New day but same battle for the second day of the Great Brewers Gran Prix of Gloucester. Once again, Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com teammates Tim Johnson and Jeremy Powers went at it, throwing digs at each other lap after lap for that top step of the podium (and beer!). This time the victor was Johnson with Saturday’s winner Powers taking second.
Behind them, the third teammate Jamey Driscoll overcame a slow start to chase back up to third, making a clean sweep for the team.
The modified course with power sections and stronger winds including a headwind on the uphill paved section to the start/finish line was suited to a rider like Ryan Trebon (Kona), but after a fast start the tall Oregonian faded back. With Trebon currently fighting some leg issues, can anyone stop the green juggernaut? The trio is splitting up next weekend, Powers is going to UCI3 Festival in Ohio while Johnson and Driscoll are slated for the Providence races.
Once again, Powers had another blistering fast start to take the holeshot and get a few bike lengths on the field as they made their way through the twists and turns. Trebon took his spot at the front of the chase group with Johnson on his wheel and the field lined up behind. It didn’t take long for the field to splinter under pressure. The first chase group included Trebon, Johnson, Luca Damiani (Kenda p/b GearGrinder), Davide Frattini (HUDZ-Subaru) and U23 rider Valentin Scherz (Cyfac-Champion System p/b Revolution Wheelworks). Driscoll was at the front of the second group that included Tristan Schouten (cyclocrossracing.com/Blue/Rolf Prima) and Jesse Anthony (CalGiant).
One lap in, Powers had a gap of 12 seconds while the chase group were re-shuffled with Trebon going backwards and Anthony and Driscoll surging up. After a tough start to the season, Anthony is starting to hit his stride. Fast forward to the end of lap two, Johnson was now solo in second chasing hard. Behind him, Frattini, Damiani and Anthony. Another lap in and Johnson had caught Powers at the front while Driscoll had plowed through to make his way up to third spot and closing down on the pair.
Driscoll was able to make contact about four laps in but he wasn’t able to keep up with the high pace as the duo kept applying the pressure, testing each other. 20 seconds behind, the trio of Anthony, Damiani and Frattini. And there you have it, two battles, one for first and one for the fourth place.
Lap after lap, Powers and Johnson attacked each other each choosing certain sections that suited their skills, taking turns at the front trying to drop the other one. All done in silence once again. Until Johnson was able to get a few bike lengths with less than two laps to go and pushed the power on the paved section to get a gap that Powers could not close.
Behind the trio pushed the pace until Anthony could no longer hang on with one lap to go, Damiani and Frattini sprinted together with Damiani taking fourth.
Tim Johnson (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com). “Jeremy is flying right now. When he started this year he was going really well, he’s got a lot of power coming out of the corners and yesterday he just showed it the entire time and really he would have ridden away anyway in the end I think. Today we were in the same situation, we were beating up on each other. Lucky for me today, I was able to get away. To be out there and really putting the hurt on each other like that, it’s a lot of fun, it’s a lot of pain and agony at the same time but it’s a blast.”
About Driscoll surging up. “Jamey was killing those guys in the chase group behind. Jeremy and I were able to get away earlier but Jamey dispatched those guys and he was coming up on his own. He’s going to be coming up the rest of the year, I think he’s going to be really strong and it’s going to be a battle pretty much the whole season.”
About the final attack. “I had a couple of places that I was feeling pretty good at, he had a couple of places he was feeling pretty well. It’s always hard because you can’t plan for it. To go all the way to the line with someone, we haven’t really done that this year, we both ended up going solo pretty far out so we didn’t get a group to the line, I can see that happening more and more. When you start the year out some guys are going faster than others and it’s really tough to get a whole group of guys but I was expecting Ryan to be up there and really beating us over the head. I don’t know what happened today but Davide and Luca and Jesse were in the chase group. It’s funny the people that are at the front in September and October, it’s tough to stay in the front later on in the season. I don’t know what that means [for me]. (laughs)”
Jeremy Powers (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrosworld.com). “It is a little like brotherly love. Tim was taking out the beatings on me today, yesterday I was unleashing as much as I could and today was a reversal. We had a good race, we’re heading to Europe in two weeks and we want to be ready for those and so it doesn’t behoove us to be out here, lallygagging, just hanging out and shouting the breeze. So we’re taking it out on each other, trying to get the best fitness we can get for two weeks when we do the first World Cup in Switzerland.”
About his fast start. “It’s always the same, if I can get the opportunity to go to the front and open it up then I’m going to try and do it because it makes it better for me. Better opportunity if something happens, if I need to get into the pit or whatever it is. I know that I’m a quick started and I try to capitalize on that the best way I can. My legs were good today but I think overall I just have to keep on working on my starts. For Europe, again, I really want to maximize my strong points and use that to my advantage because I’m not going to be first there so it’s important for me to keep doing that and working on my best strong points. ”
Two laps to go, did you feel it getting away? “Yeah, I was just down here in this section on the off camber, I just slipped a gear and Tim had a little bit more and every time we came in onto the baseball field he had three bike lengths on me and it was just a little bit too much going into the last lap. I felt the burn in the legs, through the start/finish I was going as hard as I could. I had a drooler coming off my cheek, it was kind of a nightmare. (laughs). But no, he was riding good today, super strong so it looks good all around. No hard feelings, they’re both my teammates and it was really good to sweep the podium today.”
Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com). “I didn’t get into my pedal right off so I was maybe top 10 and I just had to work my way up and kind of saved energy which I’m pretty used to that being second or third row. I don’t know if I just plain felt better today and that was why I felt better but I wasn’t as gassed at the start and worked my way up. But by the time I got up to my teammates, or very close to my teammates, I was really gassed. Once I got there, I still didn’t have quite enough to sit on them and Timmy was not one hundred percent waiting for me.”
About his form. “I think I’m just transferring my road conditioning to cross conditioning. Even though my back hurt today, getting used to being in pain or whatever.”
Concerned about chase group behind you? “They were definitely going hard, they were switching positions and working together to keep a high pace but I noticed that I was keeping a pretty consistent time on them. I was riding a lot better than yesterday so I wasn’t too worried about that, just kept it steady out there.”
About the course and conditions compared to Saturday. “Much windier, plenty of tight, twisty sections today but there were a lot more pedaling sections which I think was better for my current abilities, Yesterday behind Trebon for example was easier in the corner but out of the corners, it was just brutal because he was just blistering fast and I didn’t have that kind of snap. Today was definitely longer drag sections and fighting the wind up here was pretty tough.”
Jesse Anthony (CalGiant). “I got boxed in at the start, I was like 25th place so I was really far back. I felt pretty good so I moved up a lot. I was just catching the chase group when Tim and those guys were splitting off the front, I was just getting on the tail when Tim went. I moved up through the group when Jamey went too so I couldn’t follow him but I still felt pretty good ad Luca Damiani was riding well too so the two of us put the pressure on for a couple of laps, Davide came with us. It was a good group, we were working well together and trading pulls throughout the race. It was a little hotter towards the end and I kind of bonked a little bit today, probably didn’t eat enough this morning. But those guys are riding great, Luca is really good in the technical sections, he was hard to follow through the corners and then both of them were really strong up the street. I’m happy to be here in the race today, I felt a lot more like myself that I have for the past two weeks.”
About his slow start to the cross season. “I’m really burned out from the road season, it’s been a tough transition and I’m taking the next two weekends off. I have a little downtime now which I desperately need. I’m glad to finish it off with a good race today, now I can at least sit on my couch happy for the next two weeks. (laughs) I’ll be back for Louisville, I’m really looking forwards to the rest of the season, psyched with the new team, I think it’s going to be fun.”
Top 10 Results (Complete Results)
1. Tim Johnson (Cannondale-CycloCrossWorld.com) 1:02:20
2. Jeremy Powers (Cannondale-CycloCrossWorld.com) 1:02:35
3. James Driscoll (Cannondale-CycloCrossWorld.com) 1:02:59
4. Luca Damiani (Kenda p/b Geargrinder) 1:03:38
5. Davide Frattini (HUDZ-Subaru) 1:03:38
6. Jesse Anthony (California Giant-Specialized) 1:04:07
7. Valentin Scherz (Cyfac-Champion System p/b Revolution Wheelworks) 1:04:36
8. Tristan Schouten (cyclocrossracing.com/Blue/Rolf Prima) 1:04:37
9. Justin Lindine (BikeReg.com / Joe’s Garage / Scott) 1:04:38
10. Jerome Townsend ikeReg.com / Joe’s Garage / Scott) 1:04:39