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Ryan Trebon (Kona) leads the US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross after his first victory in the eight-round series at the Derby City Cup held in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday. The US National Cyclo-cross Champion intends to win the prestigious series and hold his top form long enough to capture a second consecutive national title before a shortened European campaign.
"It's always nice to lead this series out of the handful of times that I've won it," said Trebon who has won the series on three occasions. "It's a great series, and I'm not doing the NACT series because it's too much travel and there are other races that I want to do. I decided to focus on this a little more. I wasn't riding that well at the start of the season. I started to feel better in Cincinnati, and I've been training really well this week."
Three-time World Champion, Erwin Vervecken graced the US with a campaign during which he competed in a number of events that included the StarCrossed and Rad Racing events, as well as the first two rounds of the USGP series at CrossVegas and the Madison Cup, respectively. After several podium places, he finally recorded a win in the last race on his schedule, the Madison Cup. His success left him with the series leader's jersey as he left to fly back to his home in Belgium.
With Vervecken out of the picture, the series lead was left wide-open for America's top 'cross riders during the third round at the Derby City Cup. Trebon won the 60-minute 'cross derby from a three-way sprint ahead of Cyclocrossworld.com teammates Jamey Driscoll and Tim Johnson. His win boosted him into a slim lead in the USGP series.
The bumpy path of cyclo-cross
What seemed like a slow start to the season was instead a case of bad luck and ill health for the US National Champion. A mixture of top 10 results and DNFs plagued the start of Trebon's opening season. It was a mediocre beginning for someone used to standing on the podium while his competitors Jeremy Powers, Erwin Vervecken, Jonathan Page, Tim Johnson and Jamey Driscoll enjoyed the fruits of victory each weekend.
"It wasn't that I had a slow start it's just that stupid little things kept happening," Trebon said. "I crashed at StarCrossed, and I wasn't so good in Vegas, and then I got sick right after. It wasn't like I've been bad it's just little things got in the way and I just kept trying to work through it."
Trebon was back to winning fashion last weekend where he captured double victories in two UCI ranked events at the Granogue in Delaware and Wissahickon in Pennsylvania. According to Trebon, his win at the Derby City Cup and recent lead in the USGP series bodes well for his European campaign set to start a little later this year.
Annual ticket to Worlds - delayed
Trebon has a clear list of goals he would like to accomplish this year: Win the USGP title, win US National Championships and compete at 100-percent capacity at the World Championships.
The US National Championship will be held in his hometown of Bend, Oregon, giving him slightly more incentive to compete for the win in front of his family and friends. The winner of the stars and stripes jersey is an automatic selection to the World Championships. Typically, Trebon departs for Belgium the day following his nationals and competes in a six-week season of European cyclo-cross. This year he has decided to change his schedule to avoid burn-out before the big day.
"I will delay my trip to Europe for at least two weeks," Trebon said. "I'll stay here and get some really good training in and then go over and try and have a better end of the season in Europe. It's easy to get sluggish and slow from sitting around for a month and half straight."
He plans to compete in the last two or three World Cups in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium; Roubaix, France; and Hoogerheide in the Netherlands before contesting the World Championships.
"I'd like to ride to Worlds fresh, not waiting to get home," he said. "Six weeks there is hard, and you get bored sitting around all day. I want to go there and have those three weeks be 10 percent rather than be 100 percent for three weeks and then have my fitness drops two percent every week after that, because by the end, you're only racing at 85 percent. So, that's my goal."
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