The final installment in our Domestique Cyclocross Season Preview is our pre-season Power Ranking. From here on out, Pavé will rank racers on the domestic circuit each week, tracking the rise and fall of top pros’ fitness and race prospects.
1. Jeremy Powers – J-Pow enters the 2011 season as the man to beat on American soil. He won four of the eight races in the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross on his way to taking the overall victory, and the National Championship looked to be well within his grasp until a slippery corner and a tangle with Todd Wells resulted in a brake pad jammed underneath his rim and a deficit he couldn’t overcome.
2. Todd Wells - it’s hard to put the guy wearing Stars and Stripes any lower than 2nd. Winning the biggest domestic race of the year is a fine feather in a cap. But, as Erik asks, how will he handle a longer, fuller season?
3. Tim Johnson - Johnson’s taken a light road season with an eye toward full cycocross preparation. With next year’s World Championships in Kentucky, Johnson will be looking for additional European experience under his belt – this is likely to look like a more paced domesitic season, particularly in the fall, in order to avoid an early-winter fatigue that would make for a difficult and dreary build-up to 2012 Worlds.
4. Jamey Driscoll - Driscoll is the best American cyclocross racer with the most moderate results. Blame it on his commitment to finishing college. He graduated in May and, with a recent podium finish at the Green Mountain Stage Race, looks primed for a strong cyclocross season. Let’s see what he can do when he’s firing on both barrels.
5. Chris Jones was one of the most consistent racers last season. I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t turn his 9 podiums in 2010 into a couple of wins in 2011.
6. Ryan Trebon had a hard time finding his stride in 2010; the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com trio of Powers, Johnson, and Driscoll effectively neutralized him with a stranglehold on the USA’s biggest races. With Johnson and Powers split up, likely racing against each other a bit more enthusiastically, can Trebon take early advantage?
7. Christian Huele – The multi-time Swiss National Champion primes for a full season of racing in the USA.
8. Geoff Kabush - Kabush finished 10th in the MTB World Championships recently. Can he parlay that into impressive results on a cross bike? We’ll see.
9. Justine Lindine held the VERGE-NECCS lead for most of 2010, until getting overtaken by Myerson. It was a big improvement for Lindine – as was his progression from 39th to 11th at Nationals. Will we see similar improvement in 2011?
10. Adam Myerson – will he surpass his impressive 2010 season? Myerson’s likely to come out of the gate very strongly.