The American UCI cyclocross season opens up on Saturday with the traditional season-opener, Redmond, Washington’s StarCrossed. Racing action continues as the venue moves to Lakewood, Washington for the Rad Racing GP of Cyclocross. StarCrossed and Rad Racing are the first two stops on the second season of the North American Cyclocross Trophy (NACT) series and the first UCI races on the American calendar.
StarCrossed and Rad Racing played host to some intense racing action last year, as well as some unparalleled drama. One man with bitter memories from one year ago is current American Cyclocross Champion Ryan Trebon. Despite eventually winning the NACT title last year, Trebon’s campaign got off to a rocky start under the lights in Redmond. Trebon looked a lock for victory in the men’s race, until his victory was undone by a collision with another rider, eerily similar to Trebon’s incident at the 2007 American Cyclocross National Championships. Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com’s Jeremy Powers had been in hot pursuit for much of the race, and was not far behind when the incident occurred. Trebon’s rotten luck allowed Powers to slip through to his first victory of the season.
Rad Racing was a chance for Trebon to undo his bad luck from the day prior, but it was not to be, as a tenacious Tim Johnson, wearing the stars and stripes of the US National Champion, beat Trebon in a sprint to the line, highlighting what was going to be a back-and-forth battle between Trebon and his Kona team and the Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com team. In last year’s women’s events, Sue Butler outpaced Wendy Simms and Kathy Sherwin to take the victory in StarCrossed, while it was Simms who flipped the script on Sunday for Rad Racing, getting the better of Butler, who was followed shortly thereafter by Amy Dombroski.
This year’s event promises to continue the rivalry between the two teams, as everyone is looking to dominate this season. Johnson and Powers are coming off of strong road seasons, while Trebon has been working his way towards the ‘cross season. Also joining this year’s West Coast party will be former National Champion and World Championships silver medalist Jonathan Page of Planet Bike, Team Jamis’ Jesse Anthony, Johnson and Powers’ teammate Jamey Driscoll, Bissel’s Andy Jacques-Maynes and Trebon’s Kona teammate Barry Wicks. Coming from abroad will be the duo of Denmark’s Joachim Parbo and Switzerland’s Christian Heule, who will add some international flavor, as well as a significant amount of firepower to the starting lineup.
On the women’s side, defending StarCrossed champion Sue Butler will make a return trip to attempt at a repeat. Standing in her way will be British Champion Helen Wyman who made an off season move to the Kona squad to replace Canadian Wendy Simms, who will have to miss this year’s edition due to becoming a mother (cheers!). Allison Sydor will trade her fat tires fro skinny ones as shell line up flying the Rocky Mountain/Maxxis colors. Luna’s Alison Dunlap will hope to get off to a good start on her comeback tour with a win this weekend.
Tune in to Cyclocross Magazine this weekend as we get set for the busiest week in UCI Cyclocross the United States will see this year!