More great racing at last USGP race of the season at the STANLEY Portland Cup. It might have been cold and blustery outside but the racing was hot! (See photo gallery)
Nash does it again. Luna’s Katerina Nash took her sixth USGP win in Sunday, capping off a great season in the US and claimed the USGP title for the second year in a row.
“Winning the series, it’s the second time in a row, it’s the biggest series I’m racing this year, it was definitely on my list and I’m psyched.” said Nash.
Nash crashed. Now that something that had not happened in the USGP series this year. Nash has dominated the series, soloing to the win five races before the Sunday race, and everyone expected her to do the same. And it seemed to be a repeat performance on Sunday as the sun finally came out for the Elite Women’s race.
Repeating her trademark fast start, Canadian National Champion Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain-Maxxis) took the holeshot and lead the field on the motocross section with its woopty doos, climbs and off camber descents. Behind her were Alison Dunlap (Luna), Sue Butler (Monavie-Cannondale), Nash, Maureen Bruno-Roy (MM Racing/Seven), Amy Dombroski (Schlamm-Clement-Primus Mootry), Meredith Miller (CalGiant-Specialized) and Coryn Rivera (Proman).
Nash made her way to the front, hit the gas and got a gap. A chase group quickly formed with Dunlap, Sydor, Miller and Dombroski. Then it happened on the switchbacks.
“I picked a wrong line and hit this root and had to do a few adjustments on my bike before I could hop back on and ride. ” said Nash who switched bikes the next time through the pit.
The chase group quickly took advantage of her bobble.
“We came around the turn, I was with Dunlap and Sydor, I was kind of dangling off the back of those two and caught them. Almost after I caught them, we came onto Katerina off her bike and I was ‘whoa’.” said Miller.
Dunlap and Miller dropped Sydor. “I just kept the pace on, kept the pressure on and stayed on top of the power.” said Miller who dropped Dunlap to become the leader on the course.
The chasee becomes the chaser. Behind Miller, Nash started to chase, and chased hard with a determined look on her face.
“I dropped down maybe to seventh place, I definitely had to pass at least six people. It was exciting, I just kept picking people up and everything I got to a group, I was take a couple of minutes trying to rest up, trying to use some tactics, a little drafting and then go for it. I didn’t have much time, the race was so quick so I had to move pretty quickly to get all the way to Meredith. ” said Nash.
Current US National Road Champion Miller used her power to try and keep the gap. And she also used her disappointment from Saturday’s race.
“I was pissed yesterday at the finish.” laughed Miller who lost the 2-up sprint to Sydor for third. “There is some technical stuff out here that I may not be the strongest through those spots so I just knew that I needed to be the one leading through those technical sections if I could so that if I went slower, everybody else had to go slow too. And then just using the faster sections to my advantage where I could use my power.”
On the final lap, Nash caught and passed Miller to take the win. “It was an exciting race, it was super exciting. I was happy I was able to come back and put in a solid race.” Nash was awarded the Most Aggressive prize for her spirited chase.
For Miller, it was a great day.
“I had two first today, I took the holeshot which I’ve never done before and I was actually leading for the first time ever in a USGP so I was pretty stoked with that. I was like ‘wow this is kind of cool’, no matter what happens, I still accomplished something today that I hadn’t done before.” said Miller who finished second.
Dombroski finished third.
Powers finally conquers Portland. “I don’t get to race out here in Portland, I’ve never won in Portland before, this is my first time so I’m definitely psyched about it. I lost the National Championships here, I’ve lost USGP here, I’ve lost just about every single race that means anything I’ve lost in this course. It finally feels good to kick it in the face a little bit.” said Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com’s Jeremy Powers.
The sun had disappeared, the layers were going on, the temperatures dipped as the Elite Men lined up for the final USGP race of the season. On the line was the win, as KONA-FSA’s Ryan Trebon had the overall series pretty much sewn up.
2 vs 1. Showing great form, yesterday’s winner Todd Wells (Specialized) went to the front from the start to apply pressure resulting quickly in a single-file of riders as they went through the motocross section right after the start/finish. Behind him, lined up were Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com), Chris Jones (Champion Systems), Powers, Jerome Townsend (BikeReg.com/Joe’s Garage/IF), Nick Weighall (CalGiant-Specialized). A bit further back, a surprise at that, was Trebon and his teammate Barry Wicks.
Wells kept hitting the gas and soon there were only three at the front, Wells vs Powers and Johnson.
“I felt like I was pretty strong in the beginning, I felt like maybe I could get them to crack right at the start. A lot of times I find that I’m better at the beginning than trying to wait until the end to try something, I was feeling pretty good, I tried to give it a go, I got a couple of little small gaps but they’d close it back and then once we settled in, they just started attacking.” said Wells.
Johnson and Powers played off each other to hammer Wells, attacking in the faster sections but not through the technical sections.
“Anytime you try to beat someone as strong as Todd you have to pull out all the stops and luckily Jeremy and I had each other to work with. We were just trying to hit him as much as we could to try and wear him physically and to try and make sure we had any chance of making make a mistake but he was riding so well out there, I don’t think he made a mistake all day.” said Johnson.
“It was an awesome race, really exciting, we were going back and forth, those guys were attacking and I tried to counter-attack some times. With the course being so fast and a lot of drafting it was just a really fun race, fun to be a part of. ” said Wells.
“Tim and I were looking at each other and we’ve said this all year you can just tell what’s going on in other guy’s head. I messed up one lap, I had a really bad lap, my front wheel washed out in the woopty doo sections, and then I got two bike lengths and then I lost a little bit right before the pit and then coming on the road section I had to close down five seconds but when Todd is riding as well as he is, I had to bomb that section Tim was just sitting on. Finally I got there and I thought ‘I think I blew the lid here, I’m going to have to really chill out’, and luckily Todd had spent some matches too and he had to sit up and Tim had to sit up and ‘thank God’ because is anyone had hit at that point, it would have been game over for me, lights out. That was the hardest part of the race for me.” explained Powers.
And that’s how it went lap after lap, attacks, counter-attacks, screaming announcers and cheering crowds.
Taking notes. In yesterday’s race, Wells was the first one to hit the pavement for the dash to the finish line which he held to take the win ahead of Powers.
“I just knew for that last corner that I got to the front for was where it was going to go down. If I had through there then I knew it was over, that’s what Todd did to me yesterday. So I was like alright, I’m just going to play this card and it worked out.” said Powers.
Once again on Sunday, it came down to the final lap.
“I was a little confused if there was two laps to go or one to go, I was hoping it as one to go but I didn’t want to give it everything in case there was still another lap. I saw those guys starting to really punch it so I figured there was one to go, they were going for it and I tried to get in front of them. Powers got in front of me where I got in front of him yesterday, a couple bike lengths and that was the race.” said Wells.
“The last lap I just hit it as hard as I could, I got a little bit of a gap probably as we came throught the start/finish I hit it and put my head down and didn’t look back. Todd came over me about three fourths through the lap and he went through the twisty curvy and I went on the inside of him, made sure on that really hard right-hander I was at the front and he had to get off his bike because I hit pretty slow, I mean he was hitting it really fast and I went a little bit slower, got a little gap and that was it. That was how it went down, we were battling for it, I got it. I came onto the road first and that was enough, I’m really happy with the win today.” said Powers.
Powers checked on Wells’ position twice on the final dash to the line to make sure not to be ‘that guy’ before posting and celebrating his victory at the final USGP race of the season. Wells was second followed by Johnson in third. Wells was awarded the Most Aggressive prize.
Moving up. Behind them, the chase was on as Trebon was moving up but he wasn’t the only one, Adam Craig (Giant MTB) was picking riders up.
“I had a good time today, this is a fun track, it’s nice to have just cold weather here and not have to deal with riding slow in the mud and instead deal with shredding some bumpy fun stuff, hitting some jumps. This course is kickass, has good flow, it has it be stuff that you want to ride your bike on anyway even if it’s kind of a sketchy little weird cross bike instead of a big cool mountain bike.” said Craig.
Craig passed Trebon to finished fourth.
So what happened to Trebon? That was the question asked by many when Treefarm was ninth coming out of the motocross section on the first lap.
Trebon was fighting a bad case of cross guts.
“I didn’t have the best start, I’m pretty happy with the finish. I felt pretty bad yesterday from the race, I had stomach problems, I felt pretty nauseous, I had diarrhea last night and this morning so I was pretty hesitant about the start this morning at about 10:30 so I was pretty happy to make it and be able to race today. I just had a slower start, I came on there but I wasn’t really able to eat much this morning because I wasn’t feeling good.” said Trebon.
Trebon started to move up, getting around riders and closed down the gap until he just couldn’t.
“With three laps to go, I kind of cracked, I got to within 10 seconds of those guys, I just couldn’t close it. They were all riding pretty quick and then it was just ‘alright, you got to go to the finish, you got to stay in the top 10′. I was happy to finish today, I felt pretty horrible out there.” he continued.
Trebon persevered to finish fifth and more importantly win the overall USGP series for the fourth time.
“I was pretty bummed losing it last year, this is the fourth time that I’ve won it, it’s pretty good. I won for four, Tim one and Barry one so it’s pretty good.” concluded the current US National Champion.
Elite Women Top 10
1. Katerina Nash 39:03
2. Meredith Miller 39:14
3. Amy Dombroski 39:30
4. Kelli Emmett 39:49
5. Alison Dunlap 40:11
6. Alison Sydor 40:15
7. Susan Butler 40:31
8. Maureen Bruno Roy 40:34
9. Linda Sone 41:10
10. Coryn Rivera 41:37
Elite Men Top 10
1. Jeremy Powers 1:01:18
2. Todd Wells 1:01:18
3. Timothy Johnson 1:01:18
4. Adam Craig 1:02:30
5. Ryan Trebon 1:02:42
6. Geoff Kabush 1:03:12
7. James Driscoll 1:03:33
8. Christopher Jones 1:03:53
9. Daniel Summerhill 1:04:11
10. Troy Wells 1:04:11