Jeremy Powers (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) took the hole shot and rode away with a victory at the Planet Bike Cup, the first round of the US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross series at the Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. His teammate and US National Champion Tim Johnson crossed the finish line 10 seconds later for second place followed by Jonathan Page (Planet Bike-Blue) in third.
“I love having the jersey and it is a dream come true for me,” said Powers who took the USGP series early lead. “It means a lot to be able to win one of the most prestigious series. I will have the jersey on my back tomorrow (Sunday) and that means a lot to me.
“Winning the series is a focus for me because I am not going to the World Cup in the Czech Republic so I can focus on the USGP series,” he said. “It is important to us and it is important to our sponsors.”
Powers and Johnson hold off a strong chase group
Powers led a talented line up of cyclo-cross riders around the first lap and was one of the only riders capable of riding over a set of stairs located on the circuit’s steep run up climb. Where he saved energy, most of his competitors lost time and it wasn’t long before his gap grew from several seconds to a solid 20 seconds by the end of the third lap.
“I wanted to get the hole shot because it is such a fast and twisty course that I knew I wanted to be out front early,” Powers said. “I wanted to have a shot at those barriers on the first lap and get a gap on the others right away. If they were better than me, I had Tim and Jamey ready to go. I don’t know how many guys were riding those stairs but I was doing it
pretty well every lap. I was just trying to capitalize on that gap I got early on.”
Last year’s overall series winner Ryan Trebon (KONA-FSA) was forced to do much of the strenuous work to keep Powers at a reasonable distance. His efforts proved to be too much for one rider to handle and the gap to Powers opened up more and more each lap.
The eight other riders that comprised the chase group behind Powers included his teammates Johnson and Driscoll along with Page, Swiss champ Christian Heule (Champion System LBS), Canadian champ Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain), French champ Francis Mourey (FDJ) and Davide Frattini (Hudz-Subaru).
“Ryan was chasing pretty hard and he had a little bobble on one of the corners and just when he was kind of having a hard time I hit it,” Johnson said. “Jeremy had so much of a gap that it was a perfect race for him and a great way to start the season.”
Johnson launched an attack and gained an instant 10-second lead which left the other riders in the group, without teammates, wondering who was going to chase the pair of Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com riders.
“That’s the great thing about Tim, we are friends and he pushes me to be my best and I hope that I do the same for him,” Powers said. “If we can push each other to be good, as long as he is clear from the other guys when he is charging across, it is not a problem.”
Mourey made a bid to bridge to Johnson on the run-up and nearly made it across, but came up short by a few seconds. However, he was reeled back into the chase group with seven laps to go.
In the meantime, Todd Wells (Specialized) and Tristan Schouten (cyclocrossracing.com/Blue/Rolf) rode back into the chase group. Both riders highlighted the closing laps putting forth several attacks a piece and Schouten earned himself the Most Aggressive rider award.
“I was staged third row and it took a while to get up there,” Schouten said. “There was a gap early on and Todd Wells caught up to me and we worked together to get back up to the others. We bridged up to the lead group maybe half way into the race. I didn’t do much, just attack with two laps to go but it didn’t really do anything. I was at my limit.”
Strong attacks came from Page, Kabush and Heule. Although they were unsuccessful in gaining time on Powers and Johnson they each helped reduce the group to six riders losing Mourey with five laps to go followed by Frattini with three to go. Page put forth a massive effort on the last lap in front of a sponsor-filled audience and narrowly captured third place ahead of Wells and Heule who placed fourth and fifth respectively.
“American 'cross has gotten much better, they are on form and they’ve shown it,” Page said of his rivals. “Every year it is hard at the beginning of the year for me, and everyone else who comes in, but travel or no travel it [American cyclo-cross] is still much faster.
“Today I was there but not quite there,” he said. “It takes one or two efforts and I’m a little far behind. I can’t make it up right away. These guys were much better today and I was constantly keeping on the gas on but not closing it.”
Round two of the Planet Bike Cup will continue at the Angell Park Speedway on Sunday, September 26.
|1||Jeremy Powers (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com||1:01:03|
|2||Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com||0:00:20|
|3||Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike||0:00:50|
|4||Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Factory Racing|
|5||Christian Heule (Swi) Champion System LBS||0:00:52|
|6||James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com||0:00:54|
|7||Tristan Schouten (USA) cyclocrossracing.com/Blue/Rolf||0:01:00|
|8||Geoff Kabush (Can) Maxxis-Rocky Mountain||0:01:06|
|9||Davide Frattini (Ita) Hudz-Subaru||0:01:56|
|10||Troy Wells (USA) Team Clif Bar||0:02:09|
|11||Ryan Knapp (USA) BikeReg.com||0:02:11|
|12||Barry Wicks (USA) Kona|
|13||Brian Matter (USA) Gear Grinder||0:02:18|
|14||Francis Mourey (Fra) Française Des Jeux||0:02:47|
|15||Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Van Goethem - Prorace||0:02:52|
|16||Sean Babcock (USA) Kona||0:03:09|
|17||Jeremy Ferguson (USA) California Giant-Specialized||0:03:11|
|18||Mark Lalonde (USA) Specialized||0:03:42|
|19||Rene Birkenfeld (Ger) Harvesterhude Rv||0:03:43|
|20||Adam Mcgrath (USA) Feedback Sports-Van Dessel||0:03:44|
|21||Luke Keough (USA) Bikereg.Com/Cannondale|
|22||Bryan Fawley (USA) Park Place Dealerships||0:03:47|
|23||Joseph Schmalz (USA) KCCX/Verge p/b Challen||0:03:52|
|24||Jesse Anthony (USA) California Giant-Specialized||0:03:57|
|25||Cody Kaiser (USA) California Giant-Specialized|
|26||Frank Spiteri (USA) Peninsula Velo-Pomodoro||0:04:04|
|27||Dave Hackworthy (USA) Cyclocrossracing.Com p/b Blue||0:04:18|
|28||Craig Richey (Can) Cyclocrossracing.Com p/b Blue|
|29||Brad Cole (USA) KCCX/Verge||0:04:25|
|30||Eric Muehl (USA) Industry Nine Factory||0:04:39|
|31||Mitchell Kersting (USA) Bob's Red Mill p/b Focus Bikes||0:04:46|
|32||Nicholas Weighall (USA) California Giant-Specialized||0:05:05|
|33||Justin Robinson (USA) California Giant-Specialized|
|34||Steve Fisher (USA) Rad Racing Nw-Hagens Berman Llp||0:05:37|
|35||Tom Burke (USA) Specialized Michigan||-2laps|
|36||Jonathan Baker (USA) Hudz-Subaru||-3laps|
|37||Luca Damiani (Ita) Kenda Pro Cycling p/b Geargrinder|
|38||Erik Hamilton (USA)|
|39||Eric Emsky (USA) Cyclocrossracing.Com p/b Blue|
|40||James Lalonde (USA) Planet Bike|
|41||Jared Stafford (Can) Bikesports Racing|
|42||Molly Cameron (USA) Portland Bicycle Studio|
|43||Kevin McConnell (USA) mercy-specialized|
|44||Mike Sherer (USA) The Pony Shop|
|45||William Butcher (USA) Team Magnus|
|46||Andrew Reardon (USA) Van Dessel / Real Design|
|47||Clayton Omer (USA) Papa Johns' Racing Team|
|48||Zachary Edwards (USA) DRT Racing|
|49||Michael Hemme (USA) Courage|
|50||Mike Kennedy (USA) Bob's Red Mill|
|51||Jordan Roessingh (USA) ISCorp Cycling Team/Nova Cycle||-4laps|
|52||Isaac Neff (USA) Alderfer Bergen|
|53||Josh Johnson (USA) DRT Racing|
|54||Adam Mills (USA) Mercy Elite Cycling Team||-5laps|
|55||Logan Vonbokel (USA) KCCX/Verge p/b Challenge|
|56||Scott McLaughlin (USA) SRAM Factory Team|
|57||Lee Unwin (USA) CycleOps||-6laps|
|58||Bill Street (USA) Sisu custom cycles|
|59||Jake Helmbrecht (USA) Freewheel Bike|
|60||Gregg Shanefelt (USA) ZWS/Cyclesport|
|DNF||Ezra Taylor (USA) Peacock Groove|
|DNF||Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona|
|DNF||Christopher Jones (USA) Rapha Focus|