1. Jeremy Powers (1) – With a two-for-two weekend even after coming off a post-Koksijde lull, Powers makes it five consecutive US Gran Prix victories, and his second overall win in the series. If he continues to build to Nationals, we’ll see him in stars and stripes – finally.
2. Tim Johnson (2) – this weekend answered our questions about Johnson, his sixth place on Sunday notwithstanding. His season has been built around one long, slow build to form in January. He just might time it to perfection and challenge Powers in Madison.
3. Jamey Driscoll (4) – Driscoll had a huge weekend. Fourth place and second place are great results for a rider who’s used to a few more podium performances throughout the year. He can credit his podium place on Sunday to Summerhill’s wipeout, which let him off the front, but Power is as elusive as being in the right place at the right time. Who’s to say which it was?
4. Danny Summerhill (nr) – As a junior and then as a U23, Summerhill was really, really good at cyclocross. He’s prioritized a road career and got a deal with Garmin, but this weekend was just a glimpse at what he could do if he had somebody paying him to ride knobby tires full time. Maybe if that was the case he wouldn’t have bobbled himself out of the lead group on Sunday.
5. Geoff Kabush (6) – Kabush raced aggressively all weekend. On Sunday he rode at the front of the race, only to be pulled back and then gapped by a crashing Summerhill. That said, while he looked comfortable, he also looked like a guy who could use another couple of races in his legs. A high-powered lead group seemed to catch him easily. Kabush’s podium potential is robust but this weekend he found himself with significant competition.
6. Christian Heule (7) – the Swiss National Champion concludes a moderately successful season with sixth in Bend. He’s had some nice wins and a couple injuries, but overall, we tip our caps to him for being one of the Euros making a season of it in the United States.
7. Chris Jones (4) – Jones is a hanger-on on the lead group of the race, but half the time can hold on just long enough to pull out a fine result. He did so this weekend, but the field was deep.
8. Chris Shepperd (10) – look who’s building form! Shepperd built on the success a week and a half ago with a few fine rides in Oregon.
9. Troy Wells (nr) – Todd’s brother can be relied on for some impressive top ten rides in big races, and he showed up to Bend and performed finely.
10. Tristan Schouten (nr) – A top ten Sunday in Bend shows once again that Schouten is indeed among the country’s elite cyclocross racers. If only he had a bit more time and resources to race. We’d like to place him tied with Zach MacDonald (nr) for 10th place – the young Rapha-Focus rider won his own competition, clinching the USGP U23 title with a pair of top-ten rides. He deserves a kudos.
Dropped this week: Luke Keough, Todd Wells, Ben Berden. Keough rode high until last week, winning the Shimano Series, but didn’t take his form over to Bend. Wells hung up his cross wheels for the season, and Berden performed well on Saturday before DNFing Sunday, a disappointing conclusion to his US season. It’s been a fine one overall, though, and we wish him the best back in Belgium.