Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) claimed his fifth consecutive Exergy USGP victory at the Deschutes Cup in Bend, Oregon, putting in another flawless performance to best Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) and Canadian Geoff Kabush (Rocky Mountain).
Unlike the previous day's head-to-head battle with Tim Johnson where the strongest man won, this time Powers prevailed by capitalizing on the mistakes of his opponents, which on a dry, dusty and rocky course, were plentiful.
It was the second consecutive overall series win for Powers, but the contrast mirrored the day's race, as last year's epic battle with Johnson morphed into a display of consistency that demonstrated a level of maturity in Powers.
"Last year's series was really down to the wire with Tim and it was more dramatic, but it's different. This year I had my second race in the series go really badly. I had bad legs and it was in really nasty mud," Powers said. "Louisville went a lot better for me, and I've been trying to stay as consistent as I can all season. To win back to back to back USGP titles is great. I'm really proud of it.
"I've been working hard at it so long, and if I hadn't won here today I would have still be fine, but today it just felt right. It felt really good to win here. It's something special that I'll look back on."
While conditions were considerably colder than the previous day in Bend and the skies clouded over, the course remained bone dry and rocky, and the dusty surface proved the undoing of a number of top riders.
Ben Berden (Ops Ale-Clement) took the hole shot, but a crash on the second lap knocked him out of the leading group, and Kabush claimed the race lead with a handful of seconds over Johnson, Powers and an impressive Danny Summerhill (Chipotle).
Summerhill bridged across to Kabush, leaving Powers, Driscoll and Rapha-Focus rider Chris Jones chasing as Johnson too suffered a crash on the third lap which jammed his chain and left him half a minute behind.
The chasing group had just made the juncture to the two leaders when Summerhill went down in a sharp bend, holding up Kabush and allowing Driscoll a gap that he tried to capitalize on.
"I was on the front so I had a gap and I had to take advantage of it," Driscoll said. "Jeremy was the only one able to get through the carnage and get up to me."
While Powers sat on in hopes that his teammate Jones would join him at the front, Driscoll was forced to set the pace, using up valuable energy as the cold winds began to stiffen.
Despite having to tow Powers around a bit, Driscoll was happy with his performance on the day. "I was riding well today, but Jeremy's stronger than me in addition to being able to sit on my wheel for a couple laps. I was doing everything I could do to only lose so much time, but I'm still very happy with my race."
Powers made his bid for victory in the penultimate lap, and was able to pull out enough of a gap that Driscoll was forced to focus on fending off the push from Kabush, who was riding away from Jones to take the final podium spot and third overall in the USGP series.
"I ran right into Summerhill, and that's when the gap opened up," Kabush explained. "After the crash I had to deal with Jones. But I'm really happy with the podium, and I guess I'm second overall. I really had a good day."
After being pushed to his limit by Johnson on the previous day, Powers said he didn't have the snap to make an impression on the early laps, but that he knew to stay calm and avoid making the kinds of mistakes that were the undoing of Summerhill, Johnson and Berden.
"I felt the others were going over their heads a little and ended up making mistakes. That's one of the things on a course like this one, and in cyclo-cross in general. If they're over their limit they can slide out or crash, and that's when you have to pounce. I was being conservative, certainly, I was trying to be smart as well and use what I had to my best advantage."
While he admitted to waiting for Jones for a time, Powers knew that with the amount of pressure coming from Driscoll, he would have to become the aggressor, and he timed it perfectly.
"I attacked him with two to go and put a little time into him, then I did one last lap as hard as I could. It felt really good to sew this up with two wins in Bend and two in Louisville, it's just awesome."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha/Focus||1:00:41|
|2||James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale Pb Cyclocrossworld.Com|
|3||Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis / Rocky Mountain||0:00:23|
|4||Christopher Jones (USA) Rapha/Focus|
|5||Christian Heule (Sui) Cannondale Pb Cyclocrossworld.Com|
|6||Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale Pb Cyclocrossworld.Com|
|7||Troy Wells (USA) Team Clif Bar||0:01:08|
|8||Tristan Schouten (USA) Cyclocrossracing.Com P/B Blue Bicycles|
|9||Chris Sheppard (Can) Rocky Mountain Bicycles/Shimano||0:01:12|
|10||Zach McDonald (USA) Rapha/Focus|
|11||Yannick Eckmann (Ger) Pearlizumi/Shimano||0:01:57|
|12||Brian Matter (USA) Gear Grinder / Clif Bar||0:02:04|
|13||Aaron Bradford (USA) Bay101/Hrs/Rocklobster||0:02:16|
|14||Daniel Summerhill (USA) Chipotle Development Team||0:02:33|
|15||Kevin Noiles (Can) Sportique|
|16||Allen Krughoff (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport||0:02:51|
|17||Sean Babcock (USA) Kona||0:02:56|
|18||Justin Robinson (USA) California Giant Cycling|
|19||Jerome Townsend (USA) Smartstop / Mockorangebikes Pb Ridley||0:03:09|
|20||Barry Wicks (USA) Kona||0:03:34|
|21||Mark Mcconnell (Can) Synergy Racing||0:03:39|
|22||Braden Kappius (USA) Team Clif Bar|
|23||Chris Jackson (USA) Rambuski Law||0:03:43|
|24||Erik Tonkin (USA) Kona/Team S&M||0:03:48|
|25||Cody Kaiser (USA) California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized Mtb|
|26||Chris Mackay (USA) Realcyclist.Com|
|27||Josh Whitney (USA) Rocky Mounts~Izze||0:05:33|
|28||Jake Wells (USA) Stan'S Notubes Elite Cyclocross Team||0:05:34|
|29||Scott Tietzel (USA) Plains To Peaks Racing||0:05:38|
|30||Damian Schmitt (USA) Silverado Gallery/Sunnyside Sports|
|31||Matt Lyons (USA) University Of Denver||0:06:18|
|32||Brent Gorman (USA) Speedway Cycles||0:06:20|
|33||Cody Peterson (USA)|
|34||Drew Mackenzie (Can) Condo Group/Shimano/Marin||-2 laps|
|35||John-Christian Flack (USA) Olympia Orthopaedic Associates||-2 laps|
|36||John Behrens (USA) Bailey Bikes||-3 laps|
|37||Jason Holbrook (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport||-3 laps|
|38||Nathan Bannerman (USA) Cyclocrossracing.Com P/B Blue Competitive Cycles||-3 laps|
|39||Kolben Preble (USA) Clif Bar Development Cross Team||-4 laps|
|40||Scott Chapin (USA) Bay 101/Hrs/Rocklobster||-4 laps|
|41||Evan Renwick (USA) Cycle U-Pop Cap||-4 laps|
|42||Chris Ellis (USA) Cycling North West||-5 laps|
|43||Matthew Fox (USA) Silverado Gallery/Sunnyside||-6 laps|
|44||James Gentes (USA)||-7 laps|
|DNF||Ben Berden (Bel) Ops Ale - Stoemper|
|DNF||Justin Lindine (USA) Bikereg.Com / Joe'S Garage|
|DNF||Gian Dalle Angelini (USA) Rio Blanco|
|DNF||Carl Decker (USA) Giant|
|DNF||Donald Reeb (USA) Cyclocrossracing.Com P/B Blue|
|DNF||John Bailey (USA) Bailey Bikes|
|DNS||Mitchell Hoke (USA) Team Clif Bar|
|DNS||Molly Cameron (USA)|
|DNS||Jacob Lasley (USA) Team Soundpony|
|DNS||John Mundelius (USA) Cal Giant/Specialized|
|DNS||Aaron Tuckerman (NZl) Corsa Concepts Cyclocross Team|
|DNS||Nicholas Weighall (USA) California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized Mtb|
|DNS||Alex Wentz (USA) Team Oregon P/B Laurelwood Brewing|
|DNS||Cole Sprague (USA)|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Jeremy Powers (USA) Team Rapha Focus||332||pts|
|2||Geoff Kabush (Can) Maxxis-Rocky Mountain||226|
|3||Ryan Trebon (USA) LTS-Felt||226|
|4||James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld||206|
|5||Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld||177|
|6||Ben Berden (Bel) Ops Ale-Stoemper||133|
|7||Christopher Jones (USA) Team Rapha Focus||107|
|8||Troy Wells (USA) Team Clif Bar||93|
|9||Christian Heule (Swi) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld||92|
|10||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea||90|
Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A swimmer in her younger days, Laura made the change to cycling later in life, but was immediately swept up by a huge passion for the sport. Riding for fitness quickly gave way to the competitive urge, and a decade of racing later she can look back on a number of high profile races and say with confidence, "I started". While her racing days are over for the most part, she continues to dabble in cyclo-cross and competing against fellow pathletes on the greenways of Raleigh, North Carolina.
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