Lost in the mayhem that is the Sea Otter Classic was the announcement that two-time US National cyclocross champion Ryan Trebon had joined the Cannondale presented by Cyclocrossworld.com team for the 2012/2013 season.
In the press release, Trebon stated that “It was kind of an offer I couldn’t refuse to pass up.”
We had to know more.
“I asked Stu why he wanted me to race for him, (he said) oh yeah it’s because we want to win races. I didn’t want them to say we want you because you have an interesting dynamic or we think you have interesting personality. No, that stuff I don’t care, I just want to win races.” Trebon told podiuminsight.
Stu Thorne, the mastermind behind cyclocrossworld,com, manages the squad that includes six-time National Champion Tim Johnson, Jamey Driscoll and reigning U23 National Champion and elite women’s silver medalist Kaitlin Antonneau in 2012.
“Stu doesn’t really dick around so that’s a perfect match for me and Dusty (Labarr). We’re pretty easy going and we like to joke around, but winning races is important and that’s what we want to focus on. And so, it’s a good match with Stu.”
Trebon and long-time mechanic, road manager and friend Dusty Labarr went solo last year, launching their own team, the eponymous L&T Sports, with Felt as a co-sponsor. Though Trebon was back to his old form, winning and having fun, the duo was not able to nail a title sponsor – which brings us back to the offer that couldn’t be refused.
“People were saying ‘oh well, are you guys going to have a team? but at the end of the day if you’re not making any money, what’s the point. We worked really hard last year and did a lot of stuff, we were well below poverty level.” Trebon said with a laugh.
Labarr will also be joining Trebon. “Dusty went really far out of his way last year, he stuck with me regardless of what happened. I wasn’t going to go anywhere without him. It’s a chance for him to come to, he can work during the summer for the mountain bike stuff and making more money as well. It seemed like a win-win all around.”
Trebon and Johnson had talked about racing on the same team before. “Most people don’t know but me and Tim talked about racing together back in 2006. I offered to race for Healthnet on the road and then we tried to get Cannondale to do something for the mountain bike and the cross stuff, it just never came together. It’s funny, I said to Tim, ‘it seems like such a long time ago that we talked about this’ so it’s funny how it worked out now.”
A couple of years ago, Trebon was feeling the brunt of the green machine, with Johnson, Driscoll and Jeremy Powers when the trio won pretty much everything on the US cross circuit. And yes, sometimes Trebon complained about it.
“I think there were a lot of things I was complaining about.” he laughed. “I don’t ever mind racing a bunch of strong guys, I feel good, I feel comfortable with the races and stuff.”
“Hopefully, Tim and Jamey are going to have good summers and come into the fall with good fitness and ready to race. I’m planning to start strong and just have a good year as well. I don’t plan on changing too much on what we did last year, win from the beginning all the way to the end, that’s the plan. That’s why I’m taking the spring super easy, this is the latest I’ve started racing, I think it will work out really well.”
When we talked, Trebon was waiting for equipment to arrive. “I’m feeling really good right now, I’ve been training a ton.”
His summer schedule includes some National mountain bike events in June with a focus on the Mountain Bike Nationals, in July. “The one race I want to win this year. “ Trebon said of the race in Sun Valley, Idaho.
“I’ll do a heavy schedule in June and July.” he added. “I don’t have any pressure from cannondale or cyclocrossworld guys to get out there and race, we do what we can and make the best of it.”
The plans also include racing on the road at Oregon events such as the Mt Hood Cycling Classic in June, and the Cascade Cycling Classic in July.
The goal for the 2012/13 season is simply to win. “My goals are the same as I assume everyone else’s are: I want to do well at the USGPs and I’m pretty keen on Nationals, but having Worlds in Louisville is important and I think I’m going to try and arrive there with the best fitness possible.”
The European World Cup racing schedule is still to be determined. “For me, I don’t know if I want to go to the Czech Republic and do those really early World Cups or stay in the US and continue training. I think Koksijde is the only World Cup that I really want to go back and do. I like it, it’s different, it’s fun and it’s challenging and the more you do it the better you get at it.”
Trebon was the highest US finisher with an 18th place at the 2011 UCI World Cyclocross Championships held in Koksijde, Belgium.
At the end of our conversation, I jokingly asked Trebon if he was turning corporate.
“Yeah, totally man.” he laughed. “I sold out. That’s what I’ve been waiting to do all my life is sell out but no one wanted to take me til now.”
Trebon added while still laughing, “You should put that in there.”
Done. Trebon is however not joking about racing to win.
The dynamics have changed once again, with Trebon, Driscoll and Johnson on one team and reigning US National Cross Champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) on another.