Johnson wins USGP second round at Planet Bike Cup

US 'cross champion takes over USGP lead

Tim Johnson (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) rode away with his team’s second solo victory at the Planet Bike Cup, found two of the US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross (USGP) held in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin on Sunday. With one series win a piece, Johnson and his teammate Jeremy Powers, who won the opening round, are now tied for first place points. Race organizers granted the USGP leader’s jersey to Johnson and the tie breaker was based on the best performance of the day.

“We are doing the whole series so we will be trying to get points each weekend,” Johnson said. “The USGP is the premiere series in the US and our sponsors care and we care about it. I’ve been going for this series for years now, I’ve only been able to win it once and to try to win it again is a priority.”

It was a reversed performance to the previous day that saw Powers take the overall race win in front of his teammate Johnson. This time around it was Johnson who launched the early, winning attack and Powers who broke free from the field and soloed in for second place.

French National Champion Francis Mourey (FDJ) out paced a chase group of six riders to take a respectable third place. He will return to Europe this week after a successful Stateside cyclo-cross debut having captured three victories at the StarCrossed, Rad Racing Grand Prix and CrossVegas.

“Today’s course was very technical, more technical than it was physical,” Mourey said. “When the American champion took off I was boxed in and not able to follow. When his teammate went it was kind of the same thing. However, from the group that I was with, I took my time and felt that because the course was technical it would be very hard to pass immediately. I sat back and on the last lap I was able to pass on the pedestrian section [Selle Italia run up] and I am extremely happy that I was able to place third on a course that doesn’t suit me as well as the three earlier races that I won. Out of five races, I have three victories and a third place and I am happy with that.”

Luke Keough (Champion System) is currently leading the USGP Under 23 category.

The blazing chase for leading teammates

Current National Cyclo-cross Champion, Tim Johnson (Cannondale p/n Cyclocrossworld.com) wasted no time attacking a strung out row of internationally acclaimed cyclo-cross riders that highlighted the field at the second round of the Planet Bike Cup held at the Angell Park Speedway.

Johnson attacked on the fourth lap through the twists and turns over the first half of the circuit. It may have come slightly later than that of
his teammate Jeremy Power’s attack the previous day, but it was another winning move nonetheless.

“It didn’t feel that early,” Johnson said. “The start of the race was so fast and Jeremy had a great start. As soon as he was giving it on the
front the field stretched out. On a course like this you tie together the really hard corners with straights that basically have one speed. So when everyone accelerates out of the corners and gets that speed you can’t gain time unless you are going fast through the corners to gain that time.”

A chase group formed behind that included Powers, Francis Mourey (FDJ), Christian Heule (Champion System LBS), Todd Wells (Specialized-Cal Giant), Davide Frattini (Hudz-Subaru), Luca Damiani (Kenda-Geargrinder), Jonathan Page (Planet Bike-Blue), Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain), Ryan Trebon (KONA-FSA), Tristan Schouten (Cyclocrossracing.com-Blue-Rolf) and Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com).

Those motivated to chase Johnson include Heule, Page, Trebon and Damiani. Their efforts managed to hold the time margin to Johnson at roughly 10 seconds for a couple of laps. At the end of lap four, Powers used his tactical sense to ride the single track sections through the woods in first position slowing down the chase group ever so slightly to allow his teammate to gain a few precious extra seconds. But the furious chase was back on once the group hit the wide open pavement with seven laps to go.

Italian Luca Damiani (Kenda-Geargrinder) earned himself the event’s Most Aggressive rider award for a strong attack mid-race. He was sitting in second wheel and surged passed Trebon who was setting pace at the time. Page ad Powers leaped across to Damiani but within seconds the remaining 12 chasers were reunited.

“I wasn’t really chasing I was trying to open a gap,” laughed Damiani. “When Trebon was at the front chasing it was really slow and I felt like if that was the pace then I could totally try to jump. When I jumped I got a couple of seconds with Jeremy and Page. I’m happy with most aggressive rider, I prefer a podium finish but this is a good constellation prize.”

Damiani’s attack provided a suitable platform for Powers to make his bid for second place. The previous day’s winner opened up a small margin after the Selle Italia run up and gained momentum through the technical twists and turns that favored his ability. Without a concerted chase from behind, Powers’ margin extended to 10 seconds fairly quickly.

“After five laps I noticed there were guys that started to falter, make a couple mistakes and slow down,” Powers said. “I made my attack on the road and got 10 seconds and extended that over the next four laps.”

The chase group, more or less ,conceded to Johnson and Powers taking the top two spots on the podium. However, the pace remained fast with third place still up for grabs. Gaps split open on the last lap and those in contention for third place included Heule, Mourey, Wells, Schouten, Frattini and Damiani.

Mourey sprinted to the top of the Selle Italia run up in prime position to take the sprint for third place followed by Heule in fourth, Schouten in fifth, Frattini in sixth, Damiani in seventh and Wells in eighth.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tim Johnson (USA) Cannondale/CyclocrossWorld.com1:01:19 
2Jeremy Powers (USA) Cannondale/CyclocrossWorld.com0:00:33 
3Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ0:00:39 
4Christian Heule (Swi)0:00:40 
5Tristan Schouten (USA) cyclocrossracing.com/Blue/Rolf0:00:41 
6Davide Frattini (Ita) HUDZ Subaru0:00:42 
7Luca Damiani (Ita) Kenda Pro Cycling0:00:43 
8Todd Wells (USA) Specialized0:00:46 
9Ryan Trebon (USA)0:00:48 
10Jamey Driscoll (USA) Cannondale/CyclocrossWorld.com0:00:51 
11Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:01:01 
12Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis / Rocky Mount0:01:59 
13Sean Babcock (USA) Kona0:02:09 
14Brian Matter (USA) Gear Grinder0:02:12 
15Barry Wicks (USA) KONA0:02:15 
16Adam Mcgrath (USA) Thule/Van Dessel Cyclocross  
17Tim Van Nuffel (Bel)0:02:45 
18Ryan Knapp (USA) BikeReg.com0:02:59 
19Luke Keough (USA) Champion System p/b Keough Cycl  
20Mark Lalonde (USA) Specialized0:03:14 
21Molly Cameron (USA)0:03:15 
22Jonathan Baker (USA) HUDZ Subaru0:03:17 
23Mitchell Kersting (USA) Bob's Red Mill p/b Focus Bikes0:03:18 
24Jeremy Ferguson (USA) California Giant/Specialized0:03:25 
25Christopher Jones (USA)0:03:57 
26Mike Sherer (USA) The Pony Shop0:04:04 
27Joseph Schmalz (USA) KCCX/Verge Presented by Challen0:04:09 
28Cody Kaiser (USA) Team Spine0:04:23 
29David Hackworthy (USA) Clement CX0:04:29 
30Brad Cole (USA) KCCX/Verge0:04:34 
31Eric Muehl (USA) Industry Nine Factory0:04:36 
32Tom Burke (USA) Specialized Michigan  
33Craig Richey (Can) CyclocrossRacing.com p/b Blue0:04:43 
34Frank Spiteri (USA) Peninsula Velo/Pomodoro0:05:03 
35Justin Robinson (USA) California Giant Berry Farms/Sp0:05:24 
36Jared Stafford (Can) Bikesports Racing0:05:26 
37Jordan Roessingh (USA) ISCorp Cycling Team/Nova Cycle0:06:02 
38Kevin Mcconnell (USA) mercy-specialized  
39Clayton Omer (USA) Papa Johns' Racing Team  
40William Butcher (USA) Team Magnus  
41Erik Hamilton (USA)  
42Andrew Reardon (USA) Van Dessel / Real Design  
43Michael Hemme (USA) Courage  
44Josh Johnson (USA) DRT Racing  
45Isaac Neff (USA) Alderfer Bergen  
46Scott Mclaughlin (USA) SRAM Factory Team  
47Adam Mills (USA) Mercy Elite Cycling Team  
48David Sachs (USA) Vision Quest Coaching  
49James Lalonde (USA) Planet Bike  
50Jake Helmbrecht (USA) Freewheel Bike  
51Bryan Fawley (USA) Dallas Bike Works - Dallas Meta  
52Logan Vonbokel (USA) KCCX/Verge Presented by Challen  
53Zachary Edwards (USA) DRT Racing  
54Bill Street (USA) Sisu custom cycles  
DNFTroy Wells (USA)  
DNFRene Birkenfeld (Ger) Stevens  
DNFJesse Anthony (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies Pro Cy  
DNFSteve Fisher (USA) Rad Racing NW / Hagens Berman L  
DNFLee Unwin (USA) CycleOps  
DNFEric Emsky (USA) Cyclocrossracing.com pb Blue Co  
DNFGregg Shanefelt (USA) ZWS/Cyclesport  

 

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