Events

Trebon, Compton blow away competition at windy Boulder Cup

Repeating their dominant performances from 24 hours earlier at Saturday’s Redline Cup, reigning U.S. national cyclocross champions Ryan Trebon and Katie Compton crushed the competition on Sunday at the UCI C1 Boulder Cup cyclocross in Boulder, Colorado.

Compton shot away early and stayed goneCompton shot away early and stayed gone

Photo: Mia Sullivan

Repeating their dominant performances from 24 hours earlier at Saturday’s Redline Cup, reigning U.S. national cyclocross champions Ryan Trebon and Katie Compton crushed the competition on Sunday at the UCI C1 Boulder Cup cyclocross in Boulder, Colorado.

Compton, the winner of the Boulder Cup in 2006, when it was part of the U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross, opened up a gap of 15 seconds over Luna’s Georgia Gould on the first lap and never looked back, winning by 76 seconds. Rachel Lloyd (Proman-Paradigm) finished third, with Wendy Williams (River City Bicycles) and Kerry Barnholt (Tokyo Joe’s-Van Dessel) rounding out the women’s podium.

Similarly, on the first of 11 laps Trebon (Kona-Yourkey.com) hit the accelerator on the second of the grassy course’s two sand sections, distancing himself from chasers Tim Johnson, Jeremy Powers and Kona teammate Barry Wicks, winner of the Boulder Cup last year.

While Johnson and Powers soon rid themselves of Wicks, Trebon put on an impressive solo display, widening his advantage over the Cyclocrossworld.com teammates to win by 1:21. Wicks finished fourth, with Chris Horner enjoying his best ride against a national-level cyclocross field to take fifth ahead of Geoff Kabush (Maxxis).

Trebon slays the competition
High winds marked an otherwise perfect fall day in Boulder, with temperatures in the high 60s and sunny skies lighting up the city’s trademark Flatirons as a backdrop. Some 2000 fans filled the naturally bowl-shaped Harlow Flats Park to watch the elite men’s field tackle a non-technical course that featured long straightaways zigzagging through bumpy, thick grass. Given the elevation of more than 5400 feet, altitude would again prove a challenge for racers from sea level.

The strong winds, combined with the course’s many false-flat and long straights, so favored Trebon’s powerful riding style that he joked, “It seems like [race director Chris Grealish] is almost designing these courses with me in mind.”

Johnson agreed.

Horner had a good ride, finishing fifthHorner had a good ride, finishing fifth

Photo: Mia Sullivan

“Last year there were a few more corners, a few more hooks that took your power away, and the straightaway sections weren’t quite as long,” Johnson said. “This morning I was riding the course and thought, ‘Ah, man, this is a perfect course for Ryan.’ With so many long, power stretches, it was tailor-made for him.”

Trebon wasted little time taking the lead, breaking off the front with Wicks just halfway into the first of the elite men’s 11 laps over 60 minutes. Wicks eventually dropped off the pace and was joined by Johnson and Powers. By the third lap, Trebon was gone for good, Johnson and Powers chased together, while Wicks, Kabush and Horner each chased alone. The only detail to change from then to the end was Horner and Kabush swapping places with two laps remaining.

“My start was half decent — I was only 25 guys back instead of 50 guys back,” said Horner, who was nursing a wrist brace after a bad crash last weekend at the USGP in Kentucky. “And the course was dialed for me. Granted I don’t have much experience, this was only my fifth time on the cyclocross bike this year, but last weekend was only an hour warm-up plus the races, so those were my first, second and third times on the cross bike this season.”

Missing from the podium was Saturday’s third-place finisher Todd Wells, who had a standout ride after illness kept him from racing last weekend’s USGP in Kentucky. The two-time national champion broke his chain on the second lap just after crossing through the pit area and was forced to push his bike for a long half lap. Wells put in a massive effort during the second half of the race and finished eighth. Asked which position he guessed he was in when he finally mounted a back-up bike, Wells half-joked, “Last place? I don’t know. It was the worst possible place because I had just passed the pit.”

At the front of the race, Trebon’s controlled riding made for a less-than-suspenseful race — he lapped all but 13 riders in the 66-rider field.

“I just went hard on the uphill sections and the sand, and recovered in the other sections,” Trebon said. “I picked the spots where I could gain time. I wasn’t even riding flat out most of the time.”

Johnson finished second, bettering Saturday’s fifth-place ride, which saw him admittedly struggling with the altitude.

“I’ll take whatever I can here this weekend,” Johnson said. “Yesterday’s race was a disappointment for Jeremy and I both, and afterwards we sat down and tried to figure out what why that had happened. Jeremy rode too hot and blew up, and I just didn’t feel that great with the altitude. Today we made the conscious effort to ride as hard as we could without putting our whole race at risk.

There can be only one!There can be only one!

Photo: Mia Sullivan

“With the wind today, it was nice to ride with somebody and trade off some of that effort. Also, I remembered that last year Barry came back and caught us from way back, and I didn’t want that to happen, so it was better that we just took turns and worked together.”

On the paved finishing straight a group of enthusiastic fans dressed as Braveheart-era Scottish freedom fighters handed Trebon a sword, which he brandished in an original victory salute as he crossed the line.

“That thing was heavy, it was all metal,” Trebon said. “No joke, it was a good eight pounds.”

Perhaps if Trebon had carried the sword from start to finish, the rest of the field might have had a chance.

Gould got the hole shotGould got the hole shot

Photo: Mia Sullivan

Compton on a roll
Last year’s Boulder Cup runner-up, two-time USGP overall winner Lyne Bessette, opted out of a trip to Boulder in order to race in New England and recover from an illness that hampered her last weekend in Kentucky.

That left Gould as the only rider in the 27-rider women’s field to have ever finished ahead of Compton over the past two seasons. Gould took the hole shot on the paved, uphill start/finish straightaway, but it was the only time in the 40-minute race that Compton would see another rider’s wheel — until she began lapping riders halfway through. Compton, who rides for Spike Shooter, opened up a gap of 17 seconds over Gould by the end of the first lap and stretched it to a minute by the end, lapping nine of 27 riders.

“The course was good for me,” Compton said. “It had some fast sections, and the winds are always good for me, and the sand pits are good for me too. I actually didn’t feel that good today, and I learned that I can go pretty well even without feeling good.”

Compton wasn’t the only one not feeling well; Gould said she had hoped to feel better prior to the race.

“It was brutal out there, with the wind,” Gould said. “I just didn’t have good legs. Usually I feel better on a second day of racing. But you never know how you’re going to feel until you’re racing. I would have liked to give her a little more competition, or at least made it more of a training race for her.”

Compton leaves Tuesday for Europe to compete in the upcoming World Cups, including the November 11 event in Pijnacker, Holland, and the November 24 event in Koksijde, Belgium.

Race notes
Horner said that while his future is still uncertain, one team he won’t be riding with is Predictor-Lotto, his team of the past two seasons.

“It’s over with Predictor,” Horner said. “They filled up, and I just wasn’t willing to settle for what they were offering me. They were making me offers, and making me lower offers, and lower offers, and I just said no.”

Horner added that he might decide on a team for 2008 by the end of the upcoming week.

Compton had been rumored to be changing bikes each lap during Saturday’s Redline Cup solely so she and her husband/mechanic Mark Legg could practice pitting bikes for her upcoming World Cup schedule. Not quite, Compton said.

“We were mainly dialing the air pressure,” she explained. “With all the gravelly sections, I kept feeling like there was too much air, and the course was pretty slick. So I would come through and yell, “More or less for the next lap.”

Asked if this weekend’s pair of wins has helped return the confidence Trebon said he’d lost over the past month, the Kona rider answered, “It’s not so much winning the races, it’s just the sensations in my body — some are good, some are not so good. My back is still sore, it only gives me problems when I go flat out.”

Boulder Cup
Boulder, CO. Nov. 1
Men

1. Ryan Trebon, Kona-Your Key Mortgage, 1:01:00
2. Tim Johnson, Cannondale-Leer-Cyclocrossworld.com, 1:02:21
3. Jeremy Powers, Cyclocrossworld.com-Leer-Ridley, 1:02:52
4. Barry Wicks, Kona-Your Key Mortgage, 1:03:59
5. Chris Horner, Ridley, 1:04:28
6. Geoff Kabush, Maxxis-Litespeed, 1:05:05
7. Erik Tonkin, Kona, 1:05:28
8. Todd Wells, GT, 1:05:39
9. Brandon Dwight, Boulder Cycle Sport, 1:05:45
10. Joachim Parbo, CCV-Protek, same time

Women
1. Katie Compton, Spike-Primus Mootry-ROL Wheels, 37:52
2. Georgia Gould, Luna Chix, 39:08
3. Rachel Lloyd, Proman-Paradigm, 39:32
4. Wendy Williams, River City Bicycles, 40:01
5. Kerry Barnholt, Tokyo Joe’s-Van Dessel, 40:466. Dellys Starr (Aus), Sports Garage/BMC, 41:47
7. Amy Dombroski, Velo Bella-Kona, 41:57
8. Sue Butler, River City Bicycles, 42:02
9. Barbara Howe, Velo Bella Kona, 42:20
10. Megan Elliot, 44:53

Boulder Cup
Boulder, CO. Nov. 1
Men

1. Ryan Trebon, Kona-Your Key Mortgage, 1:01:00
2. Tim Johnson, Cannondale-Leer-Cyclocrossworld.com, 1:02:21
3. Jeremy Powers, Cyclocrossworld.com-Leer-Ridley, 1:02:52
4. Barry Wicks, Kona-Your Key Mortgage, 1:03:59
5. Chris Horner, Ridley, 1:04:28
6. Geoff Kabush, Maxxis-Litespeed, 1:05:05
7. Erik Tonkin, Kona, 1:05:28
8. Todd Wells, GT, 1:05:39
9. Brandon Dwight, Boulder Cycle Sport, 1:05:45
10. Joachim Parbo, CCV-Protek, same time

Women
1. Katie Compton, Spike-Primus Mootry-ROL Wheels, 37:52
2. Georgia Gould, Luna Chix, 39:08
3. Rachel Lloyd, Proman-Paradigm, 39:32
4. Wendy Williams, River City Bicycles, 40:01
5. Kerry Barnholt, Tokyo Joe’s-Van Dessel, 40:466. Dellys Starr (Aus), Sports Garage/BMC, 41:47
7. Amy Dombroski, Velo Bella-Kona, 41:57
8. Sue Butler, River City Bicycles, 42:02
9. Barbara Howe, Velo Bella Kona, 42:20
10. Megan Elliot, 44:53