Jeremy Powers' ability to wait delivered him a victory at the UCI C2-ranked Boulder Cup on a dry and fast track at Boulder's Valmont Bike Park.
Through much of the race Ben Berden (Raleigh-Clement), Todd Wells (Specialized Factory Racing), Danny Summerhill (K Edge/Felt), and yesterday's Colorado Cross Classic winner Ryan Trebon (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld.com) fought to take control in a large leading group. Powers of Rapha-Focus lurked right behind them and pounced with three laps to go when Trebon crashed in a sandpit. Wells and Powers escaped quickly from the mess and then Powers pulled away for the win.
After a dusty, fast start, Berden claimed the holeshot. The hilly venue and turns narrowed the field into single-file with Summerhill, Eckmann (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized), and Trebon next in line.
Wells made his way forward through the top of the field. The great form he displayed over the weekend, he later explained, was due to a recent break and subsequent preparation for the upcoming La Ruta de Los Conquistadores.
With four laps down, Berden, Summerhill, and Wells had become the main attraction as they traded punches to take the lead ahead of an attentive Trebon. Eckmann held a strong fifth in the leaders' group which also included Mitch Hoke (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), Raleigh-Clement's Jamey Driscoll and Allen Krughoff, and California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized teammates Logan Owen and Tobin Ortenblad. Powers and Zach McDonald of Rapha-Focus patrolled the back of the pack.
In the fifth lap, Trebon drilled past a handful of riders on the long gradual hill in the first section of the course. His attack in the next lap started to dissolve the big group.
Then Powers revved up just in time to take advantage of Trebon's crash in the sand with three laps remaining. While Powers and Wells took flight, the incident held up others as Trebon sorted out his bike. A charley horse that set in after the crash eroded Trebon's pedaling power and took him out of contention. He eventually finished 11th.
As Wells tried to shake Powers and he sped under the finish banner with two laps remaining, he mistook it for the bell lap.
"I was on my limit that whole time and then once we came through the start/finish and I saw we had another lap I was just mentally dejected," Wells said post-race as sweat spilled from his face. "So I was happy just to hold on for third place." Berden got by him for second. Summerhill held off Driscoll for fourth.
Powers described his approach to the day as a game of chess and patience. "At altitude doing the big efforts lap after lap, they catch up with you. And so while those guys were blowing off shots I stayed patient and I saved myself until the end."
Fourth place Summerhill didn't feel great on Sunday. The climbing and out of the saddle efforts on the circuit had aggravated his back. He left disappointed about not achieving his podium goal. "It's not the best way to finish a weekend," he said. "But still, racing with a hometown crowd is always fun. So I'm trying to keep my head up, I guess."
Powers also enjoyed the enthusiastic spectators. "Obviously the community here is incredible, just the cheering automatically it brings a level to the race." Pleased with his result, he added, "I was really happy with how the track was today and it definitely suits me. There was plenty of pedaling to get away so the strongest guy will win."
Being the strongest at Valmont in October doesn't presage a victory at cyclo-cross nationals in January, Powers indicated, when the weather could bring snow or sun. Even so, he said, "I'd love to do it again there for sure."
|1||Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha-Focus||0:58:38|
|2||Ben Berden (Bel) Raleigh-Clement||0:00:06|
|3||Todd Wells (USA) Specialized||0:00:07|
|4||Daniel Summerhill (USA) K-Edge/Felt Bicycles||0:00:22|
|5||James Driscoll (USA) Raleigh-Clement||0:00:23|
|6||Yannick Eckmann (USA) Cal Giant Berry Farms-Specialized||0:01:12|
|7||Allen Krughoff (USA) Raleigh-Clement||0:01:15|
|8||Mitchell Hoke (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies|
|9||Tobin Ortenblad (USA) Cal Giant Berry Farms-Specialized||0:01:25|
|10||Zach McDonald (USA) Rapha-Focus||0:01:29|
|11||Ryan Trebon (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com||0:01:32|
|12||Cody Kaiser (USA) Cal Giant Berry Farms-Specialized||0:01:36|
|13||Justin Lindine (USA) Redline-NBX||0:01:37|
|14||Jake Wells (USA) Stan's NoTubes Elite Cyclocross Team||0:02:16|
|15||Tristan Schouten (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies||0:02:24|
|16||Robin Eckmann (USA) California Giant Cycling Team||0:02:39|
|17||Brian Matter (USA) Gear Grinder|
|18||Chris Baddick (GBr) The Gear Movement||0:02:40|
|19||Ken Benesh (USA) Evol Elite Racing||0:02:44|
|20||Christopher Case (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport||0:03:06|
|21||Jacob Lasley (USA) Team Soundpony||0:03:19|
|22||Taylor Carrington (USA) Feedback Sports||0:03:22|
|23||Tim Allen (USA) Feedback Sports - Foundry Cycles||0:03:23|
|24||Rotem Ishay (Isr) Boo Bikes||0:03:29|
|25||Bryan Alders (USA) Marin Bikes Factory Team||0:03:37|
|26||Braden Kappius (USA) Team Clif Bar||0:03:54|
|27||Isaac Neff (USA) Trek Cyclocross Collective||0:03:57|
|28||Ian McPherson (USA) Clif Bar Development Cross Team||0:04:00|
|29||Samuel Morrison (USA) The Gear Movement||0:04:30|
|30||Kevin Noiles (Can) Bicycle Bluebook-HRS-Rock Lobster||0:04:36|
|31||Greg Krause (USA) Groove Subaru Alpha Cycles||0:04:42|
|32||Steven Stefko (USA) First City Cycling Team||0:04:43|
|33||Skyler Trujillo (USA) Boo Bikes||0:05:00|
|34||Brad Cole (USA) KCCX||0:05:03|
|35||Josh Whitney (USA) Evol Elite Racing||0:05:46|
|36||Brad Neagos (USA) Natural Grocers||0:05:50|
|37||Logan Owen (USA) California Giant-Specialized||0:05:51|
|38||Mark Flis (USA) Squadra Flying Tigers p/b Jamis Bicycles|
|39||William Nabours (USA) Boulder Running Company|
|40||Chad Young (USA) Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team|
|41||Spencer Downing (USA) Horizon Organic|
|42||Joseph Clemenzi (USA)|
|43||Michael Friedberg (USA) People for Bikes-Service Course|
|44||Josh Yeaton (USA) Horizon Organic-Panache|
|45||Kolben Preble (USA) Clif Bar Development Cross Team|
|46||Oliver Vrambout (USA)|
|47||Shawn Harshman (USA) Harshman Wealth-Boulder Cycle Sport|
|48||Brett Pirie (USA) Groove Subaru Alpha Cycles|
|49||Skyler Mackey (USA) Team Soundpony|
|50||Dean Haas (USA) Fort Lewis College Cycling|
|51||Sam Chovan (USA)|
|52||Doug Schuler (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport|
|53||Earl Gage (USA) Scalo Veloce|
|54||David Sheek (USA) SDG-Felt p/b IRT|
|55||Sam Weinberg (USA)|
|56||Anthony Wilhelm (USA)|
|57||Drew Christopher (USA)|
|58||Tyler Schwartz (USA) SDG-Felt p/b IRT|
|59||Grant Holicky (USA) Evol Elite Racing|
|60||John Wilmeth (USA) ProActive|
|61||Colin Dunlap (USA) Hutches HD-Bend Dental|
|62||Nathan Brown (USA)|
|63||Brian Lehman (USA)|
|64||Andrew Clemence (USA) Cycleton|