Everyone knew that the course with its straightaways and slow heavy mud, a power course, was fitted Ryan Trebon (LTS/Felt)’s skills perfectly but no one knew if the leg was okay. Well, Trebon answered that question with a bang on New Year’s Eve at the Chicago Cyclocross Cup New Year’s Resolution race. The tall rider took off early in the race in a solo move and was never troubled afterwards, slowly building his gap until he high-fived the fans before crossing the line in victory.
“I feel about the same that I did in November. I didn’t really want to finish 2011 on that day in November so I really wanted to train hard to come back and pull out a good weekend. It was a hard day out there man, it was just super heavy and the wind, I felt good, my legs felt good and my knee was alright running. A good day.” said Trebon.
And the knee was fine. “It doesn’t bother me at all when I’m riding, I can ride as hard as I want, I’ve been training a ton, before I left for California, once I was able to get back on the bike I’ve been riding a lot. It feels good to be out racing, it’s been seven weeks. I haven’t ridden my bike off road since Louisville so I was concerned how I would feel, my back and everything just because it takes a different effort but no I’m happy with everything.”
Trebon added, “It’s just that little bit of range of motion so I have a hard time with my trailing leg going over the barriers, I’ve been training a lot harder than this race was. It was hard racing, my left knee is more sore that my right knee just from grinding the whole day.”
While Trebon was feeling strong, favorite going into the race Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) just didn’t have that snap. “I just didn’t have a really great warmup and I felt good, but I think everything was a little too quick today and I needed a little bit more focus before I got going. I haven’t done a cyclocross race since Bend, and I wasn’t 110%, I was good but I wasn’t 110%.”
When Trebon took off, Powers gave chase but could not close it down. He finally took second. “We came out of the first corner, I had a bobble, I just wanted to get my rhythm and then Ryan started.” said Powers. “I was in the red and Ryan went to push it. That wasn’t possible for me today, it’s a really good course for him, he was able to put down a lot of wattage, there’s a lot of pedaling today, it definitely suits his style. Obviously I’m not happy that I didn’t win but I’m also not freaking about it.”
Injured on his last day of racing seven weeks ago, Trebon has been training hard during his recovery to maintain his fitness and it showed from the gun. After getting the holeshot, he set a hard tempo at the front, quickly splitting the field, with Rapha-Focus teammates Chris Jones and Powers and Brian Matter (GearGrinder) coming with him.
“I didn’t know what was happening behind, all I knew was that Ryan was killing it. I was just going to stay there, it was a bit windy, I was trying to hide from the windy sections but I could see from the beginning that he was just fresh and strong, I knew that we were going to have our hands full.” said Jones who ultimately took third.
Jones and Matter took a few pulls but it was mostly Trebon setting the pace while Powers was tail gunning it at the back.
“I was trying to work a little bit because Ryan was looking at me ‘are you going to do anything?’. I could see that Jeremy was there but I hadn’t spoken with him and I didn’t know how he was feeling.” explained Jones.
Trebon tested the waters a few times until the elastic broke. “I saw I was getting little gaps so I thought well, let’s see how everybody is feeling so I just started to ride, I just felt good and I was able to ride through some of the sections and I was getting a gap over the hill and then the backside. I felt strong.”
Powers reacted swiftly to come from the back of the group to give chase while Matter and Jones went down on a muddy section. “Coming out of the pits on one lap, Chris crashed and I rode over the top of him and also crashed. That was when Ryan took off and Jeremy started chasing, and that split it up.” Matter said.
Being off the front so early was a surprise for Trebon. “I didn’t expect to and I didn’t really want to ride those last five laps by myself but it was a hard course. I just seem to have a little bit more when I was smashing through everything than anybody else, I was just riding a steady tempo. I felt good and glad to finish the year off on a high note.”
For a couple of laps, Powers held the gap at ten seconds but then, the gap grew and Powers had to focus on the other steps of the podium when Matter and Jones caught up with him with less than two laps to go. Then Powers made his move on the final lap to go for second and Jones was able to drop Matter for third. (Read more on the Matter Vs Rapha-Focus battle)
Behind them, Barry Wicks (Kona) was dangling in no man’s land until he was caught by the SmartStop/Mock Orange trio of Travis Livermon, Adam Myerson and Jerome Townsend. Townsend was the first one to fall off, then Wicks and then Livermon continued solo to claim fifth.
Racing continues on Sunday when temperatures are expected to drop to close to freeing point and the wind to pick up. Whatever happens however, it will remain a power course.
Women start at 1:30pm CT, follow all the action on @podium_live
Top 10 Results
1.Ryan Trebon (LTS/Felt)
2.Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus)
3.Chris Jones (Rapha-Focus)
4.Brian Matter (Gear Grinder)
5.Travis Livermon (Smart Stop-Mock Orange p/b Ridley)
6.Barry Wicks (Kona)
7.Adam Myerson (Smart Stop-Mock Orange p/b Ridley)
8.Jerome Townsend (Smart Stop-Mock Orange p/b Ridley)
9.Sean Babcock (Kona)
10.Justin Lindine (BikeReg.com / Joe’s Garage / Scott)