Finally. That was the word that Belgian Ben Berden (Ops Ale-Stoemper) said after crossing the line with his arms up. He finally won a cross race this year. And it wasn’t easy. The Boulder Cup race at the new Valmont Bike Park was a battle of tactics between the top seven riders at the race in front of raucous noisy crowd.
The course was fast with a dry upper section and lower wet section, a course that Berden liked and compared to European races. Marked man into the race was definitely Ryan Trebon (LTS/Felt) who had just won Saturday’s Colorado Cross Classic. Trebon hit the front from the start, getting the holeshot and setting a fast pace on the the climb, stretching the field behind him. It didn’t take long for a lead group to separate themselves. Trebon, Berden, US Cross Champion Todd Wells (Specialized), Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain), Tristan Schouten (cyclocrossracing.com), Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com duo of Tim Johnson and Jamey Driscoll, Yannick Eckmann (Pearl Izumi), Danny Summerhill (Garmin-Cervelo) and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Trek) were off.
Trebon did most of the pace making early on keeping the pace high. Berden put in the first real attack, Trebon chased him back but the acceleration was too much for Horgan-Kobelski, Summerhill and Eckmann. Trebon, Schouten and Berden tried to escape but the group stayed together until the final lap. Kabush then put in a massive acceleration that Berden covered. Trebon chased, keeping a gap of 20 meters, “surfing” as he called it, hoping to use the sandpit and mud in the lower section to make his move. But Berden was in his element, and that 20 meters was enough for him to take the win, having enough time to celebrate as he came to the finish line.
Trebon finished second while Johnson pipped Kabush at the line for third.
Ben Berden (OPS-ALE Stoemper). “Finally yeah. It was the sandpit and then there was the mud and I was really able to get 15, 20 meters there. Kabush went the last lap on that hill after the finish and I followed him. We had 20 meters and I knew that in the mudpit I was better. Finally, yeah, finally.”
“Tim was following Trebon the whole day. Whenever Trebon, Tim went, I think today Trebon was not on his best. It worked out fine for me.”
“This morning, I felt really, really bad, I had a headache from the altitude I think but the technical part and the mud, I did that for twenty years and I think that’s a little bit to my advantage.”
Ryan Trebon (LTS/Felt). “Apparently Tim was marking me the whole time. It was good, you know. I thought it was going to be a lot more selective of a race but it ended up being very tactical. It always seemed to come back together. I put in a big effort in on one lap, it stretched out but there was so much downhill and everybody just seemed to come back. It made for a good race. ”
“Ben was racing awesome, he was racing super aggressive, he definitely did not in. He deserved to win, he raced well.”
About the last lap. “Todd was there and those two guys (Berden and Kabush) went, I put in a huge effort to bridge to them, went around Todd. That was the race. It was Geoff, Ben and me and I was riding 20 to 30 feet behind, kind of surfing there, bidding my time until the last mud section and really put an effort in but I just didn’t have it. I was already at my limit and Ben was good through that section the whole race, he had a gap and that was it.”
Top 15 Results
1. Ben Berden (OPS-ALE Stoemper)
2. Ryan Trebon (LTS/Felt)
3. Timothy Johnson (Cannondale p/b cyclocrossworld.com)
4. Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain)
5. Tristan Schouten (Cyclocross Racing.com)
6. Todd Wells (Specialized Factory Racing)
7. James Driscoll (Cannondale p/b cyclocrossworld.com)
8. Daniel Summerhill (UCI PT: Garmin-Cervelo)
9. Yannick Eckmann (Pearl Izumi/Shimano)
10. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru/Trek)
11. Mitchell Hoke (Team Clif Bar)
12. Allen Krughoff (Boulder Cycle Sport)
13. Troy Wells (Team Clif Bar)
14. Sean Babcock (Kona Bicycles)
15. Robin Eckmann (Pearl Izumi Shimano)