High noon. Perfect time for a duel between Johnson and Powers. The corral was the Circulus, a 132-foot circumference (40.2m), 45-degree wooden mini-velodrome from Portland Design Works, installed at the Sands Expo & Convention Center during Interbike.
Anyone that follows North American cyclocross knows that after years of racing on the same team, that Jeremy Powers and Tim Johnson will now be racing on different teams, Johnson still with Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld,com and Powers now with Rapha-Focus. Of course, the duel really is not new, the two faced off against each other for the USGP title ultimately won by Powers last year, but the move to different teams brings a new level to the friendly battle.
Though it was a brilliant marketing idea, have no fear, the two were really racing to win. The format was simple, three rounds of pursuit of five laps each. On each round, the two riders started at opposite sides of the Circulus. But before the race, the weigh-in and a few last minutes of trash talking.
Fans lined around the oval, banging on the boards as they cheered on as the Powers and Johnson raced. Johnson won the first round and Powers, the second. (See video of first round)
Johnson claimed the third round and the overall crown of CrossClash. The two then sat down and signed posters for the fans before resting before the real race, CrossVegas later that evening.
Though this fun event is over, the battle between the two will continue all season, and we all – including Johnson & Powers – will be enjoying it.
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