After a slow start to the US Cup-CX series, at least by his national champion standards, Stephen Hyde (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) put other riders on notice that he was not going to go quietly in the chase for $10,000 by winning the second day at Charm City earlier this month.
After a couple down weeks of training and recovering from illness, Hyde came into Cincinnati ready to make a mark on the new series. He did so in a big way by winning going away on Saturday at Devou Park and outlasting Gage Hecht (Alpha Bicycle – Groove Subaru) on Sunday at Harbin Park.
While Hyde was feeling like a king in the Queen City, the series leader heading into the weekend Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz / Donkey Label Racing) had a rough go in the mud at Devou on Saturday, finishing 14th and was unable to bounce back at Harbin Park, where he finished 11th.
Hyde’s success and Ortenblad’s struggles have given Hyde a commanding 405 to 335 lead over Kerry Werner (Kona Factory CX Team), who moved into second after finishing sixth and fourth in Cincy. This means Hyde merely needs to finish 25th or better to win the $10,000 prize.
Since 2015, Hyde’s lowest finish at a domestic UCI race is eighth on the first day of Jingle Cross this year. If we are going to Nate Silver the odds, Hyde has DNFed six times in his career, meaning he has finished 95% of the races he has started and Werner has won 10% of the UCI races he has entered since 2015. This roughly translates to a 99.5% chance Hyde will win the US Cup-CX overall title.
After Scott Tedro’s announcement that the prize purse will be expanded to pay the second and third finishers, the battle for second and third is very much alive. Werner currently has 20 points on Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com), who in turn has six points on Ortenblad.
Saturday’s race at the Derby City Cup in Louisville is the last race of the seven-race series. It is a C2 event that awards 70 points to the winner. Full series standings are below.
Men's US Cup-CX Standings After 6 of 7 Races