We’re sure Jeremy Powers (Fuji – Pactimo – SRAM) did not imagine his first victory for his new team, and the first victory of the season, to come in this fashion. However, a victory is a victory, and Cyclocross Magazine’s Brandon Grant was there to see it in person as Powers lapped him and all but 11 racers in the Men’s 23-39 field on his way to winning the non-title race at the 2018 Cyclocross National Championship V2 in Louisville, Kentucky.

“It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do at Nationals, just to be able to get some efforts in on the course without any interruptions,” Powers said after his win.

While non-title races used to be an opportunity for fans to come out and race and then watch the pros take the course later that day, the USA Cyclocross Nationals have grown in days and attendance, and now the first day’s races have taken on a new significance for title contenders.

Tuesday’s victory was not only the first for Powers, but it was also the first domestic victory for the new prototype 12-speed 1x eTAP drivetrain that Powers and Wout van Aert have been testing this season.

Powers joined fellow UCI racers in Molly Cameron, Adam Myerson and Jared Nieter in sampling the day’s non-title races. “I got to do some efforts, I got to feel the flow of the course, I got to see and make some new line choices,” Powers said.

As for the course, Powers admitted he may race on Sunday in different conditions but still saw the value of taking the start on Tuesday. “It is obviously going to change with the conditions and everything like that but the rhythm of it will stay the same,” Power explained.

While Powers raced at the same venue at the 2017 Pan American Cyclocross Championships, he noticed a few differences. “The climbs are a little bit shorter, and a little bit punchier,” Power said. “It is a heavy track. The sand is an interesting addition but it’s not a race-determining factor in my opinion.”

See the full interview with Powers below.

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