October 7, 2007; Southampton, NY, USA: Americans proved their strength in NY over this weekend, with Barry Wicks showing the world champion Vervecken that America’s cross racers keep getting stronger, and Katie living up to Vervecken’s expectations that she’s going to be the best in the world this year.

In the elite men’s race, Barry Wicks (Kona/ took advantage of World Champion Erwin Vervecken’s derailleur failure with half a lap to go to take the win at the second day of the Whitmore’s Landscaping Super Cross Cup, a UCI C2 event. Wicks and Vervecken were wheel to wheel for the lead when the Belgian’s derailleur snapped off his frame, not only beat the World Champion, but also the German National Champion, the Canadian National Champion and the U.S. National Champion (teammate Ryan Trebon). Wicks, who lost to Vervecken by a wheel in the previous day’s sprint finish, was never out of contention on the much more technical course featured on the second day at the Southampton Youth Services Center. Ryan Trebon, who also led much of the race, finished second with Jeremy Powers ( a strong third. German National Champion Malte Urban (Heinz von Heiden) finished fifth behind Tim Johnson (Leer/Cannondale/ while Canadian Champ Greg Reain (RWR/Colnago/Time) finished seventh. “It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t race it out to the win,” said Wicks. “But a win’s a win. Ryan didn’t feel too good after his efforts in the heat yesterday and I don’t think Erwin felt that good either.”

If nothing else, the weekend indicated that America’s domestic cyclocross program is growing in quality as well as quantity. No longer the “not ready for prime-time players”, the Americans surprised the contingent of Belgians who were on hand to witness the proceedings. Trebon and Wicks proved to be formidable competition for the three-time World Champion and other Americans, notably Jeremy Powers and Tim Johnson, also spent time in the lead and were serious players. “My legs just didn’t feel good,” said Vervecken in the locker room after the race. “Maybe it’s normal with the airplane trip and the heat yesterday.”

Long airline flights are one thing that is different about top-tier American cyclocross compare to the European sport. Whereas it was unusual for Erwin Vervecken and Malte Urban to fly seven hours to America, it’s almost routine for Wicks and Trebon to make an almost equally long flight from Oregon to the east coast — something they do several times per year. “It was a five hour flight for us,” recounted Wicks before Saturday’s race, “And we got here the day after Erwin. So it’s about the same.”

How it unfolded:

Sunday’s course featured much more climbing and required more technical skills than the previous day’s course. At the start, Trebon led Jesse Anthony and Malte Urban through the first turn, though the entire field was compact and nobody had a notable advantage. Powers moved to the front heading into “methane hill”, a short, steep hill with very loose, deep soil. Powers controlled the tempo of the race from the front for most of the first four laps before Trebon attacked from fourth place approaching the log-strewn run-up. Halfway through the race, the lead group of Trebon, Johnson, Vervecken, Wicks and Powers established itself as the wind picked-up and clouds began to build. The next time they approached the log run-up, Johnson and Powers were off the back of the lead group, with Malte Urban another 20 seconds behind them. As the temperature continued to drop (though still unseasonably warm), Wicks and Trebon started taking turns attacking Vervecken. It was a case of the tables being turned on Vervecken according to his Belgian supporters, as it is usually he who has the benefit of his Fidea Assurance teammates (like Bart Wellons) to try to isolate opponents. Trebon again attacked from behind approaching the log run-up with three-and-a-half laps to go, this time taking Wicks with him. As they crossed the line with three laps to go, Trebon and Wicks had a five second gap. However, Trebon bobbled up Methane Hill. This allowed Vervecken to catch him but Wicks was still clear by over four seconds. With two laps to go, all three were back together. They stayed together until the start of the last lap, where things change dramatically. Vervecken took the lead approaching Methane Hill. Immediately following the hill, Trebon was dropped. Then, 20 seconds later, the crowd yelled “OH!” as Vervecken crashed approaching the steepest hill on the course, a 20% monster. Wicks, who was right on his wheel, passed immediately and Trebon was close enough to pass before Vervecken could even get up. Soon it became obvious that Vervecken had suffered a mechanical problem, but he was too far away from the hill were the majority of spectators had congregated for anybody to realize that it was a broken derailleur. Vervecken slowly carried his bike to the edge of the course, ducked under the tape and stepped gracefully out of the race trying not to take the attention away from Wicks who rode cleanly the last half lap to take the win. “It was just bad luck,” said Vervecken afterward. “It happens maybe two times a year.” As he shrugged his shoulders, though, the look on his face belied his disappointment.

In the preceding women’s event, the women competitors were once again racing for a purse equal to that of the men. The two-day purse of over $6400 is believed to be the biggest prize list ever offered for a women’s cyclocross anywhere in the world. Once again it was Katie Compton (Spike Shooter) and Lyne Bessette ( who dominated the proceedings. The two were together for the first half of the race, neither able to gain and hold a substantial advantage until Compton began to pull away at about half-race. Once gone, Compton dominated to score her second consecutive victory for the weekend and the lion’s share of the purse. Behind Bessette, a race-long dual for third between two west-coasters drew the crowd’s attention. Californian Barbara Howe (Velo Bella Kona) appeared to be away for third by the end of the second lap, only to have Bend, Oregon’s Megan Elliott come out of the remains of the pack to catch her. The two were never more that a bike length apart for the remainder of the race until Howe pulled away in the last quarter of the last lap to take the final podium position.

Elite Men:
Pos Bib Name Firstname Nat Time
1 5 WICKS Barry USA 1:04:07
2 2 TREBON Ryan USA 0:17
3 7 POWERS Jeremy USA 0:30
4 3 JOHNSON Timothy USA 0:55
5 4 URBAN Malte GER 2:04
6 8 WHITE Matt USA 2:14
7 6 REAIN Greg CAN 2:14
8 9 TOULOUSE Mathieu CAN 2:21
9 16 SHRIVER Matt USA 2:36
10 12 DRISCOLL Jamey USA 3:29
11 18 JONES Christopher USA 3:42
12 10 ANTHONY Jesse USA 4:09
13 15 WELLS Troy USA 5:35
14 19 LEECH Ryan USA 5:50
15 14 MYERSON Adam USA 5:50
16 21 SCHEMPF Weston USA 6:01
17 39 DONAHUE Alec USA 6:32
18 31 TOWNSEND Jerome USA 6:38
19 26 MARZOT Toby USA 6:38
20 25 DILLON Josh USA 6:48
21 37 BATTY Mark CAN 6:53
22 36 WOLFSON Kevin USA 7:13
23 22 ST JOHN Derrick CAN 7:06
24 17 KRAUS Matt USA 1L
25 20 NEYENS Dan USA 1L
26 33 WULFKUHLE Andrew USA 1L
27 40 GILMOUR Ethan USA 1L
28 38 RUBIJONO Peter USA 1L
29 13 DOUGLAS Kyle CAN 1L
30 27 PAIR Jamie USA 1L
31 28 ROMANOW Myles CAN 1L

Elite Women:
Pos Bib Name Firstname Nat Time

1 1 COMPTON Katie USA 0:41:13
2 2 BESSETTE Lyne CAN 0:34
3 19 HOWE Barbara USA 4:24
4 18 ELLIOTT Megan USA 3:58
5 7 MILKOWSKI Anna USA 4:32
6 8 SIN Amanda CAN 5:00
7 14 ELLIOTT Natasha CAN 5:23
8 6 WELLONS Rebecca USA 5:40
9 16 TITUS HALL Marci USA 5:47
10 4 WALLACE Amy USA 6:19
11 12 MERTENS Perri AUS 6:56
12 11 ROTHFUSS Cris USA 7:27
13 15 FRASCONE Pauline USA 7:51
14 20 KENZER Alie USA 8:02
15 25 MAXWELL Jennifer USA 9:00
16 5 SWARTZ Melanie USA 9:41
17 26 KEMMERER Arley USA 9:50
18 10 WHITE Stephanie USA 10:20
19 13 VON TEITENBERG Heidi USA 11:18
20 24 BILODEAU Megan USA 1L
22 23 BAHNSON Brenda USA 1L
23 27 STEBBINS Jennifer USA 1L
24 17 MASON Beth USA 1L
25 29 PLEVA Cecelia USA 1L

Contact Information:
Whitmore’s Landscaping Super Cross Cup
Ken Getchell, Media Director: [email protected]; 610-397-1950