Monday Musette: North American Cyclocross Week in Review: Cyclesmart, Cincy, and Canada

Natalia Boltukhova | Pedal Power Photography | 2011

Cincy3 Day Festival

For the first time in nearly a month, all the top players in US cross gathered together, this time for three days of cross in Cincinnati, Ohio. The three day “festival” offered a pair of UCI C2 races topped off by Sunday’s C1 race. Many would argue that Jeremy Powers is the best cross rider in America after his pair of top-15 World Cup finishes. Then there’s Tim Johnson, who had a solid European campaign as well, but has struggled to dominate on his home turf the way he has in past years. Many argue that Ryan Trebon is the best racer in the US, getting the better of the Johnson-Powers duo on multiple occasions in the past month. This weekend gave us a clearer idea of who’s the best rider in the US right now. When the dust settled on Sunday, Jeremy Powers came out on top, bookending the weekend with a pair of wins, including Sunday’s C1 race in Harbin Park.

  1. Powers kicked off the weekend with a solo victory at a muddy Cyclo-Stampede. Jeremy Driscoll slowly made his way into second place ahead of Ryan Trebon. Tim Johnson would roll across the line in fourth, over two minutes behind Powers. The most impressive stat from Friday’s race: only eight men finished on the lead lap of what was clearly a grueling race.
  2. On a fast and relatively flat course on Saturday at the Lionhearts International, it was Trebon who was able to ride away from his rivals, finishing 30 seconds ahead of Johnson and nearly a minute ahead of Powers. With Powers and Trebon splitting the pair of C2 races, all eyes focused on Sunday’s prestigious C1 race to see how the weekend’s even count would shuffle out.
  3. Jeremy Powers was able to pick up his fourth-straight victory in Harbin Park on Sunday, ahead of Ryan Trebon, and an incredibly strong Zach McDonald – third place in the race was an incredibly strong result for the youngster. McDonald and Powers were able to take command of the race early one and isolate Trebon, who was the only rider able to make contact with the Rapha-Focus duo. Tim Johnson was with a strong chase group that almost connected with the leading trio, before he crashed out of the race.

All in all, it was a riveting weekend in Cincinnati, Ohio. Powers is clearly the man to beat in the US, but Trebon is right there with him. The real question is can Johnson find his form and rid himself of some bad luck. Riding a bit in the shadows all weekend was Jamey Driscoll, who picked up three top-five finishes. With Christian Heule out for a little while due to illness, and Johnson’s form questionable, Driscoll could be Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld’s best hope for a victory.

The Cycle-Smart International – Rounds 5 & 6 of the NEPCX

The oldest UCI cyclocross race in North American brought a pair of C2 races to Northampton, MA this past weekend. With many of the nation’s top riders in Ohio, and the Canadian National Championships in Toronto, the field had a very New England feel and allowed some lesser known riders a chance to shine. Obviously, all eyes were on Justin Lindine, who attempted to pick up his sixth and seventh straight UCI victory and cement his lead in the inaugural NEPCX series.

  1. Unfortunately for Lindine, and all his Facebook fans, it was not meant to be as the cyclocross Gods finally put an end to his remarkable streak. Instead, it was Luke Keough who captured the victory on Saturday ahead of Dylan McNicholas and the Philly Cyclocross School’s Lukas Winterberg in a three-up sprint. Lindine would roll across the line in sixth place, 26-seconds behind. 
  2. Keough repeated his sucess on Sunday, once again out sprinting McNicholas, Jerome Townsend (third) and Lindine (fourth).

As far as Lindine’s lack of usual domination goes, he said he had heavy legs and didn’t have the snap needed to make his usual moves. On Saturday, Lindine seemed to struggle from tire or tire pressure issues. On Sunday, the racecourse seemed to favor the road riders a bit more and although Lindine tried hard, he was unable to get away. 

Lindine’s struggles were a bit of a dissapointment for many of the New England faithful, but between that, and Keough’s success, the final two rounds of the NECPX in Rhode Island will decide the series. Lindine picked up a total of 23 points bringing his overall total to 107. Meanwhile, Keough picked up 80 points bringing his overall total to 110. The series wraps up December 3 & 4 with the NBX GP of Cyclocross – we’ll be keeping our eyes on the form of both Lindine and Keough leading up to those races to see how their neck-and-neck battle will play out. 

Canadian National Championships

Chris Sheppard picked up the Maple Leaf jersey in Toronto this past weekend for the second consecutive year. Mark Batty beat out Aaron Schooler in a two-up sprint for silver. Derrick St. John rolled across the line in fourth. As far as our riders to watch did, Craig Richey finished eight, Mike Garrigan was sixth and Shaun Adamson finished a distant 14th. It should be noted that for the second straight year, Geoff Kabush elected not to make the trip to Toronto.

 

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