Powers does the Derby double

Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) swept the Exergy US Gran Prix of Cyclocross weekend at Louisville, Kentucky's Derby City Cup with a victory on Sunday in the weekend's concluding C2-ranked event. Whereas on Saturday Powers prevailed in a hard-fought duel with Ryan Trebon (LTS-Felt), today the Rapha-Focus rider triumphed against reigning US cyclo-cross champion Todd Wells (Specialized). Early pace-setter Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) put in a strong ride to finish alone in third, 46 seconds off the pace.

After flatting out of the leading group early in the race the previous day, ultimately resulting in a DNF, Ben Berden (Ops Ale-Stoemper) bounced back to finish fourth, edging Chris Jones (Rapha-Focus) in the sprint to the line.

"Todd's a different type of rider than Ryan," Powers told Cyclingnews. "Ryan I can almost see a little bit more in his face where he's at, and with Todd I don't race with him enough. I race with him, but he's more of a diesel in that he keeps the pressure on even when you think he's going to let off.

"Today I just tried to play really aggressive riding. I just tried to attack, one after the next. As soon as it would open back up and he'd sit up I'd try to blind side him and whale him again. I would continue to change the speed of the race.

"He's coming from a lot of mountain biking, with a lot of consistent power, where I'm coming from a lot of punchy, speed-work so I felt that was my strong card to play today. If I could get five seconds on him before the finish that was all I needed."

Wells had a frustrating outing on the previous day, suffering a flat early in the race while he was driving the chase group nearly into contact with the leading trio of Powers, Trebon and Berden. Today, however, his race was free of any mechanical incidents and the three-time national 'cross champion relished the opportunity to ride for the win with only three more races left in his cyclo-cross season.

"I was hoping to get in front of Powers before that ride-up, brake check him and get a couple of metres and maybe hold on to the end," Wells said with a laugh, "but I couldn't get around him before then and he just took off from there.

"Cyclo-cross in the US had really grown over the past couple of years and these guys have upped the level, you've seen Powers finish top-10 in a World Cup. To be competitive with these guys you really have to bring your A-game."

Whereas Kabush finished shy of the podium yesterday, finishing in fourth place, today he came out with guns blazing and set the early tempo.

"Yesterday I got caught out of position a bit and today I wanted to be a lot more aggressive. I burned a few matches early on, I was really suffering at the end, but I'm really happy to be up on the podium and third overall in the series.

"It's a fast course and it's really hard to make up time so I just wanted to be at the front and ride my lines."

Trebon affected by pre-ride knee injury, loses series lead

It was not a good day for Exergy USGP leader Ryan Trebon (LTS-Felt), who suffered a knee injury while warming-up on the course earlier in the day and whose ability to even start was put into question. Clearly in pain when off the bike each lap for the flyover and barrier section, nonetheless Trebon put in a heroic performance to finish in 10th place, although not enough to retain his series lead.

With his victory today, the previous season's USGP series champion Jeremy Powers takes over the leader's jersey for the first time this season with 232 points. Trebon drops to second, six points back, while Geoff Kabush holds third with 169 points. "It was unfortunate for Ryan to bang his knee. It was really swollen and obviously I wouldn't wish that upon anyone. It stinks, but it's definitely part of racing," said Powers.

The Exergy USGP concludes in Bend, Oregon with two races on December 10-11.

Fast and furious at Eva Bandman Park

While the course was largely identical to the previous day's version, the parcours tackled the Selle Italia wall early, rather than late, in the lap which provided more separation heading into the flyover. One of the sand sections was also made more difficult as not only was the sector lengthened, but the sand itself was deeper, while there was also some tweaks to the technical section in the woods. The general consensus among riders was that the course flowed better today, with the elite men clocking consistently faster lap times than the previous day's race.

As he did on the previous day, Ben Berden (Ops Ale-Stoemper) jetted off the start line to claim the hole shot but the early force to be reckoned with would be Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain). The Canadian set a furious tempo which initially only Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) could match over the first two laps.

"Geoff laid some power down early on which put me in a bad place for the first couple of laps," said Powers.

On the third lap the first chase group made contact with the leading duo to form the day's decisive formation, containing Kabush, Powers, Berden, Todd Wells (Specialized) and Tim Johnson (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com).

Two riders with teammates in the leading quintet, Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) and Chris Jones (Rapha-Focus), followed closely in pursuit, but couldn't quite make close the gap which initially was pegged at approximately 15 seconds.

Wells and Kabush drove the lead group and their consistent pressure finally found chinks in the armor of Johnson and Berden, who were gapped off at the end of the fourth lap in the technical, wooded section preceding the paved finishing straight.

For the next two laps, the fifth and sixth of the eight-lap race, Powers and Wells traded turns at the front, each probing and testing the other while at this point Kabush seemed resigned to follow.

The Canadian eventually lost contact with Powers and Wells on the penultimate lap, while in the meantime the chase had shuffled slightly behind. Chris Jones first dispatched of Driscoll, then Johnson before making contact with Ben Berden in what would be a battle for fourth place.

"It was kind of a strange situation because I had Jeremy in front of us, but eventually I kept pressing the pace and lost Tim [Johnson]. I kind of knew that Berden would sit on me and outsprint me at the end, but is was more important to stay ahead of the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld guys."

The battle for supremacy in round six of the Exergy USGP was now a duel to the finish between Powers and Wells. Unlike the previous day where Trebon had put Powers under pressure only to succumb to a very late pass, in today's contest Powers ultimately dictated the action as he entered the lap's technical endgame in the lead and gapped Wells slightly before emerging onto the paved finishing stretch.

Powers had his hands up in the air in celebration perhaps 100 meters too soon as he had to get on the drops and apply a final surge to comfortably hold off a relentless Wells, but there would be no spoiler to Powers' command performance in Louisville.

Full Results (* U23)

Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jeremy Powers (USA) Team Rapha-Focus1:03:50
2Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Racing0:00:01
3Geoff Kabush (Can) Maxxis-Rocky Mountain0:00:48
4Ben Berden (Bel) Ops Ale-Stoemper0:01:03
5Christopher Jones (USA) Team Rapha-Focus0:01:04
6Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld0:01:21
7James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld0:01:39
8Brian Matter (USA) Gear Grinder - Clif Bar0:01:45
9Tristan Schouten (USA) Cyclocrossracing.com p/b Blue Bicycles0:02:05
10Ryan Trebon (USA) LTS-Felt0:02:21
11Allen Krughoff (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport0:02:48
12Justin Lindine (USA) Bikereg.com-Joe's Garage0:02:55
13Mitchell Hoke (USA) Team Clif Bar0:02:58
14Yannick Eckmann (Ger) Pearlizumi-Shimano-Focus *0:03:07
15Daniel Summerhill (USA) Garmin-Cervelo0:03:10
16Travis Livermon (USA) SmartStop-Mock Orange Bikes p/b RidleyRow 15 - Cell 2
17Cody Kaiser (USA) California Giant-Specialized *0:03:16
18Zach McDonald (USA) Team Rapha-Focus *0:03:43
19Barry Wicks (USA) Kona0:04:20
20Aaron Schooler (Can) Team H&R Block0:04:25
21Jared Stafford (Can) Ride With Rendall *0:04:31
22Ryan Knapp (USA) Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross0:05:00
23Travis Woodruff (USA) Trek-Boulder/MomentumEndurance0:05:02
24Lukas Müller (Swi) Philadelphia Cyclocross School *0:05:14
25Jerome Townsend (USA) SmartStop-Mock Orange Bikes p/b Ridley0:05:40
26Braden Kappius (USA) Clif Bar0:05:46
27Bryan Alders (USA)0:05:51
28Andrew Reardon (USA) Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross0:05:57
29Jeremy Durrin (USA) J.A.M. Fund - NCC0:06:09
30Jake Wells (USA) Stan's NoTubes Elite Cyclocross Team0:06:16
31Adam Myerson (USA) SmartStop-Mock Orange Bikes p/b Ridley0:06:31
32Mark Batty (Can) SpiderTech Powered By C100:06:34
33Mark McConnell (Can) Synergy Racing0:06:46
34Evan McNeely (Can) EMD Serono-Specialized *0:07:30
35Daniel Miller (USA) Team Seagal0:07:38
36Chris Mackay (USA) Realcyclist.com0:07:43
37Kevin Fish (USA) KCCX-Fuji p/b Challenge Tires *0:07:51
38Weston Luzadder (USA) NUVO-Cultural Trail-Marian University *0:08:46
39 (-2 laps)Giancarlo Dalle Angelini (USA) Rio BlancoRow 38 - Cell 2
40Nathan Wyatt (USA) Carolina Fatz Cycling Center p/b Industry NineRow 39 - Cell 2
41Mark Parmelee (USA) CycletherapyRow 40 - Cell 2
42Chris Larsen (USA) Industry Nine/Youngblood BicyclesRow 41 - Cell 2
43Matthew Allen (USA) behind bars/ little guy racingRow 42 - Cell 2
44Will Fyfe (USA) Birmingham Bicycle CoRow 43 - Cell 2
45Christian Heule (Swi) Cannondale p/b CyclocrossworldRow 44 - Cell 2
46Clayton Omer (USA) Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross *Row 45 - Cell 2
47Bryan Fawley (USA) Orbea Factory-Dallas Bike WorksRow 46 - Cell 2
48Brad Cole (USA) Mercy Elite Cycling TeamRow 47 - Cell 2
49Josh Johnson (USA) BikeReg.com *Row 48 - Cell 2
50 (-3 laps)Troy Wells (USA) Team Clif BarRow 49 - Cell 2
51Joseph Schmalz (USA) KCCX-Fuji p/b Challenge Tires *Row 50 - Cell 2
52Gunnar Bergey (USA) C3-Athletes Serving Athletes *Row 51 - Cell 2
53Daniel Gerow (USA) Wolverines-Acfstores.com *Row 52 - Cell 2
54Bill Street (USA) Kuhl Midwest Regional MTB TeamRow 53 - Cell 2
55Kolben Preble (USA) Clif Bar Development Cyclocross Team *Row 54 - Cell 2
56Alex Dayton (USA) Smartstop / Mock Orange p/b Rid *Row 55 - Cell 2
57 (-4 laps)Mitchell Kersting (USA) Bob's Red Mill CyclocrossRow 56 - Cell 2
58Mitch Nordahl (USA) MNJRC *Row 57 - Cell 2
DNFShaun Adamson (Can) Cycle-SmartRow 58 - Cell 2
DNSLukas Winterberg (Swi) Philadelphia Cyclocross SchoolRow 59 - Cell 2
DNSAllen Krughoff (USA) Boulder Cycle SportRow 60 - Cell 2
DNSJacob Lasley (USA) Team SoundponyRow 61 - Cell 2
DNSMichael Chewning (USA) Team Hungry!Row 62 - Cell 2
DNSSpencer Haugh (USA) Behind Bars-LGRRow 63 - Cell 2
DNSEric Muehl (USA) Industry Nine/ Highland BreweryRow 64 - Cell 2

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Based in the southeastern United States, Peter produces race coverage for all disciplines, edits news and writes features. The New Jersey native has 30 years of road racing and cyclo-cross experience, starting in the early 1980s as a Junior in the days of toe clips and leather hairnets. Over the years he's had the good fortune to race throughout the United States and has competed in national championships for both road and 'cross in the Junior and Masters categories. The passion for cycling started young, as before he switched to the road Peter's mission in life was catching big air on his BMX bike.

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