Johnson wins third elite championship

Hometown favourite Ryan Trebon snags silver

It was a case of 'three times the champion' for Tim Johnson ( at the US National Cyclo-Cross Championships in Bend, Oregon, today as he took home his third stars-and-stripes jersey. The Massachusetts native took the prestigious single-day event by storm, winning by nearly 10 seconds ahead of local star Ryan Trebon (Kona-FSA) and Jonathan Page (Planet Bike).

"It was so easy to make a mistake today," said Johnson. "The race isn't won in the first lap but it's lost in the first eight or nine of the ten laps we did. I felt smooth and fast and that was all I was thinking about. I broke the race down into chunks and every couple corners. I tried to have a trouble-free last few laps. I wasn't trying to gain any time, just tried to go as fast as I could," he added.

Johnson won his last cyclo-cross national title in 2007 in Kansas City. This year, he was the odds on favourite after taking nearly 10 season victories and winning the North American Cyclo-Cross Trophy series overall title.

"Oh my God, I can't believe this," Johnson said before donning the US Cyclo-Cross National Champion jersey. "It feels amazing to have the jersey back. Last time I traded frozen fingers for the win in Kansas City and I did the same thing today. My fingers are killing me."

Trebon, a native of Bend, has won the national championship on two occasions with his last title coming in 2008. This year, he started the race in front of thousands of local fans jingling cowbells who lined the course five deep just to catch a glimpse of the top-end American 'cross talents in action.

"It was awesome out there, especially going down by the beer tent where it was super loud," said Trebon. "I had a really good time out racing today. It would have been nice to win. Whoever puts on nationals next will have a hard time showing up Bend because they did a great job putting on this event. It was a good week of racing all round."

Page, 2007 UCI World Championship silver medalist, made the lengthy trip back to the US to compete in the one-day championships. His return followed a successful European campaign where he placed eighth at the World Cup round in Igorre, Spain last weekend.

Page has won the national cyclo-cross title on three occasions - 2002, 2003 and 2004 - although the prestigious jersey has eluded him in the last four years, going to formidable opponents in Todd Wells, Tim Johnson and Ryan Trebon.

When asked if the lengthy travel affected his performance Page responded, "That's the only reason. There are no excuses, they rode fast and I never got going. The conditions were such that it would have been difficult for me to win, even being the favourite or the strongest, but I wasn't the strongest today. I'm glad I gave it a shot," he said.

Bad luck for some...

The weather changed from icy cold conditions to sunny and relatively warmer temperatures in the Old Mill District of Bend, Oregon before the start of the elite men's race. An unusually large number of riders - 160 - lined up to challenge the championship event, making for a chaotic opening lap. It was racing as usual for the familiar faces of the front row starters, however.

"It felt like a normal race to me because I only saw three people in front of me the whole time," explained Trebon. "I was worried about not having a good start. If you had a bad start and came out of a corner in 30th spot it would have been hard to pass on this course because it was so fast and single file."

Trebon took his rightful place in centre front as the defending champion, next to Page, Johnson and the other two of the trio, Jeremy Powers and Jamey Driscoll. Other notable riders included Todd Wells (Specialized), Chris Jones (Champion Systems), Dan Timmerman (Richard Sachs), Barry Wicks (Kona-FSA) and Nick Weighall (California Giant Berry Farms).

Powers nabbed the hole-shot onto the muddy circuit in trademark form. He displayed a blazing first lap that resulted in a five-second margin, forcing riders like Page and Trebon to chase while his teammate Johnson sat comfortably behind. Just when it looked as though Page would close the gap, he was spotted entering the pit lane for mechanical support. Valuable time was lost.

"I didn't have a mechanical I just wanted different tyre pressure," explained Page. "I wasn't happy with the pressure I had and I knew that I wasn't closing so I switched a bike again, hoping that I would get a better bike to go faster. The way the course conditions played out was in other peoples' advantage besides myself. I wasn't good enough to close it today."

Powers continued to further his lead and with Page out of the imminent picture, Trebon was forced to take over the chase with Johnson in tow. Midway through the third lap, Johnson successfully bridged across to his teammate and the pair worked together to maintain a slim three-second advantage ahead of Trebon.

The second chase group involved a recovering Page along with Wells, Driscoll, Wicks and mountain bike talent Adam Craig (Giant). Further back was the third chase group that included Timmerman, Weighall, Jones, Jesse Anthony (Jamis) and Troy Wells (Clif Bar).

An untimely crashed forced Powers into the pits with a badly mangled bike. By the time he exited the pit lane he had lost his leading position and ended up in the second chase group behind Trebon.

"I had great legs and I was ready to do what I came to Bend do which was I wanted to win one of these jerseys," said a disappointed Powers. "I felt like I was in control most of the race. I felt good riding my own race and I never looked back once. I was in my zone.

"When Tim got on I lost focus and lost my front tyre in the off-camber after the stairs and my bars went west and east and I couldn't get them back," he continued. "I had to go to the pits twice. It's how it goes, it's only one day of racing. We kept it in the family and I was happy to see Tim win."

Johnson took control of the race and maintained a yo-yoing three to five seconds of padding ahead of an evenly-matched Trebon. The defending national champion tried to close in on Johnson but the slim margin proved to be too difficult to shut down and he lost several more seconds on the last lap.

"With about three laps to go I was hovering around ten seconds and kind of hurting," Trebon said. "I knew I wasn't going to get him back unless he flatted or crashed or made a mistake. I was trying to keep it steady or close enough to where if he did make a mistake I could catch back up. He rode a great race."

Page muscled his way back into a third place podium position, out-pacing Wells in fourth. Powers recovered from his crash well enough to finish a respectable fifth place ahead of his teammate Driscoll who placed sixth.

"Johnson rode really well," Trebon added. "Jeremy went down pretty fast in that off-camber section and I think Jonathan flatted on the second lap. Johnson got away and that was the race right there. I was looking forward to trying to keep it steady and not make any mistakes. It was to your detriment if you went into the pits."


#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Timothy Johnson (Cannondale/ 
2Ryan Trebon (Kona-FSA)0:00:25 
3Jonathan Page (Planet Bike)0:00:51 
4Todd Wells (Todd Wells)0:00:56 
5Jeremy Powers (Cannondale/ 
6James Driscoll (Cannondale/  
7Adam Craig (Giant Factory Racing)0:02:19 
8Dan Timmerman (Richard Sachs - RGM Watches - Radix)0:02:39 
9Barry Wicks (Kona-FSA)0:03:01 
10Christopher Jones (Team Champion System)0:03:13 
11Carl Decker0:03:22 
12Jake Wells (Mafiaracing/pabst/felt)0:03:28 
13Troy Wells (Team Clif Bar)0:03:39 
14Jesse Anthony (Jamis)0:03:40 
15Nicholas Weighall (California Giant Berry Farms/s)0:03:42 
16Matt Shriver (Rocky Mountain Chocolate Facto)0:03:48 
17Jonathan Baker (Vitamin Cottage P/b Xp Compani)0:04:10 
18Ryan Iddings (Lapierre)0:04:21 
19Brandon Dwight (Boulder Cycle Sport)0:04:24 
20William Dugan (Richard Sachs - Rgm Watches -)0:04:39 
21Adam Myerson (Cycle-smart)0:04:58 
22Peter Webber  
23Sean Babcock (Team S&m)0:05:09 
24Braden Kappius (Clif Bar)0:05:12 
25Adam McGrath (Thule/Van Dessel)  
26Mark LaLonde (Planet Bike)0:05:13 
27Michael Broderick (Kenda-seven-notubes)0:05:31 
28Erik Tonkin0:05:32 
29Brett Luelling (Capitol Subaru Cycling)0:05:42 
30Justin Robinson (California Giant Berry Farms/s)0:05:47 
31Davy Yeater (River City Bicycles)0:05:57 
32Matthew Pacocha (Hudz-subaru)0:06:00 
33Joshua Dillon (Richard Sachs - Rgm Watches -)0:06:40 
34James LaLonde (Planet Bike)  
35Joshua Berry (Smith Optics)  
36Gary Douville (Platinum Racing Team)  
37Ryan Knapp (  
38Aaron Bradford (Onsite Ultrasound/enduro)  
39Justin Lindine ( / Joe's Garage / I)  
40Frank Spiteri (Peninsula Velo/pomodoro)  
41Eric Rasmussen (Porcupine/specialized)  
42Scott Chapin (Hrs/rocklobster)  
43Shawn Mitchell (Bode)  
44Barton Bowen  
45John Curry (Gas/intrinsik Architecture)  
46Ben Popper (Hrs / Rock Lobster)  
47Scott McLaughlin (Sram Factory)  
48Michael Gallagher (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes)  
49Donald Myrah  
50Molly Cameron (Portland Bicycle Studio)  
51Nathanael Wyatt (Carolina Fatz P/b Santa Cruz B)  
52Spencer Paxson (Team S&m Young Guns)  
53Damian Schmitt (Sunnyside Sports)  
54Nathaniel Ward ( / Joe's Garage / I)  
55Shadd Smith (Kccx / Verge)  
56Donald Reeb (Santa Cruz/wtb/giro)  
57Anastasio Flores (Calfornia Giant)  
58Nathan Bannerman (Rad Racing Nw)  
59Gabriel Keck (Scott/ritchey)  
60Troy Barry (Hammer Nutrition)  
61Dave Weaver (Alan N. North America)  
62Patrick JACKSON (Web Cycle)  
63Mitchell Peterson (Mona Vie Cannondale)  
64Alex Work (Hrs Rocklobster)  
65John Bailey (Bailey Bikes)  
66Reed Wycoff  
67James Birkenbuel (Alki Rubicon Racing)  
68Anton Petrov (Bike Religion)  
69Michael Benno (Veloce Racing)  
70Scott Frederick (Inland Construction/back To Di)  
71Travis (TJ) Woodruff (Pioneer Racing)  
72Michael Hemme (Courage)  
73Matthew Fox (Sunnyside Sports)  
74Kevin Smallman  
75Chad Cheeney (Durango Devo)  
76Craig Fowler (Ubrdo Team Project)  
77Cody Peterson (Cole Sport)  
78Josh Snead (Hrs/rocklobster)  
79John Flack (Valley Athletic Club)  
80Geoffrey Huber (Team Lost Coast/Marin)  
81Joshua Whitmore (Team Globalbike)  
82Richard Hulit (Recycled Cycles Racing)  
83Jesse Rients (Nature Valley/penn Cycle)  
84Darian Founds (Unattached)  
85Jeremy Kimmel (S. Camel)  
86William Butcher (Magnus)  
87Kevin Hulick (Vanilla Workshop - Speedvagon)  
88John Behrens (Bailey Bikes)  
89Jason Lowetz (Team Bearclaw)  
90Luke Winger (Lees Mcrae College/loon State)  
91David Thomas  
92Robert Jameson (Vo2 Sports)  
93David Meyer (Freewheel)  
94Jason Siegle (Bike Religion)  
95John Frey (Team Squirt Lover)  
96Benjamin Kubas (Therapeutic Associates)  
97eric highlander (Hrs/rock Lobster)  
98Andrew Boone  
99Eric Colton (Team Cicle)  
100Ryan O'Connor (Carlos Obriens Racing)  
101Weston Schempf (C3-athletes Serving Athletes)  
102David Sheek (Rock N Road)  
103Daniel Langlois (Embracation Cycling Journal)  
104Kat Statman (Pioneer Racing)  
105Lawrence Leonard (  
106Lane Miller (Louisville Cyclery)  
107Brandon Gritters (Rock N Road)  
108Jonathan Baxley (Scenic City Velo Chattanooga/k)  


Full Specifications

Check out Cyclingnews' videos featuring Todd Wells.  In the first one, he talks about his Specialized 'cross bike.   You can also get to know him and find out more about how he's gotten to where he is in his career. Troy Wells (Cliff Bar) always looks like he is waging war.Or hear about Wells' first 'cross races and how he tends to peak later in the season.  The Colorado resident also talks about women's cyclo-cross racing and finally, he gives some history on the USGP and why the series is important to so many American 'cross racers.

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