2010 US Cyclocross Nationals – Editors’ Picks


Photo by Dave Roth, http://www.dmroth.com/cycling.html


Of his first season of elite cyclocross racing, a guy I used to race with said, “The top five or ten guys are racing one race, and the five guys behind them are racing another race. And then there are the rest of us.” This description of the steep steps up the talent pyramid seems particularly accurate when compared to road racing. We here at Pavé debated long and hard about the outcome of UCI Road World Championship, but the variables are different in a cyclocross race. In fact, predicting who will come out on top at cyclocross nationals this weekend in Bend, Oregon is not so much a question of who will fill out the top-5, but rather, in what order will they be?

Here are our quick picks:

Jeff (In Bend Currently):

The course is really, really sloppy. Predictions are for above freezing conditions all weekend, and some rain. This race is going to be an incredible battle, lots of short rises and some steep drop-offs, a flyover, lots of off-camber sections.

I’m expecting it to be a battle between TJ and J-Pow. I think that Trebon is going to be in a three horse race for third with Driscoll and Todd Wells. Honestly, I think this might end up like the Saturday of Fort Collins with results that nobody expected. I think it’s going to be crazy.

Men:

1. Jeremy Powers

2. Todd Wells

3. Tim Johnson

4. Ryan Trebon

5. Jamey Driscoll

I’m expecting some great things out of the New England women this weekend. If the weather stays sloppy, I think this could be something really special.

Women:

1. Georgia Gould

2. Mo Bruno-Roy

3. Andrea Smith

4. Amy Dombroski

5. Laura Van Gilder

Whit:

Anyone who’s anyone knows Tim Johnson will win this Sunday.  Yeah, he lost both races–and the USGP overall title–to his teammate Jeremy Powers last weekend, but to most, a year in the stars and stripes means much more.  (Do you remember last year’s overall winner of the USGP?)  Johnson was jet-lagged, tired, and happy to see his teammate and friend take the title—last week.  This week, he’s healthy, rested, and focused on defending his title—and maybe eager to send a message to those wondering if the UCI’s new rule enforcement has anything to do with his “front row to no-show” performance in Koksijde.

Men:

1. Tim Johnson

2. Ryan Trebon

3. Jeremy Powers

4. Todd Wells

5. Chris Jones

As for the women, my heart rooting for the Mid-Atlantic’s Laura Van Gilder—but my head has a hard time betting against Katie Compton.

Erik:

I feel like there will be a big surprise this year, but I cannot see anyone stopping Johnson or Powers. While I thought of picking Trebon to win, or a Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com sweep, I’m going to play it a bit conservative and stick with my guns.

Men:

1. Tim Johnson

2. Ryan Trebon

3. Jeremy Powers

4. Todd Wells

5. Jamey Driscoll

Rich:

Can anyone beat Tim Johnson? Probably not. If it’s cold and messy he could run away with it.

Mattio:

It’s hard to argue that this isn’t Jeremy Powers’ year for the stars and stripes, but the hugely variable conditions might favor his older, savvier teammate Tim Johnson. Whit throws down by saying that “anybody who’s anybody” will pick Johnson, but I’m going to stick with Powers coming out on top. I’d feel more confident if conditions were dryer, but I can’t turn from the guy I’ve been rooting for all season.

Powers’ regular presence on the top step of podiums this year shows that he’s not just capable of winning—he’s capable of dominating. Furthermore, his pair of wins last weekend was an impressive feat—particularly the second day, when he recovered from a rough start, distanced his competitors, and held-off Johnson in the closing laps despite losing time on every run-up. Simply put: Powers is hungry.

I predict the same top three as last weekend’s final USGP race, with Todd Wells and Chris Jones rounding out the top-5.

Men:

1. Jeremy Powers

2. Tim Johnson

3. Ryan Trebon

4. Todd Wells

5. Chris Jones

For the women, I have a hard time thinking Katie Compton will be defeated. Once again, the sloppy conditions—the “true ‘cross” conditions—could throw a wrench into everything, but Compton is unbeatable when she’s strong.

Women:

1. Katie Compton

2. Georgie Gould

3. Katerina Nash

4. Mo Bruno-Roy

5. Amy Dombrowski


So those are our picks.  What about yours?

However it goes down, it’s a near guarantee that both races will be exciting. You’ll be able to find live coverage of the racing on Sunday at www.cyclingdirt.org, with additional links probably posted on www.cyclingfans.com. If you’re a Twitter user, #cxnats is the hashtag to use to find and post additional information.  And come back here next week for our comments on the weekend’s action.

About Whit

My experiences might easily fit many cycling fans' definitions of “living the dream.” Since getting hooked on the sport watching Lance Armstrong win the 1993 U.S. Pro Championship, I've raced as an amateur on Belgian cobbles, traveled Europe to help build a European pro team, and piloted that team from Malaysia to Mont Ventoux. As a former assistant director sportif with Mercury-Viatel, I've also seen the less dreamy side of the sport – the side rife with broken contracts, infighting, and positive dope tests. These days, I live with my lovely wife in Pennsylvania and share my experiences and views on the sport at Bicycling Magazine, the Embrocation Cycling Journal, and at my own site, Pavé.
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2 Responses to 2010 US Cyclocross Nationals – Editors’ Picks

  1. Jeff says:

    How did I forget Katie Compton? Bump everyone down one for my picks in the ladies race.

  2. Mattio says:

    My picks are looking good so far – Compton and Gould are off the front!

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