Johnson beats teammate Powers to victory

Kabush settles for third on second day in New Belgium

The sun emerged over Fort Collins for the second round of the USGP New Belgium Cup, and while the course was made much faster by the drier conditions, it was no less treacherous, and the higher speed proved problematic for some of the race's top contenders.

Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld's Tim Johnson had no problems with the tricky descents or the long, grinding climbs and was able to capitalise on the misfortune of others to solo to a commanding victory.

After coming in fifth on the previous day's race, Johnson, the new USGP series leader, said he came into the day wanting to improve.

"I said, 'I am going to have a better race'... that's what I told myself," explained Johnson after his win.

His closest competitor, Kona-FSA's Ryan Trebon, was on the other side of lady luck's favour. Trebon rode an aggressive first two laps, trading attacks with Johnson's teammate Jeremy Powers until Powers flatted, leaving just Johnson and Trebon up front.

"The first couple of laps I was letting Ryan and Jeremy [Powers] just keep smashing each other," said Johnson, who chose to take the start of the race a bit more conservatively.

"You kind of forget it's altitude, but it is, and it does hurt. Even if you don't pay for it with how hard you can pedal, you pay by making mistakes. So I tried to stay as patient as possible."

Cannondale kickstarts the day

Powers took the hole shot, and showed he was having a much better day than Saturday as he attacked the first lap savagely, pulling away a select group containing Johnson, the previous day's winner Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain), Todd Wells (Specialized) and Ryan Trebon (Kona-FSA).

Trebon was equally aggressive, attacking Powers on the climbs, but taking more care on the still greasy descents. His efforts managed to dislodge Kabush and Wells, before an untimely flat tyre for Powers made the race a two-man affair on the second lap.

With the lanky Oregonian clearly on a strong ride, Johnson admitted he was worried that he might not be able to win. "Ryan's got this strength that comes out - we were talking about it yesterday - he hits the gas and keeps going and going. Today's course was a bit better for him, the hardest parts were longer and there was enough traction so he could hit the gas and string it out each time."

Johnson and Trebon appeared equally matched, trading attack after attack until a critical mistake by Trebon on the back side of the course sent him off the track and into the tape. While Johnson stormed away, Trebon would never re-find his groove and eventually faded to 10th.

Trebon said that he got knocked off his line by the bumpy, muddy section on the back side of the course, and went into the tape and over the bars.

"It was a frustrating moment because I was on such a good day. I just couldn't get myself back into it mentally," Trebon explained. "I took a pit bike, but then I wasn't comfortable with the set up and the tyre pressure, and it threw me for a loop. One mistake turned into four, and while sometimes you can push through those issues, other times it defeats you."

With Trebon vanquished, Johnson unleashed an energetic performance for the remainder of the race, putting in the day's first sub-seven minute lap time to pull out an unbeatable lead.

"After I heard Trebon was on the ground, I tried to put together as fast a lap as possible," said Johnson.

Behind him, the attack had the unfortunate effect of distancing his own teammate Powers, who was trying to bluff his way out of one of two flat tyres he had on the day.

"The same thing happened to me in Boulder and I kind of soft pedaled because I didn't want to ruin the wheel," Powers said. He explained his predicament to his teammates and they replied 'ruin the wheel'. "So this time I rode as hard as I could to get to the pit, and I'm glad it worked out."

Powers was able push through the problem to stay in the group with Wells, while Kabush was distanced mid-way through the race. Powers and Wells spent several laps trading pulls in the race for second.

Both riders took the risk to bunny-hop the barriers to save time, but the choice proved unlucky for Wells, who crashed while hopping the barriers with three laps to go and was unable to continue the race.

Even after Wells crashed, Powers said he continued to bunny-hop, despite the obvious risk and his own sizeable margin over Kabush. "It was nicer to not get off; I wasn't running them very quickly so to jump them was just as good," Powers said.

"Todd was actually the one who jumped them in front of me, and I felt I had to jump them if he was, because he was actually putting time into me. Even two seconds on a day like today is enough, and I didn't want that to happen. It was better to take that risk."

Johnson, on the other hand, chose to run the barriers. "I don't think it was faster to bunny hop at all. We all make choices as to what we can do or not do, and I definitely keep it safe by not jumping."

Once Wells was out, it was every man for himself, with Johnson's large lead not threatened by Powers in the run to the line, while Kabush could not close the gap and remained in third to become the only rider to stand on the podium on both days.

"Today definitely hurt a bit more, but it is great to get on the podium both days. I felt just as good today, but there was a bit more pedaling, and I just didn't have the snap to go with Tim, he was riding away strong. I kept Powers close, but he was riding a few sections faster and jumping the barriers," said Kabush.

Kabush held off the chase of Saturday's runner-up Jamey Driscoll, who moved into fourth, while Rabobank-Giant's Adam Craig put in a strong performance in fifth.

The day's most aggressive rider award went to Wells' younger brother Troy, who fought back from a poor starting position into sixth place ahead of Chris Jones (Rapha Focus), Tristan Schouten and the day's best U23 rider Zach McDonald.

Full Results
1Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com1:02:41 
2Jeremy Powers (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com0:00:40 
3Geoff Kabush (Can) Maxxis-Rocky Mountain0:01:05 
4James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com0:01:13 
5Adam Craig (USA) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team0:01:20 
6Troy Wells (USA) Team Clif Bar0:02:26 
7Christopher Jones (USA) Rapha Focus0:02:39 
8Tristan Schouten (USA) cyclocrossracing.com/Blue/Rolf0:02:45 
9Zach McDonald (USA) Rapha Focus0:02:49 
10Brian Matter (USA) Gear Grinder0:03:51 
11Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona0:04:03 
12Brady Kappius (USA) Team Clif Bar0:04:18 
13Luke Keough (USA) Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross0:04:25 
14Barry Wicks (USA) Kona0:04:47 
15Cody Kaiser (USA) California Giant-Specialized0:04:50 
16Matthew Pacocha (USA) Hudz-Subaru0:04:57 
17Spencer Paxson (USA) Team S&M Young Guns0:05:06 
18Sean Babcock (USA) Kona0:05:12 
19Allen Krughoff (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport0:05:19 
20Adam Mcgrath (USA) Feedback Sports-Van Dessel0:05:24 
21Chris Hurst (USA)0:05:29 
22Jack Hinkens (USA) Team Plan C/pb Stevens0:05:33 
23Jesse Anthony (USA) California Giant-Specialized0:05:35 
24Dave Hackworthy (USA) Team Plan C0:05:56 
25Jeremy Ferguson (USA) California Giant-Specialized0:06:08 
26Eric Emsky (USA) Cyclocrossracing.Com p/b Blue0:06:13 
27Brandon Dwight (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport0:06:29 
28Robin Eckmann (Ger) Pearl Izumi0:07:02 
29Mitchell Hoke (USA) Clif Bar Development Team0:07:43 
30Tim Allen (USA) Feedback Sports0:07:59 
31Spencer Powlison (USA) Mafia Racing -1lap 
32Justin Robinson (USA) California Giant-Specialized -2laps 
33Frank Spiteri (USA) Peninsula Velo-Pomodoro  
34Brad Cole (USA) KCCX/Verge p/b Challenge Tires  
35Skyler Trujillo (USA) Black Sheep Jr. Cycling  
36Aaron Schooler (Can) Team H&R Block -3laps 
37John Curry (USA) GAS/Intrinsik  
38Kevin Mullervy (USA) Team Exergy  
39Troy Heithecker (USA) Ciclismo Racing  
40Shawn Harshman (USA) Konig Racing p/b Harshman Wealth  
41Russell Harding (USA) Natural Grocers p/b XP Companie  
42David Block (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport  
43Caley Fretz (USA) VeloNews  
44Scott Tietzel (USA) Specialized - Curve Inc.  
45Doug Johnson (USA) bandwagon racing -4laps 
46Bryan Mickiewicz (USA) Hammer Nutrition  
47Casey Hill (USA) Mafia Racing  
48Conor Mullervy (USA) Team Exergy  
49Aaron Bouplon (USA) Rocky Mounts-Izze  
50Will Kaladi Ross (USA) Bro's/Chain Reaction  
51Chris Brandt (USA) Brandt-Sorenson.com  
52Ross Holbrook (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport  
53Geoffrey Nenninger (USA) Colorado Multisport -5laps 
54Nathan Miller (USA) The Church of the Big Ring/XSIN  
55James Archer (USA) Specialized Bicycles  
56Adam Mills (USA) KCCX/Verge p/b Challenge Tires  
57Keith Batstone (Can) Rundle Mountain Cycling Club  
58Lane Miller (USA) Louisville Cyclery -6laps 
59Trevor Connor (Can) Rio Grande  
DNFTodd Wells (USA) Specialized  
DNFNicholas Weighall (USA) California Giant-Specialized  
DNFMike Sherer (USA) The Pony Shop  
DNFSteve Fisher (USA) Rad Racing Nw-Hagens Berman Llp  
DNFCorey Collier (USA) On the River  
DNFJoseph Schmalz (USA) KCCX/Verge p/b Challenge Tires  
DNFDavid Sheek (USA) SDG Factory Team  
Elite men US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross standings after six rounds
1Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com250pts
2Jeremy Powers (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com234 
3James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com142 
4Geoff Kabush (Can) Maxxis-Rocky Mountain138 
5Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona138 
6Todd Wells (USA) Specialized137 
7Tristan Schouten (USA) cyclocrossracing.com/Blue/Rolf127 
8Davide Frattini (Ita) Hudz-Subaru70 
9Christopher Jones (USA) Rapha Focus59 
10Barry Wicks (USA) Kona56 
11Christian Heule (Swi) Champion System LBS56 
12Brian Matter (USA) Gear Grinder53 
13Troy Wells (USA) Team Clif Bar49 
14Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike44 
15Adam Craig (USA) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team43 
16Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ41 
17Zach McDonald (USA) Rapha Focus38 
18Sean Babcock (USA) Kona29 
19Jesse Anthony (USA) California Giant-Specialized23 
20Derrick St John (Can) Garneau Club Chaussure-Ogilvy23 
21Luke Keough (USA) Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross21 
22Luca Damiani (Ita) El Gato CX20 
23Adam Mcgrath (USA) Feedback Sports-Van Dessel18 
24Matthew Pacocha (USA) Hudz-Subaru14 
25Nicholas Weighall (USA) California Giant-Specialized14 
26Ryan Knapp (USA) BikeReg.com13 
27Mark Lalonde (USA) Specialized13 
28Brady Kappius (USA) Team Clif Bar10 
29Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Van Goethem - Prorace10 
30Daniel Summerhill (USA) Garmin/Team Holowesko Partners9 
31Cody Kaiser (USA) California Giant-Specialized8 
32Valentin Scherz (Swi) Cyfac-Champion System Racing Team p/b Revolution Wheelworks8 
33Spencer Paxson (USA) Team S&M Young Guns4 
34Allen Krughoff (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport4 
35Jeremy Ferguson (USA) California Giant-Specialized4 
36Aaron Schooler (Can) Team H&R Block3 
37Rene Birkenfeld (Ger) Harvesterhude Rv2 
38Justin Robinson (USA) California Giant-Specialized1 
U23 men US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross standings after six rounds
1Luke Keough (USA) Champion System p/b Keough Cyclocross244pts
2Cody Kaiser (USA) California Giant-Specialized184 
3Jeremy Ferguson (USA) California Giant-Specialized184 
4Dave Hackworthy (USA) Team Plan C144 
5Zach McDonald (USA) Rapha Focus130 
6Joseph Schmalz (USA) KCCX/Verge p/b Challenge123 
7Daniel Summerhill (USA) Garmin/Team Holowesko Partners90 
8Clayton Omer (USA) Papa Johns' Racing Team63 
9Robin Eckmann (Ger) Pearl Izumi61 
10Steve Fisher (USA) Rad Racing Nw-Hagens Berman Llp60 
11Eric Emsky (USA) Cyclocrossracing.Com p/b Blue54 
12Skyler Trujillo (USA) Black Sheep Jr. Cycling51 
13Valentin Scherz (Swi) Cyfac-Champion System Racing Team p/b Revolution Wheelworks50 
14Jack Hinkens (USA)49 
15Chris Hurst (USA)44 
16Zachary Edwards (USA) DRT Racing44 
17Josh Johnson (USA) DRT Racing42 
18Logan Vonbokel (USA) KCCX/Verge p/b Challenge23 
19Christopher Bogedin (USA) CCSH - RGF Pb Felt Bicycles Eli18 
20Caley Fretz (USA) VeloNews17 
21Jared Stafford (Can) Bikesports Racing17 
22David Block (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport15 
23Will Ross (USA)15 
24Daniel Gerow (USA) Wolverines/acfstores.com13 
25Alex Howes (USA)12 
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