US National Cyclo-cross Champion, Ryan Trebon (Kona-FSA) is aiming to capture a fourth overall title in the US Gran Prix of Cyclo-Cross (USGP) series as it heads into the final two rounds at the Portland Stanley Cup in Oregon next weekend.
"I definitely want to win it this year, it’s definitely a big goal," said Trebon. "I missed a few of the NACT series this year to focus on doing this. I’m so psyched for Portland because it’s one of my favourite stops on the calendar and it’s fun racing near my hometown. It’s going to be a good race."
Trebon is currently leading the series with a total of 210 points, ahead of Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com teammates Jamey Driscoll and Tim Johnson. Driscoll sits 30 points behind Trebon, while last year’s overall series winner, Johnson, sits a further six points back. There are 50 points available to the winner of each race in Oregon, leaving the race for the series title wide open. If the final two rounds are anything like the first six, it will be a dog fight until the very end.
"I wasn’t too happy about losing it last year," said Trebon who lost the series lead to Johnson during the final weekend in Portland. "It happens, I had a couple of bad races and some guys were riding really well."
Trebon won round three of the series at the Derby City Cup in Kentucky. That result was followed by a second win in round five at the Mercer Cup in New Jersey, where he regained the overall lead. He has captured podium places in every other round with the exception of round four, where a he did not finish due to a serious crash. He was forced to briefly hand over the leader’s jersey to Driscoll who was tied for first place points at the time.
"I had good legs in Louisville, but after the crash I had to miss a week of training," Trebon said. "It’s one of those things where you ride and feel horrible so you take another few days off. Sometimes rest is good. It’s not really rest when you are recovering from an injury, but just being at home and doing some good training in the lead up to the Mercer Cup was good."
The USA's cyclo-cross season kicked off in September with European-based cyclo-cross talents gracing the stage. Belgium’s three-time Word Champion Erwin Vervecken (Baboco Revor), Swiss National Champion Christian Heule (Rendementhypo) and American talent Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) were gaining early season fitness and collecting valuable UCI point before their return to Europe.
Vervecken finished his US campaign with the USGP leader's jersey. However, the months of October and November saw the near domination of Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com’s Johnson, Powers and Driscoll, who collected a combined total of sixteen victories. Trebon was the only rider able to put a dent in the trio's winning streak.
"It’s hard and it gets frustrating, but those guys are all riding really well this year," Trebon said. "But what do you do? I just have to try hard. I usually just hope that there will be a couple of other guys in the mix. I hope that there will be at least one more person up there to help out, and I have to have good fitness."
"Cross isn’t exactly like road racing in that it’s not super tactical," he continued. "I know that if I have good legs that I have a good chance at winning, as long as I don’t make any mistakes. But, those guys are good. It’s not that they're just fit; they're also great bike handlers and force the pace through technical sections. I have to be 100 per cent to get past them."
Follow Cyclingnews on Twitter for the very latest coverage of events taking place in the cycling world - twitter.com/cyclingnewsfeed