Powers takes control early and wins American cyclocross championship
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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Powers takes control early and wins American cyclocross championship

by Kyle Moore at 6:15 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross, Race Reports and Results, National Championships
 
Compton makes her tenth title running look easy

Jeremy PowersJeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) broke his mold a bit on his way to a second American cyclocross national championship, as he pushed the pace early and eventually wore down Ryan Trebon (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld), who took second.

Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) was unable to give himself a chance early in the race, and by the time he consolidated a position in third, Powers and Trebon were already gone.

Powers confirmed his title with clean racing in the final few laps, while returning champion Jonathan Page (Fuji-Spyoptics) was lacking spark and could manage only sixth.

The Rapha-Focus rider had tweaked his preparation to lead to a better late portion of the season, so he was thrilled to see it all come together.

“I wanted a win so badly. It was a big goal of mine, so I said goodbye to the family after Christmas and came out to Boulder,” Powers explained after the race. “Today I had amazing legs, so it’s a day I’ll always remember. I felt very confident at altitude, and I was ready for a hard effort for an hour. I didn’t plan [to take the lead at the start], I went off instinct and it worked today.

“This one’s different than the first. I have many people to thank. I couldn’t have done it by myself. My preparation was about perfect. This was everything I could give. It’s a privilege to win. Today was the confirmation I was looking for. I feel like I have another month of this form in my legs.”

It was Powers from Shawn Milne (Keough Cyclocross) on the hole shot, and unlike his typical style, Powers kept the pace up early. Trebon was quickly around and pushing up toward Powers, and the duo took the run-up together the first time. Powers pushed to the start/finish line with Trebon in his wheel, and 20 seconds later, Allen Krughoff (Raleigh-Clement) led a large chasing group over to start lap two.

After a slow start, Johnson was back to work on the second lap, into third place and within 15 seconds of Powers and Trebon. Johnson had Page with him to help out in the chase, as hometown favourite Krughoff continued to hang in.

Powers didn’t seem content to have Trebon with him, pushing over the line and trying to force a gap with lap three underway. Johnson was over next, followed by Page and Krughoff. On the run-up and down the off-camber descent, Powers had close to five ticks on Trebon. Excessive wind made race tactics somewhat dicey, and the top three riders were all solo already on the third lap, with questions still lingering as to how Powers, Trebon, and Johnson would hold up, as well as whether Krughoff could be any help to Page as he tried to get back in it. Meanwhile, Jamey Driscoll (Raleigh-Clement) was eventually up to Page and Krughoff, but the trio still faced a deficit to the podium riders.

With three laps gone and five to go, Trebon was still just seven seconds behind Powers, while Johnson had drifted to a half-minute in arrears of Trebon. Further back, Page signaled his distress when Krughoff and Driscoll both pulled ahead of the defending champion. This chasing trio would continue to battle each other but lose ground to Johnson in third.

Trebon was still facing a solo battle with the Rapha-Focus rider ahead of him, and with two more laps gone, he was still within 15 seconds. With three to go, Johnson was still driving, but too far back from Trebon to think about a victory. Driscoll and Krughoff were still together in fourth and fifth, and once more trying to put distance on Page.

Ahead, Powers had done more work, adding more than ten seconds to his advantage on lap six, and beginning the penultimate lap, it appeared that Trebon would be fighting a losing battle. Johnson was more than a minute back of Powers, while the Raleight-Clement riders continued to work together with Page set to hand over the stars and stripes behind them.

Powers and Trebon were clean to the finish, with Johnson rounding out the top three. Driscoll and Krughoff, a relative unknown, celebrated fourth and fifth.

Katie Compton cruises to title number ten:

Katie ComptonKatie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) stretched her consecutive American national cyclocross title streak to ten on Sunday at Valmont Bike Park in Boulder, Colorado. The World Cup winner put pressure on Elle Anderson (California Giant Berry Farms) on the first of five laps and began stretching a lead from there, and the heavy favourite didn’t look back.

Her final victory came by nearly a minute over Anderson, who stayed alone for the remainder of the race, grabbing the runner up spot. The biggest battle of the day was for the bronze medal. Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry Farms) came back for that, and was ample in her post-race praise of Crystal Anthony (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies), who battled her the whole way and eventually settled for fourth.

Compton said afterward that the pressure builds as she accrues title after title.

“It feels pretty good, it is definitely hard with everyone talking about number ten. There is a little more pressure, and it builds every year,” she stated. “It was amazing, everyone was so loud, cheering whole way around. The stairs were hard. It was pretty special. I took time to take it all in and appreciate it on the last lap.

“I haven’t been at altitude, so I didn’t want to go out too hard and struggle. I may have had a slow leak in my front tire at the start, so I took a change, and felt better after that. Elle was strong at beginning.”

Compton didn’t get the quickest start, a style that she prefers, but she was at the front soon after riders began lining out in a field of more than 100, with both the elite women’s and U23 titles to be settled in the same race. Anderson grabbed the lead and pulled out a gap with Compton after the returning champion changed her bike in the first lap.

Anthony and Nicole Duke (Marin Bikes-SPY) established their own group in third and fourth on the flat and dry dirt course. Compton had a three-second lead on Anderson over the line the first time, and 18 seconds on Duke and Anthony. Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) was pursuing her second consecutive U23 title, and rode in a group fighting for fifth as lap three of five loomed.

Compton’s lead had doubled on Anderson, who had also extended on Anthony behind her. Anthony was consolidating in third place with the halfway mark approaching. Meanwhile, Miller was on the move, up to Duke on course in fourth place. Georgia Gould (Luna CHIX) utilized a run-up to pick up a few spots and approach the top five as well, as riders four through ten remained close on course.

With the top two podium places consolidating further on lap three, the third spot was being challenged, as Miller continued to push toward Anthony. Beginning the penultimate round, Compton had 37 seconds on Anderson, with Anthony and Miller more than a minute back.

Compton’s advantage was approaching a minute on the final lap, but Anderson held strong behind her. With a lap to go, Miller had nearly caught Anthony, with just a few ticks separating them. Miller attached fully on the final time up the long run-up. The Cal-Giant Berries rider challenged the Optum rider’s position once before the finish straight, but Anthony wasn’t giving ground. Miller did take the position with the finish approaching, just as Compton took her tenth straight stars-and-stripes jersey.

Anderson finished her quality ride for the silver medal, and Miller held her position after a sprint for third. Antonneau went unchallenged to retain the U23 title.

USA Cycling Elite Men’s Cyclocross Championship – Brief Results:

1, Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus)
2. Ryan Trebon (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld)
3, Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld)
4, Jamey Driscoll (Raleigh-Clement)
5, Allen Krughoff (Raleigh-Clement)

USA Cycling Elite Women’s Cyclocross Championship – Brief Results:

1, Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective)
2, Elle Anderson (California Giant Berry Farms)
3, Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry Farms)
4, Crystal Anthony (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies)
5, Georgia Gould (Luna-CHIX)

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