Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com captain Tim Johnson out-paced his teammate Jeremy Powers on the final lap to take his second consecutive victory of the weekend at the Whitmore's Landscaping Super Cross Cup. Jamey Driscoll rounded out the podium to make it a clean sweep for the green team.
"It's been nice to enjoy what's happening," said Johnson, who collected his 10th season victory. "I never expected to be doing this well. I've been racing for so long at this level - since 1998 - getting on the podiums but I've never been able to string together so many weekends of great racing."
The Whitmore's Landscaping Super Cross Cup marked the 10th and final round of the North American Cyclo-Cross Trophy series. Johnson was awarded the heavyweight belt as overall series champion ahead of teammates Jamey Driscoll and Jeremy Powers. Johnson admitted his win was surprising after crashing out of the first two rounds.
"I definitely didn't think this was how it would turn out," said Johnson. "Anytime I start a season like this I just look forward to a couple of good rides. Crashing early threw my season into a confusing situation and I had to figure out how to recover from that. I thought it would take me out of both series. Luckily the NACT had one more weekend and I could claw back some points."
Johnson attributed a large part of the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com success to the expanded support of Cannondale, which offered the team title sponsorship this year along with a truck and trailer equipped with a full-time driver and equipment to suit all weather conditions.
"Last year they went to a couple of events and this year they've been at almost every race we've done," said Johnson. "We have everything at our fingertips and it makes for basically anything you could ever ask for. That was a big part of our success. We've been able to get to all these races easier and once we are at the races we dial everything in based on conditions. Everything falls into place."
Powers back on form
Powers proved to be back on form following a week-long illness that sidelined him from starting the US Gran Prix of Cyclo-Cross Mercer Cup last weekend. He blasted out of the starting gates in his trademark fashion, the full throttle effort causing the field to shatter behind him; more importantly it left the responsibility to chase on rival US national cyclo-cross champion Ryan Trebon (Kona-FSA).
"I shot out and I saw Ryan was lagging a little so, I wanted to capitalise on that," said Powers. "It was windy today so I had to stay a certain pace. There wasn't a lot of time to make up and little rest with a lot of wind. When you are out there by yourself it was a different type of effort. I heard Johnson was coming across and that made sense to me. Tim is riding good enough to do that. He is the strongest guy right now and definitely has a bulls-eye on his back - no one can touch him."
Johnson counter attacked Trebon and bridged across to Powers in half a lap and the pair started the third lap together. Behind, Trebon was left to do most of the chasing followed by the young Swiss talent Valentin Sherz (Pro Cycles-Scott-NewWork), Chris Jones (Champion System), Joachim Parbo (CCV Leopard Cycles) and Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com).
Trebon put forth several surges that separated the chase group. Driscoll weaved his way through the commotion and passed Trebon in pursuit of his two leading teammates. He dangled in no man's land riding in third place for the remainder of the race.
Pro Mountain Biker, Adam Craig (Giant) started several rows behind the front runners and managed to muscle his way into a podium contention mid-race. The technically savvy rider manoeuvred his way through several groups that included Parbo and Jones, who clipped his pedal and crashed. Next in sight was Trebon and lastly Sherz.
"I wasn't sure if I would get Valentin but he crashed so I passed him again and maintained that to the finish line," said Adam Craig, who placed fourth. "My physiology is more tuned to charging up hills; a punch and recover works well for me. Being able to punch up climbs, go fast down hills were fun and then taking clever lines and keep things fast."
Up front, Johnson and Powers stayed glued to each other's wheel despite continued attacks against the other. The pair seemed evenly matched and although they are teammates they were clearly not helping each other out. Johnson attacked Powers over the pavement and got the final edge with a lap and half to go.
"We weren't giving an inch to each other," Johnson said. "I hit him a couple times and he surged when I bobbled. I took the opportunity to whack him shortly after that. It was a lot of fun and we didn't just roll around together. We were throwing a lot at each other. I hit him two or three more times in a lap and half and finally got away. I wanted to go to the line alone because Jeremy has a good kick."
|#||Rider Name, (Country), Team||Result|
|1||Tim Johnson (USA) Cannondale Cyclocrossworld.com||1:00:47|
|2||Jeremy Powers (USA) Cannondale Cyclocrossworld.com||0:00:17|
|3||Jamey Driscoll (USA) Cannondale Cyclocrossworld.com||0:00:36|
|4||Adam Craig (USA) Giant Factory Racing||0:01:23|
|5||Valentin Scherz (Swi) Procycles-Scott-Newwork||0:01:42|
|6||Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona-FSA||0:02:00|
|7||Christopher Jones (USA) Team Champion Systems||0:02:29|
|8||Joachim Parbo (Den) CCV Leopard cycles||0:02:44|
|9||Tyler Trace (USA) Trek Red Truck||0:02:52|
|10||Derrick St John (USA) Garneau Club Chaussures Ogilvy||0:03:01|
|11||Carl Decker (USA) Giant Factory Racing|
|12||Michael Garrigan (USA) La Bicicletta/ Jetpower||0:04:10|
|13||Joshua Dillon (USA) RICHARD SACHS - RGM WATCHES - RADIX||0:04:13|
|14||Ryan Hopping (USA) United Cycle||0:04:22|
|15||Michael Broderick (USA) KENDA-Seven-NoTubes||0:04:37|
|16||Kevin Noiles (USA) La Bicicletta Pro Shop||0:04:42|
|17||Andrew Wulfkuhle (USA) C3-Athletes Serving Athletes|
|18||Gavin Mannion (USA) Hot Tubes Junior Development Team|
|19||Shannon Skerritt (USA) The Vanilla Workship/Speedvagen Racing|
|20||Kirt Fitzpatrick (USA) Sexual Camel|
|21||Kevin Hulick (USA) The Vanilla Workship/Speedvagen Racing|
|22||Peter Bradshaw (USA) Embrocation Cycling Journal|
|23||Ryan Dewald (USA) Battley/Harley-Davidson|
|24||Andrew Crooks (USA) NYC Velo|
|25||Chris Hurst (USA) Team Wheel and Sprocket|
|26||John Burns (USA) Bikeman.com|
|27||Pavel Gonda (USA) New York University|
|28||Colin Reuter (USA) International Bicycle/crossresults.com|
|29||Patrick Bradley (USA) Rutgers University Cycling Team|
|30||Richard Visinski (USA) Exodus Road Racing|
|31||Christopher Hamlin (USA) UVM Cycling|
|32||Zach Adams (USA) C3-Athletes Serving Athletes|
|33||Myles Romanow (USA) Hampton Velo Club|