What did Mother Nature and Jeremy Powers (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) have in common on Sunday? They turned on the heat for Day two of the Greenware US Gran Prix of Cyclcoross Derby City Cup presented by Papa John’s Pizza.
It was hot once again in Louisville with temperatures hitting the mid 80s and humidity on the rise. The heat would come into play during the race, cracking Ryan Trebon (Kona) while Powers followed his game plan of taking water feeds. Seeing his rival falter, Powers powered away in the 2-man duel with Trebon with four laps to go and stayed away to take the win, his second USGP win this year.
“I got five seconds and I just buried my head in my stem and just kept on going. It was a hard day, it was really a hard day.” Powers said after the race. After a tough Saturday, a tired Powers was liking the modified course with added turns and one less steep section.
With that Powers is back in the USGP leader’s jersey tied on points with his teammate Tim Johnson who finished third.
For Trebon, it was a case of deja-vu, green deja-vu that is. “Kind of like yesterday, just trading one guy for another.” he said. “It was like the exact same situation, I went to the front, somebody else went to the front, I just had a bad moment and I got a gap and could never close it.”
Trebon took over the front on the first lap passing Valentin Scherz (Cyfac-Champion System p/b Revol) who once again got the holeshot. It was on from the get-go as the dust was rising up and the field was splintering. Powers took over the front as they made their way through the pit and made it clear that he was feeling good. He got a small gap which he maintained as he bunny-hopped his way over the barriers on the second lap, but Trebon was coming. And on his wheel were Scherz, Davide Frattini (Hudz-Subaru), Chris Jones (Rapha-Focus), Johnson, Danny Summerhill (Felt-Holowesko Partners) and Jesse Anthony (CalGiant).
Powers was caught but not without casualties with Frattini, Scherz, Summerhill and Anthony dropped back leaving four at the front: Trebon, Powers, Jones and Johnson who was barely hanging after mounting a chase following a slow start. Trebon cranked up the heat and the hard pace was too much for Jones and then Johnson.
And then there were two, in a familiar refrain, Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com vs Kona battling for the win. With Johnson dangling 10 seconds behind for a lap or two, Trebon could not afford to slow down and was stuck setting the pace at the front.
For both riders, on essential was trying to keep cool in the heat. The pits were now open for feeding and Powers stopped almost every time through while Trebon attacked forcing Powers to close it down every lap. But then with four to go, Trebon cracked, the heat got to him. Even though he started to feed afterwards it was too late. Powers saw it, went to the front, slowly increased his speed and rode the entire sandpit, enough to get a 5-second gap. He then put his head down or as he called it “his tongue on the stem”, pushed it to take the win.
Trebon held his second spot to the finish. Johnson, also hurting and riding with a flat front tire on the final lap had to contend with a chase group coming in fast. Todd Wells (Specialized) and Frattini were chasing hard with Tristan Schouten (Cyclocrossracing.com) joining them after a slow start but a great effort to catch back on. Johnson was able to hold them off to take third.
Tight race in the U23 category also. After a fast start, both Scherz and Summerhill faded back with U23 leader Luke Keough (Champion System p/b Keough) not too far behind. Scherz was able to keep a high pace to finish 13th overall and take the U23 win. Summerhill was second and Keough who was dropped with two laps to go was 3rd. Keough remains in the USGP leader’s jersey.
“House of a pain” was the description from Frattini after the race. After a fast start, he crashed twice, recovered to chase back on to finish 6th and was awarded the SRAM Most Aggressive prize.
Jeremy Powers (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com). “The race was good, it was a better course, I felt good. The second I got on it I knew I was better, it had less really really steep sections, not that those are bad for me… It had one less, just that one less with the heat yesterday, having one less [steep section] helped my rhythm today and the way I felt today. All around I felt a lot better on the course, the sand was fine and I think I’m running well. I was able to stay with Ryan in the first laps. He had a little bit of a moment and I saw it, I just went to the front, I didn’t do anything crazy, it was just a little bit and I just kept the pace strong. I got five seconds and I just buried my head in my stem and just kept on going. It was a hard day, it was really a hard day, it was very windy, a lot of pedaling which typically suits Ryan very well.”
About pitting. “Almost every time I could or just about every time I got water. It really affected me at first because Ryan would attack me through there, it was a less worn-in line so I was getting beat up on that and just trying to do the best I could to take water and cover those attacks.”
About the duel. “He was attacking me through the pits. I guess sticking to my game plan and knowing ‘okay I have to keep taking water on because ultimately I’ll dehydrate and I’ll be done’. He isn’t taking water on and that’s fine because I have to. I just stuck to my plan, he did his thing. I’m happy sticking to my game plan.”
Ryan Trebon (Kona). “Kind of like yesterday, just trading one guy for another. It was like the exact same situation, I went to the front, somebody else went to the front, I just had a bad moment and I got a gap and could never close it. It was a good race, I was pushing it pretty hard for the first couple of laps there. I thought I had Jeremy because he was suffering a bit but then all of sudden, I just over-heated. It went right to my head, starting feeding after that but once I was already at my limit there’s no coming back from it.”
About the heat. “I felt pretty good for the first half of the race, I was rolling along really good. Jeremy had a gap and I could see he was hurting. I went to the front, one lap I was okay and then the next lap, I over-heated. My head was just, you get to that point where you feel it all in your head. I was like ‘oh shit’ and it came on all of a sudden, I started to take feeds but I had nothing and I just started to fall apart. The last lap I was just done, I had nothing left in the legs and I was like ‘please get to the finish’. I just had a bad moment, I should have stayed on top of it, it was a little hotter and a little more humid today.”
About feeding. “I went in and fed a little bit. Starting feeding after you crack doesn’t do much. Maybe I’m just more used to the dry heat like we were having yesterday, it’s a little more humid and I’m not used to it. It blew me man big time.”
About setting the pace most of the time. ” Every time I’d sit up, Tim was 5, 10 seconds back and Jeremy would just take it easy and I could feel it.”
Tim Johnson (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com). “I was hurting. I had a hard time getting on the pace, I got up there but I wasn’t comfortable. It was a struggle and I ended up getting gapped off, I can’t remember where it was, and one second turns into two and three, pretty soon it’s ten. I thought I was making up time on Ryan for a couple of laps then I got a flat.”
About his slow start. “I don’t know why, I’ve had great starts all the other races this year but I just couldn’t get it going yesterday and today. I missed a pedal yesterday and today I got a pedal but ended up having to kind of junkie start. Pretty simple.”
Being concerned with the Wells & Schouten chase. “I remembered what they did yesterday so I had to keep the gas on, there’s no sitting up in third place, that’s not really a good way to do it anyways. ”
Top 10 Elite Men Results
1. POWERS Jeremy (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld.com) 01:03:20
2. TREBON Ryan (Kona) 1:03:44
3. JOHNSON Timothy (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld.com) 1:05:02
4. WELLS Todd (Specialized) 1:05:20
5. SCHOUTEN Tristan (cyclocrossracing.com) 1:05:28
6. FRATTINI Davide (Hudz-Subaru) 1:05:37
7. KABUSH Geoff (Team Maxxis / Rocky Mountain) 1:05:39
8. DRISCOLL James (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld.com) 1:05:56
9. WICKS Barry (Kona) 1:06:11
10. JONES Christopher (Rapha / Focus) 1:06:28