The heat was on in a quiet residential neighborhood in Middletown Ohio on Saturday. Mercury hit the mid80s, the sun was baking and the racing was on for Day 2 of Cincinnati’s UCI3 International Cyclocross Festival. Once again, the duel was set on the first lap between Jeremy Powers (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) and Ryan Trebon (Kona/FSA). The two went at it, trading punches for the rest of the race, passing each other when they could, taking turns setting the pace and trying to drop the other guy.
In the end, Powers made the decisive move on the final, gaining a second here, another one on the barriers that he bunny hopped every lap stretching it to claim victory.
“I made a big risk and that’s the big thing when you’re really floored from racing hard, you come into those last couple of corners really wishy washy with the dry dirt, I just went as hard as I could through it. I threw up a Hail Mary if you will and I got lucky, that’s how the eight seconds became and I knew that if I had it through the ridgeline I would be good.” Powers said after the race.
So that one win for Trebon on Friday, and one for Powers. Throwdown expected on Sunday at Harbin Park with big money and C1 points on the line.
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It was on from the gun. Powers took the holeshot with the field lined up behind him. Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain), Trebon, Jake Wells (Hudz-Subaru) who started on the second row, Chris Jones (Rapha-Focus), Troy Wells (Clif Bar) and Tristan Schouten (cyclocrossracing.com/Blue/Rolf Prima) were at the front. It didn’t take long for Trebon to move up on Powers and they were off.
On the second lap, Trebon put in a massive dig to get a few bike lengths on Powers. All eyes were on the New Englander, could he close the gap? Especially as he is suffering with the heat, but he took measures to manage his core temperature. Powers did the first two laps with two ice packs on his back and then stopped for the water every lap once the pit was open for feeding. He would take the lead before the pit, pull in to take his bottle on the fly while Trebon would take the outside lane back to the front. Repeat. Oh and by the way, he was told ‘last lap for feeding’ by the official, no miscounting of laps and having to put his foot down in the pit today.
Attacks flew, each using specific sections of the course to his advantage. Trebon knew that Powers was opening up a small gap every time through the finish line on the pavement and tried to come around on the final lap but Powers hit it, and that was it.
Behind them, the chase group was formed with Kabush, Jones, T. Wells, J. Wells and Schouten. The chase group stayed pretty much together for the first half of the race until Schouten decided that it was better to be riding solo in the technical sections. He waited until it was his turn to take a pull and hit them hard.
Schouten soloed to third. Kabush later dropped Jones to take fourth.
After being rushed to the emergency room the previous night with a serious allergic reaction, Brian Matter (GearGrinder) finished 8th while also having some serious blisters on his hand.
Jeremy Powers (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com). “In the back section, up down, up down onto to the pavement at the finish I noticed that I was getting a couple of seconds on him there every lap, I just capitalized on that and tried to hold it. I kept it all the way to the barriers, hopped on the barriers, hit him again so it was a real attrition race. I just kept getting one, two seconds every time I could and then broke him down slowly but surely, I was able to get five seconds.”
About closing the gap on 2nd lap. “It was hard but it wasn’t like I was freaking out, I was just paying attention to his riding style and how he was going through the corners. I’ve been racing with Ryan all year, I know where he’s strong and I know how he’s riding. Yesterday was a perfect course, he even said that it was probably the hilliest course he’ll ride all year. I knew it would be hard for me to stay with him on that kind of course, I’m not a pure-bred climber, he is. In a straight line up a hill, he’s going to beat me almost every time. I just kept it steady, I knew that if I kept the pressure on I could maybe get a couple of seconds here and there. I just have to go as hard as I can, you can’t give up and that’s what I was doing. In turns of how hard I went, not any harder of how I was going the whole race, as hard as I could go.”
About the heat. “I started with two ice packs and then about a lap and half in, I took the ice packs, opened it and just dumped it on my head and let the ice sit in there. Then I just started drenching myself every lap with a bottle and drinking some and just drenching myself. Just got to keep that core temperature low. Yesterday I had never been so burnt, inside just internally combusting.”
Was he counting laps to keep track for feeding? “Actually they told me ‘last lap for feeding’. (laughs) This was a much nicer pit, both ways it was very long, wide open, plenty of room, there was plenty, it was good, just enough.”
Ryan Trebon (Kona/FSA). “I didn’t have any problems with the heat. Jeremy was riding good today and the course was so twisty, he got a little gap. Sometimes you just have two minutes of a bad moment and he got a little gap and I was trying to close it. That last section, I knew that if I wasn’t five seconds in front of him I couldn’t hold him because he was coming out of the pavement a little faster, no way I would have beat him in the sprint.”
About the duel with Powers. “We were going probably the same speed for the whole course except for a couple of sections where I was trying to open it up on him and he was a little faster on the last 200 meters and that was the race. It was all about positioning in there [last 200 meters], the sprint was pretty short, it was hard to get in front. The last lap he was riding pretty fast, I was sliding all over the place.”
About the course. “It’s not my favorite. It’s a lot of really slow turns around trees, it was alright. There was like ten 180s in a row and I wanted to ride my pace, it was fun.”
Tristan Schouten (cyclocrossracing.com/Blue/Rolf Prima). “I was hurting. I didn’t really feel stronger, I felt a lot smoother through the corners. I just felt I could go so much faster by myself so I really attacked going into the technical parts and then I just did 10-second bursts. I didn’t feel any stronger by myself but I was going faster by myself. It was just a course that suited riding by yourself through the corners.”
About the Powers and Trebon attack. “I wanted to go with them. They did the same thing, they put a small gap on and it hovered there. I wanted to do across but I was too far back in my group, I couldn’t get around people and I was kind of at my limit. So I had to watch it right away even though I didn’t want to but at that point, it was better than blowing up. I just tried to sit comfortably in that group until halfway through the race.”
About his attack. “I didn’t move to the front until I knew I could go faster and start hurting them. I let everyone do their pulls and then made my effort. I wanted to go before any of the 180-corners because I just felt like I was on the brakes, waiting for people all through those corners, I thought once I got through them by myself I could go smoother.”
Top 10 Results (Complete Results)
1. Jeremy Powers (Cannondale prepared by Cyclocrossworld)
2. Ryan Trebon (Kona/FSA)
3. Tristan Schouten (cyclocrossracing.com/Blue/Rolf Prima)
4. Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain)
5. Christopher Jones (Rapha-Focus Cyclocross Team)
6. Jake Wells (Hudz-Subaru)
7. Troy Wells (Team Clif Bar)
8. Brian Matter (Gear Grinder)
9. Weston Schempf (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes)
10. Barry Wicks (Kona/FSA)