Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) sewed up the overall Exergy USGP series with a déjà vu battle against his former teammate Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) in Bend.
While the race is the penultimate round in the series, Powers accrued enough points to make it impossible for Geoff Kabush to overtake him in the standings. Currently second place in the standings, Ryan Trebon (LTS-Felt) is sitting out the final weekend with a leg injury.
It's the first time this year that Powers and Johnson, who were the main two protagonists of last season, have gone head to head at the front of a race, and Johnson very nearly got the better of his foe. In the final lap, Powers was able to close down a small gap to Johnson and out-sprint the former US champion for his fourth win in the series.
Danny Summerhill (Chipotle) took the final podium spot from a chasing group over Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld).
Powers knew to watch out for Johnson, who has had a slower than normal start to the season but who won his first two races of the year in the past two weeks.
"Tim's been riding good, and I never discount him," Powers said. "He's been trying hard all season. I let my form go a little after Koksijde - I needed to take a break before building up for nationals. I haven't been in race mode every weekend, and the other guys have been coming up. I expected Tim to be catching up, and I definitely saw it today."
Powers made a mistake on the second to last lap which very nearly ended his time at the front with Johnson, but when Johnson didn't capitalize on the opportunity, Powers was ready to pounce.
"I had a bobble with two to go when I was off the bike and had a mis-shift. I should have been in a different gear. I was in too big a gear when I went to accelerate, and had to get off the bike. Tim got a few seconds and I had to bring him back. That was his opportunity to win the race, and he didn't. So then I knew I had to try and be as aggressive as I could. I took the front in the last lap and didn't let him take it back.
"Tim wants to win, he hasn't won a GP yet, we have one more race to go and I expect he'll be there tomorrow."
Johnson was aiming for today's race as his opportunity to win one of the Exergy USGP rounds and was disappointed to miss out especially considering Sunday's final round is the last domestic UCI race before the national championships.
"I'm bummed the domestic scene is over already, but hopefully I can win tomorrow. But today was the day I wanted the most," Johnson said.
Johnson chalked up his loss to his unwillingness to be "cut-throat".
"Going into the last lap I was content to let [Powers] stay in the lead for the majority of the lap. I knew I could out-run him on the stairs, and I came inside in the final corner and when I stood up to accelerate I was in too small a gear.
"I could have shut the door on him - it was probably my biggest mistake not doing that. If I wanted to be cut-throat I would have, but shoving someone into the barriers is no way to win a race."
Yet Johnson was satisfied to see that he had pushed his former teammate to his limits. "There wasn't a whole lot left in either of us," Johnson said. "I felt like I had good legs and could punch it - and do a lot of the things that Jeremy has been doing to us this year, I felt like I could answer for the first time this year. I'll take that as a big plus."
Unlike last year's national championships, which took place on the same course covered in snow and mud, the recent dry weather left the circuit dry, dusty and rocky making the off-camber gravel corners treacherous. 59 riders lined up under sunny skies, but with a chilly wind blowing down the finishing straight.
Berden claimed the hole shot over Summerhill, who is racing his final cyclo-cross events of the year, but after an aggressive opening lap, the Chipotle rider faded back to fourth place as Rapha-Focus rider Chris Jones went to the front and opened up a lead with Powers and Johnson.
However, a crash soon dropped Jones out of the leading group which began to separate itself from the rest of the field. Johnson and Powers soon began to pull away from Kabush, Summerhill, Chris Shepperd (Rocky Mountain/Shimano), Berden and Driscoll as Jones was left chasing with his young teammate Zach McDonald.
Powers and Johnson proved to be equally matched, with only a few minor mistake by each rider allowing small gaps to form from time to time. Johnson opened up a lead in the penultimate lap, but Powers was able to close it and the Rapha-Focus rider once again unleashed his punchy sprint to take his first victory in Bend.
As the chasing five played cat and mouse, Jones and McDonald made the juncture in the penultimate lap, but a last-lap crash from Jones split the group, allowing Driscoll and Summerhill to gain an advantage. Summerhill easily out-sprinted Driscoll to take third.
Danny Summerhill talks about his third place
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha/Focus||1:05:20|
|2||Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.Com|
|3||Daniel Summerhill (USA) Chipotle Development Team||0:00:35|
|4||James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.Com||0:00:37|
|5||Ben Berden (Bel) Ops Ale - Stoemper||0:00:45|
|6||Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis / Rocky Mountain||0:00:49|
|7||Chris Sheppard (Can) Rocky Mountain Bicycles/Shimano||0:00:53|
|8||Christopher Jones (USA) Rapha/Focus||0:01:03|
|9||Zach Mcdonald (USA) Rapha/Focus||0:01:30|
|10||Troy Wells (USA) Team Clif Bar||0:01:58|
|11||Mitchell Hoke (USA) Tokyo Joe'S||0:02:02|
|12||Christian Heule (Swi) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.Com||0:02:12|
|13||Sean Babcock (USA) Kona||0:02:15|
|14||Allen Krughoff (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport||0:02:27|
|15||Brian Matter (USA) Gear Grinder / Clif Bar||0:02:45|
|16||Cody Kaiser (USA) California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized Mtb||0:02:47|
|17||Yannick Eckmann (Ger) Pearlizumi/Shimano||0:03:13|
|18||Tristan Schouten (USA) Cyclocrossracing.Com P/B Blue Bicycles||0:03:14|
|19||Kevin Noiles (Can) Sportique||0:03:34|
|20||Braden Kappius (USA) Team Clif Bar||0:03:50|
|21||Barry Wicks (USA) Kona||0:04:36|
|22||Justin Robinson (USA) California Giant Cycling||0:04:44|
|23||Russell Stevenson (USA) Raleigh||0:04:48|
|24||Erik Tonkin (USA) Kona/Team S&M||0:04:49|
|25||Steve Fisher (USA) Revel Consulting / Rad Racing Nw||0:05:22|
|26||Donald Reeb (USA) Cyclocrossracing.Com P/B Blue||0:05:23|
|27||Jake Wells (USA) Stan'S Notubes Elite Cyclocross Team||0:05:28|
|28||Carl Decker (USA) Giant||0:05:33|
|29||Mark Mcconnell (Can) Synergy Racing||0:05:57|
|30||Scott Tietzel (USA) Plains To Peaks Racing||0:06:03|
|31||Damian Schmitt (USA) Silverado Gallery/Sunnyside Sports||0:06:32|
|32 (-3 laps)||Chris Mackay (USA) Realcyclist.Com|
|33||Gian Dalle Angelini (USA) Rio Blanco|
|34 (-4 laps)||Josh Whitney (USA) Rocky Mounts~Izze|
|35||Aaron Bradford (USA) Bay101/Hrs/Rocklobster|
|36||Kolben Preble (USA) Clif Bar Development Cross Team|
|37||John-Christian Flack (USA) Olympia Orthopaedic Associates|
|38||Paul Lacava (USA) Giant Cycling Club/ Giant Cycling Team|
|39||Jason Holbrook (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport|
|40||Nathan Bannerman (USA) Cyclocrossracing.Com P/B Blue Competitive Cycles|
|41||Brent Gorman (USA) Speedway Cycles|
|42||Chris Jackson (USA) Rambuski Law|
|43||Matthew Fox (USA) Silverado Gallery/Sunnyside|
|44 (-5 laps)||John Behrens (USA) Bailey Bikes|
|45||John Bailey (USA) Bailey Bikes|
|46||Matt Lyons (USA) University Of Denver|
|47||John Mundelius (USA) Cal Giant/Specialized|
|48 (-6 laps)||Cole Sprague (USA) Reed College|
|49||Evan Renwick (USA) Cycle U-Pop Cap|
|50||Henry Kramer (USA) Cal Giant / Specialized|
|51 (-9 laps)||James Gentes (USA)|
|DNF||Jerome Townsend (USA) Smartstop / Mockorangebikes/Ridley|
|DNF||Aaron Tuckerman (NZl) Corsa Concepts Cyclocross Team|
|DNF||Drew Mackenzie (Can) Condo Group/Shimano/Marin|
|DNF||Justin Lindine (USA) Bikereg.Com / Joe'S Garage|
|DNS||Molly Cameron (USA) USA|
|1||Jeremy Powers (USA) Team Rapha Focus||282||pts|
|2||Ryan Trebon (USA) LTS-Felt||226|
|3||Geoff Kabush (Can) Maxxis-Rocky Mountain||192|
|4||James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld||166|
|5||Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld||154|
|6||Ben Berden (Bel) Ops Ale-Stoemper||133|
|7||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea||90|
|8||Christopher Jones (USA) Team Rapha Focus||77|
|9||Troy Wells (USA) Team Clif Bar||73|
|10||Daniel Summerhill (USA) Chipotle Development Team||66|
|11||Chris Sheppard (Can) Rocky Mountain Bicycles-Shimano||66|
|12||Christian Heule (Swi) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld||66|
|13||Tristan Schouten (USA) Cyclocrossracing.com p/b Blue Bicycles||65|
|14||Zach McDonald (USA) Team Rapha Focus||63|
|15||Brian Matter (USA) Gear Grinder - Clif Bar||63|
|16||Yannick Eckmann (Ger) Pearlizumi-Shimano-Focus||60|
|17||Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea||60|
|18||Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Racing||53|
|19||Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike-Blue Bicycles||50|
|20||Mitchell Hoke (USA) Team Clif Bar||43|
|21||Allen Krughoff (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport||31|
|22||Barry Wicks (USA) Kona||28|
|23||Sean Babcock (USA) Kona||23|
|24||Cody Kaiser (USA) California Giant-Specialized||23|
|25||Justin Lindine (USA) Bikereg.com-Joe's Garage||15|
|26||Mark Batty (Can) SpiderTech Powered By C10||10|
|27||Jake Wells (USA) Stan's NoTubes Elite Cyclocross Team||10|
|28||Evan McNeely (Can) EMD Serono-Specialized||9|
|29||Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA)||9|
|30||Bradley White (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team||7|
|31||Evan Guthrie (Can) Rocky Mountain Bicycles Factory Team||6|
|32||Travis Livermon (USA) SmartStop-Mock Orange Bikes p/b Ridley||5|
|33||Jerome Townsend (USA) SmartStop-Mock Orange Bikes p/b Ridley||5|
|34||Nicholas Weighall (USA) California Giant-Specialized||5|
|35||Aaron Schooler (Can) Team H&R Block||3|
|36||Adam Morka (Can) Trek Canada||3|
|37||Kevin Noiles (Can) Sportique||2|
|38||Bryan Alders (USA) Epic Endurance||2|
|39||Braden Kappius (USA) Clif Bar||1|
|40||Justin Robinson (USA) California Giant-Specialized||1|
|41||Ryan Knapp (USA) Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross||1|
|1||Zach McDonald (USA) Team Rapha Focus||308||pts|
|2||Yannick Eckmann (Ger) Pearlizumi-Shimano-Focus||298|
|3||Cody Kaiser (USA) California Giant-Specialized||248|
|4||Kevin Fish (USA) KCCX-Fuji p/b Challenge Tires||140|
|5||Joseph Schmalz (USA) KCCX-Fuji p/b Challenge Tires||76|
|6||Josh Johnson (USA) BikeReg.com||73|
|7||Evan McNeely (Can) EMD Serono-Specialized||63|
|8||Daniel Gerow (USA) Wolverines-Acfstores.com||61|
|9||Evan Guthrie (Can) Rocky Mountain Bicycles Factory Team||60|
|10||Lukas Müller (Swi) Philadelphia Cyclocross School||56|
|11||Jared Stafford (Can) Ride With Rendall||53|
|12||Skyler Trujillo (USA) CYF Divo||52|
|13||Kolben Preble (USA) Clif Bar Development Cyclocross Team||42|
|14||Thomson Remo (USA) Team Wheel & Sprocket||40|
|15||Weston Luzadder (USA) NUVO-Cultural Trail-Marian University||31|
|16||Robin Eckmann (USA) Pearl Izumi-Shimano Team||31|
|17||Steve Fisher (USA) Revel Consulting - Rad Racing NW||30|
|18||Jesse Goodrich (USA) Plains to Peaks Racing||24|
|19||Ryan Miller (USA) Pacific Power-Blue Sky||24|
|20||Matt Lyons (USA) University of Denver||23|
|21||Cole Sprague (USA) Reed College||20|
|22||Evan Renwick (USA) Cycle U-Pop Cap||17|
|23||Gunnar Bergey (USA) C3-Athletes Serving Athletes||17|
|24||Eric Emsky (USA) Cyclocrossracing.com p/b Blue Competition Cycles||17|
|25||Clayton Omer (USA) Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross||14|
|26||Mitch Nordahl (USA) MNJRC||12|
|27||Drew Hogg (USA) RGF Solutions||9|
|28||Alex Dayton (USA) SmartStop-Mock Orange Bikes p/b Ridley||6|
Latest on Cyclingnews
Tour de France 2020 route revealedAll the details about next year's race from the big unveiling in Paris
Tour de France 2020 route presentation - Live coverageFollow the presentation here
Watch: Tour de France 2020 route presentation live streamingLive footage from Paris presentation with Chris Froome, Egan Bernal and Thibaut Pinot in attendance - Starts at 11:15 CET
Eddy Merckx to remain in hospital for several days to undergo series of tests74-year-old left intensive care on Monday afternoon