Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) slapped high-fives and jubilantly raised his arms skyward as he coasted alone across the finish line to win Sunday’s Derby City Cup No. 2, the second round of the 2008 Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross.
The Massachusetts native was all grins and hugs at the awards ceremony following the elite men’s race — and for good reason. Johnson’s victory came just one day after he was a non-factor in Saturday’s race, won in dominating fashion by rival Ryan Trebon (Kona).
“I didn’t have the best race yesterday and it was hard to force myself to keep going because I expected so much more,” Johnson said. “It feels good to come out and prove to myself that I was strong enough to do this.”
Johnson earned his winning gap on just the third of nine laps around Champions Park in eastern Louisville, Kentucky. Johnson attacked a lead group containing a who’s-who of American cyclocross, dragging Saturday’s runner-up Jesse Anthony (Jamis) with him.
The duo worked together for two laps until Johnson sprang free from Anthony, eventually building a 40-second lead on a chase group containing his teammates Jeremy Powers and Jamie Driscoll, Todd Wells (GT), Andy Jacques-Maynes (California Giant Strawberry), Barry Wicks (Kona) and Matt Shriver (Jittery Joe’s).
As Johnson gradually upped his advantage on the twisting course, tweaked slightly from Saturday, Wells, Anthony, Powers and Shriver emerged as the chase group.
“Once Johnson went away Todd was doing most of the work — without Trebon or Wicks up there we had a hard time pulling it back,” Shriver said. “I knew [Trebon] must not have been feeling very good or had taken a digger or something, because he showed us what he could do yesterday.”
Indeed, Trebon, who powered to the win on Saturday, appeared to be off his game from the gun on Sunday, dangling off the rear of the 11-man front group that established itself on the opening lap. Troy Wells (Clif Bar) drove the pace of that group as Trebon, clad in the white USGP points leader’s jersey, yo-yoed off Shriver’s wheel.
On the third lap Trebon crashed on a banking left-hand turn, losing the group for good. He hit the tech pits for a bike change, and then languished in no-man’s land before finally calling it quits with two laps to go.
“I don’t know — I just wasn’t feeling the flow. I was feeling slow and was sitting too far back,” Trebon said. “People were opening up little gaps on me and then I crashed and banged up my knee.”
As a consequence, the three-time USGP overall champion relinquished the leader’s jersey to Anthony, who made a last-lap surge to finish ahead of Powers, Wells and Shriver.
“Ryan is a very complete rider — but I get a little discouraged that when he’s not off the front he doesn’t give anything to get second,” Powers said. “I think in the future he might race for second, but he’s been such a winner his whole career that I think he has a hard time racing if he’s not going to win.”
Another day, another Luna victory
Sunday saw the Luna duo of Katerina Nash and Georgia Gould dominate the women’s field for the second time in as many days. Gould and Nash took turns attacking the front group until only Sue Butler (Monavie-Cannondale) and Rachel Lloyd (California Giant Strawberry) remained.
Butler lost contact with the three on the third of five laps, and Lloyd, the runner-up on Saturday, drifted back a short time later. The Californian doggedly chased the Luna duo for an additional lap before the elastic broke and she fell out of contention.
In a repeat of Saturday’s final lap, Gould and Nash took turns trying to drop one another on the grassy course. Each appeared to have the other on the ropes at various times, but neither appeared capable of shaking the other.
But unlike Saturday, which saw Gould crash into the fencing, Sunday’s race saw the Luna women come to the final straightaway together. Gould led out the sprint and held her advantage to take her first USGP win of 2008.
“It felt good to stay on my bike and stay out of my own way,” Gould said, laughing at the crash that relegated her to third on Saturday. “That last lap was pretty much all out. [Nash] and I don’t give each other any slack when we’re racing against each other.”
The sight of two Luna riders racing each other is nothing new — Nash regularly goes head-to-head with Gould and Catherine Pendrel on the National Mountain Bike Series. Since 2004 Nash has battled with other Luna teammates, including Alison Dunlap and Shonny Vanlandingham.
“Sometimes you give a teammate some slack, but in a situation like today when we were together for the last lap, you know that the other person is no longer your teammate — you are racing them for the win,” Nash said. “We are very competitive with each other in the races, but we are able to joke around with each other afterward. I think it’s because we really respect each other.”
1. Georgia Gould Luna Women in 37:11
2. Katerina Nash Luna Women in 37:12
3. Rachel Lloyd Proman Racing in 37:32 at 0:00:21
4. Susan Butler Monavie-Cannondale.com in 38:01 at 0:00:50
5. Laura Van Gilder Cheerwine in 38:40 at 0:01:29
6. Maureen Bruno Roy Mm Racing Presented By Seven Cycles in 38:41 at 0:01:29
7. Deidre Winfield Velo Bella – Kona in 38:41 at 0:01:30
8. Natasha Elliott Emd Serono/stevens in 38:47 at 0:01:35
9. Devon Haskell The Pony Shop in 38:57 at 0:01:45
10. Amy Dombroski Webcor/alto Velo in 39:40 at 0:02:29
11. Anna Young America’s Dairyland in 39:41 at 0:02:29
12. Rebecca Wellons Ridley in 39:43 at 0:02:31
13. Josie Jacques-Maynes California Giant Berry Farms/specialized in 39:44 at 0:02:32
14. Meredith Miller Aaron’s Womens Pro Cycling in 39:47 at 0:02:36
15. Kristin Wentworth Team Kenda Tire in 40:24 at 0:03:13
16. Anne Schwartz Flying Rhino Cycling Club in 40:54 at 0:03:43
17. Shannon Gibson Velobella in 41:07 at 0:03:56
18. Amy Wallace RGM Watches – Boathouse Inc in 41:23 at 0:04:12
19. Maria Stewart Velo Bella in 41:33 at 0:04:22
20. Heidi Von Teitenberg C3/adg in 41:51 at 0:04:40
21. Robin Williams Mercy-Specialized in 42:07 at 0:04:56
22. Kristen Bowers Atomic Race Team in 42:13 at 0:05:01
23. Amanda Mckay Biowheels/reece-Campbell Racing in 42:22 at 0:05:10
24. Nicole Borem Drt Racing in 43:00 at 0:05:48
25. Deb Sweeney Whitmore Bmw/bianchi in 43:09 at 0:05:58
26. Elicia Hildebrand Gear Grinder in 44:05 at 0:06:53
27. Marne Smiley in 44:17 at 0:07:06
28. Jennifer Maxwell Team Kenda Tire in 44:54 at 0:07:43
29. Alie Kenzer Nebc/cycle Loft/devonshire Dental in 45:00 at 0:07:49
30. Whitney Kroll Cane Creek in 27:41 at 2Lps
DNF. Christy Blakely Bmw/bianchi in 21:07 at DNF
1. Timothy Johnson Cyclocross World.com/Cannondale in 1:00:51
2. Jesse Anthony Team Jamis Bikes in 1:01:15
3. Jeremy Powers Cyclocross World.com/Cannondale in 1:01:16 at 0:00:25
4. Todd Wells Team Gt in 1:01:16 at 0:00:25
5. Matt Shriver Jittery Joe’s Pro Cycling Team in 1:01:19 at 0:00:28
6. James Driscoll Cyclocross World.com/Cannondale in 1:01:50 at 0:00:59
7. Barry Wicks Kona in 1:01:57 at 0:01:06
8. Andy Jacques-Maynes California Giant Berry Farms/specialized in 1:02:10 at 0:01:19
9. Troy Wells Team Clif Bar in 1:03:08 at 0:02:17
10. Mark Lalonde Planet Bike in 1:03:14 at 0:02:23
11. Brian Matter Team Geargrinder in 1:03:15 at 0:02:24
12. Christopher Jones Sonic/louis Garneau in 1:03:16 at 0:02:25
13. Joseph Thompson Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Cycling in 1:03:34 at 0:02:43
14. Ben Raby Kccx-Verde Verge in 1:03:34 at 0:02:43
15. Justin Lindine Targetraining/ Fastar in 1:04:07 at 0:03:16
16. William Dugan RGM Watches – Richards Sachs – Boathouse Inc. in 1:04:19 at 0:03:28
17. Derrick St. John Stevens Cross in 1:04:23 at 0:03:32
18. Nathanael Wyatt Santa Cruz Bicycles/carolina Fatz in 1:04:42 at 0:03:51
19. Braden Kappius Clif Bar Development Cross Team in 1:04:52 at 0:04:01
20. Mitchell Peterson Devo in 1:05:09 at 0:04:18
21. Isaac Neff Alderfer Bergen in 1:05:18 at 0:04:26
22. Mark Batty Team Race Pro in 1:05:39 at 0:04:48
23. Kip Spaude Nova/iscorp in 1:05:49 at 0:04:58
24. Nathan Rice Michelob Ultra-Big Shark in 1:05:52 at 0:05:01
25. Ryan Knapp Alderfer Bergen in 1:05:52 at 0:05:01
26. Ben Popper Hrs / Rock Lobster in 1:06:20 at 0:05:29
27. Mike Purvis Barbasol in 1:06:36 at 0:05:45
28. Grant Berry Team Rocky Mtn Choc Factory in 1:06:39 at 0:05:48
29. Michael Kennedy Barbasol/rapid Transit in 1:06:43 at 0:05:52
30. Richard Visinski Exodus Road Racing in 1:06:51 at 0:06:00
31. Joseph Schmalz Hrrc / Trek Stores in 1:06:56 at 0:06:05
32. Stephen Cummings Indiana Regional Medical Center in 1:07:06 at 0:06:15
33. Adam Mcgrath Van Dessel in 1:07:07 at 0:06:16
34. Mitchell Kersting Barbasol in 1:07:09 at 0:06:18
35. Jeremy Ferguson California Giant Berry Farms/specialized in 1:07:30 at 0:06:39
36. John Grant Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team in 1:07:35 at 0:06:44
37. Andrew Reardon Krystal in 1:07:51 at 0:07:00
38. Andrew Llewellyn Calistoga Racing Team in 1:08:41 at 0:07:50
39. Nicholas Keough Sakonnet Technology in 1:10:43 at 0:09:52
40. William Elliston Fuji in at 1Lp
41. Dave Hackworthy Bianchi/grand Performance in at 2Lps
42. Greg Lewis Directory Plus/ Trek in at 3Lps
43. Nicholas Shaffer Human Zoom/ Pabst Blue Ribbon in at 3Lps
44. William Street Team Geargrinder in at 4Lps
45. Brendan Shafer in at 4Lps
46. Aaron Hawkins Chrysalis Ventures Cycling in at 4Lps
47. Mitchell Graham Bio Wheels Racing in at 4Lps
48. Richard Toler Team Kreilter Rollers in at 4Lps
. Ryan Trebon Kona-Yourkey.com
. Mike Sherer Alderfer Bergen
. Jesse Lalonde Planet Bike
. Jeff Winkler Bicycle Shack Racing
. Charles Totaro Human Zoom/ Pabst Blue Ribbon