Four the fourth consecutive week, riders in the US have to opportunity to pick up a ton of UCI points with another C1/C2 weekend. After two weekends in the heart of New England, most of the nation’s top riders will fly across the country to Fort Collins, CO for the third and fourth round of the USGP. Last year, the podium featured Ryan Trebon, Geoff Kabush and Jeremy Powers, with Powers and Trebon splitting victories in CO. Sound familiar? The predictor thinks so. Without further ado, here’s who I expect to land on the podium this weekend:
The Smartwool Cup – USGP Rounds 3 & 4 (C1/C2)
Jeremy Powers – Powers has won every C1 race in the US this year and, at times, looks unstoppable. With the first World Cup round just around the corner, Powers would love to continue his stateside domination. I expect him to land on the podium both days this weekend, picking up at least one victory.
Ryan Trebon – Trebon seemed to struggle a bit last weekend, but is still one of the strongest riders in the US. Trebon should pick up a victory in Fort Collins this weekend. I usually don’t pick specific days, but if I had to, I’d look for Trebon to win on Saturday. With a bit of rain in the forecast and C1 points on the line, Trebon just may be able to to break Powers stranglehold on C1 races.
Zach McDonald – to the average cross fan, McDonald’s win last Sunday was a shocker. However, McDonald is no slouch, especially in the mud. While the weekend doesn’t look super muddy, McDonald is on form and slick conditions on Saturday should favor the Washington native. Look for McDonald to land on the podium at least once this weekend.
Ben Berden – Berden has been in the mix all season, landing on the podium multiple times. Clearly the Belgian rider is on great form and has figured out US racing. I expect Berden to land on the podium this weekend.
It has been a while since I did a riders to watch paragraph, but two riders stand out as potential wildcards this weekend in Fort Collins. Geoff Kabush returns to cross after a few week absence. His performance in Fort Collins last year was fun to watch and surprising to see. I’m sure he’d love to do it again. Fellow mountain biker Adam Craig will show off his cross skills as well this weekend. Craig is one of those riders who could probably be a top-five contender if he raced cross full time. If he can overcome a poor starting position, he could surprise many.