Tim Johnson high-five's fans on the way to the win. © Kent Baumgardt

Tim Johnson high-five’s fans on the way to the win. © Kent Baumgardt

FAIRFIELD, OHIO—Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) and Tim Johnson (Cannondale Cyclocross World) wrapped up three days of UCI racing in the Cincinnati with their second wins of the weekend at Harbin Park during the final day of the of the Toyota Cincy3 CX Festival presented by Cincinnati Cyclocross, United Dairy Farmers, Zipp and Reece-Campbell, Inc.

Next week OVCX UCI level action continues with the MudFund Derby City Cup races Saturday and Sunday at the home of the 2013 World Championships, Eva Bandman Cyclocross Park in Louisville.

Harbin Park, known by locals for its great network of mountain bike trails, sits atop a hilltop with a panoramic view of the Great Miami River Valley.  For 19 years it has been the home of cyclocross in Cincinnati.

A high pressure system brought sunshine and crispy mid 50 degree weather which dried up the cyclocross track making it fast and tacky brown stripe racing.  Today’s course highlights were an uphill paved start finish straight, a long and treacherous downhill sand pit, a challenging climb with three logs across the course and a tricky tight off-camber turn around a tree directly followed by the barriers.  With the fast course, mistakes by racers cost an immediate dismissal from the group they were racing with.

Elite Women

From the holeshot, Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) drove hard from the gun with Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry Farms) in tow.  That didn’t last long as Compton goosed a solo gap the first time through the long sand pit lined with spectators.  Only Nash could react.  She chased in earnest, but she wouldn’t close till the beginning of the first lap.

Behind an alliance of Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld), the Cal Giant duo of Miller and Anderson, with Nicole Duke (Marin Bikes/SPY) dangling behind with Caroline Mani (Raleigh-Clement)

Katie Compton, foreground, out of the saddle on the attack, followed by Katerina Nash. © Kent Baumgardt

Katie Compton, foreground, out of the saddle on the attack, followed by Katerina Nash. © Kent Baumgardt

Nash and Compton would ride the front the entire race, trading pulls and testing with small attacks but neither budging more than a wheel length.  Into the third lap, Nash and Compton had pushed out a 20 second gap on the chasing trio.  However, with three laps to go, Mani had given up 13 seconds to the chase group of Miller, Antonneau and Anderson.

With two to go Anderson finally attacked the chase on the uphill pavement through the start/finish, leaving Antonneau sitting with Miller on her wheel.

Nash and Compton brought it down to the bell.  Nash put in a hard dig on the twisting descent leading into the sand and, with multiple accelerations out over every corner, continued to push out a gap through the playground area and into the log hill.  Compton wasn’t relenting and Nash only managed a two second margin going into the barriers.

As the two hit the pavement, Nash had one more effort and stretched her 2 seconds into 4 for the win.  Compton’s dug in for a moment.  Then her head sunk.  Anderson cruised in for third.  Miller out-kicked Antonneau for fourth.

Women's Elite Podium Cincy 3 Harbin Day 3. © Joe Bellante

Women’s Elite Podium Cincy 3 Harbin Day 3. © Joe Bellante

Elite Men

With a super fast course, the men lined out single file in a big group of 12 riders for the first few early laps.  All the heavy hitters were present, incuding: Ryan Trebon and Tim Johnson of Cannondale Cyclocrossworld, James Driscoll (Raleigh-Clement), Jeremy Powers and Zach McDonald (Rapha Focus), Justin Lindine (Redline/NBX), Cody Kaiser (California Giant Berry Farms), Dodge Cameron (Scott Cross Team), Ryan Knapp (Pon Shop Cyclocross), Andrew Dillman (Sophisticated Living p/b Bob’s Red Mill) and Ben Berden (Raleigh Clement).  While Trebon, Johnson and Powers each took turns turning screws at the front, the train of 12 remained intact.

Going into the third lap, once again, only this time much harder, Trebon lit it up on the paved uphill under the finish line clock taking teammate Driscoll with him.  Powers gave chase with Johnson in tow around the gazebo and into the downhill sand.  However, it would all come together again heading into the fourth lap, no one willing to stick their neck out too far, everyone afraid of making a mistake at the high speed.

Finally Powers drove hard into the sand.  Johnson and Trebon answered the call, but there was damage behind.  Powers kept pushing through the logs.  Perhaps because of his early efforts trying to break up the train, Trebon seemed to struggle with the move.  With six laps to go, Powers and Johnson had seconds seconds on Trebon.

Trebon kept fading and, as he hit the sand with five to go, was eventually was caught by the group behind containing McDonald, Driscoll, Berden, Lindine and Kaiser.

Meanwhile at the front, Johnson was putting the hurt on Powers.  Announcer Dave Towle commented that Powers looked as if he were passing a kidney stone.  Both at the log hill and through the off-camber leading into the barriers, Johnson eeked out a gap with three to go.

Powers and Johnson, foreground, gapping Trebon and Berden. © Kent Baumgardt

Powers and Johnson, foreground, gapping Trebon and Berden. © Kent Baumgardt

Behind, Kaiser was the first victim to fall off the pace of the chase group.  Driscoll wore the hurt on his face as Berden, Trebon and Lindine rode the logs in front of him.  Sitting in for a few laps, Trebon got his mojo back and attacked the group in his favorite spot, up the pavement to the finish.  Only Berden could respond.

With the bell, Berden and Trebon stuck together like Nash and Compton earlier.  Johnson cruised in for the win wearing a 5 o’clock shadow and a big grin.  Powers took second.  With 100 meters to the finish Berden and Trebon came off the grass sprinting side by side.  Berden went left, Trebon right.  The crowd was uncertain, but the official’s photo at the line showed Trebon’s wheel just inches in front of Berden’s.

Men's Elite Podium at Cincy3 Day. © Joe Bellante

Men’s Elite Podium at Cincy3 Day. © Joe Bellante

In its 10th anniversary season and presented by presented by Zipp, Papa John’s Pizza, RoadID, Apex Physical Therapy and BikeReg, the OVCX Series, including the MudFund Derby City Cup and Cincy3 UCI weekends and a date of Cross After Dark, will continue its focus on maximizing the growth of regional cyclocross through great courses, competitive fields, and good times.

With total registrations totaling over 1250 entries, The Toyota Cincy3 CX Festival is the oldest UCI race weekend in the Midwest.  Its 3 days of racing at three unique venues are made possible with the generous support of Infinit Nutrition, Drees Homes, Blank Slate Brewing Company, The Sufferfest, the City of Covington, Pats Cycling Supply, Warren County, the Northern Kentucky Visitors Bureau, and the Ohio Cycling Association.  Find the complete schedule and registration links online at OVCX.comLike OVCX on Facebook and follow OhioValleyCX on Twitter.

Cincy3 Day Three Photo Gallery: