Jeremy Powers confirmed himself as the top 'cross racer in the US, riding off the front of the rescheduled elite men's race from the first lap with Jonathan Page before slowly dismantling the four-time champion. Zach McDonald was third. It was the second consecutive US 'cross title for the defending champion Powers, who won his first championship in 2012 and has been nearly undefeated in UCI 'cross races in the US this season.
Previously not known as a top runner or mud-rider, on a technical, taxing and muddy Austin, Texas course, Powers used his newly-found skills acquired from an increased European race schedule to good effect, smoothly tackling the off-camber running sections and gliding around the rideable turns, putting in more time each lap into Page, McDonald, a chase group led by Stephen Hyde.
"I can't believe I actually won," Powers said, elated after the race. "I was looking at this [course] and thinking it would be very hard for me to win. It's unique conditions and something I've always struggled in. It was definitely going to challenge me, and it did. I'm just really happy, because this is something I've worked at really hard. To come away with the win is super special, it's almost as special as the first one."
Although all of Europe must have been laughing when the city of Austin called off the racing on Sunday because rain and hundreds of racers speeding around Zilker Park alarmed tree conservationists, forcing the race to be first cancelled, and then rescheduled for 24 hours later, once racing ensued it was clear the venue served up the best of 'cross and challenges worthy of the heart of Belgium. Thick, buttery mud clogged treads and drive trains, making off-camber sections too slick to ride and putting the pit crews to the test.
Ryan Trebon rocketed off the start line in an attempt to take the hole shot, but was overtaken rapidly by an aggressively-starting Powers, with Page tight on his wheel. The two on-form champions quickly established a gap, with Trebon, who suffered a serious back injury in September, unable to hold the pace. Once the gaps were established it was only a matter of finesse and luck that determined the order on course.
Page suffered a bit of misfortune with a slowly flattening tyre on the opening lap, and when he went to the pits for a new bike, he came out several seconds down on Powers and was never able to close down the gap. "He came back and forth," Powers said of the gap. "I was marking him on the course, but ultimately I started to ride some sections and get a rhythm that I hadn't had in the first few laps. I felt I was able to distance him a little more in those sections."
McDonald rode solidly in third, although a chasing group battled with each other in an attempt to catch the full time college student was led until the final lap by Hyde until the final lap. The JAM Fund rider was jettisoned on the last lap, and Danny Summerhill (K-Edge Felt) cruised in for fourth ahead of Dan Timmerman.
It was a relief for Powers to complete his goal of defending his title after the chaos that ensued on the previous day, where intense negotiations between USA Cycling and local officials finally resulted in a delayed championship. Although the riders, their families and staff were impacted, Powers felt the worst for fans who were not able to stay to see the race.
"No one wants a situation like that. It's hard for everyone, the riders and spectators. I feel really bad for the people who made the trek here and weren't able to watch the race. It was probably the number one thing I was bummed about. But it worked out, we had a championship and I'm over the moon."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha-Focus||1:00:33|
|2||Jonathan Page (USA) XcelLED/Fuji||0:00:31|
|3||Zach McDonald (USA) Cyclocross Project 2015||0:01:12|
|4||Daniel Summerhill (USA) K-Edge/Felt Pro CX Team||0:01:46|
|5||Dan Timmerman (USA) House Industries||0:01:56|
|6||Stephen Hyde (USA) Jam Fund / NCC||0:02:12|
|7||Troy Wells (USA) Team Clif Bar Cycling||0:03:04|
|8||James Driscoll (USA) Raleigh/Clement||0:03:09|
|9||Kerry Werner (USA) Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Ben||0:03:10|
|10||Justin Lindine (USA) Team Redline||0:03:12|
|11||Ryan Trebon (USA)||0:04:03|
|12||Brian Matter (USA) KS Energy Services / MOSH / Tea||0:05:03|
|13||Anthony Clark (USA) JAM Fund / NCC||0:05:12|
|14||Eric Thompson (USA) Mt. Borah Epic Team||0:05:18|
|15||Jerome Townsend (USA)||0:05:24|
|16||Travis Livermon (USA) Mock Orange Bikes Pro CX||0:05:26|
|17||Jake Wells (USA) Stan's NoTubes Elite Cy||0:05:47|
|18||Ben Frederick (USA) Bicycle Outfitters Racing Team||0:05:59|
|19||Allen Krughoff (USA) Noosa Professional Cyclocross||0:06:04|
|20||Tristan Cowie (USA)||0:06:11|
|21||Alex Ryan (USA) Mock Orange Bikes Pro CX||0:06:49|
|22||Adam Myerson (USA) Cycle-Smart||0:06:51|
|23||Christian Favata (USA)|
|24||Jeremy Durrin (USA) Neon Velo Cycling Team||0:07:02|
|25||Robert Marion (USA) Carpediem Racing||0:07:03|
|26||Cody Kaiser (USA) LangeTwins/Specialized||0:07:24|
|27||Steve Fisher (USA) Raleigh/FSA CX||0:07:56|
|28||Isaac Neff (USA) 5Nines/Motorless Motion||-1Lap|
|29||Kevin Bradford-Parish (USA)|
|30||Lewis Gaffney (USA)|
|31||Carl Decker (USA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team|
|32||Brandon Feehery (USA) Astellas Cycling Team||-2Laps|
|33||Jake Sitler (USA) SEAVS/Haymarket|
|34||Braden Kappius (USA) Team Clif Bar Cycling|
|35||Nicholas Lemke (USA) HiFi/TheFeed/CraftHairStudio|
|36||Andrew Juiliano (USA)|
|37||Kevin Fish (USA) Jack & Adams Racing Team|
|38||Elliot Reinecke (USA)|
|39||Jared Nieters (USA) SEAVS/Haymarket|
|40||Dylan Mcnicholas (USA) Polartec||-3Laps|
|41||Andrew Loaiza (USA) Thump Cycling p/b Turin|
|42||Tristan Uhl (USA) ATC Racing|
|43||Max Judelson (USA)|
|44||Skyler Trujillo (USA) Niner Bikes|
|45||Josh Bauer (USA) Twin Six|
|46||Frank Travieso (USA) Team United Healthcare Georgia/|
|DNS||Philip Short (USA) The Pro's Closet|
|DNS||Brennan Wodtli (USA) Speedvagen Family Racing|
|DNS||Josh Kelley (USA)|
|DNS||Tim Allen (USA) Feedback Sports Racing|
|DNS||Joseph Clemenzi (USA) Hearts Racing Club|
|DNS||Mitchell Hoke (USA) Team POC+Ritte|
|DNS||Joshua Johnson (USA) ICC BISSELL-ABG-GIANT|
|DNS||Hunter Resek (USA) Chris King/ Cielo Factory Team|
|DNS||Gabriel Varela (USA) Jamis Hagens Berman|