Trebon leads page early in the race. © Joe Sales

Trebon leads page early in the race. © Joe Sales

by Jacob Sisson, photos by Joe Sales and Larry Rosa

Kansas City, MO – Coming into Sunday, Kona’s Ryan Trebon had the longest odds he’s ever faced going into the national championships. Without an in-form Barry Wicks, facing a team of three powerhouse riders from CyclocrossWorld / Cannondale in Johnson, Powers, and Driscoll, and then catching a cold late in the week, Trebon wasn’t confident in his chances to take back the jersey he won two years ago. Although many racers and fans thought the Tiffany Springs Park course was tailor-made for Trebon with its hilly nature and abundant power sections favoring the tall rider’s famous horsepower, with the team tactics and recent cold, would he still be the favorite?

At the end of the day, Ryan Trebon (Kona) proved that regardless of team tactics or colds, he is the strongest male cyclocross rider in the United States by winning the 2008 Elite Men’s national championship in dominating fashion. Under cloudy skies and in frigid temperatures, Trebon put his rivals to rest and took home his second national championship and built up his confidence ahead of his trip to Europe.

The first man to hit the front of the race was 30-34 National Champion Andy Jacques-Maynes (Cal Giant Berries/Specialized), who took the holeshot ahead of the likes of Todd Wells (GT Bicycles) and heavy pre-race favorite, Jonathan Page (Planet Bike), who hit the first corner in third place. Notably absent from the front of the race was reigning champion Tim Johnson (Cannondale /

Driscoll rides to second place, the surprise of the day. © Joe Sales

Driscoll rides to second place, the surprise of the day. © Joe Sales

After the race had threaded its way through the first few corners of the race, a lead group of four had emerged off the front of the race. Trebon had coaxed out Page, Wells and Jacques-Maynes, with Johnson, Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale / and Jesse Anthony (Jamis) giving chase. Behind them, a group of four containing Jeremy Powers (Cannondale /, Chris Jones (Sonic/Jittery Joes), Jeremiah Bishop (Trek) and Barry Wicks (Kona) were hovering close, ready to rejoin the leaders if the pace stalled.

Just like that, the gas was off, and Driscoll, Johnson and Anthony clawed their way back, and as the riders hit the pavement for the first time the Powers group connected, swelling the lead group from 4 to 11 riders.

The course was fast with technical turns, but didn’t allow for anyone to just stream away from the rest of the pack.

Not being happy to ride in a big group, Wells was the first to try and shed some of the dead weight. Wells’ efforts were successful in first dislodging Bishop, then Powers, Wicks and Andy Jacques-Maynes. Powers day would go from bad to worse, as he faded from the lead group and would eventually finish in 19th place., behind 45-49 National Champion Steve Tilford.

With six laps to go, the first major attack of the day came from an unexpected source – Jesse Anthony. With Page, Trebon, Johnson and Wells looking at each other, the only man to respond to Anthony’s attack was Driscoll. Trebon was still left to do the chasing in the group behind, and was begging his counterparts to take up some of the work. As confusion in the chase group took hold, Anthony and Driscoll were able to extend their lead. With the favorites still looking around, Wicks and Jacques-Maynes were able to catch back on to the group of leaders. A rolled tire would later spoil Jacques-Maynes’ race and he would settle for 8th on the day.

Behind Anthony and Driscoll it was Wells taking up the charge after Trebon had deferred to the rest of the group. Following in Wells’ exhaust, Page and Trebon would then put in their own attacks and would put some of the group members into some difficulty. Wicks and Jacques-Maynes would again exit the group – this time for good, and the chasers would be down to Trebon, Page, Johnson and Wells. Wells seemed to be having the worst time of the group, as he would spend a good amount of time dangling off the back.

At five to go, Anthony and Driscoll sat up to allow a charging Trebon to bring them back to the chase group. Trebon, however, didn’t bring anyone up with him to the leading two and instead promptly went to the front, changing the dynamic of the race significantly. His acceleration took Anthony and Driscoll with him and split Page, Wells and Johnson into their own chase group. Trebon would keep the hammer down and eventually shoot Anthony off the back. Soon after, Driscoll would fall off as well.

Trebon was quickly increasing his lead, and the reaction from the chasers finally came from Jonathan Page, who went to the front of the group and took up the chase. Page’s acceleration dislodged Johnson, who was clearly suffering on the day. Page and Wells were now together and were rehashing old battles from last year’s national championships.

Page would eventually drop Wells in his pursuit of Anthony, Driscoll, and Trebon. However, the Kona rider was already far clear of the rest of the pack, and Page’s efforts were not enough and came too late in the race. The question now would be whether he could catch Anthony and Driscoll for silver.

Driscoll would remain within 10 seconds of Trebon until four to go, but the power of Trebon was just too much. As Trebon pounded the pedals, accelerating out of every corner, Driscoll had to focus on keeping the surging Jonathan Page at bay, assuming he could get around Jesse Anthony. Page’s attacks, the same that had gotten rid of Todd Wells, had gotten him up to Anthony, and as Wells went backwards, Anthony was caught and latched onto Page’s wheel. Page and Anthony were 11 seconds behind Driscoll as they got the sign for three to go, so the podium was still very much up in the air.

Sensing that his second place was not exactly secure, Driscoll upped his pace, and over the course of the next lap, was able to extend his advantage over Page and Anthony to 15 seconds. Page would spend the next lap doing his best to drop Anthony, and by the time they got the bell lap, he was alone in third chasing Driscoll. Trebon’s advantage looked concrete and the title was his to lose.

Elite Men's Podium, 2008 Cyclocross National Championships by Joe Sales

Elite Men's podium, 2008 Cyclocross National Championships, by Joe Sales

Behind the action at the front, Tim Johnson had slowly been working his way back up to Todd Wells. Wells was clearly paying for his efforts early in the race, and Johnson’s energy seemed to be coming back to him. As the race entered the final lap, Johnson had brought himself back up to Wells and the fight was on. Wells was forced to pit on the last lap and lost valuable time to Johnson, relegating him to a sixth place finish.

Trebon was able to put it in cruise control for the last lap of the race, and took home a commanding win and in so doing, won himself the right to wear the stars and stripes for the next year. Behind him, standout Jamey Driscoll was able to hold off Jonathan Page, who had gained some time on Driscoll over the last lap, for second place and a silver medal, the biggest surprise of the day. Page took home the bronze, and was followed home shortly thereafter by Jesse Anthony. Tim Johnson rounded out the top five, followed by Todd Wells, Matt Shriver (Sonic / Jittery Joe’s), Justin Spinelli (Richard Sachs) and Jeremiah Bishop (Trek).

Want to relive the racing action? Watch our Live Updates archive of the day’s racing here. Also see our live coverage archive, Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 reports along with our Collegiate and Singlespeed and Women’s reports from Day 4 of the 2008 Cyclocross National Championships from Kansas City.

Photo Gallery:

Full Results:

Elite Men:
1 3 TREBON, Ryan Bend, OR Kona FSA 00:04.0
2 5 DRISCOLL, James jericho, VT FiordiFrutta 28:55.0
3 6 PAGE, Jonathan Madison, WI Planet Bike 39:45.0
4 11 ANTHONY, Jesse Beverly, MA Jamis 46:39.0
5 1 JOHNSON, Tim Boston, MA 01:05.0
6 4 WELLS, Todd DURANGO, CO GT Bicycles 01:14.0
7 14 SHRIVER, Matt Salt Lake City, UT Jittery Joe’s 01:14.0
8 7 JACQUES-MAYNES, Andy Watsonville, CA Specialized/KMC pb Cal Giant 02:43.0
9 20 SPINELLI, Justin Nashua, NH Richard Sachs/RGM/Rex Chiu 02:51.0
10 9 BISHOP, Jeremiah HARRISONBURG, VA Trek/VW 02:58.0
11 19 LALONDE, Mark Madison, WI PLANET BIKE 02:58.0
12 8 WELLS, Troy Durango, CO Team Clif Bar 03:23.0
13 12 WICKS, Barry CORVALLIS, OR Kona-FSA 04:00.0
14 21 JONES, Christopher Auburn, CA Sonic/ Jittery Joes/ Louis Garneau 04:00.0
15 29 LINDINE, Justin Maplecrest, NY TARGETRAINING 04:27.0
16 23 TONKIN, Erik Portland, OR Kona FSA 04:48.0
17 121 WORAS, Solomon Winthrop, WA VANILLA 04:56.0
18 16 TILFORD, Steve Topeka, KS HRRC/Trek Stores 04:56.0
19 2 POWERS, Jeremy Niantic, CT 05:05.0
20 37 WELLS, Jake Avon, CO 05:11.0
21 18 STEVENSON, russell Seattle, WA Team Redline Bikes 05:46.0
22 33 SCHEMPF, Weston Centre Hall, PA 05:46.0
23 39 BRADFORD-PARISH, Kevin Elk, WA 05:59.0
24 34 WREN, Tyler Philadelphia, PA Colavita/Sutter Home, p/b Cook 06:08.0
25 35 GILLESPIE, Bart Salt Lake City, UT Monavie/Cannondale 06:12.0
26 42 KRIEG, sam pocatello, ID kriegcycling /Sienna/ICE 06:12.0
27 133 DECKER, CARL bend, OR Broadmark Capital 06:12.0
28 32 CAMERON, Molly Portland, OR Vanilla bicycles 06:41.0
29 117 DWIGHT, Bandon Boulder, CO Boulder Cycle Sport 06:51.0
30 40 ROBINSON, Justin Santa Cruz, CA California Giant Berry Farms/S 07:50.0
31 45 WARD, Nathaniel Albany, NY / Joe’s Garage 07:50.0
32 27 MYERSON, Adam Dorchester, MA TIME Pro Cycling 07:27.0
33 127 PAXSON, Spencer Trout Lake, WA Team S&M Young Guns 07:29.0
34 43 BABCOCK, Sean Corvallis, OR Team S&M + 1 Lap Down
36 38 KRAUS, Matt Pleasantville, NY RGM WATCHES – RICHARD SACHS – + 1 Lap Down
37 50 WITTWER, Greg Richmond, VA ALAN North America Cycling Tea + 1 Lap Down
38 55 POPPER, Benjamin Chicago, IL HRS / Rock Lobster + 1 Lap Down
39 46 IDDINGS, Ryan Seattle, WA LaPierre + 1 Lap Down
40 112 POWLISON, Spencer Boulder, CO Mafia Racing + 1 Lap Down
44 60 GOULET, Ali Salt lake city, UT Ridley Factory Team + 1 Lap Down
45 129 CHAMBERS, Cameron Overland, KS NA + 1 Lap Down
46 41 RICE, Nathan St. Louis, MO Michelob Ultra-Big Shark + 2 Laps Down
47 51 DOUVILLE, Gary Goleta, CA Platinum Racing Team + 2 Laps Down
48 66 BAILEY, John San Diego, CA Bailey Bikes + 2 Laps Down
49 74 BOUPLON, Aaron Boulder, CO Rocky Mounts / Izze + 2 Laps Down
50 2247 STOLTE, William TOPEKA, KS HRRC/Trek Stores + 2 Laps Down
51 52 KNAPP, Ryan Columbus, IN + 2 Laps Down
52 126 LLOYD, J Gabriel New York, NY Targetraining + 2 Laps Down
53 89 CARIVEAU, Jon Steamboat Springs, CO MOOTS + 2 Laps Down
54 123 123 HULICK, Kevin Portland, OR Gentle Lovers + 2 Laps Down
55 111 JOHNSON, Joshua Columbia, MO Big Shark Racing + 2 Laps Down
56 116 PARRISH, Christopher Mercer Island, WA Western Washington University + 3 Laps Down
57 36 WYATT, Nathanael asheville, NC Carolina Fatz p/b Santa Cruz B + 3 Laps Down
58 57 APPLEGATE, Andy Black Mountain, NC Kobold Watches / Cannondale + 3 Laps Down
59 72 WEAVER, Dave Towson, MD Alan N. America Cyclocross Tea + 3 Laps Down
60 79 SHAFER, brendan durango, CO Durango DEVO + 3 Laps Down
61 122 YEATER, Davy portland, OR River City BIcycles + 3 Laps Down
62 53 SMITH, Shadd Overland Park, KS TREK KC + 3 Laps Down