North American 'Cross Trophy heads to Boulder

By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor The North American cyclo-cross season shifts again this...

By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

The North American cyclo-cross season shifts again this weekend, from the start of one major series back to the other, with a pair of UCI races held in and around Boulder, Colorado. The North American Cyclo-cross Trophy series' Boulder Cup weekend will see a C2 rated race on Saturday at the Boulder Reservoir and a C1 race on Sunday Harlow Platts Park. The races make up three of the four weekends in a series led by Ryan Trebon (Kona) and Amy Dombrowski (Velo Bella-Kona).

In the men's race, a quality field is on the registration list, including national champion Tim Johnson (Cyclocrossworld-Cannondale) who is just 30 points behind Trebon in the NACT series. The two riders traded wins last weekend at the Derby City Cup in Louisville, Kentucky. But each rider also had off days likely due in part to the constant racing for the past month – with Trebon pulling out of the second race with a banged-up knee. The fatigue of travel and racing could affect how the top riders fare this weekend.

With this in mind, Jesse Anthony (Jamis) could capitalize on having just come back to racing, after missing two months from a broken wrist. Last weekend's racing was the first time he raced without a brace on his wrist – and though he admitted to missing a little endurance towards the end of the 60 minutes, he pulled out two second place finishes to take the USGP series lead.

Anthony, however, is without teammates this season. And an off day by riders like Johnson or Trebon is usually countered by their teammates – the strongest of which so far has been Jeremy Powers (Cyclocrossworld-Cannondale.) The young rising-star of US 'cross racing has had his best season ever so far, recently winning the Wissahickon Cross race and sitting in third place on the NACT series.

Powers, Johnson and Trebon, or some variation thereof, seem to make-up the leading group in most races this season, putting all the pressure on Trebon. The Kona rider's teammate Barry Wicks has yet to make it past the chase group to even the odds for Trebon. Also consistently in the chase groups are riders like Matt Shriver (Jittery Joe's), Jamey Driscoll (Cyclocrossworld-Cannondale) and the brothers Wells, Todd (Team GT) and Troy (Clif Bar.)

The women's series is much closer than the men's, with Dombrowski holding a 58 point lead over both Canadian champion Wendy Simms (Kona) and Sue Butler (Monavie-Cannondale). Dombrowski gained her lead by winning both of the Gloucester races while Simms and Butler, who traded wins on the first weekend of the series in Seattle and Tacoma, did not race. Neither Simms nor Butler are expected to race this weekend.

The biggest news also comes from the 'not-racing' file – US champion Katie Compton (Spike) is not on the start list, likely due to her leg injury that kept her from finishing the first World Cup.

This leaves the favorites to Georgia Gould (Luna Chix) and Rachel Lloyd (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized) who battled last weekend in Louisville. Gould won one of the races while her Luna teammate Katerina Nash took the other. The double-team kept Lloyd from even having a chance, but with Nash racing in Europe this weekend the playing field is more even.

Cyclingnews will have full reports and photos from both days of racing.

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