Wearing National Champion stripes, Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) pulled off a sweep of Ohio on day 3 of the Cincy3 Cyclocross Festival p/b Reece-Campbell and United Dairy Farmers. While Ryan Trebon (Cannondale/CyclocrossWorld) notched wins on the technical courses the first two days, it was teammate Jamey Driscoll who attacked through the barriers on the C1’s power demanding course with 3 laps to go for the Elite Men’s win.
Elite Women. With soft corners and long uphill straightaway sections between the start, past the pit and through the start finish gate, both the Elite Men and Women brought long lines of riders through the sand pit the first time past the announcer’s stand. A solid group of six women made the initial section including: Compton, Katerina Nash (LUNA), Andrea Smith (Ladies First), Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com), Nicole Duke (Raleigh-Clement), and Nicole Thiemann (Team CF-Elite).
Closely behind were Amanda Carey (Volkswagen Boise), Maureen Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill), Ashley James (KCCX/Fuji p/b Challenge Tires) and an apparently healthier Caroline Mani (Raleigh-Clement). Mani didn’t start Friday and dropped out mid race at the CX After Dark Event on Saturday.
Between the long climb to the gazebo and the uphill barriers, Compton took to the front and began shedding the baggage. Nash, Antonneau were on board with Duke flying standby. Smith rocketed through the fast and deep downhill sand a few seconds back followed by a 4-woman chase of Thiemann, Bruno Roy, James and Mani.
It was down to two on the second lap as Compton and Nash broke a ten second gap to Antonneau on some greasy turns adjacent to the main park road. Behind Duke bobbled in the sand. Looking strong and smooth in the treacherous uphill sand, Carey locked on to Duke’s wheel. Mani and Thiemann teamed up as the third group on course. Simultaneously, Rebecca Gross (KCCX/Fuji p/b Challenge Tires) poked her head into the top 10. Running back between 12th and 15th, Erin Silliman (MVP Health Care Cycling) was having a tough time in the sand going into the fencing on the uphill of lap two and doing a header in the downhill on the fourth lap. She would still finish 13th.
As a group of 10-15 fans on the hill at the barriers did “the wave,” Compton put in a small gap on Nash, continued the pressure and eeked out a 23 second gap by lap 3. It was single riders behind with big gaps between the top 3. The podium was settled with Compton, Nash and Antonneau. After being under the weather for the first two days, Mani’s spark was back. She finished 5th behind Carey. After the race, when asked about how she could overcome Compton’s grip on the front, Nash said, “My time will come.”
Elite Men. It’s not every day 10 riders make up the front group. Determined to put a Rapha Focus rider on the C1 podium, Zach McDonald (Rapha Focus) steamed through the sand with nine riders on his wheel including: Brian Matter (RACC p/b GG), Trebon, Ben Berden (Raleigh/Clement), Driscoll, McDonald’s teammate Chris Jones, Chris Sheppard (Rocky Mountain), Troy Wells and Mitchell Hoke (Team CLIF Bar), as well as Brad White (Moms In Tow Cyclocross.) All rode through clean, but behind many were forced to dismount as riders stacked on the turn exiting the sand.
Like Compton, Trebon used the uphill barriers as his launching pad to break up the Rapha-Focus grip on the front. Three laps in, he whittled it down to a group of five with teammate Driscoll, the Rapha Focus duo of Jones and McDonald along with the familiar tattoos of Berden. Behind, Sheppard teamed up with Matter in the 2nd group. Josh Johnson (Bissell-ABG-NUVO), Wells and White created a train a few seconds back. With Berden along for the ride, it was Cannondale/CyclocrossWorld versus Rapha Focus.
Jones fired the first shots with a big effort out of the sand and up the hill preceding the barriers. No dice. The group of five slowed with the tactics and allowed Matter and Sheppard to tag on. With five laps to go, Trebon tried again at the barriers, but Jones was having none of it and led through and past the fans gathered at the top near the gazebo. Later in the lap, Trebon tried again, this time in a stretch of deep mud that transitioned across the road. It stuck. Trebon broke free with Jones leaving Driscoll behind with Berden and Matter. McDonald briefly fell back to 7th behind Sheppard.
Maybe sensing that Matter and Berden couldn’t muster the strength to close the gap, Driscoll charged across on the climb preceding the barriers. It was now a Cannondale Cyclocrossworld.com sandwich with Jones in the middle.
After the race Driscoll said Trebon encouraged him to pull and confided that he simply rode hard and opened up a gap on Jones and Trebon. When he saw it, he stretched it through the barriers. McDonald couldn’t answer and was stuck giving Trebon a free ride. With two laps to go, Jones bobbled in the sand and had to dismount. Trebon capitalized and blew past him to solidify 2nd.
Even with the top three confirmed, the finish wasn’t without drama. Berden and McDonald drag raced to the line for fourth. McDonald took it by a half bike length along the left hand side of the fence. Four riders came to the line fighting for 12th: Kevin Bradford (Emde Sports-Fitness Fanatics), Chase Dickens (American Classic Pro Team), Allen Krughoff (Raleigh Clement), and Ryan Knapp (The Pony Shop). In the scrum for the line, two riders tangled and Dickens hit the deck hard. He rolled, grabbed his bike in the same motion and narrowly made the top 15 on foot.