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By Neal Rogers
The domestic cyclocross season began Saturday with a pair of upset wins under lights at the Full Speed Ahead Starcrossed event held at Marymoor Velodrome, in Redmond, Washington, near Seattle.
Both the men’s and women’s victories were piloted aboard Cannondales, as Jeremy Powers (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) and Sue Butler (Monavie-Cannondale) emerged as underdog victors against Kona riders — Powers ahead of perennial domestic top dog Ryan Trebon, and Butler against Canadian national champion Wendy Simms.
Powers’ teammate Tim Johnson rounded out the men’s top three, while NMBS podium regular Kathy Sherwin (Velo Bella), riding in her first race since breaking several bones in her hand and wrist in July, rounded out the women’s top three.
Classic cyclocross conditions greeted racers and a crowd of several thousand as the first rain in a month soaked the Pacific Northwest just two days before autumn officially begins.
With several categories of amateur racing taking place before the elite women’s race, the course — a flat, off-camber route enveloping the velodrome — was a sloppy, serpentine mess by the time the marquee events began.
The men’s race saw Kona’s Barry Wicks take the holeshot but lose contact with the lead group after an early crash. Ahead Johnson, Powers, Trebon and Adam Craig (Giant) rode away from the field to form the winning selection.
Each man in the lead group suffered a spill in the slick conditions. First to dump his bike was Powers, who lost control in a tight switchback and slid on the grass, but quickly regained contact. Next to go down was Craig, who was attempting to pass on the slippery painted velodrome and wiped out. A dropped chain caused Craig to lose valuable time, and his battle for the victory looked to be over.
With Craig off the back Powers and Johnson briefly enjoyed a two-on-one advantage over Trebon. However, before they could take advantage of it, Johnson was the next to crash, requiring a stop in the mechanic’s pits to swap bikes. Behind, Craig patiently clawed his way back on.
Preferring not to contend with both Craig and Powers, and fearful that Johnson might catch back on, Trebon put in several surges with four laps remaining, and only Powers was able to follow. Though Johnson chased, overtaking Craig, he would never regain contact.
Ahead Trebon attacked repeatedly, but his trademark powerful surges could not rid himself of Powers. Coming into the final lap disaster struck as a leading Trebon collided with a lapped rider, opening the door for Powers to slip through and power ahead to victory.
The race’s finishing straight was a puzzling and dramatic scene, as Powers, confused by ambiguous lap cards, powered through the finish line intent on racing one more lap until spectators convinced him he’d won.
Several bike lengths behind a furious Trebon, who famously collided with a lapped rider at last year’s national cyclocross championship, effectively ending his late-season European campaign, crossed the line and hurled his bike across the velodrome infield before storming off.
Trebon later apologized for his behavior, saying he’d asked the lapped rider repeatedly to allow him to pass, adding that when he finally did make his move to overtake the lapped rider, the rider rode directly in front of him, taking them both down.
“I wish I had controlled my emotions a little better at the finish,” Trebon said. “But I don’t know how else to let someone know you’re trying to overtake them, and we all know I’ve had my problems recently with being crashed by riders who aren’t at the front of the race. It’s frustrating, you race for 58 minutes, and then you’re taken out with less than a lap to go.”
Powers, though pleased with winning a hard-fought battle against the three-time champion of the national USGP series, was understanding of Trebon’s anger.
“That’s not how you want to win, taking advantage of someone else’s misfortune, and I’m sorry for Ryan,” Powers said. “At the same time, I was sitting a little off Ryan’s wheel because I was aware of how risky some of those passes were. We were both going through the same lapped riders, and we each had to dodge the same bullets.”
Both Johnson and Powers are just one week out from a road season that ran from February’s Amgen Tour of California through September’s Tour of Missouri. Johnson said that though he finished third, he was pleased with the evening’s outcome.
Asked if it had been a good race or a great race, the national champ answered, “It was a great race. We took first and third, and I was pleasantly surprised with my legs. When I needed to go deep and hurt, I could do it. Sure, Ryan had his situation, but we all crashed out there. His just happened at the very end of the race.”
The women’s race was a two-rider affair from the gun, with Butler, a pro mountain bike racer by trade, taking the holeshot and opening an early lead. Simms was the only woman to match Butler’s pace, and the pair rode away from the field. In the final lap Simms stayed even with Butler but could not come around the 37-year-old from Portland.
Though Butler placed sixth at cyclocross nationals last year and represented the United States at the world cyclocross championship in late January, finishing 22nd, the win was only her second elite cyclocross win. Butler also won the national masters women 35-39 championship last year.
Check back soon for full video coverage of Starcrossed on VeloNews.TV.
Women1. Sue Butler Monaviecannondale.com in 38:02
2. Wendy Simms Kona in 38:05
3. Kathy Sherwin Velo Bella – Kona in 38:50
4. Dawn Anderson Everti/oak Bay Bikes in 38:50
5. Josie Jacques-Maynes Specialized/kmc Pb Cal Giant in 38:50
6. Emily Van Meter River City Bicycles in 38:50
7. Wendy Williams River City Bicycles in 39:14
8. Sarah Kerlin Hrs / Rock Lobster in 39:22
9. Stewart Sarah Total Restoration in 39:40
10. Rhonda Mazza Team S&m in 39:44
11. Amy Dombroski Velo Bella – Kona in 40:08
12. Kristi Berg Redline Bicycles in 40:11
13. Beth Lyndon-Griffith Byrneinvent in 40:43
14. Kari Studley Velo Bella in 40:43
15. Shannon Gibson Velobella in 41:04
16. Kelly Jones Sugoi in 41:08
17. Jadine Riley Team Group Health in 41:34
18. Coryn Rivera Team Redline in 41:46
19. Jenni Gaertner Bob’s-Bicycles.com in 42:25
20. Jaymie Mcgowan Oak Bay Bikes in 42:50
21. Tela Crane Vanderkitten Racing in 43:32
22. Heather Gundersen Veloshop in 43:51
23. Kele Murdin Verducci Racing in 45:10
24. Allison Beall Vanderkitten in 45:32
1. Jeremy Powers Cyclocrossworld.com/cannondale in 1:02:37
2. Ryan Trebon Kona in 1:02:42
3. Tim Johnson Cyclocrossworld.com/cannondale in 1:02:53
4. Adam Craig Giant Bicycles in 1:03:34
5. Barry Wicks Kona in 1:04:13
6. Russell Stevenson in 1:04:29
7. Joachim Parbo Ccv Leopard Cycles in 1:05:09
8. Nicholas Weighall Rad Racing / Hagens Berman Llp in 1:05:36
9. Shannon Skerritt Vanilla Bicycles in 1:05:40
10. Dan Timmerman Team Race Pro in 1:05:40
11. Molly Cameron Vanilla Bicycles in 1:05:50
12. Erik Tonkin Kona in 1:05:58
13. Andy Jacques-Maynes Specialized/kmc Pb Cal Giant in 1:06:56
14. Kevin Bradford-Parish Redlinebikes.com in 1:07:07
15. Solomon Woras Vanilla in 1:07:07
16. Justin Robinson California Giant Berry Farms/sp in 1:07:43
17. Ryan Iddings Lapierre Usa in 1:07:52
18. Kris Sneddon Kona in 1:07:59
19. Craig Richey Team Aviawest – Van Dessel in 1:08:07
20. Bart Gillespie Monaviecannondale.com in 1:09:03
21. Jake Wells Mafiaracing.com in 1:09:14
22. Kevin Noiles Trek Red Truck Racing in -1LAP
23. Steve Fisher Rad Racing/hagens Berman in -1LAP
24. Tyler Trace Trek Red Truck in -1LAP
25. Nathan Bannerman Bicycle Centres/collision 1 in -2LAPS
26. Cody Kaiser California Giant Berry Farms/sp in -2LAPS
27. Chris Parrish Rad Racing / Hagens Berman Llp in -2LAPS
28. Matthew Wills Veloshop in -3LAPS
29. Jeremy Ferguson in -3LAPS
30. Craig Fowler Ubrdo Team Project in -4LAPS
31. Evan Hyde Nashvillecyclist.com P/b Bike P in -4LAPS
32. Ben Chaddock Whitman College Cycling Team in -4LAPS
33. John Duquette Alki Rubicon in -4LAPS
34. Douglas Shryock Mt Cyclocross.com in -4LAPS
35. Kevin Thorpe Trek Red Truck Racing P/b Mosai in -5LAPS
36. Chris Sayers in -5LAPS
37. David Yeater River City Bicycles in -5LAPS
38. Joe Wessel Kelowna Cycle/opus/sd#23 in -6LAPS
DNF Troy Wells Clif Bar Cyclocross
DNF Thomas Skinner Rocky Mountain/k Capital Source
DNF John-Christian Flack The Valley Athletic Club
DNF Jason Sager Monaviecannondale.com
DNF Jesse Giordano Nob Hill Velo
DNF Giancarlo Dalle Angelini Team Redline
DNF Kyle Mcgilvray Old Town Bicycle
DNF Travis Mcmaster Mafiaracing.com
DNF Sean Worsech Rad Racing
DNF Joshua Berry
DNF Jason Williams Cucina Fresca
DNF Alexander Jackson Joselyn’s Bicycles