Erwin Vervecken (Revor-Baboco) finally scored his win on American soil that he had been searching for since getting to the States ahead of Wednesday’s Cross Vegas by taking home a hard-fought victory at the second day of the Planet Bike Cup in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Clear skies gave way to rain just as the pro men hit the field, giving what was a blazingly fast course a new degree of technicality. Vervecken picked the perfect opportunity to attack on the final lap to beat American Champion Ryan Trebon (Kona) and Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) who rolled both of his tires and crashed on the final lap to fall out of contention for the victory.
Vervecken never looked the strongest rider on the course, as he was consistently seen lagging off the rear end of the leading group of three that included Page and Trebon. While it may have been tactical, luring his companions into a false sense of security, Vervecken’s tenacity may have ruled the day, as his years of experience, and complete knowledge of his body’s limits allowed him to fight back from every acceleration that Page and Trebon threw at him and come around for victory when it mattered most.
For the second straight day, it was Bissel’s Andy Jacques-Maynes who stormed to the holeshot as the field took off from the starting gun. Jacques-Maynes was quickly replaced by Jeremy Powers (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld), who was out to defend his USGP leader’s jersey and victory from the previous day, and Jonathan Page at the front. Page moved up even more, and before long, was out in front. Page had pulled Canadian rider Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) along for the ride, and the two quickly built up a lead over a chase group including Powers, Trebon, Christian Heule (Rendementhypo) and Vervecken. In the chase group, the pace of Trebon and Vervecken tore through Powers and Heule, as the two slid back away from the front. Page too was setting a fast tempo, too fast for Kabush who had been hanging on for all he was worth.
Once rid of Kabush, Page pushed forward to try and extend his lead. Behind, Vervecken and Trebon took turns attacking each other, and soon they were on the wheel of Kabush. Not content to just grab Kabush’s wheel, they passed through him and set their sights on Page. Trebon was the man responsible for bringing Page back, as his accelerations looked to be gapping Vervecken little by little. As the race went on, and as Trebon’s moves brought Page back into the fold, Vervecken looked the weakest of the three riders, and did not look to figure into the winning move.
Behind, Kabush was fighting to hold off Powers, who had been riding in no-man’s land for much of the race. After falling back quite a bit, Christian Heule had picked up Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld) for company, and the two were closing in on Powers, who looked far off his form from the prior day. Powers eventually sat up to wait for Driscoll and Heule, allowing Kabush to safely ride to fourth place. Driscoll made a number of attempts to soften up the Swiss Champion, so that Powers could grab as many points as possible towards a USGP series defense. Heule would not be beaten however, as he narrowly managed to out sprint Powers to the line to take home fifth place. The finish line camera showed that it was not much more than the depth of a deep dish carbon wheel that separated Powers from Heule’s fifth place.
Up front, Trebon, Page and Vervecken were all square as they entered the final lap. Seeming to sense that they were not going to rid themselves of Vervecken, as he’d been clawing his way back after every attack, the three started to play cat and mouse. Disaster struck for Page with not more than half a lap to go, when both his tires came unglued, and Page hit the turf, losing touch with the lead group and with all chance at a win. Quickly, Page rolled his tires back on and rode his way to the pits, losing out on the win, but not the podium, as he was able to hold off Kabush for third. Vervecken siezed the opportunity and attacked the fading Trebon, taking enough of a gap into the final turns to hold off the American Champion. Trebon would settle for second as Page took a disappointing third place. Kabush almost got up to Page for fourth as Heule out sprinted Powers for fifth, leaving Driscoll to roll across in seventh. Eighth place went to Planet Bike’s Tristan Schouten, who had a career day in fighting off Barry Wicks (Kona), who finished ninth. Rounding out the top ten was Chris Jones. Cal Giant’s Chance Noble was the top rated Espoir in the race, for the second day in a row, and held on to his leader’s jersey he earned on Saturday.
Full results below.
|1||1||VERVECKEN Erwin||Team Revor-Baboco-||BEL||50|
|3||5||PAGE Jonathan||Planet Bike||USA||34|
|4||11||KABUSH Geoff||Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain||CAN||30|
|5||2||HEULE Christian||Rendementhypo Cycling||SUI||26|
|6||6||POWERS Jeremy||Cannondale /||USA||23|
|7||7||DRISCOLL Jamey||Cannondale /||USA||20|
|8||54||SCHOUTEN Tristan||Planet Bike||USA||17|
|10||17||JONES Christopher||Team Champion System||USA||12|
|11||16||LALONDE Mark||Planet Bike||USA||10|
|12||20||VAN NUFFEL Tim||Rendement-Hypo Cycling||BEL||9|
|13||12||WEIGHALL Nicholas||Rad Racing NW||USA||8|
|14||15||MATTER Brian||Team Geargrinder||USA||7|
|15||23||NOBLE Chance||California Giant-Specialized||USA||6|
|16||34||HACKWORTHY Dave||Bianchi/Grand Performance||USA||5|
|19||59||FAWLEY Bryan||Park Place Dealerships||USA||2|
|20||33||LALONDE James||Planet Bike||USA||1|
|21||19||MCGRATH Adam||Thule/Van Dessel||USA|
|22||58||BERGMAN Adam||Texas Roadhouse Cycling||USA|
|24||44||KERSTING Mitchell||Rapid Transit Racing||USA|
|25||29||SKERRITT Shannon||Vanilla Bicycles||USA|
|26||25||ROBINSON Justin||California Giant Berry||USA|
|27||30||HULICK Kevin||The Vanilla Workshop -||USA|
|28||55||WOODRUFF Travis||Pioneer Racing||USA|
|29||31||SIEGLE Jason||Bear Valley Bikes||USA|
|30||61||HINKENS Jack||Ridley team||USA|
|31||49||ROESSINGH Jordan||ISCorp Cycling Team/Nova||USA|
|32||42||BLACKWELDER Mark||Gentle Lovers||USA|
|33||41||POPPER Ben||HRS / Rock Lobster||USA|
|34||26||SHERER Mike||Alderfer Bergen||USA|
|35||10||ANTHONY Jesse||Team Jamis Bikes||USA|
|36||62||LOWETZ Jason||Team Bearclaw||USA|
|39||43||KLUG Kevin||Courage Cycles Inc||USA|
|40||32||RIENTS Jesse||Nature Valley/Penn Cycle||USA|
|41||53||REARDON Andrew||Starbrite Carwash / MOAB||USA|
|42||47||VONBOKEL Logan||Mesa Cycles Racing Team||USA|
|43||50||LENZI Luca||The Pony Shop||USA|
|44||35||HANSON Lyle||Great Dane Velo Club||USA|
|45||48||LEMIEUX Pat||Texas Roadhouse Cycling||USA|
|46||45||EDWARDS Zachary||DRT Racing||USA|
|47||38||ALLEN Matthew||behind bars/ lgr||USA|
|48||36||HAUGH Spencer||Behind Bars/LGR||USA|
|49||51||STREET William||Sisu Custom Cycles||USA|
|DNF||8||WELLS Troy||Team Clif Bar||USA|
|DNF||9||JACQUES-Andy||Bissell Pro Cycling||USA|
|DNS||18||SELANDER Bjorn||Ridley Factory Team||USA|
|DNF||21||CAMERON Molly||Portland Bicycle Studio||USA|