After hearing so much about the Great Brewers Gran Prix of Gloucester, I was really looking forwards to the race and boy I was not disappointed. Glorious venue, absolutely beautiful weather – well okay mud would have made it perfect – and some hard bike racing. Oh and a beer truck! Really what more do you need?
In the end, with the fans riveted local Jeremy Powers (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) won the duel against his teammate Tim Johnson, another local.
“Any day I can win I’m psyched but today I’m really happy.” said Powers.
And even better, we get to do it again on Sunday.
Straight from the gun, it was on at the Elite Men’s race at Great Brewers Gran Prix of Gloucester and the expected 3 on 1 battle was taking shape with a few extra players thrown in. The three Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com riders, three New Englanders, Powers, Johnson and Jamey Driscoll on their home turf versus Ryan Trebon (Kona), from Oregon.
Trebon knew that he had a battle on his hands and he came out swinging, taking the holeshot but Powers did his trademark fast move and took over to lead the field into the sand pit. The pressure was on. Lined up behind Powers were Trebon, Johnson, Luca Damiani (Kenda p/b Geargrinder), Davide Frattini (HUDZ-Subaru) and Driscoll. The pace was high as they made their way around the numerous tight corners and up to the playground and the sand pit before coming back down to the beach front. Trebon made his way back to the front with Powers and Johnson on his wheel and the trio was off, and the 3 on 1 became the 2 on 1. That is until, Trebon endo’ed on the off camber descent after the start/finish line in a slow moving crash. By the time he came back up, Johnson and Powers were off.
The silent duel was on between the teammates, throwing everything they could at each other. You could see it in their eyes that they were not holding anything back, each wanted to win in front of family and friends. They took turns at the front until Johnson had to switch bikes in the final lap after hitting something hard. Powers kept on pushing the pedals and had time to savor his win, after a final check behind him.
But through the suffering, the teammates were having fun. “I always have fun in Gloucester.” smiled Johnson.
Once he got back on his bike after the crash, Trebon had to chase back and then had to hold off Tristan Schouten (cyclocrossracing.com/Blue/Rolf Prima) who once again was surging up. It’s only a matter of time before Schouten breaks through to a podium finish.
Valentin Scherz (Cyfac-Champion System p/b Revolution Wheelworks) finished 7th and won the U23 race.
Jeremy Powers (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com). “We all bobbled. That was just from going hard. You could see it in the rhythm when they’re just going 110 percent, we start making mistakes and guys start unclipping. It’s loose, the grass is loose on some corners, it’s really washed out, just the rocks and stuff in the corner made it, no one that I saw all day didn’t put their foot down.”
About his fast start. “It was hard. It was just one of those things where I knew that this section was going to be really important and I just didn’t want to get into any crashes. I know that Ryan is strong on the bike but I remember one time I let Barry Wicks get in front of me on the sand section at a USGP in Kentucky the day after I won and he ate it, I was like Bary is strong in the sand but he ate it, it was just one of those things. That section I was nervous about, I was nervous for myself but also for the other guys, it’s just a hard ting to control when your adrenaline is flowing like that. I just wanted to get to that first and I just did the Jeremy Powers first lap as hard as I could go. I turned back and Ryan and Tim were both there and I was like ‘whoa it’s going to be such a hard day’. Ryan came by me as if I was standing still.”
About dueling with Johnson. “We didn’t say one word to each other, we were really taking it out on each other all day. I was like ‘this isn’t going to feel good tonight, or tomorrow or the next day’” (laughs).
About the final laps. “I came by Tim in the pit with one and a half laps to go and then we came through here [top section]. I did a really hard pull, and then we came back down. He went into the pit and I looked back and I was ‘okay Tim is in the pit’ I don’t know, it was weird, I didn’t know what to do, like ‘okay Tim is in the pit now so… I don’t know’. So I just kept on motoring, I had to put myself in his shoes. If I had been in Tim’s shoes, I wouldn’t have been ‘oh Tim wait for me’ and so I just went for it. I would have rather kind of sprinted for it and have that last lap be just intense suspense but it’s all good either way and we’ll have another one tomorrow. I’m happy being able to win Gloucester again. I love this win that I had in 2007 the most, probably my favorite win because I sprinted against the German National champion that year, I came out onto the pavement and won. I have a good memory of this place.”
Tim Johnson (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com). “Jeremy was flying out there again. He had a great start, he was killing it. After about 40 minutes, it gets to the point where we’re both really waiting for the other one to crack and neither of us did. That was a good time for both of us.”
Doing it again tomorrow? “I don’t know. Ryan is riding pretty well, it depends what they do with the course. Today was really twisty and turny, lots of little accelerations. Ryan actually surprised me with his first two laps, he was really going good, I thought he was going to have a harder time. If it’s wide open, Ryan is going to be there and he’s going to be there for a lot longer, we’re going to have our hands full. He was nice enough to crash today and take himself out (laughs). And it was so funny, he kept on going down, and he kept crashing and crashing and crashing, and his bike kept going and going, and I kept trying to go around him and I couldn’t get around him until I eventually just stopped and let his bike fall.”
About the final lap. “I had a small mechanical. It was unfortunate that I hit something really hard. Up until then it was a great race, we were out there flying, the two of us were having a blast actually. Having a blast as much as we were beating the crap out of each other. I don’t know if you could see that but it was brutal, we were hitting each other left and right. We’re out there, we’re racing with Ryan, we’re racing with Jamey, trying to get the most of Gloucester and it was definitely giving it back to us.”
Ryan Trebon (Kona). “Those guys were just riding a bit faster. I was able to get back on them. It’s a hard course, all these really slow little off camber 180s. I’ve just got a big body to get around them. Those guys are obviously riding a little bit faster.”
About his crash. “It was a weird crash, I just couldn’t get away. Normally when you fall you and you try to get up but my bike wouldn’t let me go, it was chasing me, I was trying to get away from it but it was flying in the air, hitting Tim. I don’t know. It was about five laps to go. It was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen.”
About his leg problem. “I was having some neuro-muscular stuff with my left leg and it’s getting better. I was getting fatigued, just tired in general with about 3 laps to go. I could feel just a little bit weaker but it didn’t bother me that much. The first half of the race I was fine, I was feeling good. One small mistake and those guys got away. I tried to close it and maybe I spent too much energy and that was it.”
Concerned about Schouten? “I was obviously suffering a little bit, the gap was going to the leaders and I was like ‘oh shit, you have to get third place at least’. It happens. I was riding certain sections faster and he was riding the technical stuff faster. It was okay.”
Ready for 3 on 1 again on Sunday? “We’ll see. (smiles) Probably. Luckily Tristan is riding pretty well so maybe he can ride with us. I don’t know, we”ll see.”
Top 10 Results (Complete Results)
1. Jeremy Powers (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) 1:01:58
2. Tim Johnson (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) 1:02:12
3. Ryan Trebon (Kona) 1:03:00
4. Tristan Schouten (cyclocrossracing.com/Blue/Rolf Prima) 1:03:18
5. Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) 1:03:41
6. Davide Frattini (HUDZ-Subaru) 1:04:09
7. Valentin Scherz (Cyfac-Champion System p/b Revolution Wheelworks) 1:04:40
8. Justin Lindine (BikeReg.com / Joe’s Garage / Scott) 1:04:48
9. Derrick St John (Garneau Club Chaussure Ogilvy) 1:05:05
10. Jesse Anthony (California Giant-Specialized) 1:05:23