After a successful weekend of racing in Bend, Oregon, at the Exergy USGP which netted him back-to-back wins as well as the overall Exergy USGP series victory, Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) decided to head to the southeast for a short training camp before his next block of racing.
"This time it's a little bit earlier than last year," said Powers. "Because this year there's more racing in the States and (cyclo-cross) nationals is pushed to January, so I'm down here to train in Athens, Georgia, for the warmer weather."
Powers will have company as he's staying at the home of Kenda/5-Hour Energy's Phil Gaimon. In tow is his coach Rick Crawford, who will be driving the scooter for some motor pace training. "We're going to beat it down!" Powers said ecstatically regarding his upcoming southeast training block.
The Rapha-Focus rider describes his cyclo-cross season so far as going, "according to plan" which includes the aforementioned wins in Bend and the overall USGP victory, but also wins at Nittany Lion Cross, the Gateway Cross Cup and a 10th place finish at the first World Cup race in Plzen of the Czech Republic. He credits that to taking breaks and some good fortune.
"I've also been really lucky to not have had any mechanical issues - everything came together really well. And winning the USGPs back-to-back was really nice." Other than being lucky and not suffering with mechanicals or injury, Powers also gives credit to better energy management.
"It's not going out and doing things like I used to do. There's been a refinement every year as I've gotten older and I make the decision like not go out and have a beer with my friends after the race or drive eight hours to go do a training camp. Now I fly, get someone to pick me up at the airport, have dinner and put my legs up.
"I also had a really good road program with Jelly Belly and had a nice USA Pro Cycling Challenge, which was a great race, and that set me up for the cyclo-cross season."
While Power's cyclo-cross season has been successful he does have a couple of regrets.
"I wish I'd gotten on the podium in Cross Vegas (he finished fourth) and I had won a race when Bart Wellens and the Europeans were here. I got on the podium a couple of times. I did win some races, but not against the big boys like Bart. Last year I won against Francis Mourey, who was the French national champion."
With the season more than halfway completed, Powers is able to weigh in on how the race dynamic has changed as now his former Cannondale teammate, Tim Johnson, is a rival.
"When we were on the team (Cannondale) together we had a really good friendship and we pushed and pulled each other," said Powers. "Seeing him now we are still friends, but when we're on the course I'm racing against Tim. Nothing changes - I don't look down and see what kit I'm in. I just see a dude in green in front of me."
After his southeast training camp is concluded, Powers will return home to Connecticut for the holidays. However, soon after he's packing his bags for Chicago for a pair of UCI-ranked races over the New Year's Eve weekend.
After Chicago it's on to Madison, Wisconsin, for the USA Cyclo-cross National Championships followed by one more trip to Europe for the last two World Cup races and then the world championships at the end of January in Koksijde, Belgium.