Jeremy Powers on his way to a two win weekend at Cycle-Smart International. © Cyclocross Magazine
by Molly Hurford
Jeremy Powers has been having a banner season. Starting almost immediately in 2012 when he won the National title for the first time, he’s been an unstoppable force for the Rapha-Focus team, winning nearly every domestic race that he’s entered. He’s developed a stranglehold on the two biggest US-based series’, the Shimano Series and the USGP of Cyclocross, despite the fact that he’s missing the last race weekends of both to shift his focus to European racing and to prepping for Nationals and Worlds this year. And before he jetted off to Europe this past Wednesday for the Roubaix World Cup, we sat down over coffee and caught up.
Cyclocross Magazine: So, we’ve heard there’s a big race in February that you’re focusing on. Plans going according to schedule?
Jeremy Powers: It’s been going good. All the early season goals are done; there’s not a thing in the States left for me to accomplish except for Nationals and Worlds. Now I’m just doing the World Cups and training.
CXM: When do you head to Europe?
JP: We’re doing two trips, quick and dirty. It’s my favorite way to do them at this point. I don’t love training in Europe and places I don’t know, so I’ll leave on a Wednesday for the Roubaix trip and be home by Monday. Then I come back and have a sponsor thing to do with Giro out in California the weekend after Bend. There’s a very small chance I’ll do Bend [USGP]. From then, I go to Tucson to do a training camp before the next block of World Cups.
CXM: Is that Christmas week?
JP: I’ll be there for Christmas, for Namur and Zolder World Cups.
CXM: So how do you handle all the travel?
JP: Flying business class going to the race. It’s not that it’s so bad for you to have your legs down for so long, but it just takes longer to recover. It takes two or three days to get over jet lag, so if you don’t have those days, it’s good to fly with your legs up. And drink a lot. And sleep. It definitely helps. Past that, the short trips are better. I have a hard time training in Europe because everything is just a logistical nightmare. I need to figure out the roads, set the power meter up, set up a new bike, motor pace, probably get stuck at lights … Europe is just different. It’s a tough thing. So it’s better for me to do short trips: get there, get on the course, do the race, and go home. When I look at anything I’ve done in the past, any success I’ve had over there has come within five days of being there, so that’s what we’re trying to replicate.
CXM: You were at USGP in Louisville, saw the Worlds course, talked to the promoters. How are you feeling about it?
JP: The course looks great.They’ve got their act together, they’ve got a really good thing going with the sports commission in Louisville. You can’t do something like that on your own, so when you have a lot of good people surrounding you, and I can see that because I’m in it pretty thick, I feel like they have a great team there. It’s not just two people running a race, there are a lot of people involved.
CXM: And you like the course?
JP: Most definitely.
CXM: And how are you liking the new team additions like Gabby Day?
JP: It’s great. Everything is awesome. They’re brilliant. Good program, everyone has their stuff together. They’ve been more than accommodating when it came tie for me to make decisions about travel and where I was heading for the rest of the year. When I said that the Shimano series and the USGP [last race weekends] were going to have to come off because I felt like it was too much travel, they were like, ‘Absolutely. Whatever we need to do, whatever resources you need, we’ll get them.’