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Tech Report: In the pits at the USGP

This past weekend, Colorado's Front Range hosted rounds three and four of the 2006 Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross, the first time national-caliber ’cross had visited the state since the 2000 SuperCup kicked off in Boulder. More than 100 men and 50 women contested the elite races, including virtually all of the top U.S. ’crossers. And with all this talent descending into VeloNews territory, most of the staff had a chance to report on some aspect of the events. Today, we'll highlight some of the top riders' equipment. While elite racers showed up with two or even

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By Matt Pacocha

Todd Wells brought his GTs in the trunk of his Audi

Todd Wells brought his GTs in the trunk of his Audi

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This past weekend, Colorado’s Front Range hosted rounds three and four of the 2006 Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross, the first time national-caliber ’cross had visited the state since the 2000 SuperCup kicked off in Boulder.

More than 100 men and 50 women contested the elite races, including virtually all of the top U.S. ’crossers. And with all this talent descending into VeloNews territory, most of the staff had a chance to report on some aspect of the events. Today, we’ll highlight some of the top riders’ equipment.

While elite racers showed up with two or even three bikes, supplemented by spare wheels and tires, there were noticeable differences in the teams’ respective expo presences.

Kona and Maxxis showed with team box trailers to support Barry Wicks, Ryan Trebon and Geoff Kabush. Stu Thorne’s cyclocrossworld.com camp, which includes Ben Jacques-Maynes, Lyne Bessette and Tim Johnson (Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com), worked out of a 30-by-30-foot SRAM tent on Saturday and three smaller 10-by-10 E-Z Up tents on Sunday.

But some other big names worked out of the trunks of their cars, like the rest of us. It didn’t seem to hurt national champ Todd Wells (GT) or Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly), since each scored podium spots over the weekend. Powers snagged second on Saturday and Wells took third on both Saturday and Sunday.

Let’s look at some of the bikes.

The men

Ryan Trebon: First place Saturday, fourth place Sunday
Anyone who saw the two days of racing could easily conclude that Trebon was the strongest guy out there. While Saturday’s race went off without a hitch, Sunday’s was plagued with mechanicals, forcing the big man to flex some serious muscle.

Trebon was in and out of the pit four times over the course of the race (during the last stop, he spent a minute working on his own bike). Once the problem of the moment was solved, he would chase and make up the majority of his deficit. In the end, he finished just seconds behind the leaders and took the prize for most aggressive rider.

Trebon’s Easton Ultralight Race aluminum Kona Major Jake features carbon seatstays to dampen vibrations from bumpy ’cross courses. Ryan runs a single chainring for his domestic endeavors, choosing between 44- and 46-tooth rings depending on course conditions. Easton provided his all-carbon cockpit, seat post and wheels. While many racers have switched to Dugast’s new Rhino, both Trebon and teammate Wicks chose Dugast’s older Typhoon tread pattern for both Colorado races. European manufacturer Spooky provided the brakes, which use SwissStop’s Yellow King carbon post mount pads.

The Orbea iGorre has plenty of mud clearance; you can also see FSA’s red ceramic BB

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Jeremy Powers: Second place Saturday, fifth place Sunday
Powers was one of the weekend’s crowd-pleasers. On Saturday, he won a three-up sprint for second place. On Sunday, he placed a respectable fifth, wowing the crowd by jumping a pair of barriers on the course’s steep run-up.

Jelly Belly team sponsor Orbea provided Powers with three iGorre 6000 series aluminum frames. He opts for a double chainring in a 38-46-tooth combo mated to a 12-25 10-speed cassette. FSA provides the seat, post, cockpit, cranks and wheels.

For wheels, Powers selected the RD-488, a 50mm section carbon tubular set. He glues Vittoria’s Cross Evo XG tires to the wheels himself. FSA also provided Powers with its Ceramic bottom brackets and the hollow forged Energy crank, one of the lightest in FSA’s range at 780 grams. Only the new 2007 K-Force Light crank weighs less.

Notice the left hand brake lever.

Notice the left hand brake lever.

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Todd Wells: Third place Saturday, third place Sunday
Wells showed up with two GTs equipped with SRAM’s Force groups, which are becoming more common in the professional ranks. Just last week, the company announced its ProTour sponsorship of Saunier Duval-Prodir for the 2007 season.

Both of Wells’s bikes were set up with custom left-hand Force brake-only levers. The left lever had the Double Tap mechanism removed to save weight and match with his single front chain ring. Wells’s bikes also sported a full complement of Easton components including the unmistakable Tempest 2 wheels, which were equipped with Dugast Rhino tubulars. For Saturday’s race Wells kept his tires at “around 40 psi.”

The women

Katie Compton: First place Saturday, first place Sunday
Spike-Primus Mootry’s Katie Compton had quite a week leading up to the Colorado USGP races. The night after winning the October 28 UCI race in Boulder, both of her race bikes were stolen out of the Spike team van while it was parked outside of her Colorado Springs home. With the USGP races coming up the next weekend, she was in a bind — until her sponsors came to the rescue. Spike track team sponsor Raleigh sent her a Shimano Dura-Ace-equipped bike to train on, while Primus Mootry owner Joe DePaemelaere fired up his torch and started welding.

The tread of Tufo’s Flexus tire flanked by red carbon specific fibrex cork pads.

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“It was something that had to be done,” he said.

And he did it. DePaemelaere delivered two frames to Compton on Friday, which she rode to back-to-back victories. Her custom scandium Primus Mootry Tenbosse-X frames are largely equipped with FSA and Cane Creek components.

Taiwanese manufacturer YBN provides her chains and Nokon provides cables and housing. Mark Legg, Compton’s husband and mechanic, rigged up a road style brake pad carrier to fit her Cane Creek SCX-5 brakes and hold a carbon-specific cork pad. Compton chooses Tufo’s Flexus tubular tires, which are mounted on Cane Creek’s Aros 38 wheelset. The Flexus rolls fast and hooks up nicely on Colorado’s loose courses. They can also be repaired with tire sealant for the inevitable encounter with the Front Range’s ubiquitous goat-head thorns.

Lyne Bessette: Fourth place Saturday, second place Sunday
Canadian national champ Lyne Bessette’s bikes epitomize the sport. The Cyclocrossworld.com rider came to Colorado with three bikes, all of which bear the name of one of this country’s best-known ’cross aficionados, Stu Thorne. The aluminum frames are Taiwanese-built prototypes based on the ’cross geometry Thorne and Bessette prefer, and may be available to the rest of us some time next year.

Thorne’s rear triangle provides plenty of clearance for the Dugast Rhino tire.

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Bessette’s bikes are equipped with SRAM’s Force group. Two of her bikes sport double chainrings in a 38-44-tooth combo while one has a single 42-tooth ring. Like Wells’s GT, Bessette’s single-ring bike sported a custom brake-only left Force lever.

She spent the weekend racing on Mavic’s Ksyrium ES tubular wheels outfitted with Dugast’s new Rhino tires at 30psi.

 

Georgia Gould: Second place Saturday, third place Sunday
Despite Compton’s dominance, Luna rider Georgia Gould defended her series lead over the weekend. Gould raced defensively in Colorado, keeping the bigger picture in mind. She posted two solid finishes, second on Saturday and third on Sunday.

Shimano’s BR-R550 looks very clean, the Maxxis Raze tread is made of siped square and rectangular blocks.

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Gould is racing on Orbea’s iGorre cyclo-cross frame and Zeus AC Cross fork. While her competitors’ bikes are a bit more extravagant than most, Gould’s ride is a workhorse. It’s a simple, economical package: a single-ring Shimano Ultegra/Dura-Ace drivetrain paired with Shimano’s BR-R550 low-profile cantilever brakes and a Syntace cockpit. For her race bike, Mavic’s top-end Ksyrium ES clincher wheelset add a bit of flair, while the back-up bike features the Ksyrium SL. Maxxis provides the Luna team with tires; Gould chose to race on the new Raze in Colorado.

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