Stephen Hyde (Canndondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) successfully defended his US cyclo-cross title Sunday in Reno, Nevada, winning a two-up duel over the final laps with four-time champion Jeremy Powers (Aspire Racing) at the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross Championships. Kerry Werner (Kona) was third.
Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz-Donkey Label Racing) took the hole shot in the elite men's race at the head of a large group that included Werner, Powers and Hyde in tow.
Powers went to the front of the pack early in the lap, stringing out the bunch behind as a lead group of seven started to form. Powers led up the run-up on the first lap, dismounting to trek up the soft soil on the hill.
In the lead group were Powers, Ortenblad, Werner, Jack Kisseberth (JAM Fund / NCC), Hyde, Curtis White (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) and Cody Kaiser, who eventually lost contact with a bobble on the barriers.
"I knew it was going to come pretty quickly," Hyde said of the lead group's formation. "I had watched the other races, and the gaps were starting to form in the fast races. These were all the players that I thought were going to be there. So really it was a game of patience from there. I really didn’t make any big accelerations or big moves. I was happy to sit on the back of the group and let these guys push wind."
Powers continued in the lead on the second lap, pouring on the pressure in the lead group of six. Powers’ pressure started to stretch the lead group, but the group of six started the third lap together.
With Powers continuing to apply the pressure, the leaders opened up their gap over the chase, which Kaiser lead nearly a quarter minute behind. White flatted out of the lead group during lap three, leaving Powers, Werner, Ortenblad, Hyde and Kisseberth up front.
The lead quintet took started the fourth lap (five to go) with more than 20 seconds over a small chase group that included Kaiser, white and Allen Krughoff. Jonathan Page (Assos-Shimano), riding his final US championship, lingered just behind.
Powers put in another burst, appearing to put Werner in trouble as he yo-yoed in and out of the group, which was stretching near to the breaking point under Powers’ pressure. Ortenblad followed Powers, with Hyde looking comfortable in third and Kisseberth next.
Bad luck struck Kisseberth, however, as he flatted and dropped from the group, leaving Powers, Ortenblad and Hyde up front. Werner struggled to recapture the wheels, but the pace up front was too much.
Powers accelerated again, forcing Hyde to jump past Ortenblad. The defending champion then accelerated past a gassed Powers to establish a solo lead. But Powers chased hard, dropping Ortenblad and eventually getting back on terms with Hyde with three laps to go.
"When I saw Tobin start to kind of wave around, I was like, ‘OK, he can’t close the gap.’ So I attacked the both of them," Hyde said.
"We dropped Tobin and I knew that was the nail in the coffin there," he said. "It was up in the air if could drop Jeremy, and he came back. Super strong – super, super strong. It was a really big battle on that last lap."
Hyde continued on the front of the lead duo, with Powers chasing a bike length or two behind and Ortenblad continuing to fade, trailing by more than 30 seconds with two laps remaining.
Powers accelerated past Hyde on a slight uphill, forcing the defending champion back into the second position.
Powers led through the start/finish and immediately accelerated, but Hyde matched the effort. Hyde attacked next and opened a small gap, but Powers came though the sand section in contact with the defending champion. Powers went back to the front to try and control the race.
Hyde retook the lead on a fast downhill section just before the run-up, where he opened up a small gap. Powers was unable to respond as Hyde continued to open the margin.
"Both of us knew it was going to be who did this run-up on the last lap," Hyde said. "He passed me really hard, and I passed him in that last one, and we were able to make it out of the big chicane without crashing and I got the gap."
After the race, Hyde admitted he was hungry not to be a one-off champion, and he was also excited about keeping his current race wardrobe intact.
"This year it’s big. I’m coming in with the stars-and-stripes already. I spent a long couple of hours this morning staring at my kits and thinking, ‘Man, I don’t want to have to repack all my bags,'" he joked.
"It was really, really important to me, but it was also terrifying," Hyde said. "I knew I was in good shape. I had a little injury coming in a couple weeks ago. I was off the bike for a week, but you know, I’m really fresh from it. I just stayed really positive, and I was hungry. I was very, very hungry for a second time. I did not want to be a one-time winner."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Stephen Hyde (USA) Cannondale Cyclocrossworld||0:59:09|
|2||Jeremy Powers (USA) Aspire Racing||0:00:13|
|3||Kerry Werner (USA) Kona||0:01:15|
|4||Tobin Ortenblad (USA) Santa Cruz/Donkey Label Racing||0:01:19|
|5||Curtis White (USA) Cannondate pb Cyclocrossworld.c||0:01:20|
|6||Jack Kisseberth (USA) JAM Fund / NCC||0:01:23|
|7||Tristan Cowie (USA) Triple Oaks Racing||0:01:49|
|8||Allen Krughoff (USA)||0:02:02|
|9||Jonathan Page (USA) ASSOS/Shimano||0:02:05|
|10||Travis Livermon (USA) Maxxis/Shimano||0:02:17|
|11||Cody Kaiser (USA)||0:02:32|
|12||Justin Lindine (USA) Apex/NBX/Hyperthreads||0:02:45|
|13||James Driscoll (USA)||0:03:03|
|14||Troy Wells (USA) TEAM CLIF BAR Cycling||0:03:11|
|15||Stephan Davoust (USA)||0:03:22|
|16||Scott Smith (USA) JAM Fund / NCC||0:03:28|
|17||Anthony Clark (USA)||0:03:37|
|18||Bjorn Selander (USA) Bora Teamwear/Bigham Bilt||0:04:02|
|19||Kevin Bradford-Parish (USA)||0:04:39|
|20||Allan Schroeder (USA)||0:04:59|
|21||Ian Mcpherson (USA) Evil Racing||0:05:21|
|22||Sean Babcock (USA) Team S&M||0:05:22|
|@1Lap||David Greif (USA) Velo Reno P/B Western Lithium|
|@2Laps||Alex Wild (USA) Specialized Factory Racing|
|@2Laps||Josh Direen (USA) Groove Subaru Excel Sports|
|@2Laps||Cody Cupp (USA)|
|@2Laps||Max Judelson (USA)|
|@2Laps||Tyler Cloutier (USA) Renewed Cyclocross|
|@2Laps||Brendan Lehman (USA) Rock Lobster|
|@2Laps||Zachary Curtis (USA) BMB Racing|
|@3Laps||Jules Goguely (USA) NBX Bikes|
|@3Laps||Rhys Louis (USA) The Velo Ambassador|
|@3Laps||Lucas Rowton (USA) Montrose Bike Shop|
|@3Laps||Michael Landry (USA) CT Cycling Advancement Program|
|@3Laps||Robert Cummings (USA) Dialed Cycling Team|
|@3Laps||Aj Snovel (USA) Jakroo-HiFi pb Felt Bicycles|
|DNF||Josh Kelley (USA)|
|DNS||Skyler Mackey (USA) Transitions LIfeCare p/b InSync|
|DNS||Andrew Loaiza (USA) Cyclepatch PDX|
|DNS||Erik Tonkin (USA) Team S&M CX|