Johnson and Powers attacking the stairs © R Alan Kuehn
by R Alan Kuehn
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Anticipation often provides disappointment. Other times it can yield a wealth of astonishment and even new found vision. In the world of ’cross racing, most, if not all, eyes were on the duel between Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) and Ryan Trebon (LTS-Felt) in the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross series. Trebon’s injury in training during the penultimate weekend in Louisville, Kentucky nagged him, and he was not recovered enough to contest the overall title in the much-anticipated finale in his home town of Bend, Oregon. For those of us who live here and have followed Ryan’s career, there was much disappointment indeed.
That disappointment was replaced with delight in the high quality of racing on the first day. Powers was now in control of the series with Trebon on the sidelines doing internet commentary. After two laps of the race held on the National Championship course in Bend’s Old Mill District, it was a two-man contest between Powers and former team mate Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com).
Swiss Champion Christian Hule © R Alan Kuehn
On an afternoon that was unseasonably mild and dry, the two separated themselves from an Elite field that were setting near record lap times. As dusk and increasing clouds covered the town on the bend of the Deschutes River, a two-up sprint was won by Powers, who just pipped Johnson at the line after an untimely early celebration. Behind them, Daniel Summerhill (Chipotle Development Team) took the final podium spot, coming in ahead of a chase group that included James Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.Com), Belgian Ben Berden (Ops Ale-Stoemper), Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain), Chris Sheppard (Rocky Mountain Bicycles-Shimano), Christopher Jones (Rapha-Focus), and Zach Mcdonald (Rapha-Focus).
Johnson on the flyover © R Alan Kuehn
’Cross fans in Bend who may have preferred a race victory by Trebon were nonetheless delighted with the world class racing and as electrifying a finish as one could ever want.