|Cyclingnews TV News Tech Features Road MTB BMX Cyclo-cross Track Photos Fitness Letters Search Forum|
US Cyclo-cross Championships - CN
Kansas City, Missouri, USA, December 11-14, 2008
Stage 15 - December 14: Elite Men
Trebon triumphs in Kansas City
By Laura Weislo in Kansas City, Missouri
Ryan Trebon (Kona) took his second US cyclo-cross championship in a thrilling battle over Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld) and Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) in Kansas City on Sunday.
Trebon won the title in 2006, but last year crashed head-first with an oncoming rider who crossed over the course marker. In bitterly cold but dry conditions, Trebon rode a clean race and was able to power through to take the victory without incident.
"This was just a grind all the way up the hill - it wasn't easy - but it worked out well for the type of effort I'm able to do," Trebon explained. "My ears are frozen, my feet are frozen, my hands are frozen - it was a tough day."
The win was remarkable in that Trebon fell ill just a few days before the race. "I was so happy, I felt so good on Wednesday, then I started feeling a little sick then I was like, 'aw, you gotta be kidding me'," Trebon said. "I had to rest out my cold. I started feeling better yesterday. It certainly wasn't easy."
The first lap looked more like a criterium than a cyclo-cross race as riders streamed single-file up the hill at the Tiffany Springs Park. Trebon, riding for Kona-FSA, rode patiently inside the top 10 from the start as Andy Jacques-Maynes (Specialized/KMC California Giant Berry) battled for the hole shot ahead of Page.
Trebon, Page, Driscoll and his two teammates Tim Johnson and Jeremy Powers, Jesse Anthony (Jamis), Todd Wells (GT), Jacques-Maynes, mountain bike star Jeremiah Bishop (Trek-VW) and Barry Wicks (Kona-FSA) made up an elite group which began to motor away from the rest of the field by the end of the first lap.
By the second lap, it was just Trebon, Page, Driscoll, Johnson, Anthony and Wells at the front, with Jacques-Maynes and Wicks closing in, it looked as if the race would be a stand-off of the sport's most prominent riders.
But a second lap attack by Jesse Anthony (Jamis) lit the fuse, sparking a chase by Driscoll that drew out the decisive move.
As Anthony enjoyed a 10 second lead and Driscoll worked his way across, Trebon waited for Page, Todd Wells (GT) or the defending champion Johnson to respond to the attack before taking up the initiative himself on the climb during the third lap.
Then, with a powerful surge at the end of the fourth lap, Trebon launched his move and rode up to the two young leaders before taking command at the front of the race.
Holding just 10-15 seconds over Driscoll until the final lap, Trebon said his victory wasn't secure until he crested the hill on the final lap. "I definitely was hurting those last two laps. I wasn't sure I was going to hold it until I got down past the barriers. You could crack and lose 10 seconds on that climb."
The secret weapon
The surprise of the race came from Driscoll, who followed the attack by Anthony at the end of the second lap which broke the stalemate between the top riders. He explained that this wasn't a plan hatched by the team before the race.
"All I was told was not to go too hard on the hill. I was most likely going to be working for my teammates as much as I could. Jesse attacked right next to Tim, and Tim told me to respond, so I did.
"Then the race came up to Jesse and I, and I was able to hold on to Trebon for like a fraction of a second. I thought I was going to blow sky high, but my legs out-did me today!"
As Anthony faded, Driscoll kept the same strong pace; and while he could not close the 25 second gap to Trebon, he was easily able to hold off any chase from behind.
Johnson, last year's champion, was thrilled for his young teammate. "Jamey's our little secret weapon. He's been racing at home and he's won what, six, seven, eight UCI races? He's just a young kid, and when you're young and motivated this is a great race to showcase that kind of talent. It was one of those courses where whatever you can put into the pedals you get back 10 times, and he was having a great ride."
Disappointment for Page
Jonathan Page, a silver medalist at the 2007 'cross worlds and for years the top American rider in the world at cyclo-cross, rode a smart race for the first few laps, just biding his time and waiting for Trebon to make his move.
"When Trebon went I was at my limit, and I just couldn't respond," Page said. He spent the next lap chasing with Wells and Johnson before setting off on his own in pursuit of the leaders.
He succeeded in overtaking Anthony for third position on the penultimate lap, but for Page, winner of this race for three years in a row between 2002 and 2004, the race was another disappointment in a less than satisfying year.
"I knew Ryan would be the guy because he was riding strong. When he went, I was in trouble. He was the best man today. I don't have any excuses, he just out-rode everybody."
"I'm disappointed, but that's nothing new for me this year. For four weeks I've either been switching bicycles or sick, or just having bad luck. I was hoping for a clean slate starting here - obviously I was trying to win it."
Anthony, riding his second year in the elite category, found himself at the front of the race early on, and as the more established riders began to eye each other, he took the opportunity to light up the race. Was it reckless abandon or tactical nous?
"I don't think it was that smart of a tactic to attack that early," Anthony admitted. "But everyone sat up and I just wanted to keep a steady pace. I don't really do well with surges, so I just kind of took a few hard pedal strokes and got a tiny gap, and they all sat up.
"So I decided to go for it and see what would happen. I was hoping to draw a few guys out; I didn't want to go it alone for six more laps. It kind of worked when Jamey and Trebon caught me, but I just didn't have the juice to stay with them up the hill."
With four national titles at the under-23 or junior level, a fourth place ahead of last year's champion was a good result for Anthony. "I kind of put some guys in difficulty without having to do much work. They waited to make their acceleration, and I was already ahead so it kind of worked to my advantage towards the end of the race."
Behind Anthony, the battle for the final podium spot looked to be swinging the way of Wells, who held a lead of a handful of seconds on Johnson for the last four laps of the race. In a near repeat of the final USGP race in Portland last week, Johnson and Wells rode at the exact same pace for several frustrating laps, with Johnson unable to close a gap of just three seconds.
But on the final lap, that changed.
"I was just trying to salvage a little bit of something out of the day," said Johnson. "I couldn't close on Wells and he couldn't get away from me, but he went into the pit on the last lap, I'm not sure why, but that's what gave me the podium spot. I didn't think I was going to catch him."
"The hill was brutal, and if you had it you had it, and if you didn't you didn't. Today was one of those days where I didn't, I'm kinda glad it's over."
Johnson will end his season to begin preparing for his road season alongside Floyd Landis at the OUCH pro cycling team, while Trebon, Driscoll and Page will head to Europe for the next round of World Cups in advance of the world championships in the Netherlands.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Mitch Clinton/www.clintonphoto.com
Images by Dave McElwaine/www.trailwatch.net
Images by Maurice Hessel
1 Ryan Trebon (Kona FSA) 1.00.04 2 James Driscoll (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com) 0.28 3 Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) 0.39 4 Jesse Anthony (Jamis) 0.46 5 Tim Johnson (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com) 1.01 6 Todd Wells (GT Bicycles) 1.10 7 Matt Shriver (Jittery Joe's) 8 Andy Jacques-Maynes (Specialized/KMC pb Cal Giant) 2.39 9 Justin Spinelli (Richard Sachs/RGM/Rex Chiu) 2.47 10 Jeremiah Bishop (Trek/VW) 2.54 11 Mark Lalonde (PLANET BIKE) 12 Troy Wells (Team Clif Bar) 3.19 13 Barry Wicks (Kona-FSA) 3.56 14 Christopher Jones (Sonic/ Jittery Joes/ Louis Garneau) 15 Justin Lindine (TARGETRAINING) 4.23 16 Erik Tonkin (Kona FSA) 4.44 17 Solomon Woras (VANILLA) 4.52 18 Stephen Tilford (HRRC/Trek Stores) 19 Jeremy Powers (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com) 5.01 20 Jake Wells (MafiaRacing.com/Pabst) 5.07 21 Russell Stevenson (Team Redline Bikes) 5.42 22 Weston Schempf (C3-Sollay.com) 23 Kevin Bradford-Parish (Redlinebikes.com) 5.55 24 Tyler Wren (Colavita/Sutter Homep/b Cook) 6.04 25 Bart Gillespie (Monavie/Cannondale) 6.08 26 Sam Krieg (kriegcycling /Sienna/ICE) 27 Carl Decker (Broadmark Capital) 28 Molly Cameron (Vanilla bicycles) 6.37 29 Brandon Dwight (Boulder Cycle Sport) 6.47 30 Justin Robinson (California Giant Berry Farms/S) 7.46 31 Nathaniel Ward (BikeReg.com / Joe's Garage) 32 Adam Myerson (TIME Pro Cycling) 7.23 33 Spencer Paxson (Team S&M Young Guns) 7.25 One lap behind 34 Sean Babcock (Team S&M) 36 Matthew Kraus (RGM WATCHES - RICHARD SACHS -) 37 Greg Wittwer (ALAN North America Cycling Tea) 38 Ben Popper (HRS / Rock Lobster) 39 Ryan Iddings (LaPierre) 40 Spencer Powlison (Mafia Racing) 44 Ali Goulet (Ridley Factory Team) 45 Cameron Chambers (NA) Two laps behind 46 Nathan Rice (Michelob Ultra-Big Shark) 47 Gary Douville (Platinum Racing Team) 48 John Bailey (Bailey Bikes) 49 Aaron Bouplon (Rocky Mounts / Izze) 50 William Stolte (HRRC/Trek Stores) 51 Ryan Knapp (BikeReg.com) 52 J Gabriel Lloyd (Targetraining) 53 Jon Cariveau (MOOTS) 54 Kevin Hulick (Gentle Lovers) 55 Joshua Johnson (Big Shark Racing) Three laps behind 56 Christopher Parrish (Western Washington University) 57 Nathanael Wyatt (Carolina Fatz p/b Santa Cruz B) 58 Andrew Applegate (Kobold Watches / Cannondale) 59 Dave Weaver (Alan N. America Cyclocross Tea) 60 Brendan Shafer (Durango DEVO) 61 David Yeater (River City BIcycles) 62 Shadd Smith (TREK KC) 63 Scott Ogilvie (Bare Knuckle Brigade) 64 Stuart Louder (ALAN North American) Four laps behind 65 Tim Pacholski (velo trocadero) 66 Ethan Froese (Mesa Cycles Racing Team) 67 John Behrens (Bailey Bikes) 68 Jeremy Gardner (Spokepost) 69 Ernesto Marenchin (ASYLUM CYCLES) 70 Chad Cheeney (Durango DEVO) 71 Jeff Winkler (KCCX/Verge) 72 Mark Studnicki (localcycling.com) 73 Travis Mcmaster (Mafia Racing/ Pabst) 74 Jake Helmbrecht (Grumpy's/LGR) DNS Charles Pendry (Inland Construction - BTD) DNS Christopher Pietrzak (Porcupine Specialized) DNS Zachary Daab (Hup United) DNS Kurt Refsnider (FORT Factory Team) DNS Aaron Elwell DNS John Flack (The Valley Athletic Club) DNS Jason Lowetz (Team Bearclaw) DNS Matthew Ashley (Flying Rhino Cycling Club) DNS Dallas Burnum (HART) DNS Christopher Tirone (ridley) DNS Russell Griffin (Marx and Bensdorf Cycling Team) DNS Alistair Sponsel (Colavita-Bolla Racing) DNS Nick Hanni (Scott/ Ritchey/ Sram) DNS James Schneider (Sonic Cyclocross/Jittery Joes) DNS Jay Thomas (HRRC/TREK STORES) DNS Nat Ross (Subaru-Gary Fisher) DNS Michael Stoop (Seigler / Axley Cycling Team) DNS Jesse Giordano (Nob Hill Velo) DNS Jeff Courter (GS CIAO - Al's Barber Shop) DNS Benjamin Coleman (Bikereg.com) DNS Brian Hludzinski (University of Colorado-Boulder) DNS Kurt Perham (Cycle-Smart/BCS) DNS Nicholas Shaffer (Human Zoom/Pabst Blue Ribbon) DNS Eric Muehl (cyclefit/ industry nine) DNS James Archer (NA) DNS Raymond Hall (Trek/VW Regional Team) DNS John Meehan (Bissell) DNS Ben Raby (SRAM) DNS Michael Kennedy (Barbasol) DNS Keith Mcmahon (VanWagner/Yojimbo's Garage) DNS Aaron Hawkins (Chrysalis Ventures Cycling) DNS Darryn Biggerstaff (NA) DNP Jonathan Baker (Vitamin Cottage P/B XP Compani) DNP Mike Sherer (Indiana University-Bloomington) DNF Andrew Wulfkuhle (C3 / Sollay.com) DNF Shannon Skerritt (VANILLA) DNF Eric Rasmussen (Porcupine/Specialized) DNF Brian Conant (Pony Shop) DNF Jay Strothman (NA) DNF Wayne Simon (Verdigris Cycling) DNF Scott Hammack (Acqua Al 2/SDBC) DNF Paul Hernandez (Bicycle John's Serious Cycling) DNF David Hutton (Hincapie Barkley) DNF Frederick Bottger (Vitamix/Sixtufit) DNF Grant Berry (Rocky Mtn Chocolate Factory) DNF David Meyer (Grumpy's) DNF Ryan Barthel (Rocky Mtn Chocolate Factory) DNF Mathew Ankney (Mercy Cycling) DNF Adam Mills (HRRC/ Trek Stores) DNF Darren Dowling (NA) DNF Jeff Yielding (Dogfish Racing Team) DNF Joshua Berry (BODE) DNF Edmund (Ned) Overend (Unattached) DNF Gian Dalle Angelini (NA) DNF Anthony Dust (Dogfish Racing Team) DNF Eric Hanzel (Mafia Racing)