THROWBACK THURSDAY, 2008: PREVIEWING THE U.S. GRAN PRIX OF CYCLOCROSS
When Louisville, Kentucky played host to a premier 'cross race
Cyclocross season is now in full swing and this weekend marks the first race of The Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross, The series is celebrating its fifth year as the six-race series kicks off in Louisville, Kentucky. The Papa John’s Derby City Cup will be held October 24-25 and will feature North America’s top racers. Before the races start Road Bike Action takes a closer look at some of the riders likely to feature in the series.
In 2007 Tim Johnson who races for the Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com team captured his second U.S. national cyclocross championship repeating his 2000 success. In 2006 Johnson finished the season without landing outside the top-four in any cyclocross race he entered. Johnson might be the most versatile rider on the US cyclocross circuit. When he is not racing cross he is captain of the Health Net/Maxxis professional cycling team.
Powers is the second half of the powerful Cannondale-cyclocrosworld.com team and in 2008 has become the rider to beat on the North American circuit. His dominating performances have lifted him to fifth place in the UCI Cyclocross standings. Powers progression to the top of the North American cyclocross scene has been steady. In 2007 Powers won the NBX Grand Prix, The first round of U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross, round two of the Cross Verge Mac Series and the first round of Gran Prix of Gloucester. At only 25-years-old, Powers will be a force for years to come.
While Well’s main focus is mountain bike racing for Team GT, (Specialized in 2009) he has become a force on the North American cyclocross circuit. In cyclocross, Wells won the 2001 and 2005 US Cycling Cyclocross National Championships. Aside from his two cyclocross championships Todd Wells has also won the National Championship Mountain Bike Short Track Title, and the 1995 and 1996 Collegiate Mountain Bike Titles. Wells was also a member of the USA Olympic Mountain Bike Team.
Jonathan Page is America’s top European based cyclocross rider. Based out of Oudenaarde, Belgium he finished second at the 2007 world cyclocross championships. Page also won the US National Championship in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Page rarely races in the United States but usually returns for the National Championships. When Page is on form he is one of the best cyclocross racers in the world.
Ryan Trebon is the 2006 National Cyclocross Champion as well as the 2006 and 2004 U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross series champion. In 2006 Trebon also captured the US National Mountain Bike Championship. In doing so Trebon became the first American male to hold national titles in both mountain biking and cyclocross in the same year. Trebon is arguable the most powerful rider on the North American circuit. The Kona team rider stands at 6′ 6′ and excels on fast power courses.
Kona rider Barry Wicks is the 2005 US Gran Prix overall champion and along with teammate Ryan Trebon make up one of the most powerful teams on the North American circuit. Along with his 2005 US Gran Prix title, Wicks is also won the US National Short Track mountain bike title in 2006. Wicks is again set to compete on both the mountain bike and cyclocross circuits.
Katie Compton has become the dominant rider on the North American circuit. Compton has won the US Cyclocross National Championship every year since 2004. In 2007 Compton became the first American woman medal in the cyclocross world championships by placing second. Compton is also the only American woman to win a World Cup cyclocross race when she won the 2007 race in Pijnacker, Netherlands.
Known more for mountain biking Georgia Gould was one of the few riders able to challenge Katie Compton during the 2006 and 2007 cyclocross seasons. A member of the Luna Chix mountain bike team, Gould won the 2006 NORBA cross-country national championship. In March 2007, Gould won the gold medal at the mountain bike Pan American Continental Championships. In 2007 Gould became only the second woman to sweep the NMBS, formerly known as the NORBA series. Juli Furtado swept the NORBA series in 1993.
Kona rider Wendy Simms is a three time Canadian National Champion and a fixture on the North American cyclocross and mountain bike circuits. Simms won her first Canadian National title in 2004 and repeated it in 2005. After finishing second in 2006, Simms again won the Canadian national title in 2007. Simms is currently ranked number in the UCI Cyclocross standings
2007 was Rachel Lloyd’s first full season of racing since 2004. Since her return she has placed second at the 2007 US national cyclocross championships. Along with her second-place finish at nationals, Lloyd picked up a sixth-place overall in the 2007 U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross series. 2007 also saw Lloyd take a surprise win at the US National Super D title.