Ryan Trebon (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld) was relaxed leading up to the 2014 Qiansen Trophy Cyclocross Race in China, but as the race neared, he was all business. He skipped the tour of The Great Wall the day before race to ride and “make the legs feel better” and come race day, he was clearly gunning for the win.
“We came here to race, not to sight-see,” Trebon explained. “I’d like to go see [The Great Wall], but work comes first. That’s what we get paid for, that’s why we show up and do the best we can.”
As the top UCI-ranked cyclocrosser entering the event (by a mere three spots over defending champion Thijs Al), Trebon was certainly one of the favorites for the win, but it would be his first race back since suffering a massive cut to his calf at the 2014 Cyclocross World Championships in Hoogerheide. The stitches have long been removed, but the scar remains.
In the end, all four of the top UCI-ranked cyclocross racers took turns at the front, and it came down to a last-lap battle between Trebon and Al.
Trebon explained his approach to the race, recalling, “I knew that guys like Thijs and Steve would be there, so I was keying my race off of what they were doing. Steve went pretty fast in that second lap and got a gap. It took me a while to find my rhythm out there but once I caught Thijs and noticed he was suffering pretty good, and I thought that maybe I don’t feel so bad. But then a lap went by and I felt like shit.”
“I put in an effort, he bridged up and in the last lap he did the exact same thing that I did to him and it worked a little better for him. At the speeds, I just couldn’t control the bike any more so I had to slow down a bit. It would have been nice to win but I’m not disappointed.”
It was a rough, hot day on the bike for everyone, and Trebon felt it. “That was one of the roughest tracks. It’s just so fast, it’s just bump bump bump all around. Some days are just rough on the body. Sometimes someone has just a little bit more.”
As for his stay in China, Trebon said, “It’s fantastic here in China. I didn’t know what to expect here…just excited to see the country. It’s different than I thought, in a good way. ”
Hear Trebon recall his race in China in the video below. See the full 2014 Qiansen Trophy Cyclocross Race report and results from China here.
Christine Vardaros contributed to this report.