Another North American 'cross season is off and running, and already the big names are notching wins. One of them, former US champion Ryan Trebon, started off his season with back-to-back second places on the first major weekend before getting his first win by repeating at Cross Vegas. He spoke with Cyclingnews' North American Editor Mark Zalewski about how his pre-season went and what he hopes to achieve this year.
Kona's Ryan Trebon is back and ready for another season of 'cross – but not quite the same season as before. The former US champion has his eyes set again on the national championship, especially after crashing out of the race last year – but he said he is much more focused on mounting a serious European campaign this year, specifically targeting tough races in Belgium. As a result, he views his North American schedule more as fine tuning and a prelude... though of course he still wants to win the two major series here.
"I obviously want to win the NACT and USGP series, and nationals," he said matter-of-factly. "But that is my beginning of the season goal. I am not so focused on being super-fast early on. I've definitely done a lot of training and I'm not coming in slow, but more I want to do really well in Europe this year."
North American cyclo-crossers have it somewhat different than their Euro-based counterparts, especially as the sport picks up more and more momentum each year. As a result of the increase in popularity they effectively have to serve two masters by racing a full North American season before heading over to Europe to compete on the remaining world cup circuit, followed by the world championships.
While the two calendars overlap, having North American sponsors, such as Kona for Trebon, means doing well on the home front is still very important. That makes for a very long season, going full-gas is lieu of tapering to prepare for Europe and worlds.
"It is hard to keep perspective when you are in the beginning of the year," he said about looking ahead. "But I feel it is possible to podium on a big, A-level race over [in Europe.] Not some race in Spain or Luxembourg, but I want to do the big races - it's what I am looking forward to."
"That is what I want to do later, but I also think it is important to do well here and get points. It is a lot of exposure for Kona, FSA and all my other sponsors. But it is hard to take the long-term view of things sometimes. We are racing hard here, but I am still doing a ton of training mid-week."
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