Powers flawless en route to third US 'cross title

Jeremy Powers confirmed himself as the top 'cross racer in the US, riding off the front of the rescheduled elite men's race from the first lap with Jonathan Page before slowly dismantling the four-time champion. Zach McDonald was third. It was the second consecutive US 'cross title for the defending champion Powers, who won his first championship in 2012 and has been nearly undefeated in UCI 'cross races in the US this season.

Previously not known as a top runner or mud-rider, on a technical, taxing and muddy Austin, Texas course, Powers used his newly-found skills acquired from an increased European race schedule to good effect, smoothly tackling the off-camber running sections and gliding around the rideable turns, putting in more time each lap into Page, McDonald, a chase group led by Stephen Hyde.

"I can't believe I actually won," Powers said, elated after the race. "I was looking at this [course] and thinking it would be very hard for me to win. It's unique conditions and something I've always struggled in. It was definitely going to challenge me, and it did. I'm just really happy, because this is something I've worked at really hard. To come away with the win is super special, it's almost as special as the first one."

Although all of Europe must have been laughing when the city of Austin called off the racing on Sunday because rain and hundreds of racers speeding around Zilker Park alarmed tree conservationists, forcing the race to be first cancelled, and then rescheduled for 24 hours later, once racing ensued it was clear the venue served up the best of 'cross and challenges worthy of the heart of Belgium. Thick, buttery mud clogged treads and drive trains, making off-camber sections too slick to ride and putting the pit crews to the test.

Ryan Trebon rocketed off the start line in an attempt to take the hole shot, but was overtaken rapidly by an aggressively-starting Powers, with Page tight on his wheel. The two on-form champions quickly established a gap, with Trebon, who suffered a serious back injury in September, unable to hold the pace. Once the gaps were established it was only a matter of finesse and luck that determined the order on course.

Page suffered a bit of misfortune with a slowly flattening tyre on the opening lap, and when he went to the pits for a new bike, he came out several seconds down on Powers and was never able to close down the gap. "He came back and forth," Powers said of the gap. "I was marking him on the course, but ultimately I started to ride some sections and get a rhythm that I hadn't had in the first few laps. I felt I was able to distance him a little more in those sections."

McDonald rode solidly in third, although a chasing group battled with each other in an attempt to catch the full time college student was led until the final lap by Hyde until the final lap. The JAM Fund rider was jettisoned on the last lap, and Danny Summerhill (K-Edge Felt) cruised in for fourth ahead of Dan Timmerman.

It was a relief for Powers to complete his goal of defending his title after the chaos that ensued on the previous day, where intense negotiations between USA Cycling and local officials finally resulted in a delayed championship. Although the riders, their families and staff were impacted, Powers felt the worst for fans who were not able to stay to see the race.

"No one wants a situation like that. It's hard for everyone, the riders and spectators. I feel really bad for the people who made the trek here and weren't able to watch the race. It was probably the number one thing I was bummed about. But it worked out, we had a championship and I'm over the moon."


Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha-Focus1:00:33
2Jonathan Page (USA) XcelLED/Fuji0:00:31
3Zach McDonald (USA) Cyclocross Project 20150:01:12
4Daniel Summerhill (USA) K-Edge/Felt Pro CX Team0:01:46
5Dan Timmerman (USA) House Industries0:01:56
6Stephen Hyde (USA) Jam Fund / NCC0:02:12
7Troy Wells (USA) Team Clif Bar Cycling0:03:04
8James Driscoll (USA) Raleigh/Clement0:03:09
9Kerry Werner (USA) Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Ben0:03:10
10Justin Lindine (USA) Team Redline0:03:12
11Ryan Trebon (USA)0:04:03
12Brian Matter (USA) KS Energy Services / MOSH / Tea0:05:03
13Anthony Clark (USA) JAM Fund / NCC0:05:12
14Eric Thompson (USA) Mt. Borah Epic Team0:05:18
15Jerome Townsend (USA)0:05:24
16Travis Livermon (USA) Mock Orange Bikes Pro CX0:05:26
17Jake Wells (USA) Stan's NoTubes Elite Cy0:05:47
18Ben Frederick (USA) Bicycle Outfitters Racing Team0:05:59
19Allen Krughoff (USA) Noosa Professional Cyclocross0:06:04
20Tristan Cowie (USA)0:06:11
21Alex Ryan (USA) Mock Orange Bikes Pro CX0:06:49
22Adam Myerson (USA) Cycle-Smart0:06:51
23Christian Favata (USA)Row 22 - Cell 2
24Jeremy Durrin (USA) Neon Velo Cycling Team0:07:02
25Robert Marion (USA) Carpediem Racing0:07:03
26Cody Kaiser (USA) LangeTwins/Specialized0:07:24
27Steve Fisher (USA) Raleigh/FSA CX0:07:56
28Isaac Neff (USA) 5Nines/Motorless Motion-1Lap
29Kevin Bradford-Parish (USA)Row 28 - Cell 2
30Lewis Gaffney (USA)Row 29 - Cell 2
31Carl Decker (USA) Giant Factory Off-Road TeamRow 30 - Cell 2
32Brandon Feehery (USA) Astellas Cycling Team-2Laps
33Jake Sitler (USA) SEAVS/HaymarketRow 32 - Cell 2
34Braden Kappius (USA) Team Clif Bar CyclingRow 33 - Cell 2
35Nicholas Lemke (USA) HiFi/TheFeed/CraftHairStudioRow 34 - Cell 2
36Andrew Juiliano (USA)Row 35 - Cell 2
37Kevin Fish (USA) Jack & Adams Racing TeamRow 36 - Cell 2
38Elliot Reinecke (USA)Row 37 - Cell 2
39Jared Nieters (USA) SEAVS/HaymarketRow 38 - Cell 2
40Dylan Mcnicholas (USA) Polartec-3Laps
41Andrew Loaiza (USA) Thump Cycling p/b TurinRow 40 - Cell 2
42Tristan Uhl (USA) ATC RacingRow 41 - Cell 2
43Max Judelson (USA)Row 42 - Cell 2
44Skyler Trujillo (USA) Niner BikesRow 43 - Cell 2
45Josh Bauer (USA) Twin SixRow 44 - Cell 2
46Frank Travieso (USA) Team United Healthcare Georgia/Row 45 - Cell 2
DNSPhilip Short (USA) The Pro's ClosetRow 46 - Cell 2
DNSBrennan Wodtli (USA) Speedvagen Family RacingRow 47 - Cell 2
DNSJosh Kelley (USA)Row 48 - Cell 2
DNSTim Allen (USA) Feedback Sports RacingRow 49 - Cell 2
DNSJoseph Clemenzi (USA) Hearts Racing ClubRow 50 - Cell 2
DNSMitchell Hoke (USA) Team POC+RitteRow 51 - Cell 2
DNSJoshua Johnson (USA) ICC BISSELL-ABG-GIANTRow 52 - Cell 2
DNSHunter Resek (USA) Chris King/ Cielo Factory TeamRow 53 - Cell 2
DNSGabriel Varela (USA) Jamis Hagens BermanRow 54 - Cell 2

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