COVINGTON, Ky. (VN) — Katie Compton and Jeremy Powers are becoming synonymous with the Cincy3 Cyclocross Festival, both notching day-one wins on Friday’s rain-softened UCI-C2 course in Devou Park.
Record one-day rainfall of 1.65 inches Thursday night caused many riders to mount their Limus and Rhino tires in order to tackle the run-off-filled mud pits at three points on the course. Between the quad-busting climbs, the mud, a stiff north wind and a triple set of telephone-pole logs, the course forced selections in both the men’s and women’s races. Riders welcomed the sunshine and mid-50s temperatures, but that only made the mud thicker as the day wore on.
Wicks kicks early
With the ruts drying and fading afternoon sun glaring at their backs, it was Barry Wicks (Kona) burying himself to take the first-lap lead, nearly gapping Powers (Rapha-Focus), and the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com duo of Tim Johnson and Jamey Driscoll.
Maybe Wicks knew something the others didn’t. A hundred meters into the first section of downhill grass, the back third of the pack went down in a heap. Many wouldn’t see the finish line. Smelling blood, Wicks churned away at the front, driving the first few turns, cleanly making it through the bandshell mud pit and punching it up the first climb.
The move looked decisive as Johnson hit the deck in a mud-pit pile-up just behind Wicks and Kona teammates Wicks and Sean Babcock, with Powers and Ryan Trebon (LTS-Felt), slipped away halfway through lap one.
Opting to ride the triple logs and hit the lower mud at full gas, a front group formed containing Wicks, Trebon and Powers, with Ben Berden (Ops Ale-Stoemper) and Driscoll chasing. Babcock and Johnson teamed up as the third group going into lap two. Just behind, a loose group of seven, including young Joshua Johnson (BikeReg.com), worked together to close the gap.
Powers powers away
Powers, using his road miles to his advantage, managed to jump away from Trebon going into the third lap. Driscoll moved into second as Johnson recovered from his crash to make contact with Trebon, who was holding onto third.
The race remained relatively unchanged for the next four laps. With a comfortable lead, Powers opted to run the logs rather than risk a bobble. The real drama was behind Wicks as the course whittled down the 30-man field. With two laps to go, only eight riders remained on the lead lap.
Despite a valiant chase, Driscoll could never close the gap to Powers, who took the win by 24 seconds. Gassed from the early chase, Johnson finally faded, handing Trebon the third step on the podium..
Miller attacks Compton
In the women’s race, after UCI officials checked every rider’s tire width, French national champion Caroline Mani (CC Etupes Le Doubs Pays De Montbeliard) snagged the holeshot from pavement to grassy downhill with Sue Butler (Hudz-Subaru), Georgia Gould (Luna), Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com), U.S. national champ Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant) and Meredith Miller (Cal Giant Berry Farms) in tow.
Surprisingly it was Miller, not Compton, who attacked the first climb out of the bandshell mud pit to create the early selection with Gould, Compton and Mani , gapping Antonneau and Butler.
Seeing Mani make the front group was impressive after hearing she left Chicago at 4 a.m. and drove 5.5 hours to make the race. However, Mani’s early snap would fade fast — Compton attacked late on the first lap and popped her out of the group.
Now with Compton, Miller and Gould driving the front into lap two, and Antonneau chasing with Butler, Mani found herself solo in sixth. Between Compton’s pace and the grinding hills, the race split into pairs with Compton and Miller on the front, Gould and Antonneau chasing and Mani and Butler struggling to maintain contact.
Compton shakes Miller
On lap four, Compton finally shook Miller to take the win solo by 38 seconds. Antonneau pegged it on the climb from the bandshell dropping a struggling Gould to secure the third spot on the podium.
Mani stayed determined, keeping the pedal to the floor and eventually passed both Gould and Butler for fourth. Georgia continued to fade from her fast start to finish sixth.
Racing continues Saturday at Sunset Park in Middletown, Ohio, and Sunday at Harbin Park in Fairfield, Ohio. For details visit www.cxfestival.com.
- 1. Jeremy Powers, Rapha-Focus, 1:01:58
- 2. Jamey Driscoll, Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com, 1:02:26
- 3. Ryan Trebon, LTS-Felt, 1:03:00
- 4. Tim Johnson, Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com, 1:04:16
- 5. Ben Berden, Ops Ale-Stoemper, 1:05:26
- 1. Katherine Compton, Rabobank-Giant, 39:24
- 2. Meredith Miller, Cal Giant, 40:02
- 3. Kaitlin Antonneau, Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com, 41:04
- 4. Caroline Mani, CC Etupes Le Doubs Pays De Montbeliard, 41:32
- 5. Susan Butler, Hudz-Subaru, 41:41