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CINNCINNATI, Ohio (VN) — They call it “riding the brown stripe.” It’s the dirty mark of a dialed course, the kind of course you usually only see on Belgian TV and they had it at the final day, the UCI C1 event, of the Cincy3 Cyclocross Festival Sunday at Harbin Park in Fairfield, Ohio.
With plenty of muddy patches after record rainfall on Thursday, every racer of the day took home a little piece of the park, Katie Compton (Rabobank) and Jeremy Powers (Rapha/Focus) took home the trophy, prize money, and most importantly big UCI C1 points.
The course at Harbin was deserving of the C1 ranking. Compared to days one and two, there was more of everything. The speeds were higher, the course longer, the mud soupier and the obstacles more challenging. Placed on an almost blind soft right hander, the uphill barriers seemed to tower above riders knees on approach. With uphill sand and plenty of off camber to test the best, brutal was the word du jour.
Men’s Pro Race:
Skills-check. Power-check. Cincy3 Cyclocross Festival wins-check. All things were equal between Jeremy Powers (Rapha/Focus) and Ryan Trebon (LTS/Felt). While both skilled and powerful riders had notched C2 wins, the one thing Trebon lacked on day 3 with C1 points at stake was a teammate with fresh legs. Out of Jeremy Powers jersey pocket popped Zack McDonald (Rapha/Focus).
With most of the crowd saying “That’s not Jpow,” McDonald took the McHoleshot and continued his drive at the front well into lap 2. Initially, he was solo off the front with a gap to Powers and Trebon, forcing Trebon to work to close the gap through the double sand pits and multiple mud bogs. Trebon, however, was patient, rode smart, took his lumps and brought McDonald back into the fold by the end of the first lap.
Johnson Goes Down, Schouten Moves Up
Bringing up the chase was Tim Johnson (Cannondale/CyclocrossWorld), teammate Jamey Driscoll and the ever present Ben Berden (Ops Ale/Stoemper). Then disaster struck, Johnson went down somewhere in the slick and tight off camber turns that weaved in and out of the picnic shelter area and had to pit. Johnson immediately dropped to 15th while Tristan Schouten (Cyclocrossracing.com/Blue), fresh from the Iceman MTB race in Michigan, took his place.
It was up to Jamey Driscoll to continue teammate Johnson’s fight. However early in lap 3, as soon as he made contact with Trebon in the Powers-McDonald (Rapha/Focus) sandwich, Powers looked under his elbow and exploded though the sand. He continued to drive the nail all the way through the pits and back through the sand again. Driscoll was gone for good and the move sealed the deal for Powers.
Young Guns vs Veteran Smarts
Trebon was now forced back into the driver’s seat with McDonald riding shotgun. There were still 30 minutes to go and Trebon is a seasoned vet. McDonald, a little younger, forced his finger probably a little too early and attacked Trebon on lap 4 through the sand. Trebon didn’t flinch. With his big meat sticks, he upped the pace slightly to close the move down in a few hundred meters then launched himself past McDonald through the uphill side of the pit. You could almost hear McDonald shake his head.
Trebon would close to within 5 seconds of Powers at the bell. While contact looked possible for a minute or two past the pits, Powers managed the gap well and increased his lead to 12 seconds at the line. In celebration of the Rapha/Focus 1-3, McDonald popped a wheelie across the line. On the long uphill drag to the finish, big Ben Berden out-sprinted Driscoll for 4th.
Women’s Pro Race
With C1 UCI points at stake, no one was bluffing. From the gun, the national champion of France and the US went straight to the front. Caroline Mani (Etupes Le Doubs Pays De Montbeliard) and Katie Compton (Rabobank) practically drag raced the first 500 meters and were virtually neck and neck into the sand.
Inviting people to heckle her on Twitter after Saturday’s race, Georgia Gould (LUNA) was a bike length or two back in a group with Sue Butler (River City/Ridley), Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale/CyclocrossWorld), Meredith Miller (Cal Giant Berry Farms) and regional fast girl Meghan Korol (Bob’s Red Mill).
Compton Lives For Sand
Showing her form that brought her second place on Friday, it was Miller to attempt the bridge from the chase. She made contact after the big muddy fast drop on the back side and held it till the group crossed the main park road. Compton waited till the sand to crack the whip and blew clear of Mani and Miller for good on lap 2. Behind, Butler and Antonneau were in hot pursuit and eventually made contact with Miller and Mani making the chase a group of four the 2nd time past the announcer’s stage. Gould was off the back and in 6th, where she would finish for the third day in a row.
Miller was the first to attack out of the group on the long swoopy grind up to the start/finish, closing to within 12 seconds of Compton. Mani marked the move and closed the gap, leaving Butler and Antonneau without an answer. At the same time, Coryn Rivera (Marian University) made impressive progress and closed in on 10th place.
At the bell, with enough of a gap, Compton took a clean bike for finish line pictures while the rest opted to deal with the clinging mud rather than give up position. With Mani and Miller focused on sorting out the 2nd place points, Antonneau gapped Butler. Meanwhile, secure in her spot, Gould played it safe running the uphill sand. In a thrilling sprint, it was Miller taking the 2nd step ahead of Mani.
Pro Men Quick Results:
- 1 Jeremy Powers Rapha/Focus 55:33
- 2 Ryan Trebon LTS/Felt 55:45
- 3 Zach McDonald Rapha/Focus 56:42
- 4 Ben Berden Ops Ale/Stoemper 57:18
- 5 Jamey Driscoll Cannondale/CyclocrossWorld 57:24
- 6 Tristan Schouten Cyclocrossracing.com/Blue 58:52
- 7 Troy Wells Team Clif Bar 59:21
- 8 Mitchell Hoke Clif Bar Development 59:24
- 9 Barry Wicks Kona 59:32
- 10 Travis Livermon Smart Stop/Mock Orange 1:00:30
- 11 Sean Babcock Kona 1:00:51
- 12 Cody Kaiser Cal Giant/Specialized 1:01:24
- 13 Gian Dalle Angelini Rio Blanco ST
- 14 Ryan Knapp Bob’s Red Mill 1:02:08
- 15 Jake Wells Stan’s NoTubes Elite 1:02:18
Pro Women Quick Results:
- 1 Katie Compton Rabobank 37:19
- 2 Meredith Miller Cal Giant Berry Farms 37:31
- 3 Caroline Mani (Etupes Le Doubs Pays De Montbeliard) ST
- 4 Kaitlin Antonneau Cannondale/CyclocrossWorld 37:59
- 5 Sue Butler River City/Ridley 38:24
- 6 Georgia Gould LUNA 38:47
- 7 Chloe Forsman Race Club 11 40:02
- 8 Devon Gorry Rambuski Law 40:10
- 9 Coryn Rivera Marian University 40:13
- 10 Katherine Sherwin Stan’s NoTubes Elite 41:11
- 11 Annajean Dallaire Racin’ for Riley/Alderfer Bergen 41:30
- 12 Jennifer Gaertner Raleigh America 41:57
- 13 Meghan Korol Bob’s Red Mill 42:22
- 14 Rebecca Blatt Team Kenda 42:44
- 15 Linda Sone Cycle-Smart.com/Flanders 43:01