Two-time US national champion Ryan Trebon (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) is hoping for a top-15 result Sunday at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Hoogerheide, Netherlands.
"Honest expectations are top 15 and I will be satisfied," Trebon told Cyclingnews via email while in Ypres, Belgium preparing for the race. "It's a challenging course, and if the legs and head are there, I should do well."
Earlier this month, Trebon finished second to Rapha-Focus rider Jeremy Powers in the US national championships before heading across the Atlantic at acclimate for Worlds. During his only European race this year, the final World Cup in Nommay, France last weekend, Trebon finished a disappointing 45th, more than six minutes behind winner Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea).
"I was just really really bad, embarrassingly slow," he said of that race. "This trip was easy, and I adapted to the time change pretty quick. Usually I am OK on the first weekend of racing after flying to Europe, but not this year. I just had zero power. I didn't even really race, just road around until the finish."
Trebon is obviously hoping for a better performance on the course in Hoogerheide, which he said offers a good mix of terrain and challenges.
"Some sections even in the mud are quick; some sections, especially the lower field, are just a giant tractor pull," he said. " I think the course, like every other one out there, favors the strongest, most-prepared athlete."
Trebon wouldn't pick a favorite for top finisher among the US men, but he did say that he expected a "good battle" in the women's race between US champion Katie Compton and reigning world champion Marianne Vos of the Netherlands.
Trebon is coming off his second productive season with the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld team, taking five wins on the USA Cycling Pro CX Calendar and hitting the podium a dozen times. He claimed his first win of the season at the Colorado Cross Classic in October, and he followed it up with victories at Cincy 3, the Derby City Cup, CXLA After Dark and the Southern California District Championships.
After the world championships, Trebon will fly to Japan for the Tokyo Cyclo-cross race a few days after worlds. Trebon also said he will race a full spring and summer schedule on the mountain bike circuit with the ShoAir-Cannondale team before ramping up for the 2014-15 cyclo-cross season.
Although his contract with Cannondale-Cyclocross world ends this season, Trebon said he hopes to re-sign with the Northeast-based team.
"I would really like to be back with the team again for the next few years," he said. "I really like the Cannondale bikes, and the team organization is top notch."