Finally. Not only did Ryan Trebon (Kona) get his first win of the season but along with his teammate Barry Wicks he delivered a 1-2 for his Kona team at the Panther Stampede presented by Darkhorse Racing, day 1 of the UCI1 Cincinnati Cyclocross Festival.
“It’s been awhile.” Trebon said about finally winning. After seeing the Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com team dominate the races so far this season, the Kona boys came back strong today on a course well-suited to their strengths.
“Reverse the odds a little bit, it’s good.” Trebon smiled. Wicks had a strong ride to finish second.
After battling with Trebon for half the race, Jeremy Powers (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com), who was feeling the heat, with temperatures hitting the mid-80s, faded back to finish third.
“I was leaking oil all day, it was just so hot. Not a great day for me on the bike, the legs weren’t awesome.” Powers said.
The race followed the expected scenario with Trebon and Powers going off fast and getting a gap on the rest of the field. The unexpected was the hot weather, clouds of dust rising from the bowl in Devou Park and the hard course with lots of ups and downs and off cambers.
One lap into the race, the pair was off with each using skills to try and drop the other. Powers would ride the inside line over the railroad ties where Trebon struggled while Trebon used his power and mountain-bike skills to come around on the ups and downs.
The Trebon-Powers duo kept on battling with Powers stopping to grad a water bottle every lap as they went through the pits. Wicks was moving steadily up, looking very strong and smooth, finally making it to third. Behind them, lots of shuffling and re-shuffling between Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain), Ryan Knapp (BikeReg.com), Brian Matter (GearGrinder), Troy Wells (Clif Bar) and Chris Jones (Rapha-Focus).
With four laps to go, Trebon moved away from Powers who was obviously struggling and not finding his rythm. That was enough for Trebon to solo to the win.
Powers dropped back to Wicks’ wheel with less than three laps to go and then further back. Once again, Powers stopped in the pit for a water bottle but was faced with the UCI rule of no feeding with two laps to go. He had to put a foot down while he engaged in a discussion with the official. After a few seconds, Powers clipped back into the race and had to motor with Kabush chasing hard behind but was able to hold third place.
Best ride? Another rider had a great ride on Friday. Due to some issues, Jake Wells (Hudz-Subaru) started on the last row, almost the last rider to be called up and motored his way up to finish 9th overall. A few laps into the race, he had moved up to ride with Wes Schempf (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) in tenth place.
With two laps to go, he came around Schempf to get his final 9th. And he is expecting to start in his rightful spot on Saturday.
“That’s what the UCI lady told me.” Wells replied with a smile when asked if he would start in the 2nd row.
Ryan Trebon (Kona). “Everybody has issues and it’s just one of those things you have to deal with. Last weekend I wasn’t that good and those guys were riding fast, some of those courses just suit people better. I think Powers was suffering a bit in the heat today and Barry rode a really strong race and just kept it steady. He was like the same gap to me pretty much the whole race.”
About the competition with Powers. “We have this little holeshot competition going, it’s fun because why not? Why sit in? If it’s going to be the two of us at the front, why sit in? We go to the big races in the US and in Europe, those guys aren’t giving you any space. The harder you’ll learn to start, the better you will do over there. E just went and rode together.”
About his difficulty riding the railroad ties. “My bike is just that little bit longer than everybody else. My rear wheel gets on top, my front wheel goes, it’s really awkward for me. And just can’t ride it as well, it happens. I started running it the last couple of laps just to save a little bit and not make a mistake because I was really wacking the rear wheel and I was worried about flatting.”
About dropping Powers. “I don’t know what happened. When we slowed down, I was just riding real hard tempo, I think he was hurting. He was feeding every lap, I didn’t feed at all, it’s just hot, just sweat it out, I have enough water inside of me to last.”
About the course. “It’s just hilly man, lots of big hits, rocks and roots, it was hard. It’s a rough course to ride all day long. I’m sweating like crazy.”
Barry Wicks (Kona). “I kind of had a bit of a bike problem on the first half lap, I had to switch bikes, I got gapped there. And then, worked my way back. I got kind of close to those guys but they were attacking each other and I was trying to ride a steady race.”
About passing riders. “It wasn’t too bad. You had to do a little drifting through the corners, not too bad, I didn’t have any problems to get by.”
About having Powers on his wheel. “I think he blew up. I wasn’t going any faster, I was riding the same speed so I think he cracked. Once he got there, I put in a little dig just to see if he had anything, I didn’t want to give him an easy ride. I went hard right up that steep section and that was enough to crack him.”
About the course. “It was definitely very mountain-bikey, I like that. It was a lot of fun actually. Pre-riding I was like ‘oh this is going to be tough’ but I really liked racing it, it was a lot of fun.”
Jeremy Powers (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com). “It was a long hour for me, I’m not going to lie.”
About battle with Trebon. “We were pretty well evenly matched and then one time coming up the run-up that I was able to ride and that he was forced to run up, he got in front of me and I just went super slow and then I kind of caught a bad gear and couldn’t get on top of it and he got 10 seconds. It was really hot today for me and it definitely wasn’t my style of course but I never gave up, I was trying my hardest. I thought it was a good race with Ryan for a little bit and I’m happy to see him riding at that level, it’s good. I’m happy that Ryan won, it’s a good race him and it’s good to see all the different varieties of courses, it’s not just one-dimensional.”
About the water bottle issue. “I was getting water in the pits. Although I missed the water one time and thought it was three to go but it was two to go so I wasn’t allowed to get water so I had to stop so I took a break, I had a chat with the official ‘are you sure it’s three? Oh it’s two to go oh okay, okay fine I’ll get back on’. But I had to stop.”
Concerned about Kabush? “Yeah he was catching me. Like I said, I took that break in the pit, that certainly doesn’t help. I didn’t give up, I wanted to get on the podium. Every day here if I can get on the podium, I’ll be really happy, this is just a really good course for those guys and Kabush included. The mountain bikers, it just had a lot of left, right, left, right. It just reminded me of Big Bear, this is exactly what it’s like there, it’s really hot, pine trees underneath the corners, dusty.”
Jake Wells (Hudz-Subaru). “The start was wide open on the pavement and I was able to move up to where I felt pretty good about, to get slotted into the top 10 but then there was a big pile-up right before the pit on the first lap so I got caught up in that. I was able keep on going through and passing guys. I was riding with Wes there for a awhile, right in tenth and eleventh and then I was able to get around him with two or three to go, got into ninth.”
About passing riders. “It’s not difficult to get around guys, it’s just a matter of who is riding which sections faster. It seems that I was riding the off-camber stuff a little bit better, and Wes was really powering the flat sections a little bit better so it was good to work with him the first couple of laps.”
About his form. “I’m feeling right good, I wasn’t initially planning to come and do this race but I’ve got some really good form right now and I figured I should come out and capitalize on it.”
Top 10 Results (Complete Results)
1. Ryan Trebon (Kona) 0:59:52
2. Barry Wicks (Kona) +00:22
3. Jeremy Powers (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) +00:43
4. Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) +01:00
5. Brian Matter (GearGrinder) +02:40
6. Troy Wells (Team Clif Bar) +03:06
7. Christopher Jones (Rapha-Focus) +03:16
8. Ryan Knapp (BikeReg.com) +03:25
9. Jake Wells (Hudz-Subaru) +03:42
10. Weston Schempf (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) +03:56