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BEND, Oregon (VN) — Hometown favorite Ryan Trebon darted away from Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld teammate Tim Johnson in the waning moments of the last lap to win round one of the Deschutes Brewery Cup on Saturday in Bend, Oregon.
Third place went to fellow Bend local Adam Craig (Rabobank-Giant) at 0:54, with Danny Summerhill (Garmin-Chipotle) and Zach McDonald (Rapha-Focus) completing the top five in what was the first race in the final weekend of the U.S. Grand Prix of Cyclocross.
The story of the day was Trebon finally breaking through on home soil, something he’d failed to do during Bend’s two-year run as host of the U.S. national championships. He was second twice, just like last year’s nationals in Madison, Wisconsin.
“It’s nice to finally get one at home,” said Trebon. “I obviously like racing here, and I felt comfortable from the get-go, and felt like I was turning the bike pretty well.”
Not turning the bike so well was Summerhill, who spent the early portions of the race in the lead, looking poised for run at the top spot of the podium. But a grisly crash near the end of lap four of eight put an end to those hopes.
“Danny was looking really strong, but lucky for us he took himself out of the picture,” said Johnson. “He was right in front of me when it happened. It was a little off-camber section right before we went back on the pavement. He his wheel, then clipped the inside [course-marking] pole and went up and over. It was really kind of a bad-looking crash.”
After the race a seemingly still dazed Summerhill said he landed squarely on his head and admitted to seeing stars.
“I hit one of those stupid posts that was sticking up in the grass,” he said. “I tried to avoid it and didn’t and flipped over pretty good and hit my head. After that I was just riding like s—t. Then I went into the tape again and that’s when Adam got away.”
Indeed, after spending the bulk of the race in the first chase group behind Trebon, Johnson, Summerhill, Yannick Eckmann (Cal Giant-Specialized), and McDonald, Craig used his superior handling skills to jump away into third solo on the penultimate lap.
“This is such a great track so I figured it was a good idea to skip some of the Christmas parties last night and rest up,” said Craig. “At the start I got gapped right away and I don’t know if I could ride with those front guys anyway. But after Danny fell back to our group he did a bunch of work the last few laps. I kept coming through, but he would just move back around. Finally I just decided to give it, hoping to force an error. It worked. He slid out right before the stairs and that balled up the other guys and I got away.”
But when asked whether his surprising podium spot had him considering a run at a place on the U.S. world’s team, Craig quickly demurred.
“With all due respect I don’t want to go to Louisville,” he said. “It’s two months from now and I’ve been in race shape for 12 months now. My body is tired but seems to somehow to still produce. It’s weird, but we’ll see what happens tomorrow. I was not planning on this going so well.”
Early in the race Trebon and Summerhill took a small lead going over the barriers, and next time through Johnson had latched on, with Eckmann behind him.
With seven to go that four-man group was solidly established, with Summerhill and Trebon doing the lion’s share of the work. Trebon drilled it, briefly gapping the others — but they had retrieved him by the barriers, and at the run-up it was still a quartet at the head of affairs, with Summerhill on point. Johnson was sitting second with Trebon third, with Eckmann the caboose, as the foursome stacked time on the field.
“Yannick was hurting,” said Johnson. “Just to stay on the wheel was all he could do, so I wasn’t really worried about him. Then Danny was able to take himself out of the picture.”
Right after Summerhill’s crash, Trebon jumped again and took a gap of a few seconds rolling through the start-finish heading out for lap five. Johnson and Eckmann gave chase, but Summerhill was left behind, to be caught by Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale), Craig, McDonald, and Ben Berden (Raleigh-Clement).
Next time through the barriers the Cannondale men had reunited and dispatched Eckmann. Now it was a two-man race, with Eckmann some seven seconds down at the flyover and losing ground.
Johnson took the lead for a spell, then sat up to stretch his back and Trebon breezed past, leading over the flyover and into three laps to go. The chase, meanwhile, had swallowed Eckmann.
Trebon really opened the throttle, trying to shed Johnson, but the smaller rider hung tough and stayed glued to his wheel at the barriers and going over the flyover. The chase was 30 seconds down and racing for third.
“I tried to get Ryan to make a mistake a couple of times in the woods, but he was riding pretty good in the technical stuff,” said Johnson. “A hometown win for him is huge.”
On the bell lap Johnson was still on the front with the big man parked on his wheel. Behind, Craig exploded out of the chase to take sole possession of third.
Trebon finally came around and led into the barriers, with Johnson just a bike length behind. Up the flyover and onto the run-up it was still Trebon on the front. Johnson was second into the final corner and that’s where he would stay — his teammate fairly rocketed across the line for the win, with his teammate second. And as darkness fell, Craig — another hometown boy — sailed across the line for third.
“Tim is hard to get rid of,” said Trebon. “He can just suffer so I knew I needed to be in front to get the sprint. Otherwise it was so short that there was no way I could have come around.”
In the overall USGP standings, Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) long ago wrapped up the title by winning all save one of the first six races. Trebon’s Saturday effort all but locked down second place, while Johnson jumped into a tie with Berden for third heading into Sunday.