1. Jeremy Powers – after a start to the season that made us wonder, it looks like J-Pow is really coming around. It hasn’t been easy – he’s had to go head to head against a Ryan Trebon who looks to be in the form of his life. At Sunday’s USGP race in Fort Collins, the two put on a show, trading the lead and hunting each other down a couple times, but it was J-Pow who, in the last two laps, closed down Trebon’s gap, opened one of his own, and took the win. It’s enough to put him on top of the heap.
2. Ryan Trebon – It would be easy to keep Trebon at the top of the power rankings, too – since he took Saturday’s arguably more difficult USGP race, slogging through deep mud on his way to putting nearly a minute into J-Pow. Whether it’s Trebon or Powers who’s better right now is definitely fodder for debate, and the only clear answer I can see is that it’s shaping up to be an incredible season.
3. Geoff Kabush goes rocketing up the Power Rankings with an impressive weekend at the USGP’s New Belgium Cup – taking two third places behind the placeswapping Jeremy Powers and Ryan Trebon. Kabush had indicated that this weekend would be a season-decider for him after a disappointing September. Performing in both atrocious mud on Saturday and fast, tacky conditions on Sunday show us that he’s a well-rounded rider. He’s always performed well at Fort Collins – let’s see if he can parlay is performance and his confidence into repeated results.
4. Jamey Driscoll – It seems that the young New Englander has traded monickers, having graduated from being The Studious One (in past years he traveled to races on the weekend and spent the weeks at college) to now being Mister Consistency. Driscoll’s had a hard time cracking the podium this season but remains steadily behind the leaders.
5. Tristan Schouten – Like Kabush, Schouten’s another new face on the Power Rankings after the USGP two-up in Fort Collins, riding into 4th place on Day 2. We’ve wondered where Schouten’s been this season, but it seems he’s answered. Look for more good performances from him.
6. Tim Johnson – Man oh man where has our TJ gone? We’ve said in the past that his early season difficulties aren’t too hard to pin down – a flu here, a planned low-form early on with an eye toward the longer game of building up one reliable peak for the World Championships. But we’re still not used to scrolling down on the results sheet to see his name.
7. Ben Berden – the big tough Belgian lurks behind the leaders, constantly in the top ten of major races. It’s yet to see if he can burst ahead to go toe to toe with the continent’s best, but he’s certainly close.
8. Christian Heule – For much of September, Heule was the spark that lit the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com machine, which culminated in a big homefield win at Gloucester’s C1 race. A cartilage injury as slowed him down somewhat. Expect him to be quiet for a bit while he heals, retrains, and comes back with a boom.
9. Chris Sheppard – Sheppard’s presence on the Power Rankings this week is the third of a trifecta of new faces on the Power Rankings, an indication of just how much this weekend shook up North American CX. The Canadian National Champion put down two top-ten rides in the USGP – if he, like others, are finding form to be competitive in the biggest races on the continent, then we’re in for fireworks.
10. Justin Lindine – the East Coast’s pride and joy repped his sponsors on the regional races, going two for two at Providence and handily defeating the Northeast Pro field.