09 October 2011

US Grand Prix Cyclocross

A muddy day in Fort Collins
Saturday afternoon, on a very cold rainy day, I ventured north to Fort Collins, CO to watch the New Belgium Cup cyclocross race. The race was the second on the calendar of four races in Wisconsin, Colorado, Kentucky, and Oregon comprising the 2011 Exergy Cyclocross US Gran Prix presented by Greenware. That is a long name for a fun event. This was to be the big cyclocross race of the season in Colorado, and I wanted to be there to watch some of the best racers in the nation compete.
Perfect cyclocross weather
When you hear that phrase expect rain or snow, cold and lots of mud. Yesterday was perfect cyclocross weather in an open field in southern Fort Collins 1.5 hours north of Denver, CO. As usual, it is tons of fun to be a fan at a cyclocross race. Even the fans got sprayed with mud as we were slipping and sliding in the mud along the barriers. All Photos by PedalDancer.com
The riders begin looking like this:
Jeremy Powers at the start line
And finish looking like this:
Jeremy Powers riding to the finish line
Some images from the day (please add 40 degree temperatures and rain to set the mood): All photos by PedalDancer.com  click any image to enlarge
Jamey Driscoll
Jamey Driscoll checks out his bike pre-race with his cold mechanic
After the call-ups to the start line for the top riders, the waiting began
Ryan Trebon
Ryan told Tim that I was trying to take his picture, so Tim tried to look as tall as Ryan
Tim Johnson
Jamey Driscoll
Jeremy Powers had an official Rapha umbrella holder, not sure why, because he got wet and muddy anyway
Jake Wells and Cody Kaiser
Behind the start line waited the field of elite male racers
4:00pm start time
Ryan Trebon
The line up: Barry Wicks, Zach Mcdonald, Christian Heule, Geoff Kabush, Jamey Driscoll, Jeremy Powers, Timothy Johnson, Ryan Trebon,
start the engines
Jeremy Powers
Geoff Kabush
Jamey Driscoll
Robin Eckmann
Evan Guthrie
It got muddier on every lap
Jeremy Powers leads Ryan Trebon
Troy Wells
Ross Holbrook
Of course the fans stayed and cheered in the cold and rain
Jamey Driscoll chasing Yannick Eckmann
fly over
more laps, more fun, more cheering, more beer
hardy cyclocross fans
and the first signs of exhaustion
Jamey Driscoll
Zach Mcdonald
bike change please!
much better, a new clean bike helps a lot
the last efforts as nearly 1 hour of hard cold racing comes to an end
Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski
Tim Johnson
Cody Kaiser
56:07 minutes of racing and Ryan Trebon comes in for an easy win
Ryan Trebon takes the win
Followed by Geoff Kabush
and Jeremy Powers
Race Results Day 1 (Saturday):
  • 1. Ryan Trebon, (USA) LTS, 56:07:00
  • 2. Geoff Kabush, (CAN) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain, at 24
  • 3. Jeremy Powers, (USA) Rapha-Focus, at 58
  • 4. James Driscoll, (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com, at 2:08
  • 5. Yannick Eckmann, (GER) Pearl Izumi-Shimano, s.t.
  • 6. Chris Sheppard, (CAN), at 2:25
  • 7. Troy Wells, (USA) Team Clif Bar, at 2:34
  • 8. Ben Berden, (BEL) Ops Ale-Clement, at 2:49
  • 9. Christian Heule, (SUI) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com, at 3:07
  • 10. Barry Wicks, (USA) Kona, at 3:18
  • 11. Zach Mcdonald, (USA) Rapha-Focus, at 3:26
  • 12. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, (USA), at 3:26
  • 13. Timothy Johnson, (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com, at 3:59
Race Reports by Brian Holcombe at VeloNews: 
After the race, I attended a large dinner party in Boulder, where I was asked, "what is cyclocross?" They were serious. So I began gently, "it is bike racing in the winter, the bikes look like beefed-up road bikes. They ride over pavement, dirt, wood, and grass. They carry their bikes, they run with their bikes, they jump over things and they ride in between." I realized this boring description was doing the fun sport of cyclocross no justice, so I changed gears, "remember when you were a child and the neighborhood kids would gather to ride bikes and play in the local construction lot and make jumps with wood and ride around a course one after another? Well cyclocross is like that - for adults. Plus it is a fantastic spectator sport!"
I nearly thought this was to be my transportation home after the race when the parking lot turned into a huge mud rally with cars stuck everywhere, luckily I got mine out.