The vibrant green of Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com riders filled the podium at the Whitmore's Landscape Super Cross cup held in Southampton, New York as Tim Johnson pulled off a solo victory ahead of teammates Jeremy Powers in second and Jamey Driscoll in third.
US National Cyclo-Cross Champion, Ryan Trebon (Kona-FSA) rolled in for fourth place after he struggled with a mechanical on the last lap.
"We really did benefit from the crazy circumstance where Ryan crashed, Geoff [Kabush] got sick and Todd [Wells] is injured," Johnson said respectfully. "These guys who would normally be around us weren't. We are very fortunate."
The Whitmore's Landscaping Super Cross Cup double header marks the final stop on the North American Cyclo-Cross Trophy (NACT) series. Johnson leads the NACT standings as the race heads into its final round #10 tomorrow.
"We still have one more day," said Johnson while enjoying a splash of 1996 Brunello di Montalcino courtesy of the series' co-founder Myles Romanow. "I think I have enough points but we'll see after tomorrow."
BMX style ‘cross circuit suits Johnson
The warm autumn sun shone over the Whitmore's Landscaping Super Cross Cup, a sharp contrast to last year's frigid early winter air that kept many of the racers from finishing. The race kicked off with a parade lap, half the size of the race circuit. The course is well-known for showcasing a mixture of lengthy straightaways combined with heavily rooted trails, grueling dirt run ups and tricky off-camber sections.
Noticeably missing from the race were Canadian National Cyclo-Cross Champion Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) who was ill and Todd Wells (Specialized) who is suffering from an injury.
"It was sweet," Johnson said. "One thing that was clear was that you could go as hard as you wanted but you couldn't get that big of a gap. Everyone was going similar speeds because of the way the course was. If you got a gap you really had to work hard to solidify in it and not mess up the tricky corners that followed it. It was a lot of single track stuff and lots of elevation gain."
Trebon led the first lap followed by 19 year-old Swiss talent Valentin Sherz (Procycles-Scott-Newwork) along with Powers, Johnson and Chris Jones (Champion System). The leaders fired one attack after another however, the circuit's unruly terrain made it difficult to gain much ground.
Trebon surged ahead of his leading companions on the second lap however, Johnson and Powers were the only two that could respond. Later in the lap, Jones reconnected with the three leaders. Driscoll was noticeably missing from the front on the first lap and muscled his way through the field before the end of the second lap.
"Ryan was drilling us and he kept the pace high because when you are out numbered like that, on a course that is tight and twisty, if you can control it you would have a better chance," Johnson said. "If he let us control it we would have been able to do what we wanted. He kept the race really high."
Continuous surges forced the pace to more than five minutes a lap, causing Jones to lose valuable seconds. He drifted back with mountain bike talent, Adam Craig (Giant) and the two would battle for fourth place for the remainder of the race. A second group of chasers included Sherz, Carl Decker (Giant) and Derrick St. John (Garneau Club Chaussures Ogilvy).
Up front, Johnson made his winning move with six laps to go. On the final lap, he added to an advantage of nearly 20 seconds. An untimely mechanical forced Trebon off his bike with two laps to go, over the circuit's steep ascent through the trees. Powers and Driscoll pushed onward riding in second and third place respectively. Trebon remounted his machine and rolled in for fourth place.
"On the first couple of lap, Powers and I hit him [Ryan Trebon] a couple of times but he kept responding" Johnson said. "Jeremy attacked and Jones was gone and Ryan caught up. We went into the hillside and Ryan over cooked the corner and crashed. Jeremy and I hit the gas and it was just us. I came over top of Jeremy and I hit it and I was alone."
The Whitmore's Landscaping Super Cross Cup will continue for the final round of the NACT series on Sunday. Winners of the elite women and men category will each receive a $1500 a trophy in the form of a heavy weight championship belt.
|1||Timothy Johnson (USA) Cyclocrossworld.com-Cannondale||0:59:24|
|2||Jeremy Powers (USA) Cyclocrossworld.com-Cannondale||0:00:29|
|3||James Driscoll (USA) Cyclocrossworld.com-Cannondale||0:00:40|
|4||Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona-FSA Cyclocross Team||0:01:19|
|5||Christopher Jones (USA) Team Type 1||0:01:37|
|6||Adam Craig (USA)||0:01:44|
|7||Mike Garrigan (Can)||0:02:27|
|8||Derrick St John (Can) Stevens|
|9||Carl Decker (USA)||0:02:55|
|10||Valentin Scherz (Swi) Pro Cycles-Scott-Newwork||0:03:15|
|11||Joshua Dillon (USA)||0:03:51|
|12||Tyler Trace (Can)||0:04:20|
|13||Shannon Skeritt (USA)||0:04:37|
|14||Andrew Wulfkuhle (USA)|
|15||Michael Broderick (USA)|
|16||Peter Bradshaw (USA)||0:05:54|
|17||Ryan Dewald (USA)|
|18||Kevin Hulick (USA)|
|19||Lisban Quintero Blandon (Col)|
|20||Chris Hurst (USA)|
|21||Patrick Bradley (USA)|
|22||Kirt Fitzpatrick (USA)|
|23||Kevin Noiles (Can)|
|24||John Burns (USA)|
|25||Pavel Gonda (Cze)|
|26||Christopher Hamlin (USA)|
|27||Andrew Crooks (USA)|
|28||Rickey Visinski (USA)|
|29||Gavin Mannion (USA)|
|30||Colin Reuter (USA)|
|31||Zachary Adams (USA)|
|32||Myles Romanow (Can)|