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National cyclocross champ Jeremy Powers (Aspire Racing) put on a spectacle Sunday as he charged to victory at Boulder Cup for the second consecutive year.
The race was held at Boulder’s Valmont Bike Park, site of the 2014 national cyclocross championships in January.
After Belgian Ben Berden (Raleigh-Clement) took the hole shot, the elite men’s race at Boulder Cup was very quickly split into pieces.
With early moves from Allen Krughoff (Noosa Pro Cycling) and Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld), a group of 20 riders battled at the front, while the rest of the field was strung out, fighting to remain in contention.
Krughoff and Johnson were caught by the field, but Powers remained out in the wind, while Jonathan Page (XcelLED) sat in second position. On the third lap, it was a continued effort by Krughoff that led to a select group of 10 riders.
“Allen and Tim had made the first selection, so we took a few laps together and Allen had been on the front for a while,” said Powers. “I had noticed that the chase was starting to swell a little bit and [Todd] Wells (Specialized) was about to reconnect, so I punched it pretty hard with seven [laps] to go.”
Following Powers’ attack, it was only Krughoff and Johnson who could match the acceleration of the national champion.
“Once the group of three was made, I knew that I had to make the first move and do it pretty early, so with four to go, I went and had opened up about 10 seconds over those two guys,” Powers explained. “I wasn’t feeling great, but I knew that if I was going to go, I’d have to do it then.”
Powers’ final move was too much for Johnson and Krughoff, who finished the race battling each other for a second-place finish, with the closest chasing group over a minute back.
Powers went on to solo over the finish line, while Krughoff attacked Johnson on the final lap, securing a second-place finish for the local rider who finished fifth at the national championships on at the same venue in January.
“It’s nice being able to come out and win races like these early on in the season,” said Powers. “I’m flying home tomorrow and then racing Madison, Gloucster, Providence, and Rochester, so things will be pretty busy for a while, but I’m looking forward to seeing how things go as the season progresses.”
Compton wins again
Despite bad positioning early on, national champion, Katie Compton (Trek Factory Racing) powered to a solo victory at a dry and dusty Boulder Cup.
The race began with an early attack from Caroline Mani (Raleigh-Clement) who went off the front on the first lap. Mani held a steady gap for just over a lap, but hard work largely done by Meredith Miller (Noosa Pro Cycling) led to her capture and huge separations in the main field, establishing a strong selection of only a few riders.
After struggling for good position, Compton, found herself sitting 10 wheels back, as the fast and technical course provided a challenge for movement throughout the field.
In her attempts to fight for the front, Compton put in a massive effort on the third lap in order to move up, leading to her race-winning attack.
Within half a lap, Compton opened up a 15-second gap over a chase group of Miller, Mani and Georgia Gould (Luna). A second chase group, led by Crystal Anthony (Optum), remained within reach of the Miller group.
On the final lap, Compton had increased her gap over the chase group of three, crossing the line with no one in sight. The battle for second came down to a two-up sprint, where Miller, the sprint winner at CrossVegas on Wednesday, edged out Gould in the closing meters, while Mani followed a few seconds behind.