by Joe Bellante
MASON, Ohio. – With temperatures dipping into the low 50s and a soft, chilly wind Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) and Tim Johnson (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com) tamed the mud, a 130 foot sand section, the LED-lit barriers and survived “heckle hill” for wins at Kings CX.
It was day two of the Cincy3 CX festival and a stop of Cross After Dark at Kingswood Park in the Cincinnati suburb of Mason presented by Cincinnati Cyclocross, United Dairy Farmers, Zipp and Reece-Campbell, Inc.
While Thursday’s rain didn’t do much to affect racing yesterday, the course at Kings CX was mud all around forcing riders to switch tires after warm up laps. With music blaring, the beer garden rocking and the course lit up with creative illumination, the crowd had a great time running between course highlights to catch the leaders in action.
The Elite Women’s start was definitely not routine. After a 200 meter stretch of dead straight pavement, the course made a soft 90 degree bend to the right and onto a gravel surface that fed into a wide grassy downhill. With the pits nearby, that area of the course became wetter and muddier throughout the day.
Compton, Caroline Mani (Raleigh/Clement), Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) and Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry/Specialized) were first to the corner. Suddenly, Mani was down with racers stacked up behind and a call went out for medics. She was visibly upset and pulled out of the race, but after the initial scare, was reported uninjured.
Mo Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seven) was delayed by the wreck and later tweeted, “So bummed to be crashed in the first corner.” She later added, “Also thankful my racing mate [Caroline Mani] is ok. I was both mad and concerned that she crashed so hard.”
From there, over the camel hump with the tape illuminated by LED lights, through the crowd and Heckle Hill it was Compton and Nash together for most of the first lap with Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com), Miller and teammate Elle Anderson not far back. Nash wasn’t giving an inch and stayed glued to Compton.
While Compton and Nash battled it out at the front, both riding the long sand the first two laps, Antonneau, who looked super strong, managed to shake the California Giant Berry duo to solidify third. On the third lap, however, Nash fumbled on the railroad tie run-up. Compton pounced and opened the gap she would eventually extend to 25 seconds at the finish.
A familiar, but always exciting show played out in the Elite Men’s race with Ben Berden (Raleigh/Clement) in a sandwich between Rapha-Focus teammates Jeremy Powers and Zach McDonald and the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com duo of Tim Johnson, and Ryan Trebon.
Powers took the holeshot. Despite the mud, the first lap played pretty close together with Powers, Trebon, McDonald and Berden showing their cards at the front. Berden was first to cause a ruckus edging out a measurable gap through the long uphill deep sand. Trebon set to the chase with Johnson, Yannick Eckmann (California Giant Berry/Specialized), McDonald and Powers behind.
On the second lap, Johnson sensed the danger and quickly bridged to Berden before he got to the sand again. Powers was next to close the gap and Trebon took the free ride while McDonald dangled behind. The effort taxed Powers and in the fourth lap, he began to fall off the pace.
Powers found the power through the paved start/finish, but just as he made contact, Johnson poured on the heat and opened up a gap that no one could touch. The move left Berden in the driver’s seat of the chase. It was also the perfect opportunity for Powers and teammate McDonald to get back in the game. When they did, it began to get a little messy in the slick corners as the four-man chase battled for position.
On lap five Trebon dug deep up the hill to the pit. Berden followed and Powers shook his head clearly hurting from the pace. The next time past the pit, in what may be the deciding move of the chase, Berden and Powers pitted, while Trebon took advantage of the traffic-free downhill to pull away. Berden was quicker pitting and maintained contact while Powers fell off.
With three laps to go, playing perfect teammate, McDonald put in another effort through the start/finish area to launch Powers back in the game and on the wheels of Berden and Trebon, before saying goodnight. With teammate Johnson having carved out a solid win, Trebon didn’t waste time and with the bell worked to break away for a solo second place.
The chasing duo of Powers and Berden took it down to a sprint out of a mucky corner and onto the pavement with Powers nipping Berden for third.
Racing continues with the final event Sunday on the Northwest side of town at Harbin Park in Fairfield. More details are available at OVCX.com.
KingsCX After Dark 2013 Photo Gallery
Elite Men’s Results:
Elite Women’s Results:
|8||Maureen BRUNO ROY||USA||45:27:00|
|13||Beth Ann ORTON||USA||46:22:00|
|20||Corey COOGAN CISEK||USA||47:52:00|