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