Sunday's podium at the Trek US Gran Prix of Cyclocross looked a lot like Saturday's, with one small difference. The faces were all the same and Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com still occupied the top two steps, but Saturday runner-up Tim Johnson moved into the top spot and previous winner Ryan Trebon slipped to second. Adam Craig (Rabobank-Giant) matched his Saturday result, claiming third place with another entertaining ride that included his own handmade jump.
In the battle for the final series standings, Johnson's weekend results leap-frogged him over Ben Berden (Raleigh-Clement) into third place. Trebon held onto second overall, with an absent Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) having clinched the series crown at the previous USGP weekend in Kentucky.
Sunday's Central Oregon weather brought on blue skies and slightly warmer temperatures from the previous day, and the racers seemed to react to the slightly more favorable conditions. Danny Summerhill (Chipotle Development Team), who rode a strong race on Saturday but eventually tangled with a course marker late in the race and literally fell out of podium contention, won the holeshot for the second consecutive day and led Berden, Johnson and the rest of the field onto the mostly dirt section of the course.
Summerhill still led the race about halfway through the first lap and emerged from the wooded section with Johnson, Berden, Yannick Eckmann (Cal Giant-Specialized) and Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing) in tow. That group had a small gap to Trebon, Craig and Chris Jones (Rapha-Focus), who chased desperately to make the front group of race favorites. The chasing trio made contact with the leaders a lap later to form a sizable front group of eight, while Chris Sheppard (Rocky Mountain Bicycles), Zach McDonald (Rapha-Focus) and Justin Lindine (Redline) dangled just behind the leaders but never made contact.
Summerhill continued taking a lion's share of the workload on the front of the race as the lead group would stretch out and come back together over the next lap and a half, occasionally shuffling rider order as the group transitioned from tight, technical corners and climbs onto long straightaways on grass or pavement.
Johnson stuck with the leaders and had just moved in front of Trebon in the lead when opportunity presented itself near the end of lap three. As the group made its way through the Brewery Bowl and up a series of climbs and descents beneath the beer factory at the top of the westernmost tip of the course, Trebon washed out his front wheel at the bottom of a long gravel descent that led onto a short, steep, slightly off-camber run up.
"I had gone around Ryan right at the top," Johnson said. "And he washed out a little bit in the gravel, so I just hit the gas as hard as I could."
Johnson's move about 20 minutes into the race came at a perfect time to catch the other riders sneaking an extra nanosecond for recovery.
"After 20 minutes of hard riding, everybody kind of likes to take a breath," Johnson said. "But that's when I got away, so I just kind of kept the hammer down. It's tough to start to go fast again right away, so I kind of took advantage of that little lull."
Johnson started the fourth of nine laps with a five-second lead over the seven chasers, who seemed to sense first place was riding away but were unable to match Johnson's pace. Craig and Summerhill took turns on the front but weren't able to bring Johnson back to terms.
"When that mistake happened and Tim got free, I knew that I needed to be there," Craig said. "I'm not strong enough to leave the group and go to Tim, even if he's only eight seconds away and you know that's the move and you know you have to be there."
Johnson had 15 seconds on the chase group a lap later, and he added another 10 seconds in the next half lap. He started lap seven with a 32-second gap on the chasing group, which had shed Kabush but was unable to dent Johnson's lead. Trebon, meanwhile, was staying near the front but not contributing to the chase as his teammate slowly built his lead.
"I was suffering quite a bit out there today," Trebon said. "I knew when Tim went that was it, and more or less second place was going to be the best I could do on the day. I started to feel a little bit better towards the end, and I wanted to make sure that the gap to Tim was secure enough before I started attacking the group."
Trebon's presence in the chase group also aided Johnson's lead by subtly scrubbing a bit of effort from the chase, as the other riders knew they needed to leave something in the tank to fend off his eventual attacks. Craig said they all knew what was coming.
"Once it becomes painfully obvious that [Johnson] ain't coming back," Craig said, "you have to kind of race for second, knowing that Ryan's in that group and is going to be going all kinds of fast for the last couple laps once Tim's place is secure."
Sure enough, with about two laps remaining Trebon hit the gas and blew the chasing group apart. Craig and Summerhill were the only riders who could stick with Trebon initially, but Jones eventually clawed his way back to the first chase group. Berden and Eckmann lost contact for good.
As the chasing quartet exited the grassy Brewery Bowl with a hard-right turn from an off-camber bank - nearly the exact same spot where Summerhill went down the day before - Craig accidentally rammed his rear wheel into Summerhill's derailleur and tore it from its hanger, knocking the Chipotle rider from the lead group and sending him on a jog to the pits.
"He was kind of coming back on a bad line, and I was going forward on a good line," Craig said. "And I just kind of got into his spokes and his derailleur."
It was a tough break for Summerhill, who had ridden two strong races over the weekend without the results to show for it. But he said there were no hard feelings toward Craig.
"It was just an accident," he said. "But it ripped off my derailleur, and obviously there goes another potential for a podium. A bit of a bummer to say the least."
Oblivious to the drama behind, Johnson took the bell for the final lap with a 33-second lead over Trebon, Craig and Jones, while Berden and Eckmann dangled just behind. Trebon kept up the pressure during the final lap, jettisoning Jones early but taking Craig deep into the lap before finally gaining a slight advantage.
"I was pretty happy to be able to keep Ryan's skinny legs in sight at least until the last couple of corners," Craig said.
Johnson cruised in for the win about 15 seconds ahead of his teammate. Over the final lap, Trebon put just four seconds into Craig, who held on for third. Jones finished 16 seconds later for fourth, while Eckmann, who was also the best U23 rider on the day and won the U23 series, crossed the line another four seconds in arrears to round out the top five.
After the race, Johnson reflected on what the weekend meant for the team, and then his thoughts immediately turned to the upcoming world championships in Kentucky.
"To have two guys on the podium like that is huge," Johnson said of his team's performance. "To win both races this weekend is a great way to cap off the season. Obviously, Worlds is going to be the number one thing for the coming weeks. It's a lot sooner than we expect. February 4 is going to come right away."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld||1:01:09|
|2||Ryan Trebon (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld||0:00:15|
|3||Adam Craig (USA) Giant Rabobank Team||0:00:19|
|4||Christopher Jones (USA) Rapha-Focus||0:00:35|
|5||Yannick Eckmann (Ger) California Giant/Specialized||0:00:39|
|6||Ben Berden (Bel) Raleigh Clement|
|7||James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld||0:00:48|
|8||Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Factory Racing||0:00:50|
|9||Cody Kaiser (USA) California Giant Berry Farms/Sp||0:01:11|
|10||Geoff Kabush (Can) Scott-3Rox Racing||0:01:18|
|11||Justin Lindine (USA) Redline||0:01:20|
|12||Chris Sheppard (Can) Rocky Mountain Bicycles||0:01:27|
|13||Daniel Summerhill (USA) Chipotle Development Team||0:01:53|
|14||Troy Wells (USA) Team CLIF BAR||0:02:02|
|15||Tristan Schouten (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies|
|16||Alexander Candelario (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies||0:02:15|
|17||Matt Shriver (USA)||0:02:21|
|18||Brian Matter (USA) RACC pb GG||0:02:40|
|19||Sean Babcock (USA) Kona||0:02:43|
|20||Allen Krughoff (USA) Raleigh Clement||0:03:06|
|21||Spencer Paxson (USA) Kona Factory Team||0:03:10|
|22||Shawn Milne (USA) CyclocrossWorld.Com||0:03:14|
|23||Kevin Noiles (Can) cyclocrossracing.com||0:03:19|
|24||Braden Kappius (USA) Clif Bar Development Cross Team||0:03:44|
|25||Chris Jackson (USA) Castex Racing p/b Felt||0:03:47|
|26||Tobin Ortenblad (USA) 303586||0:03:58|
|27||Benjamin Sonntag (Ger)||0:04:03|
|28||Craig Richey (Can) SponsorConnected.com p/b Ridley||0:04:08|
|29||Brennan Wodtli (USA)||0:04:10|
|30||Jake Wells (USA) NoTubes Elite Cyclocross||0:04:27|
|31||Aaron Schooler (Can) NORCO BICYCLES - SRI Importing||0:04:43|
|32||Mike Sherer (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies||0:04:47|
|33||Mark Mcconnell (Can) Synergy Racing||0:04:50|
|34||Kevin Bradford-Parish (USA) Cyclocrossracing.com||0:04:52|
|35||Eric Thompson (USA) Plan C p/b Challenge Tires||0:04:53|
|36||Aaron Bradford (USA) Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobst||0:05:23|
|37||Barry Wicks (USA) Kona||0:05:24|
|38||Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona|
|39||Erik Tonkin (USA) Kona/Team S&M||0:05:31|
|40||Michael Van Den Ham (Can) Cycle-Smart||0:05:47|
|41||Damian Schmitt (USA) Silverado Gallery/Sunnyside Spo||0:06:02|
|42||Tyler Coplea (USA)||0:06:21|
|43||Paul Lacava (USA) Giant Bicycles||0:06:32|
|44||Mitchell Hoke (USA) Team Clif Bar||0:06:53|
|45||Josh Kelley (USA) Bailey Bikes SPY||0:07:09|
|-2 Laps||Chris Brandt (USA) Honey Stinger/Bontrager|
|-2 Laps||Brent Gorman (USA) Volkswagen Boise|
|-2 Laps||Alex Work (USA) Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobst|
|-2 Laps||Bjorn Fox (USA) Clif Bar Development Cross Team|
|-2 Laps||Brandon Cross (USA) cole sport|
|-2 Laps||Scott Chapin (USA) Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobst|
|-2 Laps||Patrick Means (USA) Team S&M|
|-3 Laps||Cody Peterson (USA) Hutchs Bicycles|
|-3 Laps||Sean Leader (USA) CycleWorks|
|-3 Laps||Kolby Preble (USA) CLIF BAR Development Cyclocross|
|-3 Laps||James Williams (USA) Adventures Edge|
|-5 Laps||Phil Grove (USA) Hammer Nutrition|
|DNF||Zach McDonald (USA) Rapha-Focus|
|DNF||Bill Elliston (USA) Van Dessel Factory Team|
|DNF||Giancarlo Dalle Angelini (USA) Don Walker Cycles|
|DNF||Zane Godby (USA) Clif Bar junior development|
|DNF||Chris Thibodeau (USA) SHO-AIR/S.E.R.T./ T.O.N.C|
|DNS||Shaun Adamson (Can) Velocity Cycling Club|
|DNS||Erik Hamilton (USA) Tokyo Joes/Whole Foods|
|DNS||Jason Siegle (USA) SDG/Felt|
|DNS||Jesse Rients (USA) Trek Cyclocross Collective/Penn|
|DNS||Kendal Johnson (USA) California Polytechnic|
|DNS||Luke Demoe (USA) Evviva/Stoemper|
|DNS||Bjorn Selander (USA) Plan C p/b Challenge Tires|
|DNS||David Reyes (USA) SRAM Factory|
|DNS||Luke Haley (USA) Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross Team|
|DNS||Nathan Brown (USA) Superfly Cycles|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Jeremy Powers (USA) RAPHA-FOCUS||284||pts|
|2||Ryan Trebon (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld||273|
|3||Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld||242|
|4||Ben Berden (Bel) Raleigh Clement||215|
|5||Christopher Jones (USA) Rapha- Focus||174|
|6||Daniel Summerhill (USA) Chipotle Development Team||144|
|7||James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld||139|
|8||Adam Craig (USA) Giant Rabobank Team||130|
|9||Yannick Eckmann (Ger) California Giant/Specialized||117|
|10||Tristan Schouten (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies||92|
|11||Lukas Fluckiger (Swi) Trek World Racing||84|
|12||Geoff Kabush (Can) SCOTT-3Rox Racing||80|
|13||Brian Matter (USA) RACC pb GG||73|
|14||Zach McDonald (USA) Rapha-Focus||67|
|15||Justin Lindine (USA) Redline||49|
|16||Evan Mcneely (Can) Specialized Canada||39|
|17||Jonathan Page (USA) MiloEmmaPerle||37|
|18||Allen Krughoff (USA) Raleigh Clement||34|
|19||Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Factory Racing||31|
|20||Matt Shriver (USA)||28|
|21||Mitchell Hoke (USA)||28|
|22||Cody Kaiser (USA) California Giant Berry Farms/Sp||22|
|23||Troy Wells (USA) Team CLIF BAR||19|
|24||Alex Candelario (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies||16|
|25||Spencer Paxson (USA) Kona Bicycles||15|
|26||Barry Wicks (USA) Kona||14|
|27||Bradley White (USA) Moms in Tow Cyclocross||12|
|28||Alexander Candelario (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies||10|
|29||Chris Sheppard (USA) Rocky Mountain Bicycles||9|
|30||Dan Timmerman (USA) RGM WATCHES - RICHARD SACHS||9|
|31||Travis Livermon (USA) Mock Orange Bikes||8|
|32||Joshua Johnson (USA) Bissell-ABG-Nuvo||7|
|33||Jake Wells (USA) NoTubes Elite Cyclocross||7|
|34||Isaac Neff (USA)||7|
|35||Bryan Fawley (USA) Dallas Bike Works||7|
|36||Sean Babcock (USA) Kona||6|
|37||Russell Finsterwald (USA) Trek Cyclocross Collective||6|
|38||Lukas Winterberg (Swi) BH Swiss||6|
|39||Jesse Anthony (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies||5|
|40||Tim Allen (USA) Niner Hayes Ergon||3|
|41||Corey Stelljes (USA) Cyclocrossracing.com||3|
|42||Shawn Milne (USA) CyclocrossWorld.Com||2|
|43||Chris Jackson (USA) Castex Racing p/b Felt||1|
|44||Adam Morka (Can)||1|
|45||Keegan Swenson (USA) Evol Elite Racing||1|
|46||Mitchell Kersting (USA) Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross||1|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Yannick Eckmann (Ger) California Giant/Specialized||350||pts|
|2||Cody Kaiser (USA) California Giant Berry Farms/Sp||221|
|3||Evan McNeely (Can) Specialized Canada||217|
|4||Zach McDonald (USA) Rapha-Focus||200|
|5||Tobin Ortenblad (USA) California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized||192|
|6||Russell Finsterwald (USA) Subaru-Trek Mountain Bike Team||120|
|7||Joshua Johnson (USA) Bissell-ABG-Nuvo||90|
|8||Jeffrey Bahnson (USA) Van Dessel Factory Team||77|
|9||Zane Godby (USA) enCompass Racing||65|
|10||Kevin Fish (USA) KCCX/Fuji||63|
|11||Keegan Swenson (USA) Evol Elite Racing||62|
|12||Tyler Coplea (USA) BH/ Hammer Nutrition||55|
|13||Michael Van Den Ham (Can) Cycle-Smart||53|
|14||Kolby Preble (USA) Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross||45|
|15||Bjorn Fox (USA) Clif Bar Development Cross Team||40|
|16||Andrew Dillman (USA) Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross||40|
|17||Jesse Goodrich (USA) Evol Elite Racing||40|
|18||Daniel Gerow (USA) Wolverine Racing Elite CX||38|
|19||Robin Eckmann (Ger) Peral Izumi, shimano team||36|
|20||Luke Haley (USA) Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross Team||32|
|21||Adam Morka (Can)||30|
|22||Skyler Trujillo (USA) Niner/Stans/Erogn||29|
|23||Kerry Werner Jr. (USA) BMC U23 Development Team||22|
|24||Joseph Maloney (USA) KS Energy Services/Team Wiscons||17|
|25||Dean Haas (USA) Team Specialized Racing Juniors||16|
|26||Michael Sampson (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies||15|
|27||Chase Dickens (USA) American Classic Pro Team||14|
|28||Adam York (USA) Cleveland Clinic Sports Health||14|
|29||Lewis Gaffney (USA) Team FITaos||13|
|30||Kendal Johnson (USA) California Polytechnic||12|
|31||Richard Cypress Gorry (USA) Whole Athlete-Specialized||11|
|32||Connor Wilson (Can) Juventus Cycling Club||11|
|33||Jesse Rients (USA) KUHL||10|
|34||Tom Burke (USA) Specialized Michigan||9|
|35||Matt Lyons (USA) Feedback Sports||8|
|36||Johnathan Freter (USA) Don Walker Cycles Racing||4|
|37||Zeb King (USA) MOB p/b Ridley||4|