Hold on to your hats boys & girls, there’s a civil war about to happen in Oregon, wait make that two wars. The first one, known at The Civil War is the annual college football game between the Oregon State Beavers and the Oregon Ducks on Saturday. The second one, a two-parter too, is the Stanley Portland Cup, the finale of the Greenware Gran Prix of Cyclocross, where the overall is a duel between Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com teammates Tim Johnson and Jeremy Powers.
Follow @podium_live for play by play updates of the Men Elite/U23 and Women Elite races.
Over the six previous races over three weekends, the two have swapped the leader’s jersey and have one all but one of the races. With two races to go, US National Cross Champion Johnson does have the advantage of a 16-point lead on Powers, and both have made it very clear that they want the win. The gloves are off. (See Elite Men Complete Overall Standings)
Both have done well there in the past. Last year, Powers won one race and finished second in the other one, both times in a battle with Wells. In 2008, Johnson won the first day and finished 3rd on the second, clinching the overall in the series.
The conditions will also come into play this weekend, with a muddy water-logged course could provide surprises. The course included muddy slogs especially on the BMX section but the course should dry up by the time the Elite Men race on Saturday, the question really is how much will it dry up? Sunday’s weather forecast calls for cloudy with 30% chance of rain.
Adding fuel to the fire are the other riders that want a USGP win, Todd Wells (Specialized) who is back after crashing out at New Belgium Cup, defending USGP champion Ryan Trebon (Kona) who is still looking for his first USGP win, Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) with the revved up diesel engine. And let’s not forget Geoff Kabush (Rocky Mountain-Maxxis), the only rider to break the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com stranglehold over the top step of the podium.
With three weekends with six races completed, Georgia Gould (Luna) has a solid hold on the overall with battle shifting for the remaining podium spots. CalGiant’s Meredith Miller sits in third at 79 points down followed by Kathy Sherwin (Hudz-Subaru) 59 pts behind her and then Luna’s Amy Dombroski and Katerina Nash. Nash is definitely the favorite to take the wins this weekend. We can also expect Maureen Bruno-Roy (Bob’s Red Mill/Seven Cycles) to race aggressively as she has done for the past weekends especially with the mud on conditions that she likes. (See Elite Women Complete Overall Standings)
In the Elite U23 men category, Luke Keough (Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross) has been wearing the green leader’s jersey since the first weekend where he finished second and first respectively. Behind him, tied on points at 60 points down are the Calgiant teammates Cody Kaiser in his first year as a U23 rider and Jeremy Ferguson. Favorite for the wins this weekend also include Danny Summerhill (Felt-Holowesko Partners) and Zach McDonald (Rapha/Focus). (See U23 Men Complete Overall Standings)
The only category that is mathematically sewn up is the Mens Jr 17/18 wherea dominant Yannick Eckmann (Hot Tubes) has won every race. But Eckmann will not be racing this weekend, taking a break after a foray in Europe. A favorite for the wins is Jeffrey Bahnson (Van Dessel) second overall and a great mudder. (See Jr 17/18 Men Complete Overall Standings)