Outgoing world champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) honoured his rainbow-striped kit one final time this season at the Cincinnati Kings International as the 26-year-old Belgian rode to victory one weekend prior to the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships, to be contested in nearby Louisville, Kentucky. Albert's compatriot and trade teammate Wietse Bosmans, a contender for the U23 world title in one week's time, finished in second, nine seconds down, while the USA's Jeremy Powers (Rapha Focus) rounded out the top three seven seconds behind Bosmans.
The fans came to see the world champion put on a show in Cincinnati and that’s exactly what Albert gave them Saturday afternoon. After graciously signing autographs and posing for pictures, Albert took to the front of the elite men's race from the start and quickly turned the screws. Stringing out the group over the camel-hump switchback feature, the rubber band snapped. Albert led the front group with Vojtech Nipl (Czech National Team), teammate Wietse Bosmans and US national champion Jonathan Page (ENGVT) on his wheel coming down the flyover.
Within two laps, however, Albert’s power was too much for the others and he rode off the front to a nine-second gap on the chasing trio of Nipl, Bosmans and Page. At the halfway point, Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) showed his face near the front after being stuck in early traffic as he closed to within a few seconds of the Page, Nipl and Bosmans group.
Then the wheels came off for Nipl. As the 20-year-old Czech faded, the rest smelled blood with Bosmans and Page digging hard in an effort to solidify the podium. Meanwhile, with three laps to go, Ryan Trebon (Cannondale-CyclocrossWorld) and Powers made contact with Nipl and worked together on the soft climb to the pit.
With two to go, Page began to lose his grip on Bosmans. Seeing the fading Page, Powers dug hard and broke free of Trebon. The effort gassed Nipl, who would drop to seventh behind compatriot Radomir Simunek (Kwadro-Stannah).
While it may have been a day at the office for Albert, it was a stellar ride for Jeremy Powers and, finishing ahead of Page, perhaps a little redemption from the US national championships.
Ohio Valley local Andrew Dillman (Bob’s Red Mill), who will represent the US in the U23 men's world championship event in his hometown of Louisville next week, had a stellar ride and finished 10th.
|1||Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus||0:59:01|
|2||Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus||0:00:09|
|3||Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha-Focus||0:00:16|
|4||Jonathan Page (USA) ENGVT||0:00:23|
|5||Ryan Trebon (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld||0:00:29|
|6||Radomir Simunek (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah||0:00:39|
|7||Vojtech Nipl (Cze) Czech National Team||0:02:10|
|8||Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team||0:02:30|
|9||James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld||0:02:37|
|10||Andrew Dillman (USA) Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross Team||0:04:05|
|11||Kenneth Hansen (Den) Cannondale-Challenge Tires||0:04:42|
|12||Mike Garrigan (Can) Blacksmithcycle/Stage-Race||0:05:06|
|13||Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld||0:05:14|
|14||Evan McNeely (Can) Specialized Canada||0:05:28|
|15||Craig Richey (Can) SponsorConnected.com p/b Ridley Bikes||0:05:59|
|16||Eric Tonkin (USA) Kona/Team S&M||0:06:22|
|17||Robert Marion (USA) American Classic Pro Cyclocross Team||-1lap|
|18||Mike Van Den Ham (Can) Cycle-Smart||-3laps|
|19||Andrew L'Esperance (Can) Norco Factory Team|
|20||William Elliston (USA) Van Dessel Factory Team|
|21||Eric Anderson (USA) Zipp Factory Team|
|22||Mitchell Kersting (USA) Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross Team|
|23||Andy Reardon (USA) Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross Team|
|24||Chase Dickens (USA) American Classic Pro Cyclocross Team|
|25||Andre Sutton (Can) Hardcore Bikes|
|26||Conor O'Brien (Can) Stevens Racing p/b the Cyclery|
|27||Sven Baumann (Ger) Wolverine Sports Club|
|28||Ryan Gamm (USA) Ohio Valley Velo Sports||-4laps|
|29||Alexander Revell (NZl) New Zealand National Team|
|30||Jason Monk (USA) Main Street Velo|
|31||Ray Smith (USA) Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross Team|
|32||Joshua Prater (USA) Speedway Wheelman|
|33||Jason Wagner (USA) Flatlandia|
|34||Tim Yuska (USA) Iron Cycles||-5laps|
|35||Teodoro Ramos (USA) Iron Cycles|
|36||Benjamin Anemone (USA) Bicycle Therapy / Melitta|
|37||Jim Gentes (USA) Buy-Cell.com|
|38||Charles Arensberg (USA) Morgan Stanley /Specialized|
|39||David Rose (USA) Team WHAYNE|