they finished the omnium 1-2-3,” he said with the official omnium results yet to be released.

Luck aside, the new generation from Cal Giant/Specialized won two events and finished second in the other when Yannick Eckmann rode into Silverton in second place in the road race on a breezy Saturday afternoon.

“1-2-3 ... you cannot ask for more. And they are all young, as you described,” Juergen Eckmann said.

“I think this is a change. The young guys are coming up,” the senior Eckmann said. “It’s fun to see ... young people like this having so much fun in the sport.”

They all live in Boulder, and they train together regularly.

“We’re definitely pleased with the results this weekend,” said Robin Eckmann, who won the 13.7-mile time trial in 29 minutes, 5 seconds.

“With Nate (Wilson) pulling off the win in the crit, and Nate second in the road race ... then we were 1-2 (Monday),” he said. Wilson finished 24 seconds back.

Robin Eckmann said he enjoyed the time trial out through the Animas Valley.

“I felt strong on the first couple of rollers. Then I caught some people, and that gave me more motivation,” said Eckmann, who moved to Boulder with his family six years ago.

“I was able to pace myself on ... the power meter on my bike computer,” he said. “But I lost a little time on the uphill.”

The final 1.2 miles of the course featured a steady climb from Bakers Bridge to the finish near the Granite Ranch on upper County Road 250.

“My teammate Robin actually caught me on the course (Monday),” Wilson said.

“But overall, it was OK.”

“The weekend was good; the competition was good. We put on as good a showing as we could,” said Wilson, a Virginia native who moved to Boulder two years ago.

Wilson was 1-2-3 on the weekend, including his third place in the road race won by 20-year-old Australian Lachlan Morton of the Boulder-based Garmin development team. Morton sat out Sunday’s criterium and Monday’s individual time trial.

Together, the men’s pro winners are the youngest in history.

Jeff Perrin, another teenager from Boulder, finished third in the Memorial Day time trial.

“You need to love it,” Juergen Eckmann said of the new generation of Boulder-based cyclists.

“And they all love it.”

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