Finally, a win for Cannondale-cyclocrossworld. Jamey Driscoll soloed to win Jingle Cross Rock on Friday night after dropping his teammate Tim Johnson. After an early bobble, Chris Jones (Rapha-Focus) mounted a determined chase to finish second. Johnson was third.
The same off-camber section, so small yet so important, caused havoc in the men’s race on the first lap. Jones, who took over the front from Barry Wicks (Kona) after the holeshot, bobbled and came to an abrupt stop. The field behind him came to a complete stop piling on, all except two riders. Sitting in fourth and fifth wheel, Johnson and Driscoll took a different into the section, the upper line, and were able to cleanly ride through.
The pair was off the front while the chase organized behind them with Todd Wells (Specialized), Troy Wells (Clif Bar)< Brian Matter (Gear Grinder), Tristan Schouten (cyclocrossracing.com), Wicks and Jones. Then, fire in the belly, Jones went on the chase solo, railing though the course. Seeing Jones closing in on them, Driscoll, who was faster up the climb every lap, made a move on Mt Krumpit to get away solo. The rest of the chase, led by US Cross Champion Todd Wells, was over 30 seconds behind.
Jones made junction with Johnson who sat on with his teammate up the road. Hearing Johnson was having trouble clipping back in, Jones attacked on a small kicker on the far side of the course and was able to get away inside of three laps to go.
Driscoll kept on pushing it at the front, increasing the pace when Jones was closing the gap and held on for the win. Johnson was a new bike with disk brakes for the first time.
Racing continues on Saturday with a few course changes including a tricky, some say sketchy, descent off Mt Krumpit – made even more interesting with the rain that started last night.
Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com). “He was leading the first lap and a half and then I took over on the hill, maybe got a little over-zealous being behind him the whole time, got a gap. I didn’t sit up because I knew that it was early in the race and we had to keep the pressure on Chris and the chasers. Then we got back together and worked as long as we could. Tim let me know his legs weren’t as good as he wanted so I decided to press on to maintain the gap over Chris.”
About racing three days. “These three races, the first ones of the year in Ohio that beat me up pretty good. It’s definitely something to think about but a victory is pretty awesome nonetheless.”
Chris Jones (Rapha-Focus). “I don’t know what I was doing (laughs) I do owe an apology to everyone except for the Cannondale guys, I kind of helped them out a bit I think.”
About his ride. “I had a little fire inside, I was a little mad so I just did everything I could, just kept the power down. The people were cheering, they kept encouraging me and kept me going. Jeremy and I have kind of been doing the 1-2 thing all year so this is kind of the reverse to have me alone with these guys, I got what I deserved I guess.”
About his chase. “On the run I was catching a lot of people, and then they played it smart. As I was getting closer, they split up on purpose and Tim just waited for me and thankfully I was able to get away from him. On the other side, through the barn and then that little steep kicker, I got a little gap (on Johnson) – after the logs I could hear that he was having a hard time clicking in, I kept giving it and giving it and by the time we got over that little kicker, I got him.
Tim Johnson (Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com). “It was a very, very hard course, Jamey was just flying, his legs were good from the very beginning even though we were gifted that wonderful little gap from Chris in the beginning.” (laughs)
About the lincoln logs. “We don’t see those as much as we used to, that was a lot of fun. I just try to close my eyes and run through them as fast as I can. Is that a technique or what?”
About his new bike with disk brakes. “I thought it went great. This is a new technology even though it’s been used in some of the stuff that’s been around for awhile. I think it was great going down Mt Krumpit.”
Top 10 Results
1. James Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com)
2. Christopher Jones (Team Rapha Focus)
3. Timothy Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com)
4. Todd Wells (Specialized)
5. Brian Matter (Gear Grinder)
6. Troy Wells (Team Clif Bar)
7. Matt Shriver (Bontrager-Trek)
8. Tristan Schouten (Cyclocrossracing.com-Blue)
9. Barry Wicks (Kona)
10. Bryan Fawley (Orbea USA)