Trebon rolls dice for 5th in Vegas
LAS VEGAS — Ryan Trebon (LTS/Felt) gambled on a late-race pursuit of two-time world champion Bart Wellens in the closing laps of Cross Vegas Wednesday night and ended up fifth in a race won by Dutch wunderkind Lars van Der Haar (Rabobank).
The men’s race featured a field stacked with European talent led by Belgian superstar Wellens and his countryman and Telenet-Fidea teammate Rob Peeters. Five-time Swiss national champ Christian Huele, Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld’s latest signing, was on hand for his first U.S. race this season. Rabobank riders Bart Aernouts of Belgium and U23 World Champion van Der Haar of The Netherlands joined them in the front row at the start, while Italian Fabio Ursi (C.S.Esercito) and Denmark’s Joachim Parbo (Challenge Tires) slotted into the second row.
North American cyclocross stars Jeremy Powers (Team Rapha-Focus), Tim Johnson (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld) and Jonathan Page (Planetbike/blue) filled out the front row. Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld) and Trebon lined up in row two with current U.S. National Champion Todd Wells (Specialized) and Oregon favorite Barry Wicks (Kona). Of the Portland riders, Sean Babcock (Kona) started in row 4, Aaron Tuckerman (Corsa Concepts) started 10 rows back and Molly Cameron (MetaFilter) started near the back of the 100+ rider pack of Elite men.
The fast, grass course with barriers, steps and swirling turns had been soaked with a few days of rain earlier, but the skies at least dried out for the season’s first big pro cyclocross race, which is run in conjunction with the Interbike trade show invading Vegas all week.
Peeters jumped to the initial lead after a brief run though a small starting loop, but Trebon showed he was there to race and soon surged to the front, setting a breakneck pace as the field strung out in a long single-file line behind him. He shared time in the front group with Huele, Peeters, Danny Summerhill (Garmin-Cervelo), Aernouts, Johnson, Powers, Page, Wellens, Zach McDonald (Team Rapha-Focus) and Belgian Ben Berden (Stoemper), all part of a 14 rider lead bunch that was distancing itself from the spread out field.
Wellens was first to launch an attack from there and quickly brought Powers, Aernouts, van Der Haar, Heule and Peeters along with him. Trebon bridged across to the dangerous group and soon went to the very front, leading the race with five laps to go. Driscoll and Johnson bridged next, along with McDonald, Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) and Wells, bringing the lead group back to more than a dozen riders with a huge gap over the rest.
Attacks from Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld riders Huele and Johnson set up a move by their teammate Driscoll, who held a slight advantage over hard-charging Trebon and Powers with three laps to go. Wellens soon picked up the chase, followed by Johnson, Powers, Peeters, Heule, Trebon, van Der Haar and Wells, with Kabush and McDonald just hanging off the back of the group.
Wellens reached Driscoll and passed him with about two laps to go. Driscoll tried to chase but couldn’t keep the former world champion’s pace, eventually dangling in front the next group containing Powers, Trebon, Aernouts, Huele and Wellens’ teammate Peeters.
Trebon went to the head of the group to pull back Wellens in the final two laps but found little help from the remaining riders in the lead chase group. Trebon, towing along the rest of the select group, made contact with Driscoll and soon narrowed Wellens’ lead to just six seconds with one lap to go. He closed the gap completely and brought things back together for the leaders early in the final lap.
Attacks surged off the front throughout the finalè, but when nothing stuck, Peeters went to the front and nailed the pace for the last quarter of a lap until his fellow Europeans sprinted around him and into to the lead in the closing meters, with van Der Haar taking with win from Huele in a photo finish. Peeters just missed second and settled for third ahead of Powers. Trebon trailed for fifth.
Nash repeats win in women’s race
Butler, the only Oregonian in the women’s race, started in the first row surrounded by the usual suspects of North American ‘cross, including Luna’s Katerina Nash and Georgia Gould, California Giant’s Meredith Miller, Crankbrothers’ Amy Dombroski and LadiesFirst rider Andrea Smith. French champion Caroline Mani (CC Etupes) and Belgian rider Joyce Vanderbeken (Cycling Team Vermeeren) filled out the front row.
Mani used an impressive turn of speed to grab the hole shot, but Butler took the lead early into the first lap. The Luna duo of Nash and Gould soon rode off the front of the group and built a 10-second advantage by the end of the first lap. Butler found herself in the first chasing group of five, including Dombroksi, Lea Davison (Specialized), Nicole Duke (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld) and Kelli Emmett (Giant Bicycles). Miller joined the chase on lap two, bringing their numbers to six, but the Luna duo kept the pressure on at the front.
Nash opened a gap over Gould on the third lap when the latter struggled with her pedal on a remount. The chase behind then exploded, while Butler experienced breathing problems and slipped out of the first chase group. Nash poured it on and soon built a gap of 20 seconds as Gould dropped back into the chase group with Emmett, Dombroski and Miller.
The diminutive Czech eventually won her second consecutive Cross Vegas by 30 seconds over Dombroski, who surged out of the chasing group at the finish. Emmett hung on for third ahead of Miller. Gould settled for fifth. Butler finished outside the top 10.
1. Lars van Der Haar (Rabobank)
2. Christian Huele (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld)
3. Rob Peeters (Telent-Fidea)
4. Jeremy Powers (Team Rapha-Focus)
*5. Ryan Trebon (LTS/Felt)
1. Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team)
2. Amy Dombroski (Crankbrothers)
3. Kelli Emmett (Giant Bicycles)
4. Meredith Miller (Cal Giant/Specialized)
5. Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team)
*17. Sue Butler (River City Bicycles/Ridley)