After being sidelined for nearly seven weeks with a knee injury, Ryan Trebon (LTS-Felt) will return to 'cross racing on Saturday in Chicago, Illinois for a weekend of competition at Chicago Cyclocross Cup New Year's Resolution.
Pro bike: Ryan Trebon's LTS-Felt Felt F1X
The last time Ryan Trebon (LTS-Felt) was racing at the top of his game was Saturday, November 12 on the first day of the Exergy US Gran Prix of Cyclocross Derby City Cup in Louisville, Kentucky where he finished a close second to Jeremy Powers (Rapha Focus). The next day, however, Trebon crashed heavily while warming up for the Sunday's round of the Derby City Cup and it was questionable whether he'd be able to even start. Hoping to remain in the overall lead of the USGP series, Trebon raced in considerable pain and managed to finish 10th, but it wasn't enough to defend the jersey which passed onto Powers' shoulders.
The knee injury turned out to be more serious than originally thought, which kept Trebon from racing until now, including contesting the final weekend of racing in the USGP series held in his hometown of Bend, Oregon plus an anticipated European racing block with the Euro 'Cross Camp.
"I'd say I'm about 85 percent there with my knee," Trebon told Cyclingnews. "It still has some residual swelling, but I'm getting there. I had about 12 days off the bike and started to be able to train again. I feel pretty good."
After resuming training at his home in Bend, Trebon recently concluded approximately two weeks of training in sunny San Diego, California which included a day of riding with Chris Horner.
"I did a ton of training while down there. He's (Chris Horner) a good friend of mine and he lives down there in San Diego so I just went out one day on a ride with him just to catch up and hang out a bit. It was good, we rode for about three hours."
Trebon is eager once again suit up for competition, but he's cautiously optimistic about his chances in Chicago.
"It will be seven weeks since I raced so I'm not expecting to win this weekend but I would like to be competitive and see how the legs feel and kind of sort things out," said Trebon. "I'm just happy to be out there racing again. That's for me important and I hope my condition can be enough to be competitive."
One week later, Trebon will line-up to vie for the US national cyclo-cross championship in Madison, Wisconsin on January 8 where he'll be looking to earn his third elite national title. The Nationals venue will be a new course for Trebon and many of the favourites, but the LTS-Felt rider takes it all in stride.
"I've just seen what's online (regarding the Madison venue)," said Trebon. "For me I think any course is good as long as I have good fitness and I'm riding my bike well on the day. I don't think one course favours me over another, it all just depends on who's got the best legs that day.
"I think we're all pretty confident bike handlers and evenly matched in fitness. Sometimes I'm a little bit off and sometimes I'm a little bit better."
Sandy Koksijde Worlds venue to Trebon's liking
One day after contesting US 'cross nationals, Trebon will fly to his European base in Belgium where he'll prepare for two World Cup rounds in Liévin, France on January 15 and Hoogerheide, The Netherlands one week later. On January 29th, Trebon will compete at the elite world championships in Koksijde, Belgium, a venue known for its challenging sandy parcours.
It's been five years since Trebon has raced in Koksijde and he looks forward to once again powering through the deep sand, where his best result was 9th in 2005.
"I really like that particular venue," said Trebon. "I've never raced the new course, I've always raced the older one, but I like racing in the sand. I like those really hard, selective courses.
"I like that race because it's so atypical. I don't think alot of people understand just how different it is with all that sand. Here in the US we may go race through a volleyball court, but there it's big, long sand sections and it takes so much technique. You have to have a ton of power to get through that stuff but you also need to have smooth, controlled technique and let the bike kind of float around. If you just try to muscle your bike and completely out-power a section you just go nowhere. When you see people that are good at it it's pretty cool to watch.
"I'm hoping I'll have good luck on that day. It just kind of depends - you have to have a good start and then just stay smooth on the bike."