USGP CX Race #7

By Colin Meagher

There’s just one race remaining in the 2010 USGP CX series after Saturday’s race in Portland, OR, and things are getting very interesting. Georgia Gould wrapped up the women’s overall for the series, despite losing out to teammate Katerina Nash in a final sprint, while Cannondale’s Jeremy Powers ripped the leader’s jersey off teammate Tim Johnson’s back. Day two promises to be a doozy.

Chris Mathis lubing up the wheels on the Luna Chix race machine of Katerina Nash, Georgia Gould, and Amy Dombroski.

Chris Mathis lubing up the wheels on the Luna Chix race machine of Katerina Nash, Georgia Gould, and Amy Dombroski.

Portland ‘Cross racing is a thing of beauty. The tracks are always creative, and even on the worst days the crowds are rabid. It may not be on the scale of what we see in Europe, but it’s a damn fine time, and having the final two races of the USGP series held here is a great cap to the 2010 season.

Women’s Elite race: The Luna riders made the selection near the end of the first lap and essentially rode away from the rest of the field. Working together, series leader Georgia Gould and Katerina Nash put a serious damper onto anyone else’s hope for a top step, and forced the rest of the elites to brawl for third place. That spot was looking like a lock for Meredith Miller until an errant bit of broken course tape wound ‘round her bike like a shrink wrapper. Sometimes you have a good race; sometimes you have a bad race. And sometimes, shit just happens. Unfortunately, Miller walked through door number three, allowing Portland’s Sue Butler to bring home the bacon, so to speak, and seize third on the day. Miller eventually worked her way up to fifth—good enough to move up to second overall in the series.

The Luna riders came over the final barricades and into the finishing straight with Katerina Nash in the front, Gould a second or two back; and with the finish line in sight, never mind team camaraderie: Nash wanted the win, regardless of who was on her wheel. And take it she did, although Gould’s second place earned enough points to seal the series win.

Men’s Elite Race: With six races of the series in the bag, and two to go, barring a catastrophic melt down of some kind, only Jeremy Powers or Tim Johnson could win the overall series title. Heading into this race, Johnson had the lead, but bad legs for Johnson meant Powers had a chance to shine, and shine he did, despite Ryan Trebon’s best effort—the Kona rider once again fell victim to bad luck. Trebon was dishing it out to Powers, but he was forced to exit stage left after his rear derailleur was sucked into the spokes just before he came through the finish area with two laps to go. With that sort of mechanical, and no title on the line, Trebon opted to exit stage left vs. take a thirtieth place.

Behind him, local talent, Chris Jones, was proving that his second lap attack wasn’t just a show for locally based team sponsor (Rapha), and was holding his own in third place against a field that included the likes of Tim Johnson, Geoff Kabush, Canadian National Champ Chris Shepard and Jamie Driscoll. With Trebon out, Jones claimed second, while Johnson managed to find the legs to take third.

With just one race left in the series, and barely any points separating Powers from Johnson, day two promises to be a knock-down drag-out battle, teammates be damned.

With fries like this, not even British ex-pat Gary Wolff, director of Rocky Mountain-Maxxis, can resist digging in.

With fries like this, not even British ex-pat Gary Wolff, director of Rocky Mountain-Maxxis, can resist digging in.

From the gun, Luna was in control, with Gould taking the hole shot and Katerina Nash within striking range. By the end of lap one, they had left the rest in their wake.

From the gun, Luna was in control, with Gould taking the hole shot and Katerina Nash within striking range. By the end of lap one, they had left the rest in their wake.

It ain't 'Cross racing without bells. And it ain't Portland 'Cross without some evidence of Portland's Cross Crusade making an appearance.

It ain't 'Cross racing without bells. And it ain't Portland 'Cross without some evidence of Portland's Cross Crusade making an appearance.

Deep into the race it was still Gould leading out Nash on a rapidly drying race course.

Deep into the race it was still Gould leading out Nash on a rapidly drying race course.

Leaving Sue Butler to establish herself solidly in third.

Leaving Sue Butler to establish herself solidly in third.

Wendy Simms, reigning SSCXWC winner--with the ink somewhere under that skin suit to prove it--was holding down the chase group.

Wendy Simms, reigning SSCXWC winner--with the ink somewhere under that skin suit to prove it--was holding down the chase group.

With only a third of the race to go, Nash was taking stronger and longer pulls off the front.

With only a third of the race to go, Nash was taking stronger and longer pulls off the front.

Bell lap for Meredith Miller after a rough one.

Bell lap for Meredith Miller after a rough one.

Teammates yes, but there were no gifts today; Nash edges out Gould on the finishing straight.

Teammates yes, but there were no gifts today; Nash edges out Gould on the finishing straight.

The hand that cranks the bolts that make the Cannondale machine go 'round; Troy Laffey, tool in hand, pondering the race to come.

The hand that cranks the bolts that make the Cannondale machine go 'round; Troy Laffey, tool in hand, pondering the race to come.

The green and black of the Cannondale racing machine may own the overall title, but ''local'' boy Ryan Trebon was NOT going to let today's race go to the east coast, taking the hole shot and working hard to dominate.

The green and black of the Cannondale racing machine may own the overall title, but ''local'' boy Ryan Trebon was NOT going to let today's race go to the east coast, taking the hole shot and working hard to dominate.

The sun may have been shining, and the course may have dried out in some places since the women's race, but that didn't mean the men weren't getting a taste of classic Portland racing.

The sun may have been shining, and the course may have dried out in some places since the women's race, but that didn't mean the men weren't getting a taste of classic Portland racing.

Even though the course was drying out, running some sections was still the faster route.

Even though the course was drying out, running some sections was still the faster route.

It's not every day you see a Tour de France rider banging bars in the mud; Chris Horner taking a traditional approach to the barricades behind someone with some mountain bike chops.

It's not every day you see a Tour de France rider banging bars in the mud; Chris Horner taking a traditional approach to the barricades behind someone with some mountain bike chops.

Cannondale's 8-ball rider, Tim Johnson just did NOT have the legs today. ''Oh man, I was in my own little pain cave out there...'' Credit Johnson with a refusal to cave in that rewarded him with third place on the day, even though he was forced to give up the leader's jersey after the race.

Cannondale's 8-ball rider, Tim Johnson just did NOT have the legs today. ''Oh man, I was in my own little pain cave out there...'' Credit Johnson with a refusal to cave in that rewarded him with third place on the day, even though he was forced to give up the leader's jersey after the race.

Trebon looked to be cruising as he tip toed over the barricades the Powers was bunny-hopping, but he was forced out of the race not 20 seconds later as he snapped off a rear derailleur on the straight.

Trebon looked to be cruising as he tip toed over the barricades the Powers was bunny-hopping, but he was forced out of the race not 20 seconds later as he snapped off a rear derailleur on the straight.

Canadian National Champ and full time dad, Chris Sheppard, was looking strong most of the race but faded in the closing lap. ''I wish I could race tomorrow, but I got diapers to change back in Bend.''

Canadian National Champ and full time dad, Chris Sheppard, was looking strong most of the race but faded in the closing lap. ''I wish I could race tomorrow, but I got diapers to change back in Bend.''

J-Pow was high fiving all the way down the finishing straight as he claimed the win, the overall lead and bragging rights over teammate Tim Johnson.

J-Pow was high fiving all the way down the finishing straight as he claimed the win, the overall lead and bragging rights over teammate Tim Johnson.


Course setting for day two... ''Oh yeah, it's gonna be nasty. I mean look at the 'run up; way too many elites were able to ride that. So we have to make Day 2's course harder.''

Course setting for day two... ''Oh yeah, it's gonna be nasty. I mean look at the 'run up; way too many elites were able to ride that. So we have to make Day 2's course harder.''

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