Powers wins a thriller ahead of Trebon

By Patrick O’Grady

Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) proved the strongest of a tough five-man group on Sunday, biding his time, surviving the attacks and then making his own successful bid for victory in the elite men’s U.S. cyclo-cross championship in Madison, Wisconsin.

“This is one of the best days of my life,” said Powers after taking the win ahead of Ryan Trebon (LTS-Felt) and Jonathan Page (Planet Bike). “It’s been a long time coming. I’m on top of the world. I can’t describe how I feel right now.”

Runner-up Trebon said he was “actually pretty happy with second today.”

“I was never comfortable out there,” he said. “Jeremy went and I tried to go with him and I just didn’t have it. Hats off to Jeremy.”

Zach McDonald (Rapha-Focus) led the 108-man field into the softening 2-mile course at Badger Prairie State Park. Dylan McNicholas (Cyclocrossworld.com) was next to take the lead and then Trebon took over, powering up the first long climb with McNicholas on his wheel.

Trebon put some daylight between himself and McNicholas as the first lap unfolded in 40-degree temps with a light wind. Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com), Page and Powers were in striking position.

Page worked his way forward and slipped past Trebon into the lead on the tacky circuit, with perhaps three seconds’ advantage over the big man as they finished the first lap. Seven more remained.

Powers slotted into second behind Page in the early going on lap two, while Johnson tacked onto Trebon’s wheel.

Powers was next to take the front of the four-man group. Chris Jones (Rapha) and Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale) joined them just past the barriers.

Powers attacked as the two chasers linked up, and Page responded, followed by Johnson. Behind, McNicholas cracked and went backward.

Powers, Page, Johnson, Jones, Trebon and Driscoll hit six laps to go and started battling. Jones and Driscoll were having trouble staying in contact.

Past the pits Trebon gave it some throttle but Page stayed with him. Johnson was a few bike lengths behind with Jones marking him.

Five laps to go: Trebon led the six-man group through the finish line and back into the mud, where Page took over before pitting for a fresh bike.

Johnson put his nose in the wind on the rolling section leading to the barriers, then goosed it. He strung the group out into a long line going past the pits — running disc brakes mean fewer pit stops — and Page latched on for the ride.

Trebon was next to join the party, followed by Powers, and it was a four-man lead group hitting the pavement with four laps to go.

Then Page bobbled in traffic just before the pits and Trebon punched it, skipping the pits as Johnson swapped bikes and charging up the subsequent climb, chased by Powers.

Johnson was three seconds back as Powers, Page and McDonald chased a couple seconds further back. But the five-man group reformed with Trebon on the sharp end and driving.

Three laps to go: Johnson attacked the group going through the start-finish. Powers, Page and Trebon responded, as did McDonald. They caught him just before the pits, and Powers slipped to the back of the group on the backside climb after switching bikes.

Trebon kept twisting the throttle, tying to shed riders. The Rapha men and Page stayed with him, but Johnson was gapped and chasing as the leaders passed the pits.

Then Page threw down an acceleration of his own, adding insult to Trebon’s injury. Powers covered, and it was a three-man group hitting the pavement with Trebon just behind, trailed by Johnson.

The group reformed going into the penultimate lap, thanks to a tailwind on the tarmac, and Powers took the front. Trebon was just behind with McDonald on his wheel.

Then, past the pits, Powers accelerated and rode away from Trebon on the backside climb. The other three were caught out, and the Rapha rider took a three-second advantage over the big man. Page was six seconds down, trailed by McDonald, then Johnson.

The five-man group was now a case of every man for himself, each separated by just a few seconds. The gaps increased on the final climb before the descent to the tarmac, Powers a handful of seconds up on Trebon with Page behind and losing ground.

Powers was alone with one to go. Trebon was six seconds down with Page third at 10 seconds.

The Rapha rider skipped the pit next time around, drilling it up the hill with a frantic Trebon just behind. But Trebon was losing ground — as Powers hit the barriers for the final time Trebon was nine seconds down, with Page just behind.

Powers kept it silky smooth on the final go-round, and Trebon couldn’t close the gap. Powers hit the pavement alone and — in typical Powers faashion — started his celebration long before the line. Trebon held on for second at 17 with Page third at 26 seconds.

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6 Responses to “Powers wins a thriller ahead of Trebon”

  1. James Says:

    Patrick….your commenting was 1,000,000 times better than the dudes who were doing so on the USAC website.

    Maybe you should wander down the street tomorrow and tell them that you will do it for plane fare and whiskey in L’ville next weekend.

    By the way, I like the new site but what are you going to do when the CX season ends?

  2. Arnold Stonehouse Says:

    Yes I must admit that the live streaming announcers were vociferous and passionate. And all had voices made for silent films. Am I being too harsh? Just trolling? Well the first thing I did (and I watched both races end to end) was to turn down the volume on my speakers. And it STAYED turned down. But the caliber of competition more than compensated fro the lack of “dulcet tones” from the announcers. And they were excited so all is not lost. BTW love the VeloNoise thing. Your long experience in race reporting shines through clearly. Form one “old dog” to another Good one!

  3. Larry T. Says:

    You can tell it’s a US announcing squad by the HIGH DECIBEL HYBERBOLE. It’s like the old drag racing joke, “SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY!!! SUPERCHARGED TOP FUEL DRAGSTERS GOING 200 MPH! BE THERE!” I turned the sound off for most of it and each time I turned it back on it was the same screaming commentary. In the high-tech future I wish they’d come up with two audio channels – one ambient sound only, the other with Heckyl and Jeckyl’s commentary. Nice write up and it’s great to see VeloNoise’ debut.

  4. Larry T. Says:

    http://rouleurmagazine.wordpress.com/
    for some interesting commentary on the, well, COMMENTARY on this race.

  5. Rouleurs and Stooges and ’cross, oh my! « Mad Blog Media Says:

    […] of the site Larry T., commenting over at VeloNoise, directed me to a witty review of cyclo-cross commentary American style by his pals at Rouleur […]

  6. BenS Says:

    Geezerness tends to reduce tolerance for extraneous noise of all kinds (pleas don’t tell my wife). And like Larry I wish for two channel audio when witnessing a ‘professional’ sports event. (Come on charge extra for the silence!)

    But really the interesting point in the Rouleurs article is this:

    “Can a compact crowd of colourful, cowbell-wielding whoopers create as much atmosphere as tens of thousands of grey-clad, beered-up, smoking Belgians? We intend to find out.”

    Umm anthropology and Cross now there’s a combination for the thinking crazy man. Really Patrick you are the man to go cover that story.

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