by Grant Berry
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY – In February 2013, cyclocross fans from around the globe will have their attention turned to Louisville, Kentucky, for the World Elite Cyclocross Championships. Today was one giant step towards that event, as the course designers and staff that descended on the Eva Bandman Cyclocross Park in northwestern Louisville stepped up their game and started to show that the venue and the terrain that the park has to offer is worthy of challenging the best cyclocross racers in the world in their fight to earn the coveted rainbow stripes.
When asked how this course compares to Louisville courses of years past, as well as courses in Europe, Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) put it this way: “I think this course is definitely a World’s quality course … The new transitions are difficult and are similar to Europe, where the course dictates who is better on the day and helps force the selection and who does well.”
Tim Johnson agreed: “The course this year is much more similar to Europe than in year’s past. It is getting to the point where it is going to be good for Worlds.”
The fans and the community of Louisville have made it clear that they love and support cyclocross. Whether it is the World Championships for Masters or Elite riders, a stop on the USGP of Cyclocross National series or a local event, the fans and riders come out and contribute to the sport for the better.
Former World Cup winner and Belgian national champion Ben Berden (Ops Ale – Clement) grabbed the holeshot when the men hit the course for their race. He was closely followed by Ryan Trebon (LTS-Felt), Rapha-Focus teammates Chris Jones and Jeremy Powers, Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld), Barry Wicks (Kona), Todd Wells (Specialized Factory Racing), Geoff Kabush (Rocky Mountain) and Danny Summerhill (Chipotle).
After lap one was complete, Trebon, Jones and Powers had already forced a separation as the chase group led by an aggressive Summerhill tried to keep the gap at a minimum. Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) was overcoming a poor start, attempting to make contact with this group.
On lap three, Jones threw his hat in the ring, and launched an attack to try and set up Powers, but Berden and Trebon were having none of it, as they closed it down quickly going into one of the sand pits. Once the leading four were back together, Trebon wasted no time in whittling the group down as he forced a gap and dropped Jones immediately. Berden and Powers worked together to chase down the attack, and they all were back together as they hit the pavement entering lap four.
The chase group came through at 10 seconds back, with Summerhill and Wells leading the charge. Johnson and Troy Wells (Clif Bar) had also made contact with this group, with Johnson quickly surveying the situation and taking the chase into his own hands by going directly to the front.
At the end of lap four, Trebon and Powers were alone at the front after Berden lost contact in the off-camber section, setting up yet another duel between the friendly rivals. With three to go, the gap had swollen to 25 seconds, and Johnson had now set off solo to try and make contact with the two leaders. Trebon seemed to be on the better day of the two as he was regularly taking long pulls, causing Powers to grit his teeth and yo-yo a bit in the big man’s wake.
Johnson was clearly determined, as with two laps to go he closed the gap to 12 seconds and looked to be giving himself the chance to earn his first victory of the season. Kabush had also attacked out of the chase group, and lingered 10 seconds behind Johnson.
All four men entered the bell lap as they had the previous lap, and Trebon continued to lead through the barriers, with an up-and-over flyover. They would remain this way until Powers dove to the inside on a 180-degree corner in the woods where Trebon took the wide line. As the pair weaved their way through the tacky and technical turns, all of the spectators ran to line the barriers on the finishing straight, as it looked like it was going to come down to a sprint.
The sprint was not to be, as Trebon lost his chain while trying to shift down to a harder gear in the somewhat bumpy last corner that spits the riders out onto the pavement. Powers sailed across the finish line with his arms raised as Trebon bowed his head in defeat.
“It wasn’t pretty, but I took the inside line for the lead when Ryan went wide,” Power said. “It was really the last place to pass. After that, I was going way too fast and overcooked a couple corners but held on for the win. I am really happy about this one.”
Trebon gave his side of the story: “I felt really good today, and felt on top of my bike handling and raced well until the last 500 meters. I thought it was perfect; I’ll just sit on his wheel and wait for the sprint. We came around that last 180 (degree) corner, and Jeremy was five feet in front of me … I was going for it, and going through the gears too fast maybe and lost my chain. It happens … totally my fault and a little frustrating, but Jeremy was riding well and I enjoyed racing him close.”
When asked, Trebon summed it up simply: “I always give 100 percent. Tomorrow is another day, and I hope I have the great legs I had today, and can compete for the win.”
Find out more about the women’s race, which was fast and furious as well, with Katie Compton taking the win.
Results below the gallery.
2011 USGP Derby City Day 1 Men
|4||KABUSH Geoff||Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain||57:38:00||46|
|5||SUMMERHILL Daniel||Chipotle Development Team||57:47:00||55|
|7||WELLS Troy||Team CLIF BAR||57:55:00||1:03|
|11||MATTER Brian||Gear Grinder / Clif Bar||58:25:00||s.t.|
|12||MCNEELY* Evan||EMD Serono-Specialized||59:00:00||2:08|
|15||LINDINE Justin||BikeReg.com / Joe's Garage||59:16:00||2:24|
|16||TOWNSEND Jerome||SmartStop / MockOrangeBikes pb||59:54:00||3:02|
|17||HOKE Mitchell||team Clif Bar||59:55:00||s.t.|
|19||BATTY Mark||SpiderTech Powered By C10||1:00:01||3:09|
|20||SCHOOLER Aaron||Team H&R BLOCK - Sri Importing||1:00:06||3:14|
|21||HEULE Christian||Cannondale pb CyclocrossWorld.c||1:00:10||3:18|
|22||WINTERBERG Lukas||Philadelphia Cyclocross School||1:00:16||3:24|
|23||KNAPP Ryan||Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross||1:00:25||3:33|
|24||LIVERMON Travis||Smart Stop-Mock Orange p/b Ridl||1:00:28||3:36|
|25||MULLER* Lukas||Philadelphia Cyclocross School||1:00:33||3:41|
|26||KAISER* Cody||California Giant Berry Farms/Sp||1:00:46||3:54|
|27||STAFFORD* Jared||Ride With Rendall||1:00:54||4:02|
|28||DURRIN Jeremy||J.A.M. Fund / NCC||1:01:06||4:14|
|30||WOODRUFF Travis||Trek Bicycle Store - Boulder||1:01:15||4:23|
|31||MYERSON Adam||Team Mountain Khakis presented||1:01:21||4:29|
|32||KERSTING Mitchell||Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross||1:01:40||4:48|
|33||KRUGHOFF Allen||BOULDER CYCLE SPORT||1:01:45||4:53|
|34||LASLEY Jacob||Team Soundpony||1:01:53||5:01|
|35||KAPPIUS Braden||Team Clif Bar||1:02:02||5:10|
|37||WELLS Jake||Stan's NoTubes Elite Cyclocross||1:02:17||5:25|
|38||DALLE ANGELINI Giancarlo||Rio Blanco||1:02:23||5:31|
|39||FAWLEY Bryan||ORBEA USA||1:02:31||5:39|
|40||MCCONNELL Mark||Synergy Racing||1:02:56||6:04|
|41||REARDON Andrew||Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross Team||1:03:04||6:12|
|42||FISH* Kevin||KCCX/Fuji Presented by Challeng||1:03:35||6:43|
|43||FYFE Will||Birmingham Bicycle Co||1:04:05||7:13|
|46||MILLER Daniel||Team Seagal||1:05:14||8:22|
|50||PREBLE* Kolben||Clif Bar Development Cyclocross||@1Lap|
|51||BERGEY* Gunnar||C3 Athletes Serving Athletes||@1Lap|
|52||ALLEN Matthew||behind bars/ little guy racing||@1Lap|
|54||LARSEN Chris||INDUSTRY NINE/Youngblood Bicycl||@1Lap|
|55||STREET Bill||Kuhl Midwest Regional MTB-CX Te||@2Lap|
|DNF||BERDEN Ben||Ops Ale - Clement|
|DNF||OMER* Clayton||Bobs Red Mill Cyclocross|
|DNF||COLE Brad||KCCX Fuji p/b Challenge Tires|
|DNF||WYATT Nathanael||Carolina Fatz Cycling Center pb|