Powers took the win, putting him ahead of Trebon after Day One. © Amanda Wakeling

Powers took the win, putting him ahead of Trebon after Day One. © Amanda Wakeling

by Grant Berry

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY – In February 2013, cyclocross fans from around the globe will have their attention turned to Louisville, Kentucky, for the World Elite Cyclocross Championships. Today was one giant step towards that event, as the course designers and staff that descended on the Eva Bandman Cyclocross Park in northwestern Louisville stepped up their game and started to show that the venue and the terrain that the park has to offer is worthy of challenging the best cyclocross racers in the world in their fight to earn the coveted rainbow stripes.

When asked how this course compares to Louisville courses of years past, as well as courses in Europe, Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) put it this way: “I think this course is definitely a World’s quality course … The new transitions are difficult and are similar to Europe, where the course dictates who is better on the day and helps force the selection and who does well.”

Tim Johnson agreed: “The course this year is much more similar to Europe than in year’s past. It is getting to the point where it is going to be good for Worlds.”

The fans and the community of Louisville have made it clear that they love and support cyclocross. Whether it is the World Championships for Masters or Elite riders, a stop on the USGP of Cyclocross National series or a local event, the fans and riders come out and contribute to the sport for the better.

Former World Cup winner and Belgian national champion Ben Berden (Ops Ale – Clement) grabbed the holeshot when the men hit the course for their race. He was closely followed by Ryan Trebon (LTS-Felt), Rapha-Focus teammates Chris Jones and Jeremy Powers, Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld), Barry Wicks (Kona), Todd Wells (Specialized Factory Racing), Geoff Kabush (Rocky Mountain) and Danny Summerhill (Chipotle).

After lap one was complete, Trebon, Jones and Powers had already forced a separation as the chase group led by an aggressive Summerhill tried to keep the gap at a minimum. Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) was overcoming a poor start, attempting to make contact with this group.

On lap three, Jones threw his hat in the ring, and launched an attack to try and set up Powers, but Berden and Trebon were having none of it, as they closed it down quickly going into one of the sand pits. Once the leading four were back together, Trebon wasted no time in whittling the group down as he forced a gap and dropped Jones immediately. Berden and Powers worked together to chase down the attack, and they all were back together as they hit the pavement entering lap four.

The chase group came through at 10 seconds back, with Summerhill and Wells leading the charge. Johnson and Troy Wells (Clif Bar) had also made contact with this group, with Johnson quickly surveying the situation and taking the chase into his own hands by going directly to the front.

At the end of lap four, Trebon and Powers were alone at the front after Berden lost contact in the off-camber section, setting up yet another duel between the friendly rivals. With three to go, the gap had swollen to 25 seconds, and Johnson had now set off solo to try and make contact with the two leaders. Trebon seemed to be on the better day of the two as he was regularly taking long pulls, causing Powers to grit his teeth and yo-yo a bit in the big man’s wake.

Johnson was clearly determined, as with two laps to go he closed the gap to 12 seconds and looked to be giving himself the chance to earn his first victory of the season. Kabush had also attacked out of the chase group, and lingered 10 seconds behind Johnson.

All four men entered the bell lap as they had the previous lap, and Trebon continued to lead through the barriers, with an up-and-over flyover. They would remain this way until Powers dove to the inside on a 180-degree corner in the woods where Trebon took the wide line. As the pair weaved their way through the tacky and technical turns, all of the spectators ran to line the barriers on the finishing straight, as it looked like it was going to come down to a sprint.

The sprint was not to be, as Trebon lost his chain while trying to shift down to a harder gear in the somewhat bumpy last corner that spits the riders out onto the pavement. Powers sailed across the finish line with his arms raised as Trebon bowed his head in defeat.

“It wasn’t pretty, but I took the inside line for the lead when Ryan went wide,” Power said. “It was really the last place to pass. After that, I was going way too fast and overcooked a couple corners but held on for the win. I am really happy about this one.”

Trebon gave his side of the story: “I felt really good today, and felt on top of my bike handling and raced well until the last 500 meters. I thought it was perfect; I’ll just sit on his wheel and wait for the sprint. We came around that last 180 (degree) corner, and Jeremy was five feet in front of me … I was going for it, and going through the gears too fast maybe and lost my chain. It happens … totally my fault and a little frustrating, but Jeremy was riding well and I enjoyed racing him close.”

When asked, Trebon summed it up simply: “I always give 100 percent. Tomorrow is another day, and I hope I have the great legs I had today, and can compete for the win.”

Find out more about the women’s race, which was fast and furious as well, with Katie Compton taking the win.

Results below the gallery.

2011 USGP Derby City Day 1 Men

1POWERS JeremyRapha-Focus56:52:00
2TREBON RyanLTS-Felt56:55:003
3JOHNSON TimothyCannondale-CyclocrossWorld.c57:19:0027
4KABUSH GeoffTeam Maxxis-Rocky Mountain57:38:0046
5SUMMERHILL DanielChipotle Development Team57:47:0055
6DRISCOLL JamesCannondale-cyclocrossWorld.c57:48:00s.t.
7WELLS TroyTeam CLIF BAR57:55:001:03
8JONES ChristopherRapha/Focus57:55:00s.t.
9MCDONALD* ZachRapha/Focus58:24:001:32
10SCHOUTEN TristanISCorp58:24:00s.t.
11MATTER BrianGear Grinder / Clif Bar58:25:00s.t.
12MCNEELY* EvanEMD Serono-Specialized59:00:002:08
13WELLS ToddSpecialized59:10:002:18
14WICKS BarryKona59:11:00s.t.
15LINDINE / Joe's Garage59:16:002:24
16TOWNSEND JeromeSmartStop / MockOrangeBikes pb 59:54:003:02
17HOKE Mitchellteam Clif Bar59:55:00s.t.
18ECKMANN* YannickPearlizumi/Shimano59:58:003:06
19BATTY MarkSpiderTech Powered By C101:00:013:09
20SCHOOLER AaronTeam H&R BLOCK - Sri Importing1:00:063:14
21HEULE ChristianCannondale pb CyclocrossWorld.c1:00:103:18
22WINTERBERG LukasPhiladelphia Cyclocross School1:00:163:24
23KNAPP RyanBob's Red Mill Cyclocross1:00:253:33
24LIVERMON TravisSmart Stop-Mock Orange p/b Ridl1:00:283:36
25MULLER* LukasPhiladelphia Cyclocross School1:00:333:41
26KAISER* CodyCalifornia Giant Berry Farms/Sp1:00:463:54
27STAFFORD* JaredRide With Rendall1:00:544:02
28DURRIN JeremyJ.A.M. Fund / NCC1:01:064:14
29ALDERS Bryan1:01:104:18
30WOODRUFF TravisTrek Bicycle Store - Boulder1:01:154:23
31MYERSON AdamTeam Mountain Khakis presented 1:01:214:29
32KERSTING MitchellBob's Red Mill Cyclocross1:01:404:48
34LASLEY JacobTeam Soundpony1:01:535:01
35KAPPIUS BradenTeam Clif Bar1:02:025:10
36SCHMALZ* JosephKCCX1:02:085:16
37WELLS JakeStan's NoTubes Elite Cyclocross1:02:175:25
38DALLE ANGELINI GiancarloRio Blanco1:02:235:31
39FAWLEY BryanORBEA USA1:02:315:39
40MCCONNELL MarkSynergy Racing1:02:566:04
41REARDON AndrewBob's Red Mill Cyclocross Team1:03:046:12
42FISH* KevinKCCX/Fuji Presented by Challeng1:03:356:43
43FYFE WillBirmingham Bicycle Co1:04:057:13
44LUZADDER* WestonNUVO1:04:127:20
45ADAMSON ShaunCycle-Smart1:04:157:23
46MILLER DanielTeam Seagal1:05:148:22
47JOHNSON* JoshBikeReg.com1:05:388:46
48GEROW* DanielWolverines/ACFSTORES.COM1:06:079:15
49PARMELEE MarkCycletherapy1:06:179:25
50PREBLE* KolbenClif Bar Development Cyclocross@1Lap
51BERGEY* GunnarC3 Athletes Serving Athletes@1Lap
52ALLEN Matthewbehind bars/ little guy racing@1Lap
54LARSEN ChrisINDUSTRY NINE/Youngblood Bicycl@1Lap
55STREET BillKuhl Midwest Regional MTB-CX Te@2Lap
DNFBERDEN BenOps Ale - Clement
DNFOMER* ClaytonBobs Red Mill Cyclocross
DNFCOLE BradKCCX Fuji p/b Challenge Tires
DNFWYATT NathanaelCarolina Fatz Cycling Center pb