LOUISVILLE, KY – After a dominant showing from the Luna girls and a sprint finish between Ryan Trebon (Kona) and Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) on Day 1, attention was being drawn to Louisville’s Champions Park for Day two of the U.S. Grand Prix of Cyclocross. With muddy conditions and big crowds, dramatic racing was in store for day 2 of the Derby City for the second stop of the U.S. Grand Prix of Cyclocross series.
Sunday’s Elite women’s race followed a similar pattern to the previous day’s events with the Luna group of Georgia Gould, Katerina Nash, and Alison Dunlap looking to dominate again. The three were accompanied by 22 year-old Amy Dombroski (Richard Sachs-RGM Watches-Radix), and for the entire race, the Espoir National Champion was looking to break the Luna podium sweep as she did in Saturday’s race.
Nash quickly attacked her way off the front of the race, time trialing to her second consecutive win of the weekend. Behind Dombroski put in several violent attacks to try and distance herself from the six-time national champion Dunlap, and Gould. The Luna duo proved up to the task, repeatedly working together to bring back the young talent.
With the race coming back together for second place, Dombroski seemed to be along for a ride for fourth place against the Luna teammates. But into the final corner Dombroski took matters into her own hands, not willing to settle for less than a podium spot, taking a risky approach into the muddy final corner. The risk paid off as she hit the pavement first, surprising the Luna duo, taking second over Dunlap in a bike throw to the line.
Dunlap, having just been pipped at the line for second, walked away from the weekend with the SRAM Most Aggressive Rider award.
After day one’s finish, where Kona’s Ryan Trebon pulled a come-from-behind victory from the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com trio, it was clearly going to be a battle to the finish with Powers, Johnson, and Driscoll looking for redemption from the prior days win by their Kona rival.
As expected Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com took control at the front of the race early with Jeremy Powers quickly making his way off the front of the race. As with previous races, Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com was looking to take the race by the throat putting multiple riders off the front together. Johnson made the best of a disorganized chase and bridged to his teammate Powers. The pair quickly went to work together, putting pressure on U.S. Grand Prix leader and current U.S. National Champion Ryan Trebon.
To no one’s surprise it was Trebon who went to the front of the race to bring everything back together, but disaster struck on one of the back stretches of the course where Trebon went down hard. It was clear the fall shook Trebon as we was slow to get back on his feet and back on his bike, refusing medical assistance in the process.
Working back through riders, Trebon again took a spill, caused by his front wheel collapsing after it was damaged in the prior crash. This proved to be the knockout blow to Trebon who withdrew from the race in the leader’s jersey.
By the end of the day Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com’s Driscoll would be the proud wearer of the jersey.
Back at the front of the race Johnson set a pace that Powers couldn’t hold. It was clear that Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com was going to make it known that they were a force to be reckoned with when Driscoll quickly worked off the front to join his teammate Powers until the final lap.
Johnson rolled to a clear victory with teammates Driscoll and Powers finishing up the podium with second and third place.
Behind a battle for fourth was raging between Berry Wicks (Kona), Jesse Anthony (Jamis), Geoff Kabush (Maxxis- Rocky Mountain), Nicholas Weighall (California Giant- Specialized), and Chris Jones (Champion Systems). Kabush repeatedly tried to put space between him and the group jumping away repeatedly throughout the race only to be pulled back. Finally Kabush snapped free of his fellow chasers for fourth with up an coming head turner Jones finishing fifth followed by Wicks, Weighall, and Anthony.
For his efforts Kabush walked away with the $250 check from SRAM as the Most Aggressive Rider on the day.
The next stop of the third round of the U.S. Grand Prix of Cyclocross makes its way North to Mercer Co. New Jersey on Nov. 14-15. The Mercer Cup is known for seasonal mud and hard racing. Check back with Cyclocross Magazine for coverage leading up to, during, and following the next stop of the 2009 U.S. Grand Prix of Cyclocross.