Jeremy Powers gets long awaited USA Cyclo-cross national title, Katie Compton powers to number eight
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Sunday, January 08, 2012

Jeremy Powers gets long awaited USA Cyclo-cross national title, Katie Compton powers to number eight

by Kyle Moore at 7:19 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross, National Championships
 
Trebon, Page round out podium; Compton nets eighth straight women’s title

Jeremy PowersJeremy Powers (Rapha Focus) powered away from Ryan Trebon (LTS-Felt) and the rest of a five-man group with two laps to race, and stayed away to take his first national title in Madison, Wisconsin.

Powers had performed well throughout the season, but has struggled with bad luck and illness leading up to the nationals in years past.  But everything came together for the 28-year-old “J-Pow” in Madison, as he crossed the line with 16 seconds in hand over Trebon.  Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) finished third, Zach McDonald (Rapha Focus) was fourth, and Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) was fifth.

“This is one of the best days of my life,” an overwhelmed Powers said at the finish.  “It is a long time coming.  There aren’t many words to describe it.”

Trebon took a solid second place after racing aggressively throughout.  The American champ in 2008 and 2006 took several hard pulls at the front of the lead group, occasionally getting a small gap before being brought back.

LTS-Felt's Trebon had gotten away briefly on the sixth of eight laps before being hauled in by Page and the rest of the lead group, and it was from this regrouping that Powers would spring his winning move.  With not as much racing in his legs recently as compared to his counterparts due to a knee injury, Trebon was pleased with his result.

“I’m actually pretty happy with second because I always felt like I was on the back foot with that group,” he stated at the finish.  “Jeremy went and I tried to go with him, and I tried to bring him back but he had more in his legs.  It was a hard race and it kept coming back together.  I’m surprised I was second, so I’m happy.  Hats off to Jeremy, he rode well.”

A hectic pace from the start on a warm Wisconsin afternoon

Trebon was out quickly but it was McDonald, fresh off of his championship in the U23 race yesterday, who got the hole-shot.  Riders settled into a fast pace, and McDonald soon began to suffer from his efforts the previous day, and dropped away quickly.

Page recovered from a sluggish start and moved to the front, drawing out Powers and Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) along with Trebon.  The men who have dominated American cyclo-cross for some time quickly established the lead group, setting up an exciting hour of racing.

The field of over 100 enjoyed temperatures near 5 degrees Celsius on a winding course that featured just two barriers.  But frozen ground from a recent cold snap meant little mud on a partially-frozen ground, and when riders weren’t covering the variety of S-curves, the pace remained high.

The group becomes 6 with 6 laps to race

Powers moved to the front of the lead bunch for the first time, just as his team-mate Chris Jones had bridged to the front.  The group of four turned into a group of six as Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) did the same.  A long and muddy false flat began to get more difficult to negotiate, and the six leaders settled into their own single-file rhythm.

With another lap ticked off, the increasingly impressive McDonald began to work his way back after his rapid fade almost from the start.  Johnson put in an acceleration and the group split into twos, the first of several split/regroup cycles that would occur in the remaining laps.

The big four move away but a tenacious youngster makes five

With four laps remaining, Jones and Driscoll were dropped for good, and Trebon pushed the pace at the front.  The only rider who had not put his nose to the wind was Page, who instead chose to cover everything.  Bike changes came rather infrequently, but Trebon attacked the long climb as several riders did take on new bikes.

Powers easily marked him and his team-mate McDonald had made it back to Page and Johnson, forming a three-man chase group.  But it was soon all back together, and it was Johnson who attacked his four mates across the line with three laps left.  Jones and Driscoll worked together in a chase, but it would prove fruitless.

No one can get away until J-Pow makes it stick

Trebon put in yet another acceleration but he was quickly covered by the Rapha Focus team-mates.  Page and Johnson slipped back, appearing as if they were marking each other out of the race.

But Page put the bit between his teeth again and got back on the front, and suddenly Trebon began to suffer from previous efforts and lack of racing.  Rapha Focus was quickly after Page but the trio sat up over the line, and the group was five again beginning the penultimate lap.

The long uphill near the beginning of the nearly eight-minute lap had seemed as if it would be decisive, and it proved to be just that when Powers hit out from the bottom.  Trebon tried but could not cover, and gaps began to open as he, McDonald, Page, and Johnson had all burned too many matches.

Powers had six seconds in hand over Trebon beginning the final lap, and it was Powers who appeared to be unquestionably the strongest.  He rode strongly but sensibly on the final lap with time to savour the long awaited win.

Compton makes it eight straight in Elite Women’s race

Katie ComptonKatie Compton (Rabobank-Giant) hit out early on the first lap, already getting a gap on the first long climb, and cruised to yet another USA Cyclo-cross championship.  From even that point, the race became a formality, and a race for second.

Katie Antonneau (Cannondale pb Cyclocrossworld.com) was second and Nicole Duke, Antonneau’s team-mate, was third.  Teal Stetson-Lee (Cal Giant Berry Farms/Specialized) finished fourth, and Coryn Rivera (Marian University) was fifth.

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