North American Cyclocross Power Rankings – November 10, 2009

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Johnson in the NACT leader's jersey. © Dejan Smaic / sportifimages.com

Johnson makes it three for three in the number one spot © Dejan Smaic / sportifimages.com

Sure, USAC and UCI have their own cyclocross rankings. And with the USGP, NACT, MAC and Verge series with UCI points up for grabs and North Americans hitting all of these series, it’s hard to figure out who’s the best of our continent. Enter Cyclocross Magazine’s North American Cyclocross Rankings, the first of its sort, determined by complex mathematical equations calculated only in the head of resident Live Coverage and Fantasy Cyclocross League guru, Jake Sisson. Agree? Think he missed a number? Let us know. Last week’s ranking is in parentheses.

North American Men’s Cyclocross Power Rankings

1 (1). Tim Johnson(Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com)
It was a welcome weekend off for Johnson, and that was probably the only thing that could stop him from winning.

He’s going to bring his A-game to New Jersey this weekend, so expect some big time fireworks. Mud and slop led to a Johnson win one year ago, but fairer weather could scupper those plans. That said, he’s proven already this year that he can win in any conditions, so he’s got to be the odds-on favorite.
2 (2). Jeremy Powers(Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com)
Another win for Powers, and another win for Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com. Powers proved that he can win in a sprint, and it’s shown that Powers’ game is pretty much complete. He can win in any sort of situation, but it’s been his early speed that has set the stage for his wins thus far this year. Powers was even able to come back from a crash to take victory, and it looks like he’ll be a threat in the last month of the season. If it’s dry and fast in New Jersey, look for a win.
3 (3). Jamey Driscoll(Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com)
It’s amazing to think that Driscoll has not won since CrossVegas. It was a long time coming but he finally grabbed a win in Northampton, and while the huge names may not have been there, the big names were, and his win showed great class. Driscoll will line up on Saturday in the USGP leader’s jersey, and everyone’s eyes will be on him, but if he showed anything in his win over the weekend, it’s that he can perform even under pressure.
4 (5). Ryan Trebon(Kona)
Trebon came back from his injury that he picked up in Louisville by sticking around the home base and racing to some good success. It’s been a while since he’s been up against the top end of America’s talent pool, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he had some rust around the joints on Saturday at the Mercer Cup. He’ll have to hold off a strong field if he wants to end the day in the USGP jersey, and he’ll have an in-form Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com team to fight off, so there won’t be much room for that rust.
5 (4). Geoff Kabush(Maxxis-Rocky Mountain)
Kabush also took the weekend off, but his fitness has been at its maximum for some time now, so a weekend off will certainly have been appealing to the Canadian Champion. He’ll have to have his wits about him in New Jersey but he’s been on pace the last few times he’s squared off against the front of the field. It’s hard to tell which way Kabush is trending, but the miles may be starting to wear on him.
6 (10). Adam Craig (Giant)
Adam Craig had just about the worst luck on a weekend you could ask for, but still managed to take home two top ten finishes. Craig is still suffering from a lack of UCI points and lines up at the back of most fields, so he starts with his work cut out for him. Craig managed to overcome that on both days in Northampton, nearly bringing back the leaders on Saturday before dropping a chain, and flying back through the field after being stopped on the first lap by a crash on Sunday. If he can start near the leaders, he’ll stay with them.
7 (9). Dan Timmerman (RGM Watches – Richard Sachs – Radix)
Dan Timmerman proved why he’s going to be a worthy winner of the Verge NECCS championship. Timmerman was the last man to hold on to Driscoll and Powers, and he nearly brought them back and made Saturday’s race a three horse event. The results may not show it, but Timmerman was the fastest man on course for a few laps on Saturday. A rolled tubular derailed his chances on Sunday but he again looked to be up to the challenge. He could be a dark horse for a top five in New Jersey.
8 (6). Chris Jones (Champion System)
A weekend off for Jones means he fell a few spots to those who were active. He’ll be back on his game when he gets to New Jersey and he’s been a staple of the top ten in America, and will no doubt be in there again. If things stay dry in New Jersey, he’s got a good shot at the top five, as you wouldn’t describe Mercer’s course as the most challenging to those of the roadie breed.
9 (-). Nick Weighall (Cal Giant Berry Farms/Specialized)
Weighall has been on the border of the top ten for some time now, but a fourth and second place finish over the weekend in Northampton confirmed that he’s here to stay. On Sunday, Weighall was the most impressive rider on course, closing down ten seconds on Jamey Driscoll over the final two laps and really making a race of it. The reigning U23 National Champion is really earning his stripes in the elite ranks and should only continue to improve.
10 (-). Josh Dillon (RGM Watches – Richard Sachs – Radix)
Saturday in Northampton was the day of comebacks, and Dillon was no stranger. Dillon broke a chain only 100 meters into Saturday’s event, putting him at a heavy handicap, but still managed to fight his way back to 17th. Sunday, Dillon proved that he’s got the mettle to fight with the big boys, finishing up fourth after battling back and forth all day. He found himself on the wrong side of some bobbles and hand some trouble holding wheels, but always fought his way back, and has really been climbing the elite ladder of late.

Who fell off the list this week? Jesse Anthony (7), Troy Wells (8)

North American Women’s Cyclocross Power Rankings

Compton soloed in for the win. © Bart Hazen

Compton continues to lead the power rankings, among other things © Bart Hazen

1 (1) Katie Compton (Planet Bike)
Katie Compton may not have raced in North America this weekend, but a win in Nommay, a World Cup win no less, is easily enough to keep her on top of this list. If she’s doubtlessly the best rider in the world, then it stands to reason that she’d be considered the best rider in America. No one will touch her this year. No one.
2 (2) Katerina Nash (Luna)
Katerina Nash also went over to Nommay to try her hand at World Cup cyclocross, and like Compton, she came away with a very positive result, finishing up the day in fifth place. She’s still no match for Compton, and likely will never be, but for now, she’ll be the odds-on favorite for victory in New Jersey, where she should be able to extend her lead in the USGP standings. With in Europe until Nationals, Nash should have a clear path to a repeat overall USGP victory.
3 (4) Alison Dunlap (Luna)
While much of the American women were racing local races, or spending the weekend resting and recovering, Dunlap was out on the mountain bike, winning Iceman Commeth by only one second over Kelli Emmett as well as National Endurance Mountain Bike Champ Heather Irminger. Dunlap will definitely be in the mix for a podium finish in New Jersey if she can keep up this fine run of form.
4 (3) Georgia Gould (Luna)
Gould took a day off, and she’s been second best this entire season. A weekend off can sometimes serve as a break to shake up a riders form, but it could also serve to continue Gould’s recent downward trend. Gould will have to bounce back in a big way this weekend in New Jersey in order to have a good shot at defending her silver medal from last year’s National Championships. Gould’s a gamer, and she’ll be keen to prove us all wrong.
5 (5) Amy Dombroski
Dombroski was another in the group of riders taking this weekend off. She was riding a red hot streak of form into Boulder, but this will be her first race with her new sponsorship setup. Hopefully, she’ll be able to continue her set of positive results and will no doubt be battling for a podium in New Jersey. She could be higher in this list, but honestly, who would she displace. Gould’s the only one in danger of dropping, but Dombroski will have to do a bit more to move up.

Mary climbs like a mountain goat. © Paul Weiss

Mary McConneloug moved up with a pair of wins © Paul Weiss

6 (7) Mary McConneloug(Kenda/Seven/NoTubes)
McConneloug seems to have fully committed herself to a cyclocross schedule, and took her second and third wins in two weeks with back-to-back victories in Northampton. McConneloug was both opportunistic and dominant en route to her wins, and when she needed to, she kicked it into another gear. Her win was never really in doubt on Sunday, and the second half of Saturday’s race was just as dominant. Add that to her win at Beacon Cross the previous weekend, and she’ll be a force to be reckoned with in weeks to come.
7 (10) Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes)
Van Gilder scored a second place on Sunday in Northampton by riding a superb Natasha Elliot off her wheel late in the race. The course in Northampton was not straight forward, either, and it showed that Van Gilder’s technical skills are coming along and she’s turning into a tru cyclocross star. If you pair that with a third place on Saturday when she rode another group off of her wheel in the same fashion, you can expect Van Gilder to be on the top step of a podium soon.
8 (-) Natasha Elliott(Garneau-Club Chaussures-Ogilvy)
Elliott bounced back from a down weekend or two by taking second place and third place in Northampton, and for while, looked like the closest challenger to McConneloug. An unfortunate lapse in concentration may have been Elliott’s undoing in Saturday’s race, and we’ll never know if she had the horsepower to hang on to McConneloug. Elliott will be back in action this weekend in New Jersey where we’ll get to see how she stacks up against the top end of the list of American talent.
9 (9) Sue Butler (Monavie-Cannondale.com)
Butler also decided to forgo racing in America for the sunny shores of France, and she did so to marked success. Butler’s 16th place finish in Nommay spoke volumes about Butler’s racing ability, and validated her decision to skip her Single Speed World Championships defense. Butler has been racing well, and she’ll be back in the States for the Mercer Cup, but it’s hard to imagine that she’ll be in the top five, but a top ten should be a relatively sure bet.
10 (6) Maureen Bruno Roy (MM Racing p/b Seven Cycles)
Bruno Roy looked to be off her game in Northampton, and while she may have been capable of more on Saturday – a mechanical saw her lose valuable meters to Van Gilder – Sunday’s performance was worrying for the current NECCS leader. Bruno Roy managed seventh place against some good competition, but not the best, and will no doubt be looking to bounce back in New Jersey where she had a good couple of rides last year.

Who fell off the list this week? Alison Sydor (8)

 

 

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