The battle continues between the Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com teammates for the leader’s jersey at the Greenware US Gran Prix of Cyclocross. Halfway through the series, Jeremy Powers is back in the lead tied on points with Tim Johnson, again.
“Yeah, it’s crazy.” Johnson smiled.
After the first weekend of the series, the Planet Bike Cup in Madison, the pair was tied on points with Johnson taking the jersey by virtue of his win on the Sunday. And then, they did it again, each finishing third and then winning a race at the Derby City Cup p/b Papa John’s in Louisville.
“It’s the battle.” Powers said.
The two have 174 points each. In third place overall sits Todd Wells (Specialized) with 107 pts, followed by Tristan Schouten (cyclocrossracing.com/Blue/Rolf) with 98 and defending USGP champion Ryan Trebon (Kona) with 94 points.
Showdown in Portland? With four more races over two weekends in store, will the overall win come down to the final race in Oregon?
“I don’t know, that would be great for us, it would be great for the sport, it would be great for everything, It would be a lot of pressure, it would be good.” Powers replied. “This is all part of the big plan, I hope.”
Johnson agreed. “I hope so. That’s two more weekends, four more races, who knows what’s going to happen.”
Before the showdown are the new races in Colorado, the New Belgium Cup in Fort Collins on November 13 & 14. Races at altitude which in the past have suited Johnson better. Then, the series finale, the Stanley Portland Cup on December 3 & 4.
Both Powers and Johnson are aiming for the top spot, but so are the others. Even though the title looks firmly into the green camp last year did show that it was possible to miss and/or have a bad weekend and still contend for the overall. As many are quick to point out, ‘anything can happen in a bike race’.
Racing and rest. There’s more racing to be done before the Ft Collins race starting with this weekend’s NACT races in Colorado. And then, rest and training.
Powers admitted to being tired following the Louisville races where he was not showing his typical high energy or what he called “snap”.
“I almost have to turn my phone off, put my computer away at night and not bring it to sleep with me and just zone out, just relax and put my legs out. I do get tired and this is the time that I have to say ‘oohh got to meter that back’.” Powers explained.
The duo, along with teammate Jamey Driscoll had a whirlwind trip to Europe to race at the Aigle World Cup in Switzerland where Powers was the highest-placed American in 20th.
“I think people mistake what is what, it’s been very stressful last ten days for me, coming from one place to the next doing different things.” Powers added. “I think people mistake that that I’m upset or grumpy, it’s not that it’s just that I’m tired.”
Both Johnson and Powers will take a break the weekend prior to the Fort Collins race. Which means that Powers will skip the Cycle-Smart International race held in his Massachusetts backyard, well skip racing that is.
“I’m not going to race Northampton. I’m going to be there, I’m going to have a beer, I might even marshall the course or something, I might even announce – me and Rich Fries, hey you never know, I’m going to be there.” Powers smiled.
After Fort Collins Powers will stay in North America while Johnson goes back to Europe to race in the GVA GP Hasselt, Superprestige Gavere and Superprestige Gieten. Then, we all come back together in Portland for the finale.
Top 10 Overall Elite Men (Complete Results)
1. Jeremy Powers (Cannondale/CyclocrossWorld.com) 174 pts
2. Tim Johnson (Cannondale/CyclocrossWorld.com) 174
3. Todd Wells (Specialized) 107
4. Tristan Schouten (cyclocrossracing.com/Blue/Rolf) 98
5. Ryan Trebon (Kona) 94
6. Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale/CyclocrossWorld.com) 72
7. Davide Frattini (Hudz-Subaru) 70
8. Christian Heule 56
9. Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis/Rocky Mountain) 54
10. Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) 44