After a weekend of North American racing that seemed to defy attempts at consistency and saw eight different riders take top-five spots in two races in Colorado, Pavé takes a look at the top ten cyclocrossers on the continent:
1. Ryan Trebon – the tall man from Oregon headed to Colorado and put in a dominant performance, taking 1st and 2nd on a weekend when his closet rival, Jeremy Powers, chose to rest. Trebon practically seems able tow in at will and is a force to be reckoned with this year.
2. Jeremy Powers – J-Pow opted out of racing this weekend, preferring instead to get snowed in in Western Massachusetts, and recover from his trip to the Czech Republic on a bed full of UCI points from a couple thoroughly respectable performances in two World Cup races. We can expect him to come out swinging next weekend, but he slips a place due to his non-attendance.
3. Ben Berden - the experienced Belgian has gained a reputation for being one of the best sand riders in the business and put those skills to work with a late attack on Sunday’s C1 race. Given the stinginess shown by Trebon and Powers to let anybody else seriously compete for wins, it’s unclear how many more opportunities he’ll get. But this one’s a fine feather in his cap.
4. Tim Johnson – Saturday’s rest day proved useful to TJ on Sunday, and he stuck with a high-powered lead group and was able to pip Geoff Kabush for the final podium spot. He’s been looking for form and though it’s slow to come around this season, it looks like it’s on his way.
5. Geoff Kabush -Kabush puts in strong performances at big races. He was an obvious podium threat this weekend, nearly stealing Sunday’s race from the hands of Berden, Trebon, and Johnson. Expect further good results from him.
6. Todd Wells – Our National Champion goes up and down – sometimes riding a wave of impressive results, other times fading from view. A podium position this past weekend shows what he could do.
7. Jamey Driscoll – The youngest member of the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com squad is, apparently, still getting his sea legs underneath him this season. We’re used to seeing Driscoll grab some better results by this time of the season – maybe he’ll get his chance this weekend.
8. Daniel Summerhill – We don’t see Danny Summerhill at the front end of the race too often despite much experience for somebody of his young age, and the obvious capacity to perform well. This weekend was the first time he’s made ripples, and with a 5th and an 8th place against a strong field in Colorado, he shows what he can do.
9. Justin Lindine – It’s hard to imagine Lindine losing any time soon. We haven’t seen him compete against some of the other riders on this list recently, but we might get a chance to see him go toe to toe with some of them if Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com’s squad returns to Massachusetts for this weekend’s Cycle-Smart International.
10. Tristan Schouten – Schouten makes an impression with 5th place on Sunday’s C1 race. It’s a strong showing that shows that his fine rides at the Fort Collins USGP races weren’t one-offs.