US Cross – Week 4 Predictions

The calm before the storm in Gloucester (2011). Photo by Sasha Eysymontt | flickr.com/photos/sashae

It’s a rare occasion in the United States to have only one-pair of UCI races on a weekend. It’s even rarer to have a UCI C1 race stateside, which is why America’s top cross riders have all assembled on the Gran Prix of Gloucester aka the New England World Championships. In addition to the nearly 2,000 competitors, 90+ riders will take to the start grid in the Elite Men’s race. The list of talent goes deeper than a National Championship and with rain in the forecast, this could be a truly great weekend of cross.

I will honestly admit that picking this weekend’s winner and podium finishers is nearly impossible. I left off a few riders who could easily make a bid for victory including National Champions, former podium finishers and even a past champion of this race. I’m standing by my predictions, but would love to hear yours. So, without further ado, here’s this weekend’s predictions:

Great Brewers International Gran Prix of Gloucester (C1/C2)
NEPCX Rounds 1 & 2

The Winner

Jeremy Powers – while it’s hard to believe that Powers will dominate both days in “glosta”, it’s hard to argue that he won’t. Powers is four-for-five this year with his only non-win being a third place finish at the second round of the USGP. Powers won here last year and would love to duplicate that success.

The Podium

Tim Johnson – Johnson has been knocking on the door all season, but just hasn’t figured out a way to land on the top step of the podium. Look for the first winner of this race (in 1999) to land on the podium this weekend.

Ben Berden – despite missing the podium last weekend in Wisconsin, Berden looks very strong right now. He finished fourth on day one and third on day two last year in “glosta”. This leads me to believe he’ll finish on the podium one day this weekend.

Ryan Trebon – Trebon returns to “glosta” this year, a race he’s won three times. Trebon has looked solid this year, and despite not being 100%, he’s clearly a podium contender. I pick him to land on the podium this weekend.

Nicolas Bazin – despite ruling the East Coast this season, I don’t expect Bazin to win this weekend. In fact, I wouldn’t even be surprised if he misses the podium. With that said, Bazin is riding really well and this is his chance to make his mark against a top-notch American field.

One last note: due to an error on my part, I missed the Gateway Cup this past Wednesday. For some reason I thought the race was the last Wednesday in October. My apologies. Now, I could sit here and say that I would have predicted the winner correctly (Ben Berden) and would have picked Jonathan Page to land on the podium (second), but I won’t. Instead, I’ll take a zero (my second this season) and apologize for my mistake.

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