Welcome back to Pavé’s midweek Power Rankings. It’s been a little while since North American cyclocross talent – as well as foreign riders spending their season in the States – have gone toe to toe with each other. This makes the Power Rankings a bit speculative, but they always are – so without further ado let’s take a look at who’s looking good.
1. Jeremy Powers – J-Pow’s got to be fairly pleased with his trip to the Czech Republic. It netted him a top ten in a UCI World Cup race, raking in points with signs pointing toward his increasing form.
2. Ryan Trebon – I can’t help but wonder how Trebon’s feeling about going toe to toe with Powers in a few weeks at the USGP race in Louisville. These two riders are both putting themselves into extremely fine form; Trebon has effectively supplanted a quiet Tim Johnson as Powers’ rival this season.
3. Tim Johnson – despite his lackluster season, I have a sneaking suspicion that Johnson is about to start ripping. His 17th in Tabor might not seem like a particularly outstanding result, but he wasn’t far behind riders like Bart Wellens, Niels Albert, and Dieter Vanthourenhout. It may not be a shining result but you don’t find your way there without finding some form along the way.
4. Geoff Kabush – Kabush, kaboom. The Canadian is hopefully still riding high off a pair of USGP podiums in Fort Collins. He’s got some extra motivation to reel in some good results, as his team, Maxxis-Rocky Mountain, just announced it’s coming to an end.
5. Christian Heule – Heule skipped Plzen to recover from bruised ribs, and raced to a top-twenty in Tabor.
6. Jamey Driscoll – With slightly disappointing results at the two Czech Republic World Cup races recently, Driscoll’s not as high on the Power Rankings as he’s been in the past, but don’t let that fool you – the Euro race experience only adds to his firepower, and while he’s been consistently behind the podium this season, it’s a matter of time before his performance boils over.
7. Ben Berden – the Belgian spending his season racing in North American usually finds himself leading the chase group at major American races. His reliable performance keeps him hovering in the middle of the top ten.
8. Justin Lindine – a bit of a jump for the BikeReg-Joe’s Garage rider, rising higher on the Power Rankings. Here’s why: he’s won five consecutive UCI races on the East Coast, which has an admirably deep field. Not only that, but he’s done it in smashing style, despite a list of adversity: mud, crashes, mechanicals, and some aggressive riding. Lindine is looking flat-out unbeatable on an impressive regional Pro circuit – we can’t wait to see what he can do on the national level.
9. Todd Wells – despite the fact that our National Champion won’t defend his stars and stripes, it’s clear that he remains a force on the national circuit.
10. Chris Jones – Jeremy Powers may not have the same kind of firepower in his teammates as he did last year but I don’t think that he’s left wanting. Chris Jones is building his form and gaining some experience abroad with the Rapha-Focus’s team to the Czech Rebpublic, and in the coming weeks of North American racing we may see a repeat of the highpowered support he provided for Powers in Fort Collins.