The US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross headed to America's heart of 'cross, Portland, Oregon for the series finale. Well known for it's ability to deliver wet weather and challenging parcours, the Pacific Northwest handed the riders an additional challenge: first a wintry mix of snow and rain, and then near-hurricane force winds and torrential rains which turned the course at the Portland International Raceway into a soupy bog. Needless to say, weather was a factor in every race for everyone except the crowds, who turned out 6,000 strong to witness the spectacle.
On Saturday, Tim Johnson (Cannondale/Leer/Cyclo-crossworld.com) and Georgia Gould (Luna) each powered their way to a victory into the series leader's white jersey, Gould retaining hers, and Johnson taking the jersey from the shoulders of Kona-YourKey's Ryan Trebon.
Before the race, series leader, Ryan Trebon (Kona - YourKey) held held a slender six point advantage over Tim Johnson (Cannondale/Leer/Cyclo-crossworld.com) in the race for the overall title. Johnson, who is known to excel in the slop and muddy conditions, was up for the challenge and did not disappoint with a dominating performance today. Johnson put up lap times a full minute faster than any other category on the muddy course today and seemed to get stronger as the race continued.
Trebon, who was running second for most of the race, had to withstand a late attack by Todd Wells (GT) who caught Trebon with 200 meters to go in the race. Trebon won the sprint to finish second and a close four point deficit to Johnson overall.
On Sunday warmer weather but near hurricane conditions greeted the riders for day two, and at the start of the men's race, Trebon took the hole shot and never looked back. The rider, who at one point held a lead of over a minute, dominated the field throughout the race. Johnson was strong but was unable to close on Trebon after his explosive start. The Leer/Cannondale rider, battled Barry Wicks (Kona YourKey.com) and Wells for second place for a good part of the race, and was able to slowly pull away to finish second.
With his win, Trebon took his second consecutive USGP Championship and third of his career (2004, 2006 and 2007).