Tim Johnson is one of the serious players in the cyclocross world, often seen passionately enjoying the winter on his 'cross bike after a season of road racing. The American is always at the business end of the races, making him the perfect rider to talk to about the growing 'cross scene in the United States. Cyclingnews' Gregor Brown spoke with Tim Johnson (Cannondale/cyclocrossworld.com) as he was in the Northwest preparing for his final two USGP races:
Beginning cyclocross at an early age, Tim Johnson finished the 1999 U23 world championships third behind Belgians Bart Wellens and Tom Vannoppen, going on to recorded numerous successes in the USA. He kicked off 2006 with an explosion, winning in Vermont, Southampton and Downeast, before Ryan Trebon (Kona) took control of the USA 'cross scene.
"Since then it has been the reign of Ryan," said the 29 year-old in a half-joking manner. "He has had really good luck and good form, wining every race he entered until this last week when he had a mechanical and got fourth [in Boulder Cup, November 5]. It was a big opportunity for us to attack; too bad for Todd Wells and I, Wicks bridged up and got us both.
"Right now I am committed to the last two days of the USGP, in Tacoma and Portland. [In Portland, Johnson went on to win the epic finale - ed.] From there we will go to New England, preparing for nationals. Last year it was such a huge event for everyone, with over a 1,000 racers. The blizzard made it so spectacular but I think that this year will once again show how big cyclocross has become in the USA. We should see a massive turnout in Providence [Rhode Island]."
Johnson is referring to the growth of the cyclocross scene in the USA. The professional races have much greater depth than a few years back, and the amateur levels are growing in large numbers. At all the races Johnson attends, he is met with a roar from fans surrounding the typically-short 'cross circuits.
Read the entire Tim Johnson interview here.