Showing that last weekend’s hat trick at Jingle Cross was definitely not a fluke, Specialized’s Todd Wells outsprinted Jeremy Powers (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) to take the win at day 1 of STANLEY Portland Cup. ( See Photo Gallery).
Wells who started his cross season late seems to have time his peak perfectly with the upcoming US Cross Nationals next week, we’ll know soon enough.
“Coming into today, I really wanted to have a good race and this is similar to Nationals, a one day race, no race before so I really wanted to see how it would go today.” said Wells. “It feels pretty good to win definitely. I’m hoping for Nationals, that’s always my goal but who knows, a one day race anything can happen.”
Wells and Powers battled together for the final two laps until Wells got in front before the technical section and stayed there until the finish.
“Todd was better, I think I was riding a little bit stronger and Todd was riding a little bit cleaner. It’s how it goes, another day another race.” said a shivering Powers after the race.
USGP leader Ryan Trebon (KONA-FS) finished third after crashing and getting gapped but retained the jersey with one race to go.
Hot, hot, hot. The sun was out for the Elite Men’s race which started off fast and never really slowed down. Straight from the gun, Canadian Geoff Kabush (Rocky Mountain-Maxxis) took the holeshot with Trebon coming to the front to set the pace as the field hit the motocross section. Behind the US Cross Champion, the lineup included Powers, Kanush, Trebon’s teammate Barry Wicks, Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com duo of Tim Johnson and Jamey Driscoll and Wells.
Trebon had one goal today and that was to keep the USGP leader’s jersey so he went straight to front and hit the power. On the second lap, a gap was formed with Johnson and Driscoll falling behind, and that was enough for Trebon to keep the gas on as the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com teammates were his threat to the overall.
“I wanted to stay at the front and then I saw that we had a gap back to Tim, I really wanted to force it open, that way I could gain more points for the series. My first goal is just to establish a good gap to those guys and then I took two laps to try and recover but I burned a lot of matches early on. If I would have raced a little differently, I could have probably better but I’m happy enough with today, my legs felt pretty good.” said Trebon.
On the second lap, a lead group of four was formed: Trebon, Wells, Powers and Kabush. With seven laps to go, the gap was 7 seconds and growing to the chase trio of Johnson, Driscoll and Chris Jones (Champion Systems).
Trebon did most of the pacesetting for the next laps to make sure that Johnson and Driscoll could not catch up.
“Not to force it,” said Powers about his strategy in the lead group at the beginning, “and let Tim and James get up there, I didn’t know what happened so I was just waiting, hoping that those guys were on their way. Todd and Ryan were smashing and I was ‘well I hope that Tim shoots across’, he’s been doing that all year so I was certain he was going to be there. He didn’t show and I had to watch those guys firing shots to my detriment.”
Wells was waiting to make his move. “I wanted to have a time where I felt really rested and be able to really nail it but Trebon kept the pressure the whole time so I never had time to fully recover where I could really open it up.”
Then disaster struck for Kabush as he rolled a tire just after passing the pit so he had to fix it himself and continue on the lap until the next time through the pit. That was enough to make it three at the front.
The trio at the front kept hitting each other, forcing bobbles and small gaps would form and then get closed down.
“Someone would make a mistake in a corner and it would yo-yo so instead of doing one big attack I tried to just keep the pressure on and hope that those guys would just make some mistakes.” said Wells.
“Those guys fired off shots and Ryan bobbled or something happened and then I got gapped off 10 seconds, I was like ‘shit now I have to do a lap that’s ten seconds faster than these guys are doing it’ and these guys are going ballistic. So I’m thinking how am I going to do that? I did it, I got back on, then Ryan bobbled again, so I had to go around him. So I went around him and got to Todd and it was just too many…. ” said Powers.
Man down. Trebon fell on the runup with three laps to go. “I was getting back on my bike and Todd shoved his bike in there…”
Wells jumped in “come on buddy, you kicked my rear wheel.”
Trebon agreed. “Yeah I kicked his wheel, I just didn’t know he was that close, I kicked it and I ended falling on my bike. That didn’t cost me a lot of time but it kind of threw my off my rhythm and I was making small mistakes. That’s where Todd got away and it took me awhile to get my shit together, it happens.”
Two left, Wells and Powers who were setting lap times of 6 minutes. Crunch time on the bell lap.
“I got a small gap towards the end, I had Powers off a little bit and he brought me back on the pavement, I was turning myself inside out to keep him off and we got back together and I was just able to get in front of him before the technical bit and just hold him until the end.” said Wells.
“I ended closing twenty seconds to those guys in the last three laps. I’m not disappointed, I ended losing by only three bike lengths, another race it would have been a different outcome. ” said Powers.
Trebon finished third and increased his lead in the series. “I rode pretty hard early on but I accomplished what I was looking forwards to today. If I wasn’t able to win the race I wanted to make sure I was able to hold on to the series.”
Johnson came in fourth followed by Driscoll.
Most Aggressive Ride. U23 rider Zach McDonald (Stevens) started dead last, bib number 84 to quickly make his way through the field to finish tenth overall, and second in the U23 race behind Danny Summerhill.
“I just wanted to start really fast and get back up to the front because if you get stuck in the back you have to get around a lot of riders and you have to waste a lot of energy. So I started pretty hard and then just tried to settle in and just pick riders up one by one, it’s a long race usually 20 or 30 minutes than my races last year so I just figured sit in and some people might burn out, some might not and take off wherever I can.” said McDonald who was awarded the SRAM Most Aggressive prize. McDonald is the current Jr National Champion.
Nash continues at USGP. Luna’s Katerina Nash took her fifth solo USGP win but Amy Dombroski (Schlamm-Clement-Primus Mootry) came a close second. Canadian Cross Champion Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain-Maxxis) won the 2-up sprint for third.
Nash is close to successfully achieving her first major goal of the season, winning the USGP, then she’ll focus on the World Championships in January. “The Worlds is a big goal and winning USGP was another goal and that’s looking really solid for me so wish me luck tomorrow.”
The sun was finally shining after a grey morning just in time for the Elite Women’s race. Once again as she had done in many previous races, Canadian National Champion Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain-Maxxis) took the holeshot and led the field the first time over the rollercoaster (aka woops). But Nash took another line to come to the front and increased the pressure.
“It’s always hectic at the start and then we go into that slippery section and everyone’s everywhere, tripping over people, it’s like playing twister out there that first lap.” said Dombroski.
Once again Nash separated herself from the field but this time Dombroski and Sydor went with her.
“I was on Sydor’s wheel and I kept noticing that little gaps were opening up so in the pit area, there’s a straight section so I just tried to get on Katerina’s wheel.” said Dombroski.
And she was right, Sydor faded back to the chase group and to battle for third.
Dombroski stayed on Nash’s wheel as long as she could, but with three laps to go, there was a gap of five seconds between the two.
“I was there for awhile, I kept opening up gaps on her, I think I faded a little bit there maybe halfway through and then I got a second wind. I was actually open for a couple more laps actually, the race went by so fast because at the end, I was like ‘okay I have another two laps to work with’ but it was only one lap and I was ‘shoot’.” said Dombroski.
Nash rode cleanly and kept the gap to claim another solo victory, her fifth USGP wins and her stronghold on the leader’s jersey.
“Katerina is really strong and I was happy to be that much closer to her, definitely every weekend it’s getting better and better.” said Dombroski.
Battle for third. Meanwhile the battle for third was on between Sydor, Meredith Miller (CalGiant) and Alison Dunlap (Luna).
“Alison and Meredith were definitely physically stronger than me, I felt really good technical and I knew I had an advantage there but with those two riders attacking each other really I was just hanging on for dear life.” said Sydor.
Then Dunlap flatted on the final lap which gave Sydor a chance to catch up to Miller. Sydor used her strong technical skills to get in front before the technical sections.
“The first time through the pit zone, I led from there through to the finish, I knew that was more my strengths, trying to get time in the corners so she couldn’t catch back on on the straights. But she was super strong, so was Alison Dunlap. In one way sometimes that’s what cyclocross is, just hanging on, you never know until it’s over, who crashes, who flats and in a way I was hoping that they would have a problem and as it was, Dunlap flatted and that opened the door for me.” explained Sydor.
Elite Women Top 10
1. Katerina Nash (Luna)
2. Amy Dombroski (Schlamm p/b Clement & Primus Mootry)
3. Alison Sydor (Maxxis/Rocky Mountain)
4. Meredith Miller (Cal Giant Berry Farms/Specialized)
5. Alison Dunlap (Luna)
6. Kelli Emmett (Giant)
7. Sue Butler (Monavie-Cannondale)
8. Linda Sone (Planet Bike)
9. Barb Howe (Vanderkitten)
10. Maureen Bruno-Roy (MM Racing/Seven)
Elite Men Top 10
1. Todd Wells (Specialized)
2. Jeremy Powers (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com)
3. Ryan Trebon (Kona/FSA)
4. Tim Johnson (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com)
5. Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com)
6. Chris Jones (Champion Systems)
7. Danny Summerhill (Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin)
8. Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain)
9. Barry Wicks (Kona/FSA)
10. Zach McDonald (Stevens/Classic Cycles)
Complete results here