Jones, Trebon and Powers scored the podium spots Saturday. ©Liz Farina Markel

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — In his first race back in nearly two months, Ryan Trebon (LTS-Felt) dropped the hammer on his competition Saturday and soloed in for the win during the opening round of the Chicago Cyclocross Cup New Year’s Resolution weekend.

Trebon fired off the start line at the Hilton Indian Lakes Resort outside of Chicago, taking the holeshot and fending off a challenge from former Kona teammate Barry Wicks to control the front early in the first lap. The pair was joined in the lead by Brian Matter (Gear Grinder), then Rapha-Focus riders Jeremy Powers and Chris Jones.

Wicks slipped back into a chase group with Smartshop-Mock Orange riders Adam Myerson, Travis Livermom and Jerome Townsend. Meanwhile, Matter took over briefly on the front of the race ahead of Jones, Powers and Trebon.

After two laps down, Trebon and Jones built a small gap over Powers and Matter, with the chasing field spread out over the slow course that was covered with thick, sticky mud. Trebon soon grabbed the lead again with a surge that saw Powers react and Jones go down. Trebon’s gap initially held at 10 seconds and then quickly grew to 30, with Powers chasing in second, then Jones and Matter.

“I didn’t really want to ride that last five laps by myself,” Trebon said later. “But it was a hard course and I just seemed to have a little bit more when I was sitting down and smashing through everything. I actually really like this kind of course. It’s just a slog the whole way around, it’s like a tractor pull. For me, that’s fun.”

With three laps to go, Trebon appeared to be having a lot of “fun” as he continued to build a massive lead, while Matter had dropped Jones and started hunting Powers, who held a 10-second lead for the second spot.

Behind Jones came big gaps to Wicks, Livermon and Myerson. Matter caught Powers with two laps remaining, and the battle for second heated up. Jones looked to be solidly in fourth until he skipped a bike change and caught Matter and Powers, who both opted to grab fresh rides for the final lap.

Matter attacked the two Rapha-Focus riders but couldn’t shake them. Powers jumped next and dislodged both Jones and Matter, although it was the latter rider who seemed to suffer most, losing contact with Jones and falling back into the fourth spot. Jones caught and passed Powers, but the 2011 USGP winner had more in his legs. Powers gassed it one more time to surge back into second. Meanwhile, Matter fought back and caught Jones as the battle for third renewed.

At the finish, Trebon sailed in for a slick solo win by 1:42 over Powers in second. Jones jumped Matter for third, while Livermon slipped past Wicks in the next group to round out the top five.

Powers said he wasn’t surprised that Trebon was flying after returning from injury, but he was still disappointed at not being able to match the LTS rider’s surges.

“I think [Trebon] is feeling fresh and he’s got a lot to prove right now, having been off the bike with his injury,” Powers said. “It was a little disappointing for me to just not have enough power in the legs to go with him when he went.”

Trebon said the comeback didn’t come easy, but he’s feeling fresh and strong after a lot of hard work.

“You never want to get injured and have to take a break,” he said. “I got injured at a point when I was feeling good, when my fitness was really good. Sometimes that’s better than taking a break when you’re completely burned out… I’m glad I was able to start riding as soon as I was. Things progressed and I had a lot of help getting back. My coach really worked hard with me.”

The inaugural New Year’s Resolution is being held at Indian Lakes Country Club in Bloomingdale, Illinois, a near-west suburb of Chicago. The event, hosted by the Chicago Cyclocross Cup, will continue with a full schedule of races on Sunday, Jan. 1.

Powers said the opportunity to support more national races on the US calendar ensured his support for the Chicago weekend rather than venturing to bigger races across the pond.

“I really wanted to embrace the racing over New Year’s and try to extend the US season,” he said. “That’s been really good for US Cyclocross, and if we can build this trend of keeping races in the United States throughout Christmas, over New Year’s and towards Nationals, that’s really strong for the sport. To be here to support an event like this is numero uno this year. There was no way I was going to go to Europe or anything else, this was on the calendar from the get go.”


PHOTOS — Liz Farina Markel

News Year’s Resolution Race, Day 1
Dec. 31

Elite Men

1Ryan Trebon (USA) LTS/Felt1:04:40 
2Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha-Focus@1:42  
3Christopher Jones (USA) Rapha-Focus@1:51  
4Brian Matter (USA) Gear Grinder@2:00  
5Travis Livermon (USA) Smart Stop-Mock Orange p/b Ridl@4:00  
6Barry Wicks (USA) Kona@4:17  
7Adam Myerson (USA) SmartStop / Mock Orange Bikes p@5:26  
8Jerome Townsend (USA) Smart Stop-Mock Orange p/b Ridl@5:36  
9Sean Babcock (USA) Kona@7:33  
10Justin Lindine (USA) / Joe's Garage / Sc@9:16  
11 (-2 laps)Tristan Schouten (USA)  
12 (-3 laps)Anthony Clark (USA) J.A.M. Fund / NCC  
13Kerry Werner (USA) BMC Mountainbike Development  
14Jeffrey Bahnson (USA) Van Dessel Factory Team  
15Andrew Reardon (USA) Swiftwick Factory Racing p/b Cu  
16Daniel Miller (USA) Walt's Bike Shop  
17Isaac Neff (USA) KCV Cycling Club  
18Robert Marion (USA) Carpediem Racing  
19 (-4 laps)Colin Reuter (USA) p/b JRA Cycles  
20Scott Mclaughlin (USA) SRAM Factory  
21Richard Bardwell (USA) Cycle-Smart Inc.  
22William Street (USA) KUHL  
23Andre Sutton (Can) Hardcore Bikes  
24Michael Hemme (USA) CHICAGO.CX  
25Thomas Mackay (USA) Charm City Cycling LLC  
26Patrick Blair (USA) Adventures for the Cure  
27 (-5 laps)Eric Drummer (USA) Alberto's Sport  
28John Proppe (USA) Team Lake Effect  
29Alex Dayton (USA) SmartStop / Mock Orange Bikes  
30Alexander Vaughan-Ruiz (USA) The TEAM - SoCalCross  
31 (-6 laps)Teodoro Ramos (USA) Iron Cycles  
DNFCorey Stelljes (USA) Willy Bikes  
DNFKevin Klug (USA) The Pony Shop