Jeremy Powers wins 4th US elite men's cyclo-cross title

Jeremy Powers (Aspire Racing) won his fourth US cyclo-cross title Sunday in Asheville, North Carolina, pulling away from Stephen Hyde ( and Logan Owen (California Giant Strawberries) in the waning laps. Hyde finished second, with Owen close behind in third.

The victory was Powers' third national title in a row, and one of the hardest fought against two up and coming riders. "My first title is definitely the most special. If I watch that I still get goosebumps," Powers told Cyclingnews. "But no doubt, this is one of the most hotely contested nationals that I've won. This one is special because it was really talked about, Stephen and I have been going head to head, and Logan, Stephen and I have been doing good battles all year.

"There was a lot of pressure on everyone to put a good performance in. For me, it's a big win, and I think a lot of people see my season, and see my results in Europe and think I'm not going well, but I've been hunkered down and putting a lot into the end of this season because I know how long it is, and it's hard to be going good in August and February. This nationals is a big deal, I'm proud to be able to wear the jersey and I'm psyched to take it to Europe."

Hyde and Owen made Powers work for the stars and stripes, however. Owen hit out on the first lap with a big attack. "I thought if we're going to go this hard today, I'm going to have to take a rain check. It was that insane," Powers said of Owen's move. "It settled in a little bit after that."

Owen explained why he made the effort. "I saw them sitting up and said 'I'm not here to sit around and plaly games'," Owen said to Cyclingnews. "I decided to put in a big dig and see if they'd chase me. You never know, they might let me get the gap and I could hang on. I have a lot of road fitness. I've been sick the last few weeks so I was kind of shooting for the stars there, trying to go for the win. But I knew the podium was in reach so I'm happy to come away with that."

Owen said he just couldn't get one section just at the first big climb - a major run-up followed by an off-camber, twisty descent. "I was smoother everywhere else, but I couldn't get that figured out. I didn't have the right toe spikes in, and they were able to run straight up it and I was having issues digging in. I lost a lot of time on the running because of that," Owen said. He would finish third, 41 seconds behind Powers.

Powers and Hyde were locked in battle, with Owen on the chase, but one mistake turned into several for Hyde.

"I wanted to win really bad. I had the legs for it. I just made some mistakes and paid for it," Hyde said. "The first crash - there was a rut and I went into it at too much of an angle and it just spit me out. It shifted my groupset all the way into the 12 and then the levers were pushed in. I had to pit, so that took some wind out of my sails.

"Then I was in a bad spot in the back of the group, and got slammed once. That took a little steam out of me. I couldn't get out of my pedals and fell over. Sometimes it goes down like that," Hyde said, disappointed. "I came in today with a lot of confidence. I know where these guys stack up and I know where I am, we're close. Everyone said it'd be the three of us, and it was, it was very close and one of us has to win it, why not me?"

Before the race, Powers predicted that whoever made the fewest mistakes would win, and it proved true. "I had no mistakes and that was the best I could hope for, just riding smooth and steady," Powers said. "I had probably one lap that I took conservatively, because I was gassed after Stephen's first crash. They came back to me, and then I felt I got my footing again, and I was able to keep it moving. After the second bobble he had, I could extend that."

When Owen attacked, Powers was surprised, but not overly worried, knowing that he was only using his advantage, and that's his quickness. "He's 20 and he has a lot of snap, and I'm 32 and it's just different. When he does those big attacks, it reminds me he has a lot of snap but he can't necessarily hold it. For me, I wanted to hold it steady and not overextend myself and go into the red and then make mistakes. I've done enough of these that I know the crowd and the momentum can make it seem like you can go harder than you can."

Powers' choice of tyre - the FMB slalom, a diamond tread with lower rolling resistance rather than a wider, mud tire gave him an advantage on a course that quickly began to dry out during the race. "I like that tyre because it has less rolling resistance and it's not overkill. I felt pretty confident when I was warning up, and knew it would dry out more."

Although a prime favourite for the U23 title, Owen chose to race the elites, knowing that he'd be up against a big challenge to keep his long streak of national championship victories alive, but he said the risk was worth it. "It's good to challenge myself instead of sitting back and sandbagging. If you're not challenging yourself, then you're not doing it. I was so stoked for my teammate Tobin [Ortenblad] to pull off the win. To keep the jersey in the team. I was so happy for him. He really deserves it."

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jeremy Powers (USA) Aspire Racing0:56:45
2Stephen Hyde (USA) Cannondale Cyclocrossworld0:56:55
3Logan Owen (USA) Cal Giant/Specialized0:57:26
4Jonathan Page (USA)0:59:17
5Kerry Werner (USA) Uci Ct/Wpt: Team Optum P/B Kell0:59:26
6James Driscoll (USA) Raleigh/Clement0:59:33
7Ryan Trebon (USA) Cannondale Cyclocrossworld0:59:51
8Travis Livermon (USA) Mock Orange Cx Pb Vp Components0:59:52
9Yannick Eckmann (USA) Maxxis/Shimano1:00:00
10Cody Kaiser (USA) Langtwins/Specialized1:00:23
11Jack Kisseberth (USA) Jam Fund / Ncc / Vittoria1:00:38
12Ben Frederick (USA) Beyondcx1:00:57
13Justin Lindine (USA) Apex / Nbx / Trek1:00:59
14Allen Krughoff (USA) Noosa Pro Cyclocross1:01:19
15Tristan Cowie (USA) Mock Orange Cx Pb Vp Components1:01:25
16Anthony Clark (USA) Squid Bikes1:01:39
17Daniel Summerhill (USA) Maxxis-Shimano1:01:54
18Jeremy Durrin (USA) Neon Velo Cycling Team1:02:04
19Zach Mcdonald (USA)1:02:26
20Tim Allen (USA) Feedback Sports Racing1:02:28
21Troy Wells (USA) Team Clif Bar Cycling1:02:51
22Kevin Bradford-Parish (USA) Set / Coaching.Com1:02:54
23Daniel Chabanov (USA) House Industries - Withings - S1:02:58
24Andrew Juiliano (USA) Rock Lobster1:03:19
25Robert Marion (USA) American Classic1:03:33
26Jake Wells (USA) Stan's Notubes Elite Cx1:03:56
27Alex Ryan (USA) Mob Pro Cycling Team Pb Vp Com1:04:02
28Dan Timmerman (USA) Stan's Notubes Elite Cx1:04:11
29Adam Myerson (USA) Cycle-Smart Inc.1:04:16
30Tristan Uhl (USA) Giant South1:04:38
31Cole Oberman (USA) Rare Disease Cycling1:05:18
32Michael Mihalik (USA) J Mac Cycling Llc-2
33Philip Short (USA) Hearts Racing ClubRow 32 - Cell 2
34Jared Nieters (USA) Seavs/HaymarketRow 33 - Cell 2
35Kacey Campbell (USA)Row 34 - Cell 2
36Ryan Woodall (USA) Top Gear BicyclesRow 35 - Cell 2
37Dylan Mcnicholas (USA) PolartecRow 36 - Cell 2
38John Purvis (USA) Tyson Foods Cycling TeamRow 37 - Cell 2
39Dylan Postier (USA) Evoke RacingRow 38 - Cell 2
40Andrew Reardon (USA) Sonic CyclingRow 39 - Cell 2
41Payson Mcelveen (USA)Row 40 - Cell 2
42Lewis Gaffney (USA) Giant SouthRow 41 - Cell 2
43Jordan Snyder (USA) C3-Twenty20Cycling.ComRow 42 - Cell 2
44Braden Kappius (USA) Team Clif Bar CyclingRow 43 - Cell 2
45Frank Travieso (USA) Team United Healthcare Georgia/Row 44 - Cell 2
46Tyler Cloutier (USA) Matrix/RbmRow 45 - Cell 2
47Nicholas Lemke (USA) Kona/Hifi/Anchor And FrameRow 46 - Cell 2
48Max Judelson (USA)Row 47 - Cell 2
49Hunter Resek (USA) Charm City Cycling/C3-Twenty20CRow 48 - Cell 2
50Josh Bauer (USA) Twin Six-3
51Brandon Feehery (USA) Crank Radlers-4
DNFGreg Wittwer (USA) C3-Twenty20Cycling.ComRow 51 - Cell 2
DNFKyle Trudeau (USA)Row 52 - Cell 2

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