By mid-race, Johnson was on on his own, and finished with a 30-second gap over teammate Powers © Wil Matthews

By mid-race, Johnson was on on his own, and finished with a 30-second gap over teammate Powers © Wil Matthews

by Kat Statman and Marion Hambrick

Sun Prairie, WI – Katie Compton (Planet Bike-Stevens) continued to put her stamp on American cyclocross racing with a definitive win against another stacked Elite women’s field.

Compton a Quick Healer

The first part of the race played out exactly the same as Day One of the Planet Bike Cup, with Sue Butler (Hudz-Subaru), Georgia Gould (Luna) and Katie Compton riding at the front of the race. Gould dictated the pace for the first half of the event and quickly shattered the field into small chase groups all the way back.

Katie Compton worked her way up passed early leader Sue Butler to develop a commanding lead and win © Wil Matthews

Katie Compton worked her way up passed early leader Sue Butler to develop a commanding lead and win © Wil Matthews

For the first two to three laps, the front group continued to charge forward with Gould taking the lead. Just before the long run-up, which received a change in approach from yesterday, Compton attacked and quickly gained three seconds on Gould and Butler. Compton’s attack split the front group and left Gould and Butler alone in the wind for the remainder of the race.

It was clear from shortly after that point that Compton, Gould and Butler would hold the podium positions with dominating performances. Then the race for fourth place began to heat up quickly.

Meredith Miller (Cal Giant p/b Specialized) and Sally Annis (crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles) led the chase hard from lap three on. Eventually Kathy Sherwin (Hudz-Subaru), Amy Dombroski (Luna) and Ashley James (Kenda) joined them. Unfortunately for Dombroski, she couldn’t hold Sherwin’s blistering pace.

Behind the chase group, Teal Stetson-Lee (Cal Giant p/b Specialized) charged hard after Dombroski as she looked to better her place within the top 10.

Ashley James had a sensational weekend © Amy Dykema

Ashley James, seventh today, had a sensational weekend © Amy Dykema

With one lap to go, Miller, Sherwin and Annis battled hard the whole way around the course. As they reached the pivotal run-up, Sherwin led the group but quickly fell back as Annis and Miller attacked at full speed. At the top of the run-up, Miller and Annis became tangled as they tried to get around the corner, and Sherwin took advantage of their misfortune to attack through the final off-camber corners before the pavement stretch. Sherwin took fourth with Miller following in fifth and Annis, the New England standout, taking sixth.

Reigning U23 champ Ashley James improved on her solid ride into 10th place yesterday to snag an impressive seventh today. Behind this chase group, Dombroski held off Stetson-Lee as the two charged hard to finish eighth and ninth, respectively. New Englanders Mo Bruno-Roy (Bob’sRed Mill) and Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) both had solid rides, taking 10th and 11th for the day and continuing.

18 year-old Kaitlin Antonneau had an impressive debut with her Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com team. The young rider snagged 12th the day after claiming two collegiate national track championships. As she later relayed via Twitter, “12th at USGP. From track to cx…OUCH. Glad to be back and have so much support!”

Katie Compton’s strong performance for the second day in a row kept her in the USGP leader’s jersey until the next round in Louisville, KY.

Johnson Solos to Elite Men’s Victory, but Controversy Ensues

Tim Johnson is confronted by Jonathan Page following the conclusion of the elite men's event © Wil Matthews wilmatthewsphoto.com

Tim Johnson is confronted by Jonathan Page following the conclusion of the Elite men's event © Wil Matthews wilmatthewsphoto.com

In what started off looking like a déjà vu of yesterday with Jeremy Powers (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) taking the holeshot and establishing a small gap early on, the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com team continued its domination of American ’cross racing with a soul-crushing ride by Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com).

On another cool and sunny afternoon in Sun Prairie, WI, the Elite men lined up for their 3pm start champing at the bit to foil the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com team’s goals for a seconds consecutive day of domination. On a slightly revised course that proved excessively fast, the field stayed solidly together for the first few laps as Jeremy Powers tried hard to get away again but could never gain more than five seconds on the chasers.

The leading group contained the usual players, with Johnson, Jonathon Page (Planet Bike-Blue Competition Cycles), Christian Heule (Champion Systems), Francis Mourey (Francaise des Jeux), Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain), Todd Wells (Specialized), Troy Wells (Clif Bar), yesterday’s revelation Tristan Schouten (Planet Bike-Blue Competition Cycles), Davide Frattini (Hudz-Subaru), Luca Damiani (Kenda USA) battling to stay towards the front of the field.

Jeremy Powers would wear the Greenware USGP Leader's Jersey only one day before teammate Johnson would take it over © Wil Matthews

Jeremy Powers would wear the Greenware USGP Leader's Jersey only one day before teammate Johnson would take it over © Wil Matthews

After three laps of Jeremy Powers setting a blistering pace at the front of the field, Johnson moved up and immediately attacked, showing why he wears the stars and bars. Almost immediately Johnson created a gap and extended it out to 10 seconds. Throughout the rest of the race, he continued to extend that lead well past the 30-second mark – a separation that’s difficult to reel in.

The rest of the chase group continued to work in earnest to retrieve Johnson with Trebon, Page, Heule and Damiani all taking turns on the front of the group. Trebon tried hard to bridge up to Johnson while he remained within reach, but couldn’t shake the group or put down sufficient power to bring Johnson back.

As the race continued, Johnson stretched his lead, holding speed while diving in and out of every corner. Then, with an amazing display of form and perseverance, Powers went on the attack and quickly gained five seconds on the group. Though it initially didn’t seem like he’d maintain that gap, he held it and extended it to stay away until the end.

Like yesterday, the race for third began. The chase group became disorganized with each rider vying for that perfect position for the final few sections. Todd Wells went to the front to try his luck at shedding a few of the chasers but failed. Heule spent a large amount of time at the front during these last few laps, with Tristan Schouten continually making his presence known in second or third wheel.

On the last lap as the large chase group made its way around, Francis Mourey, who hadn’t shown aggression for most of the race, moved up to third wheel and then eventually second with Heule leading the charge to the finish. By the top of the final run-up, Heule and Mourey had a gap on the chase and made it a two-up sprint for third, with Schouten chasing as hard as he could.

Before they reached the pavement, Mourey made a move on Heule and beat the Swiss rider to the final stretch, taking the final step on the podium. Though the podium places only go three deep, Schouten, Damiani and Frattini opened eyes with their amazing rides. This trio spent much of the day on the front and had career-best performances at the US Gran Prix.

For the series competition, the leader’s jersey changed hands from Powers to Johnson. Look for a battle over who will take home the USGP overall title to continue between the teammates all season – but other members of the cyclocross peloton will certainly do everything in their power to disrupt this stranglehold

While the day was filled with fast racing in front of an enthusiastic Wisconsin crowd, it wasn’t without controversy. Tempers flared as Jonathan Page and Tim Johnson had a heated exchange after the race in a renewal of last season’s spat at Gloucester when the two made contact before the sandpit (see video from that incident right). Page and Powers banged bars and body parts twice during today’s Planet Bike Day 2 race, while Johnson and Page collided once in a corner, causing the Planet Bike rider to get tangled in course tape and slip back. It was a happy result for Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com, but a bitter ending for the Belgium-based Page at his sponsor’s race. Page would later say on Facebook, “Very disappointed in the racing style today. For the second year in a row, I’ll leave the USA with a bad taste in my mouth.”

Have an opinion on the controversy and tactical racing in general?  Chime in on our forums here.

A Happy Ending

USGP Series Event Director Joan Hanscom provided her assessment of the weekend’s race results. “Looking forward at the rest of the season, you’d have to think the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com guys are going to be formidable. They beat a world class field here handily and showed great teamwork and determination.”

“On the women’s side it’s still too early to tell. Clearly Georgia Gould is looking strong, but with a lot of the women planning to head to Europe for the World Cups, it’s still very much up in the air. I expect both Meredith Miller and Amy Dombroski will be moving up. We will just have to see.”

In the Under 23 competition, a stiff battle transpired for the entire race with Luke Keough (Keough Brothers Racing) establishing an early lead. The other contenders, David Hackworthy (Clement CX), Jeremy Ferguson (Cal Giant p/b Specialized) and Joseph Schmalz (KCCX-Verge), tried hard but could not reconnect with Keough as he soloed away for the U23 win. Ferguson and Schmalz took second and third place, respectively. The win took Ferguson out of the series lead and placed Keough there firmly. The two are tied in points, but the tiebreaker goes to the last race winner. Look for a great battle between Keough, Hackworkthy, Schmalz and Ferguson as the USGP series continues.

(Results Below)

Amy Dykema’s Elite Men Photo Gallery:

Amy Dykema’s Elite Women Photo Gallery:

Wil Matthews’ Photo Gallery:

A few notable tweets

Tim Johnson “What a great weekend here at the USGP. Got the W! Thanks to all the rabid WI fans of CX for going nuts…”

Jeremy Powers “Great day at the office today for the whole Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com crew. Make NO mistake Tim Johnson was #1 out there today. Bravo to him.”

Jonathan Page in reference to Johnson and Powers, “Some guys win because they are the strongest on the day. Some guys win because they cheat.”

Ryan Trebon “Another awesomely frustrating day, limped it out for ninth! Yikes, that’s not good at all. TJ and JPow are riding pretty strong right now.”

Molly Cameron “Rad finish to the weekend. Sprained my ankle and raced with it wrapped. Stoked on my race. 21st, Marko out ran me!”

Elite Women: Full Results

1Katherine Compton (USA) Planet Bike0:43:29
2Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team0:00:12
3Sue Butler (USA) Hudz Subaru0:00:41
4Kathy Sherwin (USA) HUDZ Subaru0:01:11
5Meredith Miller (USA)0:01:12
6Annis Sally (USA) crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles0:01:13
7Ashley James (USA) Team Kenda0:01:22
8Amy Dombroski (USA) Luna Pro Team0:01:35
9Teal Stetson-Lee (USA) California Giant/Specialized0:01:36
10Maureen Bruno Roy (USA)0:02:06
11Andrea Smith (USA) LadiesFirst Racing0:02:26
12Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com0:02:46
13Devon Haskell (USA) Bike Station Aptos0:03:28
14Carrie Cash Wootten (USA) team vera bradley foundation0:04:05
15Linda Sone (USA) Planet Bike
16Holly Klug (USA) Pony Shoop0:04:09
17Kimberly Flynn (USA) Grace Law-Trek p/b Vantaggio0:04:44
18Anne Schwartz (USA) Flying Rhino cycling club0:04:59
19Robin Williams (USA) Mercy-Specialized0:05:08
20Nicole Borem (USA) DRT Racing0:05:24
21Meghan Korol (USA)0:05:27
22Corey Coogan Cisek (USA) Plan C0:06:15
DNFEmma Bast (USA) Team Plan C

Elite Men: Full Results

1Tim Johnson (USA) Cannondale/CyclocrossWorld.com1:01:19
2Jeremy Powers (USA) Cannondale/CyclocrossWorld.com0:00:33
3Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ0:00:39
4Christian Heule (Swi)0:00:40
5Tristan Schouten (USA) cyclocrossracing.com/Blue/Rolf0:00:41
6Davide Frattini (Ita) HUDZ Subaru0:00:42
7Luca Damiani (Ita) Kenda Pro Cycling0:00:43
8Todd Wells (USA) Specialized0:00:46
9Ryan Trebon (USA)0:00:48
10Jamey Driscoll (USA) Cannondale/CyclocrossWorld.com0:00:51
11Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:01:01
12Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis / Rocky Mount0:01:59
13Sean Babcock (USA) Kona0:02:09
14Brian Matter (USA) Gear Grinder0:02:12
15Barry Wicks (USA) KONA0:02:15
16Adam Mcgrath (USA) Thule/Van Dessel Cyclocross
17Tim Van Nuffel (Bel)0:02:45
18Ryan Knapp (USA) BikeReg.com0:02:59
19Luke Keough (USA) Champion System p/b Keough Cycl
20Mark Lalonde (USA) Specialized0:03:14
21Molly Cameron (USA)0:03:15
22Jonathan Baker (USA) HUDZ Subaru0:03:17
23Mitchell Kersting (USA) Bob’s Red Mill p/b Focus Bikes0:03:18
24Jeremy Ferguson (USA) California Giant/Specialized0:03:25
25Christopher Jones (USA)0:03:57
26Mike Sherer (USA) The Pony Shop0:04:04
27Joseph Schmalz (USA) KCCX/Verge Presented by Challen0:04:09
28Cody Kaiser (USA) Team Spine0:04:23
29David Hackworthy (USA) Clement CX0:04:29
30Brad Cole (USA) KCCX/Verge0:04:34
31Eric Muehl (USA) Industry Nine Factory0:04:36
32Tom Burke (USA) Specialized Michigan
33Craig Richey (Can) CyclocrossRacing.com p/b Blue0:04:43
34Frank Spiteri (USA) Peninsula Velo/Pomodoro0:05:03
35Justin Robinson (USA) California Giant Berry Farms/Sp0:05:24
36Jared Stafford (Can) Bikesports Racing0:05:26
37Jordan Roessingh (USA) ISCorp Cycling Team/Nova Cycle0:06:02
38Kevin Mcconnell (USA) mercy-specialized
39Clayton Omer (USA) Papa Johns’ Racing Team
40William Butcher (USA) Team Magnus
41Erik Hamilton (USA)
42Andrew Reardon (USA) Van Dessel / Real Design
43Michael Hemme (USA) Courage
44Josh Johnson (USA) DRT Racing
45Isaac Neff (USA) Alderfer Bergen
46Scott Mclaughlin (USA) SRAM Factory Team
47Adam Mills (USA) Mercy Elite Cycling Team
48David Sachs (USA) Vision Quest Coaching
49James Lalonde (USA) Planet Bike
50Jake Helmbrecht (USA) Freewheel Bike
51Bryan Fawley (USA) Dallas Bike Works – Dallas Meta
52Logan Vonbokel (USA) KCCX/Verge Presented by Challen
53Zachary Edwards (USA) DRT Racing
54Bill Street (USA) Sisu custom cycles
DNFTroy Wells (USA)
DNFRene Birkenfeld (Ger) Stevens
DNFJesse Anthony (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies Pro Cy
DNFSteve Fisher (USA) Rad Racing NW / Hagens Berman L
DNFLee Unwin (USA) CycleOps
DNFEric Emsky (USA) Cyclocrossracing.com pb Blue Co
DNFGregg Shanefelt (USA) ZWS/Cyclesport