Tim Johnson establishing his gap © Dave Wright Photography

Tim Johnson establishing his gap © Dave Wright Photography

by Christopher Bagg & Lee Waldman

Fort Collins, CO – Katie Compton (Planet Bike-Stevens) returned to her old ways at Day 2 of the New Belgium Cup in Fort Collins, CO. Leading throughout the race, Compton maintained a steady gap of 10 seconds over second place Katerina Nash (Luna). In the men’s event, long-time rivals Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) would battle with Ryan Trebon (Kona) for the early goings, before Trebon would get tangled in the course tape, then suffer a series of mechanicals, and finally fade all the way back to 11th place, leaving Johnson to solo in for the win.

Sun Shines on Women’s Field

Katie Compton off the front © Dave Wright Photography

Katie Compton off the front © Dave Wright Photography

The sun that hadn’t shown for yesterday’s races returned today to shine on both Ft. Collins, Colorado, and on Katie Compton. The course conditions, which were slick and greasy for the earlier races, dried out for the women’s race, providing a perfect, tacky setting for an amazing demonstration of power and finesse. All of the women podiumers commented on the quality of the course, with Compton saying that it was one of the best US ’cross courses.

The hole shot was Georgia Gould’s (Luna), with Maureen Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill) following. Compton and yesterday’s winner, Katerina Nash (Luna), were hot on their heels. One third of the way through the first lap, Nash hit the front taking the lead from Bruno Roy and Gould, who commented at the finish that she was riding well technically but “just didn’t have the legs.” Compton followed the two with Amy Dombroski (Luna) in fourth and Meredith Miller (Cal Giant) in fifth. Nash took over second place from Gould, and from that point on, like Saturday, it was a three-woman race.

Compton’s Day All the Way

Katerina Nash in pursuit © Dave Wright Photography

Katerina Nash in pursuit © Dave Wright Photography

After a number of lead changes on the first lap, Compton settled in, tapping out a consistent rhythm lap after lap. Compton then went to the front and never relinquished her lead, continuing to stretch her advantage over the five-lap race. After the disappointment of the prior day’s loss, when she felt that she hadn’t ridden her best technically, Compton said that the day following a less-than-her-best race seems to be one where she has it dialed. Today she definitely did. Her third lap at 7:44 was the fastest of the day for all categories up until that point. From there until the end of the race, she rode consistent lap times, recording the third fastest of the day as well. She “tried to put the pressure on,” viewing the race as a series of intervals, applying pressure and then recovering when she could. She commented that she “tried to ride within myself, making sure I still had some gas in the tank if Katerina caught”.

Three laps into the race none of the leaders had taken a bike exchange. The course conditions, while challenging, had firmed up enough to allow them to stick with one machine. Nash followed Compton through the pits with Gould clearly not as strong as the two leaders. She was paying for her efforts on the first lap, not “firing on all cylinders.” As she topped the flyover you could see that she didn’t have the legs that the two women ahead of her had. Meredith Miller and Amy Dombroski continued to battle for fourth and fifth but, as race announcer Dave Towle said, were in another zip code, the gap back to them was so large.

By the time Compton hit the first pit with a lap and a half to do, she was riding on the hoods, no stress on her face at all. Nash appeared to be a bit gassed at that point and bobbled the turn after the flyover, taking the more difficult inside line. The mistake didn’t cost her though, as Gould was suffering but solidly ensconced in third place. A bobble over the barriers had ensured that Gould would never reach Nash.

Even though it was unnecessary, Compton sprinted across the line for the win, followed by the two women who made it a five-lap, three-woman race. Katerina Nash and Georgia Gould. Nash commented at the post race press conference that the bad conditions of Saturday’s race played more to her strengths, but today Compton was clearly the strongest of the two. Nicole Duke (HUDZ-Vista Subaru) finished in sixth behind Miller and Dombroski, and won the SRAM Most Aggressive Rider Award.

Johnson Solos, Trebon Struggles

Johnson takes flight © Dave Wright Photography

Johnson takes flight © Dave Wright Photography

On a day that started cold, muddy, and overcast, Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) soloed to victory in round six of the Greenware USGP at Sunday’s New Belgium Cup, coming back from his fifth place result yesterday to defeat his closest competitor by close to a minute. That “closest competitor” was teammate Jeremy Powers, the series leader until today, who joked afterwards that it was hard to come up with a win when chasing athletes like Johnson. Rounding out the podium was yesterday’s dominant winner, Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain), who may have benefited from an ugly crash that took a strong Todd Wells (Specialized) out of the race. No errors appeared to mar Johnson’s effort, and it was easy to pick him out on the course: one simply looked for the fastest moving object in the immediate environment.

Ryan Trebon started strong but faded © Dave Wright Photography

Ryan Trebon started strong but faded © Dave Wright Photography

During the early going Ryan Trebon (Kona) appeared poised to improve upon yesterday’s third place finish, as he countered Jeremy Powers’ hole-shot and launched an attack that only Johnson could follow. As the two finished lap number two, with Johnson leading, Trebon looked comfortable and poised. Later that lap, however, Trebon bobbled and went into the course tape. Bad followed bad as Trebon struggled with mechanical difficulties throughout and faded over the remaining seven laps, leaving Johnson free to fly to victory on his own. Johnson consolidated the lead he took from Powers in the points series, and now leads his teammate by 16 points with two rounds remaining.

Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) turned in another strong performance after yesterday’s second, coming in fourth, while Adam Craig’s (Rabo-Giant) solid effort brought him a fifth place finish. Troy Wells (Clif Bar), brother of the sidelined Todd Wells, rode hard, netting him sixth place and the SRAM Most Aggressive Rider Award.

Macdonald Takes Over U23 Leader’s Jersey

Elite races always feature races within races, and Zach Macdonald (Rapha-Focus) charged to another strong day by taking ninth overall and winning the U23 race over former leader Luke Keough (Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross) and Specialized/Cal Giant’s Cody Kaiser. Macdonald used come-from-behind efforts on both days (he was as far back as 15th during the second lap today) to snag the jersey from Luke Keough by a scant seven points. Keough was visibly disappointed at the podium presentation as he headed for the stage, thinking he’d retained the jersey.

Trebon Gets Tangled Up

“I was feeling really good, and for the first couple of laps I had no problems, just riding easy,” Trebon said after the race, hanging out near the Kona village. “All of a sudden I just made a small mistake, in the turn before the pits. I got into the course tape and I had to run to the pit because it was really muddy. I couldn’t get back on right there, and that was my undoing. Sometimes you make mistakes and you can recover from them, but I just couldn’t get going, you know? As my morale went down my legs went out from underneath me.”

Johnson capitalized, and during the press conference revealed his relief: “I was pretty worried, actually. Ryan’s got this strength that comes out sometimes, and he hits the gas and just keeps going and going and going. This course was a little bit better for him, with longer and more consistent sections. Today he hit the gas and strung me out every time, but it kinda caught up to him a bit – you go that hard in the first 15 minutes and you end up paying for it.” Johnson picked up the fact that Trebon was in trouble and “tried to put together as fast a lap as I could.”

The Chase

Troy Wells had a great ride to claim sixth © Dave Wright Photography

Troy Wells had a great ride to claim sixth © Dave Wright Photography

As Johnson and Trebon traded barbs in the first lap, the chase groups formed behind the pair. Todd Wells, Jeremy Powers and Geoff Kabush made a formidable group of three. Adam Craig lurked close behind that group, and then a group of seven including Jamey Driscoll and Luke Keogh followed after. Wells and Powers soon gapped Kabush after Trebon’s troubles, and the two set off in pursuit of Johnson – Wells attacking and Powers not blocking, but certainly interrupting Wells’ ability to find a rhythm. Each time through the barriers, the duo delighted the crowd, bunny-hopping the 40cm planks comfortably. On the fifth lap, however, Wells planted his front wheel atop the second barrier, just as he jerked his rear wheel skyward. A scary, spectacular, over-the-bars crash resulted, and although Wells attempted to remount, he soon stepped off the course under the oversight of medical personnel.

Kabush slotted into third place and Jamey Driscoll, who came across from the second chase group, tried gamely to catch Kabush and make the podium another Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com sweep. Kabush rode another technically flawless race, though, and hung on to amuse the crowd during the press conference. Soon the race was six riders, strung out over several minutes: Johnson, then Powers, Kabush, Driscoll and Adam Craig, the chasing four separated by 10-15 seconds each.

Dominance

Johnson, while his competitors’ gaps stayed consistent, stretched his lead every lap, setting lap record after lap record (and all under seven minutes). He never bobbled, and used the drying, tacky course to his advantage. He even had time to notice some spectators’ fashion choices: “I saw one guy wearing a Yankees jersey,” the faithful Boston-area athlete said afterward, “But that wasn’t too upsetting.”

Photo Gallery by Dave Wright:

Men’s Photo Gallery by  Dejan Smaic / Sportifimages.com

Women’s Photo Gallery by Dejan Smaic / Sportifimages.com


Full Results:

Women

1Katherine Compton (USA) Planet Bike/Stevens0:39:08
2Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna0:00:39
3Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team0:40:23
4Meredith Miller (USA) Cal Giant – Specialized0:41:52
5Amy Dombroski (USA) Luna Pro Team0:42:04
6Nicole Duke (USA) HUDZ-Vista Subaru0:42:45
7Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob’s Red Mill0:42:54
8Katherine Sherwin (USA) Hudz-Vista Subaru0:42:58
9Amanda Miller (USA) Hudz-Subaru Cycling Team
10Alice Pennington (USA) S&M0:43:05
11Laura Van Gilder (USA) C3 Athletes Serving Athletes0:43:28
12Amanda Carey (USA) Kenda/Felt0:43:30
13Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com0:43:58
14Barbara Howe (USA) Ibis and the Danger Twins0:44:18
15Lisa Curry (USA) GAS/Intrinsik0:44:49
16Pepper Harlton (Can) Juventus Cycling Club0:44:51
17Lisa Strong (USA) Hudz- subaru0:46:01
18Kristal Boni (USA) Blue sky Velo0:46:19
19Megan Taylor (USA) COMotion Sports0:46:23
20Corey Coogan Cisek (USA) Team Plan C PB Stevens0:47:05
21 -1 lapLisa Hudson (USA) Feedback Sports
22 -1 lapBecca Blay (USA
23 -1 lapNina Baum (USA) Cannondale
24 -1 lapCarrie Cash Wootten (USA) Team Vera Bradley Foundation
25 -1 lapLauri Webber (USA) Secret Henry’s Team
26 -1 lapKristine Church (USA) Human Zoom/ Pabst Blue Ribbon
27 -1 lapShannon Gibson (USA) Ellsworth- NoTubes
28 -1 lapKaty Curtis (Can) Cyclemeisters/Bow Cycle
29 -1 lapLora Heckman (USA
30 -1 lapKate Scheider (USA) Mafia Racing
31 -2 lapsAmanda Schaper (USA) SDG Factory Team
32 -2 lapsCatherine Johnson (USA) Rocky Mounts/ Izze
33 -2 lapsLynn Bush (USA) Tough Girl / SCOTT
34 -3 lapsDeirdre Garvey (USA (Louisville Cyclery

Men’s Results

1Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com1:02:41
2Jeremy Powers (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com0:00:40
3Geoff Kabush (Can) Maxxis-Rocky Mountain0:01:05
4James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale/CyclocrossWorld.com0:01:13
5Adam Craig (USA) Rabo-Giant0:01:20
6Troy Wells (USA) Team Clif Bar0:02:26
7Christopher Jones (USA) Rapha / Focus0:02:39
8Tristan Schouten (USA) cyclocrossracing.com/Blue/Rolf0:02:45
9Zach McDonald (USA) Rapha / Focus0:02:49
10Brian Matter (USA) Gear Grinder0:03:51
11Ryan Trebon (USA) KONA0:04:03
12Braden Kappius (USA) Team Clif Bar0:04:18
13Luke Keough (USA) Champion System p/b Keough Cycl0:04:25
14Barry Wicks (USA) KONA0:04:47
15Cody Kaiser (USA) California Giant/Specialized0:04:50
16Matthew Pacocha (USA0:04:57
17Spencer Paxson (USA) Team S&M0:05:06
18Sean Babcock (USA) KONA FSA0:05:12
19Allen Krughoff (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport0:05:19
20Adam Mcgrath (USA) Thule/Van Dessel Cyclocross0:05:24
21Chris Hurst (USA)0:05:29
22Jack Hinkens (USA) Team Plan C/pb Stevens0:05:33
23Jesse Anthony (USA) California Giant / Specialized0:05:35
24Dave Hackworthy (USA) Team Plan C0:05:56
25Jeremy Ferguson (USA) California Giant/Specialized0:06:08
26Eric Emsky (USA) Cyclocrossracing.com pb Blue Co0:06:13
27Brandon Dwight (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport0:06:29
28Robin Eckmann (GER) Pearl Izumi0:07:02
29Mitchell Hoke (USA) Clif Bar Development Cyclo-Cros0:07:43
30Tim Allen (USA) Feedback Sports0:07:59
31 -1 lapSpencer Powlison (USA) Mafia Racing
32 – 2 lapsJustin Robinson (USA) California Giant/Specialized
33 – 2 lapsFrank Spiteri (USA) Peninsula Velo/Pomodoro
34 – 2 lapsBrad Cole (USA) KCCX/Verge p/b Challenge Tires
35 – 2 lapsSkyler Trujillo (USA) Black Sheep Jr. Cycling
36 – 3 lapsAaron Schooler (Can) Team H&R Block
37 – 3 lapsJohn Curry (USA) GAS/Intrinsik
38 – 3 lapsKevin Mullervy (USA) Team Exergy
39 – 3 lapsTroy Heithecker (USA) Ciclismo Racing
40 – 3 lapsShawn Harshman (USA) Konig Racing pb Harshman Wealth
41 – 3 lapsRussell Harding (USA) Natural Grocers p/b XP Companie
42 – 3 lapsDavid Block (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport
43 – 3 lapsCaley Fretz (USA) VeloNews
44 – 3 lapsScott Tietzel (USA) Specialized – Curve Inc.
45 – 4 lapsDoug Johnson (USA) bandwagon racing
46 – 4 lapsBryan Mickiewicz (USA) Hammer Nutrition
47 – 4 lapsCasey Hill (USA) Mafia Racing
48 – 4 lapsConor Mullervy (USA) Team Exergy
49 – 4 lapsAaron Bouplon (USA) Rocky Mounts / Izze
50 – 4 lapsWill Kaladi Ross (USA) Bro’s/Chain Reaction
51 – 4 lapsChris Brandt (USA) Brandt-Sorenson.com
52 – 4 lapsRoss Holbrook (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport
53 – 5 lapsGeoffrey Nenninger (USA
54 – 5 lapsNathan Miller (USA) The Church of the Big Ring/XSIN
55 – 5 lapsJames Archer (USA) Specialized Bicycles
56 – 5 lapsAdam Mills (USA) KCCX/Verge p/b Challenge
57 – 5 lapsKeith Batstone (Can) Rundle Mountain Cycling Club
58 – 6 lapsLane Miller (USA) Louisville Cyclery
59 – 6 lapsTrevor Connor (Can) Rio Grande
DNFTodd Wells (USA) Specialized
DNFNicholas Weighall (USA) California Giant/Specialized
DNFMike Sherer (USA) The Pony Shop
DNFSteve Fisher (USA) Rad Racing NW / Hagens Berman L
DNFCorey Collier (USA) On the River
DNFJoseph Schmalz (USA) KCCX/Verge Presented by Challen
DNFDavid Sheek (USA) SDG Factory Team
A rider enjoys hooking up on dry and tacky conditions © Dave Wright Photography