Note: Photos from UCI weekend are up at above link.
In the Men’s race, Jeremy Powers had his hands fuller than a plate of Cincinnati’s famous chili piled high with 3-way toppings. From the gun, it was 30mph+ into the hole-shot with no-one giving up ground early. By lap 2, Powers and six others made the selection: Troy Wells and teammate Danny Summerhill (Clif Bar), Jonathan Baker (Vitamin Cottage), Bjorn Selander (Ridley Factory), Jeremiah Bishop (Trek Factory), and Barry Wicks (Kona). Joachim Parbo (CCV Leopard Cycles) dangled in 8th where he would finish the day.
On lap 4, knowing his teammate was back to defend, Wells made the first effort to whittle the group down and attacked the sand pit. Wicks was in trouble. The group freight-trained to the top of the water tower climb. On the backside of the course, through a tough down/up section, the group split with Bishop, Powers and Wells in the driver’s seat. Off the pace, Wicks made a bike change. However, by lap 5, Baker, Selander, and Summerhill managed to claw back on to Powers, Bishop and Wells. Through the deep sand on lap six, Wells went again, this time putting Bishop and Powers on the defensive and gapping Summerhill and Selander. Bishop and Powers weren’t done yet and made it back to the front. Within the lap, Summerhill and Selander did too. It would be decided on the last lap, high drama at Cincinnati’s Harbin Park.
The bell rang for lap 9, and this time Powers attacked near the finish line shaking Sumerhill and Selander for good. Seconds later, Wells countered before the sand, but it wasn’t enough to go solo. The trio of Powers, Wells and Bishop remained. Summerhill wasn’t about to drag Selander up to Clif Bar teammate Troy Wells. The tactics guaranteed Wells 3rd place. However, 1st or 2nd went out the window on the back side of the course when Wells paid the price for his multiple digs and was dropped by Powers and Bishop.
As they skated through the sand for the last time, it looked like a 2-up sprint between Powers and Bishop coming off an off-camber section 250 meters from the line, but disaster struck Bishop. His chain snapped as he put his short-track strength to the pedals for a last corner attack. The crowd gasped, tough break. Powers was away solo for the win. With a big gap to Troy Wells (Team Clif Bar) in third, Bishop ran across the finish line, collapsed on the ground, and was overheard saying he had it. He may have. The split chain was quickly snatched up by a young fan.
1-Jeremy Powers (Cyclocrossworld.com)
2-Jeremiah Bishop (Trek Factory)
3-Troy Wells (Team Clif Bar)
4-Danny Summerhill (Clif Bar)
5-Bjorn Selander (Ridley Factory)
(Photo: Elite Women's Podium courtesy Jeffry Jakucyk)
Winfield went first, dropping Haskell from the group with an attack into the downhill sand pit as a drummer with a complete kit kick-drummed the the cowbell crazed crowd into a frenzy. It was now up to Winfield, Butler and Van Guilder to sort out the 4th and 5th spots. As they trio made their way through traffic on lap 5, Butler came out the victor, securing 4th with a gap to Winfield and Van Guilder. The bell rang and Winfield and Van Guilder were still together through the sand, over the barriers, past the pits and up the paved climb to the water tower. The crowd went silent waiting for their figures to appear at the Gazebo on the hill. “They’re still together,” someone shouted! With Compton raising her hand at the finish line, Winfield and Van Guilder cat-and-moused for position before the off camber section which lead into the last turn. Van Guilder attacked the off-camber and was gone.
1-Katie Compton (Spike Professional/Primus Mootry)
2-Georgia Gould (Luna)
3-Rachel Lloyd (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized)
4-Sue Butler (MonavieCannondale.com)
5-Laura Van Guilder (C3-Solay)
For more insight to the weekend read the blogs of Georgia Gould and Steve Tilford. Links to other pro's blogs are in the right hand column of main page.