Jeremy Powers drills it all the way to the line to hold off Tim Johnson and win the USGP series ©Joe Sales

by Josh Liberles

PORTLAND, ORE. – Jeremy Powers completed a Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com one-two punch at today’s USGP Stanley Portland Cup. After taking the win yesterday, Powers continued to roll through Portland taking another win just in front of teammate Tim Johnson. Ryan Trebon (Kona) just edged Todd Wells (Cal Giant-Specialized) for the final podium spot, and Canadian Geoff Kabush (Maxxis) took fifth.

There were only two men left with a crack at the USGP series overall, and despite the fact that they’re teammates, Powers and Johnson would pull no punches in a battle that wouldn’t be decided until the final sprint. “It was super-hard, it was the hardest race I’ve done all year, and Tim’s not like anyone else – he’s national champion, he’s very much a competitor,” said Powers. “He knows how to race and where to be, and how to stick it out really, really hard. It was just a drag ‘em out, knock ‘em down kind of day.”

En route to the run-up © Janet Hill

En route to the run-up © Janet Hill

A group of five quickly separated itself from the fray, with Powers, Johnson, Todd Wells (Cal Giant-Specialized), Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) and Ryan Trebon (Kona), who was looking for redemption after a snapped derailleur yesterday ended his chance to challenge for the win. Trailing about 15 seconds behind was Chris Jones (Rapha-Focus), who snagged second on Saturday, his best ever USGP performance, with Jesse Anthony (Cal Giant-Specialized), Danny Sumerhill (Garmin) , Zach McDonald (Rapha-Focus), Alex Candelario (World Bicycle Relief), Troy Wells (Clif Bar) and Tristan Schouten (Cyclocrossracing.com) comprising a hungry chase group just five seconds further back.

Johnson, clearly feeling better after complaining of bad legs during the first half of yesterday’s race went on the offensive early. “I was taking a chance – Jeremy didn’t look like he was having his usual start, so I wanted to see what would happen if I attacked. It seemed like a good time, it was strung out going into the tighter stuff and I realized that I had a bit of an advantage. But I didn’t have the gas to keep it open.”

Trebon drives the front, putting Powers into difficulty © Janet Hill

Trebon drives the front, putting Powers into difficulty © Janet Hill

Trebon and Wells would then each take digs at the front, with Kabush hanging on for dear life before eventually yo-yoing off to ride solo the rest of the day in fifth. Trebon put in a monster effort, but couldn’t shed his competitors. “Ryan has a lot of power and talent – he’s got a skill that I definitely don’t have: he can stand up and drill it and all the sudden you’re going five miles an hour faster than you thought you could,” said Johnson. “The question is whether you can do it in a course that’s twisty and turny like today. This may not have been suited to him.”

“I was hurting a lot, and the second we got going I thought, ‘oh man, this isn’t gonna be good,’” said Powers. “Tim hit it, and I went through a moment of doubt, but managed to drag him back. Then Ryan opened a small gap to Tim, and Tim had four or five seconds on me, and that was another moment of doubt. I got Tim back, luckily. It was really just a hard race overall.”

But Powers persevered, and he was the next to go on the offensive and open up a gap of his own. Johnson would claw his teammate back, and it was a two-man race from there. “With three laps to go it was just two of us,” said Johnson. “I caught Jeremy and the gap back to Todd and Ryan wasn’t that big. I just went to the front. I didn’t want to get caught from behind – I’d rather just have us race against each other then to sit on each other and have negative racing. It was better to just beat each other up as much as possible. That’s what it came down to. You push yourself more in a situation like that – you’ve got someone that you know, trust, and like, you respect their ability and you just go [all out].”

Powers was hop-happy © Dave Roth

Powers was hop-happy © Dave Roth

Powers would again open a small lead late in the race, but a bobble on the motocross section of the course would have the duo neck-and-neck for the finale. Going through the barriers, Powers was one of several riders who elected to bunny hop every time through, just as he had yesterday. Johnson was going through just as fast, with perhaps a millisecond’s delay as he clipped in and got back up to speed. The proximity of the barriers to the final corner meant that the final trip through the barriers would be crucial, and Powers was able to hop the barriers and maintain his slim advantage all the way to the line.

It was a two-man battle to the wire © Dave Roth

It was a two-man battle to the wire © Dave Roth

“The last time through the barriers right before the finish, I caught up to him and we were side by side,” said Johnson. “I had a decision whether to go on the inside or outside – I chose to go on the outside hoping to get into my pedals quickly and get going, but you turn right and you’re on the pavement, and I just didn’t have the speed to get around him, and he had a clear win.”

“Last year I had some good wins, but Tim was always a little bit better. I think I’ve been consistent, there were just some really good, really consistent people – Tim, Ryan, Todd – over the years. It’s really hard to get your name on that plaque with those guys, so to be able to do that this year with this title is really special for me,” said Powers. “It’s a show of the entire season being consistent, whereas Nationals is a one-day race and there are a lot of factors that come in. The course could not suit me, the conditions could be bad, I could have a bad fall … to win the USGP almost takes pressure off of me for Nationals.”

Trebon holds off Wells for third © Dave Roth

Trebon holds off Wells for third © Dave Roth

The battle for the final podium spot between Trebon and Wells was just as tight, and would again pit a runner (Trebon) against a hopper (Wells). Trebon was able to come into the barriers first, maintain his speed, and punch it as he hit the corner onto the pavement to claim third. Wells’ fourth place on the day was good enough to land him on the USGP Series overall podium in third place, behind Johnson.

Kabush and Jones would maintain their positions in fifth and sixth, respectively. “[I felt] a lot better than yesterday. I just felt a lot more solid and made the selection,” said Kabush. “After that it was a bit of a yo-yo. I was on the back there and just got gapped off. I was trying hard, but they just kept creeping away.” In reference to how he liked the course today: “I felt like it had a bit more flow today. It was a good course for the conditions.”

The race for the U23 win was down to the wire as well, with Danny Summerhill and Zach McDonald riding in the same chase group for most of the day. Summerhill would carve out a small advantage into the barriers and keep it to the line, taking 10th overall with McDonald just behind in 11th. Luke Keough (Champion System-Keough) held onto the U23 USGP Series overall, with Jeremy Ferguson (Cal Giant-Specialized) in second and Cody Kaiser (Cal Giant-Specialized) in third.

Laura Winberry contributed to this report.

More photos coming soon!

Men’s Photo Gallery by Janet Hill:


Men’s Photo Gallery by Dave Roth:

Elite Men’s Results:

1Jeremy Powers (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.0:57:46
2Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.0:00:01
3Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona0:00:28
4Todd Wells (USA) Specialized0:00:33
5Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis / Rocky Mount0:01:21
6Christopher Jones (USA) Rapha / Focus0:01:43
7James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.0:02:03
8Jesse Anthony (USA) Cal Giant-Specialized0:02:14
9Tristan Schouten (USA) Cyclocrossracing.Com/Blue/Rolf0:02:16
10Daniel Summerhill (USA) Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin0:02:17
11Zach Mcdonald (USA) Rapha / Focus0:02:18
12Alex Candelario (USA) World Bicycle Relief0:02:58
13Barry Wicks (USA) Kona0:03:17
14Troy Wells (USA) Team Clif Bar0:03:55
15Brian Matter (USA) Gear Grinder0:03:56
16Adam Mcgrath (USA) Thule/Van Dessel Cyclocross0:04:12
17Mitch Hoke (USA) Clif Bar Development Cyclo-Cross
18Adam Craig (USA) Giant0:04:20
19Jeremy Ferguson (USA) California Giant/Specialized0:04:32
20Aaron Schooler (Can) Team H&R Block0:04:35
21Matt Pacocha (USA) Hudz-Subaru0:04:55
22Allen Krughoff (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport0:05:04
23Erik Tonkin (USA) Kona0:05:06
24Justin Robinson (USA) California Giant/Specialized0:05:08
25Ryan Knapp (USA) Bikereg.Com0:05:31
26Scott Chapin (USA) Bay101/Hrs/Rocklobster0:05:37
27Spencer Paxson (USA) Team S&M0:05:42
28Ryan Iddings (USA) Team Redline0:05:51
29Sean Babcock (USA) Kona Fsa0:05:54
30Cody Kaiser (USA) California Giant/Specialized0:06:01
31Kevin Noiles (Can) La Bicicletta Pro Shop0:06:03
32Eric Emsky (USA) Cyclocrossracing.Com Pb Blue
33Joshua Snead (USA) Bay 101/Rhs/Rock Lobster0:06:42
34Molly Cameron (USA)0:07:37
35 -1 lapBrady Kappius (USA) Team Clif Bar
36 -1 lapLuke Keough (USA) Champion System Pb Keough
37 -1 lapBrett Nichols (USA) Scott Usa
38 -1 lapFrank Spiteri (USA) Peninsula Velo/Pomodoro
39 -1 lapTim Allen (USA) Feedback Sports
40 -1 lapAndre Sutton (Can) Hardcore Cycling Club
41 -1 lapBrad Cole (USA) Kccx/Verge P/B Challenge Tires
42 -2 lapsDamian Schmitt (USA) Sunnyside Sports
43 -2 lapsDylan Tremblay (Can) Oak Bay Bicycles/Nanaimo
44 -2 lapsBrennan Wodtli (USA)
45 -2 lapsClayton Omer (USA) Papa Johns’ Racing Team
46 -3 lapsPatrick Jackson (USA) Buy Local
47 -3 lapsWill Ross (USA) Kaladi Bro’S/Subway
48 -3 lapsDerek Yarra (USA) Box Dog Bikes
49 -3 lapsMatthew Fox (USA) Sunnyside Sports
50 -3 lapsMatt Russell (USA) Evanplews.Com/Kenda
51 -3 lapsJohn Frey (USA) All Access Productions / Hutch’sS
52 -3 lapsEric Colton (USA) The Team
53 -3 lapsKyle Mcgilvray (USA) Old Town Bicycle
54 -3 lapsChris Fisher (USA) Velorochester
55 -3 lapsAaron Mickels (USA) Stanwood Velo Sport
56 -3 lapsAndrew Bennett (USA) Team Redline
57 -3 lapsConnor Mccutcheon (USA) Rebound Spl / Bear Valley Bikes
58 -4 lapsEric Sheagley (USA) Rocky Mountain Bicycles
59 -4 lapsAlan Adams (USA) Hagens Berman Llp
60 -4 lapsJohn-Christian Flack (USA) Olympia Orthopaedic Associates
DNFJoseph Schmalz (USA) Kccx/Verge Presented By Challenge
DNFRyan Weaver (USA) River City Bicycles/ Backdoor Banditos
DNFDavy Yeater (USA) River City Bicycles/Cannondale
DNFBrue Syvertsen (USA) De La Paz Coffee
DNFBenjamin Kubas (USA) Tai Cycling Team/Genr8/Smith
DNFTravis Livermon (USA) Mock Orange Racing
DNFMike Sherer (USA) The Pony Shop
DNFChris Sheppard (Can) Rocky Mountain/Shimano/Giro