Trebon leads page early in the race. © Joe Sales

Trebon leads page early in the race. © Joe Sales

by Jacob Sisson, photos by Joe Sales and Larry Rosa

Kansas City, MO – Coming into Sunday, Kona’s Ryan Trebon had the longest odds he’s ever faced going into the national championships. Without an in-form Barry Wicks, facing a team of three powerhouse riders from CyclocrossWorld / Cannondale in Johnson, Powers, and Driscoll, and then catching a cold late in the week, Trebon wasn’t confident in his chances to take back the jersey he won two years ago. Although many racers and fans thought the Tiffany Springs Park course was tailor-made for Trebon with its hilly nature and abundant power sections favoring the tall rider’s famous horsepower, with the team tactics and recent cold, would he still be the favorite?

At the end of the day, Ryan Trebon (Kona) proved that regardless of team tactics or colds, he is the strongest male cyclocross rider in the United States by winning the 2008 Elite Men’s national championship in dominating fashion. Under cloudy skies and in frigid temperatures, Trebon put his rivals to rest and took home his second national championship and built up his confidence ahead of his trip to Europe.

The first man to hit the front of the race was 30-34 National Champion Andy Jacques-Maynes (Cal Giant Berries/Specialized), who took the holeshot ahead of the likes of Todd Wells (GT Bicycles) and heavy pre-race favorite, Jonathan Page (Planet Bike), who hit the first corner in third place. Notably absent from the front of the race was reigning champion Tim Johnson (Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.com).

Driscoll rides to second place, the surprise of the day. © Joe Sales

Driscoll rides to second place, the surprise of the day. © Joe Sales

After the race had threaded its way through the first few corners of the race, a lead group of four had emerged off the front of the race. Trebon had coaxed out Page, Wells and Jacques-Maynes, with Johnson, Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.com) and Jesse Anthony (Jamis) giving chase. Behind them, a group of four containing Jeremy Powers (Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.com), Chris Jones (Sonic/Jittery Joes), Jeremiah Bishop (Trek) and Barry Wicks (Kona) were hovering close, ready to rejoin the leaders if the pace stalled.

Just like that, the gas was off, and Driscoll, Johnson and Anthony clawed their way back, and as the riders hit the pavement for the first time the Powers group connected, swelling the lead group from 4 to 11 riders.

The course was fast with technical turns, but didn’t allow for anyone to just stream away from the rest of the pack.

Not being happy to ride in a big group, Wells was the first to try and shed some of the dead weight. Wells’ efforts were successful in first dislodging Bishop, then Powers, Wicks and Andy Jacques-Maynes. Powers day would go from bad to worse, as he faded from the lead group and would eventually finish in 19th place., behind 45-49 National Champion Steve Tilford.

With six laps to go, the first major attack of the day came from an unexpected source – Jesse Anthony. With Page, Trebon, Johnson and Wells looking at each other, the only man to respond to Anthony’s attack was Driscoll. Trebon was still left to do the chasing in the group behind, and was begging his counterparts to take up some of the work. As confusion in the chase group took hold, Anthony and Driscoll were able to extend their lead. With the favorites still looking around, Wicks and Jacques-Maynes were able to catch back on to the group of leaders. A rolled tire would later spoil Jacques-Maynes’ race and he would settle for 8th on the day.

Behind Anthony and Driscoll it was Wells taking up the charge after Trebon had deferred to the rest of the group. Following in Wells’ exhaust, Page and Trebon would then put in their own attacks and would put some of the group members into some difficulty. Wicks and Jacques-Maynes would again exit the group – this time for good, and the chasers would be down to Trebon, Page, Johnson and Wells. Wells seemed to be having the worst time of the group, as he would spend a good amount of time dangling off the back.

At five to go, Anthony and Driscoll sat up to allow a charging Trebon to bring them back to the chase group. Trebon, however, didn’t bring anyone up with him to the leading two and instead promptly went to the front, changing the dynamic of the race significantly. His acceleration took Anthony and Driscoll with him and split Page, Wells and Johnson into their own chase group. Trebon would keep the hammer down and eventually shoot Anthony off the back. Soon after, Driscoll would fall off as well.

Trebon was quickly increasing his lead, and the reaction from the chasers finally came from Jonathan Page, who went to the front of the group and took up the chase. Page’s acceleration dislodged Johnson, who was clearly suffering on the day. Page and Wells were now together and were rehashing old battles from last year’s national championships.

Page would eventually drop Wells in his pursuit of Anthony, Driscoll, and Trebon. However, the Kona rider was already far clear of the rest of the pack, and Page’s efforts were not enough and came too late in the race. The question now would be whether he could catch Anthony and Driscoll for silver.

Driscoll would remain within 10 seconds of Trebon until four to go, but the power of Trebon was just too much. As Trebon pounded the pedals, accelerating out of every corner, Driscoll had to focus on keeping the surging Jonathan Page at bay, assuming he could get around Jesse Anthony. Page’s attacks, the same that had gotten rid of Todd Wells, had gotten him up to Anthony, and as Wells went backwards, Anthony was caught and latched onto Page’s wheel. Page and Anthony were 11 seconds behind Driscoll as they got the sign for three to go, so the podium was still very much up in the air.

Sensing that his second place was not exactly secure, Driscoll upped his pace, and over the course of the next lap, was able to extend his advantage over Page and Anthony to 15 seconds. Page would spend the next lap doing his best to drop Anthony, and by the time they got the bell lap, he was alone in third chasing Driscoll. Trebon’s advantage looked concrete and the title was his to lose.

Elite Men's Podium, 2008 Cyclocross National Championships by Joe Sales

Elite Men's podium, 2008 Cyclocross National Championships, by Joe Sales

Behind the action at the front, Tim Johnson had slowly been working his way back up to Todd Wells. Wells was clearly paying for his efforts early in the race, and Johnson’s energy seemed to be coming back to him. As the race entered the final lap, Johnson had brought himself back up to Wells and the fight was on. Wells was forced to pit on the last lap and lost valuable time to Johnson, relegating him to a sixth place finish.

Trebon was able to put it in cruise control for the last lap of the race, and took home a commanding win and in so doing, won himself the right to wear the stars and stripes for the next year. Behind him, standout Jamey Driscoll was able to hold off Jonathan Page, who had gained some time on Driscoll over the last lap, for second place and a silver medal, the biggest surprise of the day. Page took home the bronze, and was followed home shortly thereafter by Jesse Anthony. Tim Johnson rounded out the top five, followed by Todd Wells, Matt Shriver (Sonic / Jittery Joe’s), Justin Spinelli (Richard Sachs) and Jeremiah Bishop (Trek).

Want to relive the racing action? Watch our Live Updates archive of the day’s racing here. Also see our live coverage archive, Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 reports along with our Collegiate and Singlespeed and Women’s reports from Day 4 of the 2008 Cyclocross National Championships from Kansas City.

Photo Gallery:

Full Results:

Elite Men:
RESULTNONAMEHOMETOWNTEAM / CLUBTIME
13TREBON, RyanBend, ORKona FSA00:04.0
25DRISCOLL, Jamesjericho, VTFiordiFrutta28:55.0
36PAGE, JonathanMadison, WIPlanet Bike39:45.0
411ANTHONY, JesseBeverly, MAJamis46:39.0
51JOHNSON, TimBoston, MACyclocrossworlds.com01:05.0
64WELLS, ToddDURANGO, COGT Bicycles01:14.0
714SHRIVER, MattSalt Lake City, UTJittery Joe’s01:14.0
87JACQUES-MAYNES, AndyWatsonville, CASpecialized/KMC pb Cal Giant02:43.0
920SPINELLI, JustinNashua, NHRichard Sachs/RGM/Rex Chiu02:51.0
109BISHOP, JeremiahHARRISONBURG, VATrek/VW02:58.0
1119LALONDE, MarkMadison, WIPLANET BIKE02:58.0
128WELLS, TroyDurango, COTeam Clif Bar03:23.0
1312WICKS, BarryCORVALLIS, ORKona-FSA04:00.0
1421JONES, ChristopherAuburn, CASonic/ Jittery Joes/ Louis Garneau04:00.0
1529LINDINE, JustinMaplecrest, NYTARGETRAINING04:27.0
1623TONKIN, ErikPortland, ORKona FSA04:48.0
17121WORAS, SolomonWinthrop, WAVANILLA04:56.0
1816TILFORD, SteveTopeka, KSHRRC/Trek Stores04:56.0
192POWERS, JeremyNiantic, CTCyclocrossworlds.com05:05.0
2037WELLS, JakeAvon, COMafiaRacing.com/Pabst05:11.0
2118STEVENSON, russellSeattle, WATeam Redline Bikes05:46.0
2233SCHEMPF, WestonCentre Hall, PAC3-Sollay.com05:46.0
2339BRADFORD-PARISH, KevinElk, WARedlinebikes.com05:59.0
2434WREN, TylerPhiladelphia, PAColavita/Sutter Home, p/b Cook06:08.0
2535GILLESPIE, BartSalt Lake City, UTMonavie/Cannondale06:12.0
2642KRIEG, sampocatello, IDkriegcycling /Sienna/ICE06:12.0
27133DECKER, CARLbend, ORBroadmark Capital06:12.0
2832CAMERON, MollyPortland, ORVanilla bicycles06:41.0
29117DWIGHT, BandonBoulder, COBoulder Cycle Sport06:51.0
3040ROBINSON, JustinSanta Cruz, CACalifornia Giant Berry Farms/S07:50.0
3145WARD, NathanielAlbany, NYBikeReg.com / Joe’s Garage07:50.0
3227MYERSON, AdamDorchester, MATIME Pro Cycling07:27.0
33127PAXSON, SpencerTrout Lake, WATeam S&M Young Guns07:29.0
3443BABCOCK, SeanCorvallis, ORTeam S&M+ 1 Lap Down
3638KRAUS, MattPleasantville, NYRGM WATCHES – RICHARD SACHS -+ 1 Lap Down
3750WITTWER, GregRichmond, VAALAN North America Cycling Tea+ 1 Lap Down
3855POPPER, BenjaminChicago, ILHRS / Rock Lobster+ 1 Lap Down
3946IDDINGS, RyanSeattle, WALaPierre+ 1 Lap Down
40112POWLISON, SpencerBoulder, COMafia Racing+ 1 Lap Down
4460GOULET, AliSalt lake city, UTRidley Factory Team+ 1 Lap Down
45129CHAMBERS, CameronOverland, KSNA+ 1 Lap Down
4641RICE, NathanSt. Louis, MOMichelob Ultra-Big Shark+ 2 Laps Down
4751DOUVILLE, GaryGoleta, CAPlatinum Racing Team+ 2 Laps Down
4866BAILEY, JohnSan Diego, CABailey Bikes+ 2 Laps Down
4974BOUPLON, AaronBoulder, CORocky Mounts / Izze+ 2 Laps Down
502247STOLTE, WilliamTOPEKA, KSHRRC/Trek Stores+ 2 Laps Down
5152KNAPP, RyanColumbus, INBikeReg.com+ 2 Laps Down
52126LLOYD, J GabrielNew York, NYTargetraining+ 2 Laps Down
5389CARIVEAU, JonSteamboat Springs, COMOOTS+ 2 Laps Down
54123123 HULICK, KevinPortland, ORGentle Lovers+ 2 Laps Down
55111JOHNSON, JoshuaColumbia, MOBig Shark Racing+ 2 Laps Down
56116PARRISH, ChristopherMercer Island, WAWestern Washington University+ 3 Laps Down
5736WYATT, Nathanaelasheville, NCCarolina Fatz p/b Santa Cruz B+ 3 Laps Down
5857APPLEGATE, AndyBlack Mountain, NCKobold Watches / Cannondale+ 3 Laps Down
5972WEAVER, DaveTowson, MDAlan N. America Cyclocross Tea+ 3 Laps Down
6079SHAFER, brendandurango, CODurango DEVO+ 3 Laps Down
61122YEATER, Davyportland, ORRiver City BIcycles+ 3 Laps Down
6253SMITH, ShaddOverland Park, KSTREK KC+ 3 Laps Down