Wednesday, December 31, 2008

WSBA Releases 2009 Race Schedule

The Washington State Bicycle Association has posted a preliminary 2009 race schedule.

Racing is scheduled to begin Sunday, Feb. 22, at the Frostbite time Trial. The Ice Breaker Time Trial will follow the next Sunday, March 1. Mass-start road racing begins the next weekend with the Mason Lake Road Race #1 on Saturday, March 7, and Tour de Dung Race #1 on Sunday, March 8.

See the WSBA preliminary 2009 race schedule HERE.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

USA Cycling Names Portland's Sue Butler To Women's World Championship Squad

Portland race fans got an early Christmas present when local pro Sue Butler made the list of USA Cycling's choices for the United States National Team at the 2009 Cyclocross World Championships.

Five riders were named to each of the elite women’s, U23 men’s and junior men’s squads based on competitive performances over the course of the last year. The elite men’s nominations will be announced Jan. 14 following the next round of the UCI Cyclocross World Cup in Belgium.

Butler (pictured), who rides for, earned one of the three discretionary nominations to the five-member elite women’s team. She will be joined by Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo./Spike), Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo./Luna), Rachel Lloyd (Fairfax, Calif./California Giant-Specialized) and Laura Van Gilder (Cresco, Pa./C3-Sollay).

The World Championships will take place in Hoogerheide, Netherlands, Jan. 31-Feb. 1.

U23 Men
Nick Weighall (Millcreek, Wash.)
Nicholas Keough (Sandwich, Mass.)
Daniel Summerhill (Englewood, Colo.)
Bjorn Selander (Hudson, Wis.)
Will Dugan (Burlington, Vt.)

Junior Men
Luke Keough (Sandwich, Mass.)
Zach McDonald (Bainbridge Island, Wash.)
Gavin Mannion (Dedham, Mass.)
Eric Emsky (Fall City, Wash.)
Chris Wallace (Shawnee, Kan.)

North American 'Crossers Climbing In Europe

Despite a few notable setbacks, our men and women from the states continue to steadily climb the 'cross ladder in Europe's big pond.

Despite being involved in a nasty crash that bloodied his knee during the start of the Noordzeecross at Middelkerke, Belgium, Dec. 29, Bend's Ryan Trebon (Kona) fought his way back to 15th in a race won by Belgian Champion Sven Nys. Vanilla Bicycles rider Molly Cameron of Portland (pictured) had the best result of his season's European crusade, crossing the line at Middelkerke in 25th. American Jonathan Page, whose season is unfortunately up in the air because of missed drug test, took fourth, and rider Jeremy Powers came in seventh. Powers followed it up the next day with a 13th place finish at Loenhout, Belgium.

Trebon and Powers, housemates during their Belgian battles, will head to Alicante, Spain, before returning north for the world cup round in Roubaix, France, Jan. 18 and eventually the world championships Feb. 1 in Hoogerheide, The Netherlands.


Noordzeecross at Middelkerke, Belgium, Dec. 29
4. Jonathan Page (Planet Bike)
7. Jeremy Powers (Cannondale/
15. Ryan Trebon (Kona)
25. Molly Cameron (Vanilla Bicycles)
32. Jamie Driscoll (Cannondale/
39. David Quist

Azencross Loenhout at Loenhout, Belgium, Dec. 30

2. Katie Compton
5. Rachel Lloyd (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized)
9. Georgia Gould (Luna)
15. Sue Butler (Monavie-Cannondale)
34. Christine Vardaros

13. Jeremy Powers (
39. Brian Matter
43. Troy Wells (Clif Bar)
52. Matt Shriver

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Emerging From The Snow Banks

Well, the blog has faced an extended stagnant period brought about by a rare Northwest Oregon snowstorm that dumped about three feet of powder on my currently impassible driveway (at about 1,000 feet of elevation). That wasn't necessarily a problem. The real drag was the four-day power outage covering the holidays. It was definitely an old-timey Christmas here. But now Oregon Cycling Action is back in ... uh ... action.

It might take a while to get my sh#t back together (it was once?), but I'll soon be posting some photos of my version of the ARCTIC BLAST.

By the way, shoveling snow is great cross training.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cyclo "Right" Cross, Followed By An Upper Cut

I've gotta admit, when I first read the following on Todd Wells' blog post about the U.S. National Cyclocross Championships in Kansas City, I thought maybe it was a joke:
"Hear that Myerson and Baker got in a fist fight out on the course. Didn't get to see it but I heard it happened right in front of Proctor and Gully. Saw Page's mechanic get jumped by two guys right after the race and punched in the face multiple times after being tackled on a bunch of Richard Sachs bikes."
But then I read the same damn thing on, which posted a photo of the scuffle. And apparently there's video coming. And Richard Sachs is threatening a lawsuit. Oh my!

This should certainly help endear the sport to a more mainstream American audience. I foresee a big fat broadcasting deal with Versus next year. They love this kind of thing on that network. Mixed Martial Arts Cyclocross ... ... hmmmmm!

Classic Video: A Mechanic In Panic ...

This epic battle for the 1985 Paris-Roubaix title features a showdown for third between mud-covered Sean Kelly and Greg Lemond.

You'll hear the dulcimer tones (and tunes) of John Tesh's commentary and background music, and don't forget to pay attention to this video's best Liggettism: "A mechanic in panic is not a good one ..."


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Trebon, Gould Take Season-Long Cyclocross Series

With his win in the Elite Men's race at the U.S. National Cyclocross Championships last weekend in Kansas City, Ryan Trebon (Kona) of Bend also sealed the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Calendar series title..

Jeremy Powers of Hadley, Mass., finished second in the season-long standings with 479 points, while his teammate Tim Johnson, Middleton, Mass., was third.

Luna Mountain Bike Team pro Georgia Gould of Fort Collins, Colo., who came in second-place at the national championships, earned the Elite Women's USA Cycling Cyclocross National Calendar overall crown with 289 total points.

C3-Sollay rider Laura Van Gilder of Cresco, Pa., came in second in the standings with 234 points, while Rachel Lloyd (Giant Berry Farms) of Fairfax, Calif., was third. Spike rider Katie Compton of Colorado Springs, Colo., won her fifth consecutive Elite Women's title on Sunday, which moved her into fourth place in the domestic standings.

The final standings after all 40 contests on the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Calendar:

Men's Standings
1. Ryan Trebon (Bend, Ore.) 620
2. Jeremy Powers (Hadley, Mass.) 479
3. Tim Johnson (Middleton, Mass.) 461
4. Jamey Driscoll (Jericho, Vt.) 460
5. Todd Wells (Durango. Colo.) 437

Women's Standings
1. Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo.) 289
2. Laura Van Gilder (Cresco, Pa.) 234
3. Rachel Lloyd (Fairfax, Calif.) 206
4. Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo.) 200
5. Maureen Bruno-Roy (Arlington, Mass.) 193

Versus Ready To Broadcast Tour Down Under

As advertised on the website for the Tour Down Under, the Australian race is your "chance to see Lance ... who in 2009 will compete in Adelaide for the first time in his comeback race. Don't miss the opportunity to see the 7-time Tour de France winner doing what he does best."

Unless you're planning a trip south early next year, you may have to settle for the taped 1/2 hour summaries provided each day by Versus.

The network announced its broadcast schedule for the Tour Down Under, which begins Sunday, Jan. 18, and runs through Jan. 24. Versus will broadcast a 30-minute highlight show each of the first five days of the race. The final stage Jan. 24 will be streamed live on Versus’ Web site, and a one-hour highlight show will air the following day.

(Pacific time)
1-1:30 p.m. - Sunday, Jan. 18
1:30-2 p.m. - Tuesday, Jan. 20
1:30-2 p.m. - Wednesday, Jan. 21
1:30-2 p.m. - Thursday, Jan. 22
1:30-2 p.m. - Friday, Jan. 23
No0n-1 p.m. - Saturday, Jan. 24
2-3 p.m. - Sunday, Jan. 25

Hat Tip to, which also reported that NBC may outbid Versus for rights to televise the Giro d'Italia.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Get Some National Championships Video

Here's some video of the Elite women's and men's races at the U.S. National Cyclocross Championships in Kansas City on Sunday. From the good folks at ... ...

There are more videos HERE, including both days of the USGP Portland Cup Dec. 6-7.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Trebon Powers To National Championship

(UPDATED BELOW With More Oregon Rider Results)

Bend's Ryan Trebon (pictured here at the USGP #5) won the Elite Men's race of the U.S. National Cyclocross Championships today in Kansas City.

Trebon (Kona), who a week ago won the Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross #6 in Portland, finished ahead of's Jamey Driscoll in second and third-placed Johnathan Page (Planet Bike), a three-time national champion who races mostly in Europe.

Trebon previously won the Elite Men's U.S. Cyclocross National Championship in 2006. Tim Johnson (, who won the USGP #5 in Portland and the overall series crown, won the national championship race in 2007.

1. Ryan Trebon (Kona)
2. Jamey Driscoll (
3. Jonathan Page (Planet Bike)
4. Jesse Anthony (Jamis)
5. Tim Johnson


1. Katie Compton (Spike Shooter)
2. Georgia Gould (Luna)
3. Rachel Lloyd (California Giant Berry Farms)
4. Laura Van Gilder (C3 Sollay)
5. Amy Dombroski (Velo Bella-Kona)

13. WICKS, Barry, Corvallis (Kona)
16. TONKIN, Erik, Portland (Kona)
17. WORAS, Solomon, Winthrop, WA (Vanilla Bicycles)
27. DECKER, Carl, Bend (Broadmark)
28. CAMERON, Molly, Portland (Vanilla Bicycles)
34. BABCOCK, Sean Corvallis (Team S&M)
54. HULICK, Kevin, Portland (Gentle Lovers)
61. YEATER, Davy, Portland (River City Bicycles)

9. BUTLER, Sue, Portland (
12. MAZZA, Rhonda, Portland (Vanilla/Team S&M)
13. WILLIAMS, Wendy, Portland (River City Bicycles)
18. VAN METER, Emily, Portland (River City Bicycles)
34. FLAHERTY, Colleen, Portland (Veloce)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Veloce's Sheagley Third In Kansas City

Portlander Eric Sheagley (Veloce-Felt) took third today in the Men's Masters 35-39 age-graded division at the U.S. Cyclocross National Championships in Kansas City.

Oregon Bicycle Racing Association state cyclocross champion Kevin Hulik just missed the podium, coming across the line in fourth. Sheagley finished 1.21 behind winner Brandon Dwight (Boulder Cycle Sport). Hulik was 2.24 behind.

Sheagley (pictured here at the Kruger's Crossing race on Sauvie's Island) is the OBRA Men's Masters champion in the time trial (35-39), the criterium (30-39) and the track 1k TT (35-39) at Alpenrose Velodrome.

Sheagley's podium place follows on the heels of Friday's win by OBRA member Wendy Williams (40-44) and a second place finish by her River City Teammate Emily VanMeter (30-34).

Find A more complete list of Pacific Northwest finishers HERE.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Wendy Williams Scores National Championship

OBRA's own Wendy Williams won the Women's 40-44 National Cyclocross Championship Friday in Kansas City.

Williams (pictured here racing at the Washington County Fairgrounds) was also winner of Oregon's eight-race 2008 Cross Crusade series and Portland's unsanctioned Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships in 2007. She rides for River City Bicycles.

Emily VanMeter, Williams' River City teammate, earned the silver medal in the Women's 30-34 race, which was won by Maureen Bruno-Roy (MM Racing p/b Seven Cycles). VanMetter finished second in this year's Cross Crusade series.

The U.S. Cyclocross National Championships began Thursday and continues through Sunday, when the country's Elite men and women will compete for their titles. The same riders who battled this weekend in Portland at the U.S. Gran Prix will be vying for the chance to wear the stars-and-stripes jersey next season.

In the Elite Men's race, Bend's Ryan Trebon will be hoping to win back the title he earned in 2006 but lost to Tim Johnson in 2007. In the Elite Women's race, Sue Butler, who took third and fourth in last weekend's USGP races, will be trying for a podium spot.

Dave Zabriskie's Nuts

I'm not sure what to make of this. Any ideas?

OBRA Releases Preliminary 2009 Calendar

Over at Racing with K-Man, Oregon Bicycle Racing Association Director Kenji Sugahara has released an updated version of the "very, very, very preliminary" 2009 OBRA race calendar. From his blog:
"My plan is to update this calendar as we receive more information. I must stress this is a very, very, very preliminary calendar. Many changes will be made as we receive more information and as promoters talk with each other about conflicts. My plan is also to transfer the data to ICAL so folks can import then into their Google or Ical calendars. Please also remember that the correct data will always be found on the OBRA website. If there is a conflict between the ICAL calendar and OBRA calendar- the OBRA calendar is assumed to be always correct."
Check out the preliminary 2009 schedule HERE.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cross Nats For Oregon Next Year?

Don't mark your calendar yet, but Oregon just may host the nation's top cyclocross weekend in 2009.

As first reported at, Cross Crusade promoter and local USGP organizer Brad Ross hinted Sunday that Oregon could be hosting the 2009 National Cyclocross Championships.

"Next year the U.S. National Cyclocross Championships sound very much like it's going to potentially be in this state," he told the cheering crowd gathered for the USGP awards ceremony Sunday evening at Portland International raceway.

CX Magazine reports that Bend has put in the Oregon bid. broke the news that there are actually two bids from the Pacific Northwest.

"Another bid has been submitted from eastern Washington, giving the Pacific Northwest a strong chance of hosting the national championships next year," according to the website.

Can't Wait!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wells, Wells, Lookie Here What I Found At Dante's

Cyclocrossing brothers Todd and Troy Wells had some interesting things to say on their blogs about last weekend's Portland races. Their posts also provide a small glimpse into life as a world class cyclist, including a post-race visit to Dante's in downtown Portland.

From Troy's blog "Tdub":
About Saturday's race ... "Portland is normally a good race for me but yesterday just didn't seem to be my day. I just couldn't get going. I was in suffering the entire race and going nowhere. I don't even think I was in the top 20. Every part of my body was hurting, but I hope I can turn it around today and put in a solid ride heading into nationals. ... it is still not raining here, which is amazing. Normally it rains from the time I get off the plane until I get back on in Portland."
--- --- ---
"Sunday night ended up being a fun night. Alison came down and watched the race and hung out. We had a large crew including Mcduff, Jpows, Timmy J, Treefarm, Kira, Salam, Simon, The Jacques-Maynes, and Meredith. We went to Treefarm's favorite place in Portland, Dante's. It is crazy there. You see some stuff you definitely don't see everyday, that's all I'm going to say. It was a lot of fun for everyone, including powers, even though at first he wasn't really feeling it. Todd and I flew out around 11 on Monday got back to dtown by 5."
Big brother Todd also discussed his weekend:
"I had a sweet white skinsuit that was covered with mud after about 1 minute of racing, and I spent the day with a look of agony painted on my face for the entire race. Not sure why it wasn't happening for me but it was just one of those days. Crashing into Wicks after he crashed at the start didn't help, and getting my bike stuck on Sheps as a result wasn't that great either. Neither made much of a difference though as I was destined to spend the day in the hurt locker."
But it was his mini rant about the USADA changes to its out-of-competition testing protocols that provided the most interesting look into an elite cyclists' life and the negative effects the dopers have on all cyclists. From Todd's blog:
"The big change for 09 is that you must provide USADA with a 1 hour window every day of the year for being tested. Now not only do you have to tell them where you are every day, but you must be at a certain location for 1 hour each day, so if they show up to test you during that hour and your dog got sick so you took him to the vet and didn't update your whereabouts form, you will get a missed test, of which you are only allowed 3 in an 18 month period. You can change your hour for that day anytime previous to it, but if you are constantly changing your time and/or location you will be targeted for additional testing b/c you will be deemed trying to avoid the testers.

"Now if you work a normal job you know where you will be most of the time for at least 5 days of the week, but I'm betting most people in this testing pool don't work a normal job. Do you know where you will be every hour of every day 3 months in advance? And would you remember to update all this information anytime you may wake up early and go for coffee instead of being at home waiting to be tested by USADA out of competition, which by the way, happens about 1 or 2 times a year?

"There has to be an easier way to do this. I would rather have a tracking device injected into my body like some Will Smith cyber movie so they can track me all the time then try to predict where I am going to be hour by hour 3 months in advance or remember to update it if it changes but not too often or I will be targeted.

"Whaaahwhaaah, things can always be worse.
Things can always be worse, true, but Wells' post reveals that the dopers have become a cancer that's infiltrated the life of every rider, clean or dirty. You have to wonder if overzealous efforts by the USADA are futile or if they really will lead to a cure."

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What Do The Nation's Top Pros Think About Cyclocross Portland Style? FUNTASTIC!

(Click images for larger version)

Reminiscent of the international and domestic pros' glowing reviews of the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic last May, America's top 'crossers seem to relish racing in Portland.

Luna pro and Beijing Olympic mountain biker Georgia Gould, who took second both days of the Portland Cup Dec. 6-7, said the fan support in Portland is a “huge” boost for riders like herself and teammate Katerina Nash.

“Especially at this point in the season,” she said. “For people like me and Katerina, who have been racing since March, the more people who are out there, it can inject some enthusiasm and give you that extra little bit you need to dig deep when it really hurts. So I think every extra person and cowbell, or even some little kid banging on a pot or whatever, it all helps. Absolutely!” pro Jeremy Powers, who races for Jittery Joe's on the road, said the most “Belgianesque” crowds in the States are found in Portland, where the rowdy-yet-knowledgeable fans are known to tip back one or two at the beer garden.

“I love when people come out to the races,” Powers said. “Especially in Portland. Last time there was a drum band and people were dressed up. It sets the bar pretty high.”

Reigning national champion and 2008 USGP winner Tim Johnson (, who said he first raced in Portland in 1997, always enjoys the enthusiastic – and creative – Pacific Northwest crowds.

“The bigger the better,” he said before recalling a USGP race he won in 2006 at the Hillsboro Stadium.

“The course was just sick,” he said. “It was just nasty. There was one especially tough climb, and at the top of it there were people in a hot tub watching – just hanging out. That was great.

“They’re out there racing all day in their categories and then they hang around to support us,” Johnson said. “It makes you want to perform.”

Bend's own Ryan Trebon, the 2006 national champion who will head to Europe for the World Cup races after traveling to Kansas City for this year's nationals, said he enjoys racing so close to home, but it's about more than just the obvious convenience.

"I much prefer racing out here," Trebon said. "When we're out east, there's always a bias for the East Coast riders. I like coming to race in Oregon, where there's a bias toward Oregon riders. I know most of these people, and I think it's the best scene in the country for racing and the best place to live."

As if to emphasize the point, Mother Nature put on a little show of Her own Saturday evening as the day's events wrapped up and PIR's holiday lights flickered to life. Cyclocross is great fun, but the greatest show on Earth puts it all into perspective ...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

USGP Day 2: 'Tree Farm' On Fire, Johnson Cruises To Overall, Nash Gets The Double And The Series

The weather on Day 2 of the Crank Brothers US Gran Prix of Cyclocross Portland Cup Presented by Stanley was, to say the least, a bit wetter than Day 1, but the racing was just as fierce.

RELATED: Preview / Day 1 Results / Day 1 Report / Day 2 Results


(click images for larger version)

Beijing Olympian Katerina Nash (Luna) overcame the mud on Day 2 to sweep the Portland Cup. Nash was gone from the gun and never looked back. Her weekend effort was enough to seize the Elite Women's overall prize from teammate Georgia Gould.

Gould, who also rode in last summer's Olympics, was never far behind, taking second both days and slipping to second overall.

Sue Butler (Monavie/Cannondale) enjoyed a podium finish in front of the home crowd, coming in third on Sunday, but she just missed an overall podium spot.

Maureen Bruno-Roy (MM Racing P/B Seven Cycles) and Kelli Emmett (Giant Bicycles) had to deal with the mud and Nash's take-no-prisoners pace. Emmet finished sixth Sunday, and Bruno-Roy followed in seventh.

--- --- ---


Jeremy Powers ( was first up the newly configured run-up at the Portland International Raceway course, but he had to settle for fourth on the day, knocking him from the overall podium.

Beijing Olympic mountain biker Todd Wells (GT Bicycles) got a better start Sunday. He finished second on the day and third overall.

The cream of the American cyclocross crop had already exploded the field by the beginning of the second lap.

Oregon homeboy Ryan "Tree Farm" Trebon (Kona) shook off his Saturday slip and put the hammer down for an impressive win that left a long train of pain behind him. But it wasn't enough to seize the overall.

National Champion Tim Johnson ( took over the series lead with a Saturday win, then sealed it by hanging on for third Sunday.

Trebon may have had to settle for second overall, but he walked away (literally) with the giant check for the day's most aggressive male rider. When you cash that check, does the bank pay you off in large bills?

--- --- ---

USGP Day 2 Results: Trebon, Nash Victorious; Johnson, Nash Take Overall

(click images for larger version)

Elite Men's Overall Podium: Ryan Trebon, Tim Johnson and Todd Wells.

Katerina Nash won the Elite Women's overall by sweeping the Portland races. Nash's pair of weekend wins left the race for the overall a dead heat with her Luna teammate Georgia Gould. Judges gave the three-time Czech Olympian the overall crown because she won the final race.


Elite Women Day 2
1. Katarina Nash (Kona)
2. Georgia Gould (Kona)
3. Sue Butler (Monavie/Cannondale)
4. Rachel Lloyd (California Giant)
5. Wendy Simms (Kona)
6. Kelly Emmett

Elite Men Day 2
1. Ryan Trebon (Kona)
2. Todd Wells (GT Bicycles)
3. Tim Johnson (
4. Jeremy Powers (
5. Troy Wells (Clif)
6. Barry Wicks (Kona)


Elite Women
1. Nash
2. Gould
3. Lloyd

Elite Men
1. Johnson
2. Trebon
3. Wells

U23 Men
1. Nicholas Wayhall
2. Danny Summerhill
3. Adam McGrath


USGP Portland Cup Day 2 Weather Report

What a difference a day makes.

While Saturday's Crank Brothers US Gran Prix of Cyclocross was contested under sunny skies and near 50 degrees, Sunday's outlook looks a bit different. Rain moving in from the northwest should be dumping on Portland International Raceway just in time to completely change the character of the course.

Saturday was fast and furious. Sunday could well be the slopfest the pros expect when they come to the Pacific Northwest in December.

See you there!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Nash Pulls Closer, Johnson Takes USGP Lead

Philosophers like to say that money is the root of all evil. But if you asked Ryan Trebon about that today, he'd probably tell you the root of all evil is at Portland International Raceway.

On a course that was mostly dry and very fast, Oregon's 6'5" Kona pro -- nicknamed "Tree Farm" -- took a header over a tree root in the last half lap of Saturday's Race #5 of the Crank Brothers US Gran Prix of Cyclocross. The slip may have cost Trebon the series.

After struggling all day in a two-on-one battle with the dynamic duo of Jeremy Powers and national champion Tim Johnson, Trebon moved to the front on the last lap and started to wind up his finishing effort.

But he misjudged a hairpin curve nearing the final, paved finish-line stretch and slid out on an exposed tree root. Powers, trailing immediately behind, piled on.

Johnson, who managed to avoid the mess altogether, seized the opportunity and opened up enough of a lead to coast comfortably across the line for the win. Meanwhile, Powers was first back on the bike after the mash-up and cruised in for second, just ahead of a disappointed Trebon.

"We were going into one of those last 180s," Trebon said of his fall. "I picked a line to go on the inside. We were going pretty slow, I wasn't paying attention and I hit a root. I just kind of washed out and Jeremy fell over of me. Then I slid out again in the left-hand 180 right after the second pit."

Powers, who started the day second overall in the series behind Todd Wells and in front of Johnson, his teammate, also may have seen his chances for a series win go down when he fell over Trebon.

"That could have happened to any of us," Powers said. "It's so close to the end of the race, it's like, 'Oh, why is this happening right now,' but that's just racing and there's really nothing you can do about that. You're just out there giving 100 percent."

Johnson, the benefactor of the others' bad luck, said he was looking to set up Powers for the sprint before they fell.

"Jeremy has a really good finishing kick," he said. "So I wanted to make sure I got him onto the pavement in good position. So going into the last half lap I was going to get on the front and drill it as hard as I could. Right when I went inside Ryan slipped out and I got a little gap. That's all I needed."

Todd Wells, who was leading the series after winning Day 2 in Mercer, New Jersey, couldn't hang with Trebon, Johnson and Powers on the fast, dry course, about a third of which was paved. After a bad start Wells finished off the pace in fifth.

Johnson now leads the series with 173 points. Powers and Wells are right behind with 172 points each. Trebon is in fourth with 141 points. Jesse Anthony is in fifth with 136.

The series overall standings will be scored on a best-five-of-six system, and Johnson and Trebon have already dropped one score because of missed races, which means Johnson's one-point series lead over Wells and Powers is actually quite a bit larger than it appears.


Powers pushed the pace early and often, tearing apart the field and shedding everyone but Trebon and Johnson.

Wells, wearing the white jersey of the overall series leader, had a bobble at the start but fought his way to fifth. He ended up losing the jersey to Johnson.

Trebon couldn't escape the the
Cannondale one-two punch of Johnson and Powers.

Sporting the stars and stripes kit of the national champion, Johnson stayed in contact and capitalized when Trebon and Powers went down on the last half lap.

Gould Going For Repeat, But Nash Not Out

In the Elite women's race, series leader Georgia Gould (Luna) joined teammate and runner-up Katerina Nash, Rachel Lloyd (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized), Sue Butler (Monavie/ and Wendy Simms (Kona) to form a five-up group that quickly pulled away from the rest of the field.

Butler and Winfield soon fell off the pace and battled each other all the way to the finish, leaving Lloyd to fend off the two Luna riders on her own. The three riders swapped leads at the front, with Nash and Lloyd seemingly pushing the pace.

Lloyd had no answer when Nash attacked on the last lap. Gould let her teammate ride away to a comfortable win and then polished off Lloyd at the finish by a handful of seconds.

Gould, who won the 2007 series, leads the overall this year with 234 points. Nash is solidly in second with 210. Lloyd remains in third with 172 points, while Butler moved up to fourth with 121.

Under the best-five-of-six scoring system that will determine the series winner, Nash could pull off the overall win from her teammate — but she’ll need some help. She has to win again Sunday and then hope another rider can knock her teammate into third or worse. If the race finishes Sunday with Nash and Gould in first and second, respectively, the Luna pair will be tied on points.


Nash rode at the front for most of the race and was rewarded with a Day 1 win.

Georgia Gould rode to a cool second and kept her series lead.

Lloyd tried pushing the pace but couldn't shed Nash or Gould from the exclusive group.

Butler initially made the lead group but had to settle for fourth.

Simms battled Butler but ended up fifth.

USGP Portland Cup Day 1 Results

(click on images for larger versions)

Day 1 Women's Podium: Rachel Loyd, Katerina Nash, Georgia Gould.

Day 1 Men's Podium: Jeremy Powers, Tim Johnson, Ryan Trebon.

1. Katerina Nash (Luna)
2. Georgia Gould (Luna)
3. Rachel Lloyd (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized)
4. Sue Butler (Monavie/
5. Wendy Simms (Velo Bella/Kona)

1. Tim Johnson (
2. Jeremy Powers (
3. Ryan Trebon (Kona)
4. Jesse Anthony (Jamis)
5. Todd Wells (GT Bicycles)


Friday, December 5, 2008

Top pros, Portland tifosi ready for USGP showdown

When the Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross returns this weekend to Portland International Raceway -- the scene of 2007’s epic finale, when snow, rain and heavy winds battered spectators and riders alike -- you can be sure of only a few things: Mud will fly, beer will be spilled and the series winners will eventually be crowned.

But everything else is up for grabs Saturday and Sunday at the 2008 Portland Cup presented by Stanley, the finale of the three-weekend, six-race series that started Oct. 25-26 in Kentucky.

This time around, the racing is expected to be equally fierce, but the weather should be a little less so, according to KOIN Local 6 meteorologist Bruce Sussman.

“It's going to be a lot drier than last year,” Sussman said. “In fact, Saturday looks dry. Then on Sunday a system from the north will bring some rain at times, but nothing major.”

Fans of the deep mud can hope for a downpour Sunday, Sussman added, but he’s not expecting it.

The course at Portland International Raceway — featured in both the 2007 USGP and the 2004 national championships — includes plenty of trees and roots, and can become quite difficult in foul weather. Brad Ross, promoter of Oregon’s eight-race Cross Crusade series and the USGP’s local organizer, said Berms from a motocross track at the venue may be used as run-ups.

“It’s kind of ‘rolly,’” he said. “It’s not a super physically demanding course with huge climbs or anything. But if it gets muddy it will get very difficult. The pro men and pro women can handle whatever we throw at them. The mud out there, there’s no clay in it. It’s nice mud. You kind of slice through it. It’s not the kind of mud that piles up on your bike and makes it weigh 100 pounds.”


After starting things off with a modest third-place finish on Day 1 of the opening weekend in Kentucky, last year’s elite women’s USGP champion Georgia Gould (Luna) has looked unstoppable in her quest to repeat, racking up three consecutive wins coming into the Portland finale.

Nevertheless, she isn’t taking anything for granted.

“I’m feeling good, and I’ve been racing well,” Gould said. “But I never like to be overconfident. I have a really strong teammate, and there are a lot of other strong women in the field. I’ve found that it’s best not to count anybody out.”

Indeed, Gould's teammate Katerina Nash has been her toughest competition. She finished in the top spot on Day 1 in Kentucky, but has had to settle for second the past three races.

Gould said she and Nash work well together.

“Katerina and I, we race together a lot,” she said. “We are pretty similar in fitness, which is an advantage. We can ride together, and if we do manage to get off the front together, it’s sort of everyone for themselves then. Once you finish racing everyone else, then you’ve got to race each other.”

Under the best-five-of-six scoring system that will determine the series winner, Nash could pull off the overall win — but she’ll need some help. if she wins both races and Gould finishes second the Luna pair will be tied. To win outright, Nash has to win both races and then hope Rachel Loyd (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized), Mo Bruno-Roy (MM Racing/Seven Cycles), Sue Butler (Monavie/ or Deidre Winfield (Velo Bella/Kona) can bump her Luna teammate into third place or worse.


Forecasts for relatively mild weekend weather didn’t necessarily please current national champion Tim Johnson (, who’s sitting third overall in the Elite men’s series behind Todd Wells (GT Bicycles) and Jeremy Powers (

“I like it nasty,” said the Massachusetts native who’s known for his ability to conquer the deepest muck.

Johnson won Day 2 of the series-opening weekend in Kentucky and claimed the overall lead three weeks later with a win on Day 1 in Mercer, New Jersey. But he quickly lost that lead to Day 2 winner Wells when he was unable to start because of bruised knee suffered in the previous day’s win.

Now, he says, the knee is ready to go.

“It’s much better,” Johnson said. “I’ve been riding and training on it recently. It’s a bone bruise, so the pain sticks around a little longer but the damage is already done. It’s just up to me to deal with it.”

Johnson said his hopes for an overall win are buoyed by the series points system, which scores the final overall results on the best five finishes out of the six races. If you look at the series leaders' best three scores out of the past four races, Johnson is leading Wells by three points and Powers by 21.

“Hopefully I can keep things going this weekend,” he said. “I still have a chance if I have two very good days. I can hope for Todd or Jeremy to have a tough day. But Todd is an Olympian and Jeremy is my teammate, so I’m not counting on that. It’s up to me to have a couple of good days.”

Johnson said he also isn’t counting out last year’s USGP overall winner, local favorite Ryan Trebon (Kona). The Bend resident won last year’s finale in Portland despite snow and brutal winds.

“Ryan is one of the most dynamic riders in the states,” Johnson said. “It all depends on whether Super Ryan shows up or just normal, human Ryan.”

And which of the "two" Ryans does Trebon expect to appear this weekend?

"I've been training a lot," he said. "More so to get ready for nationals and then I'm headed over to Europe. But I still think I can do a good race this weekend. I really would be disappointed to not win the series again. But I pretty much have to race to win both days to lock it up."

The Kona rider said he believes the comparatively dry conditions might give him an edge over Johnson, whose knee problem makes him something of an unknown quantity.

"It'll be a pretty big change from the last 400 years of Portland weather to be dry in December," he said. "It will make the race faster, which tends to favor me a little more. But who knows? I've never really ridden that course when it's dry.

"Todd's racing really well right now. With Tim being injured, I don't really know how well he'll be able to ride. Jeremy's been doing some pretty consistent races also. I think Todd will probably be the one I'll be looking out for most this weekend."

Trebon said a win means a lot to the team.

"It will be interesting if we (Kona) don't win," Trebon said. "I think it's been me or Barry (Wicks) who have won the race the last four years. Nobody else has won it but us. But that's a tall order to keep winning."

Meanwhile, Powers said he’s looking forward to his teammate Johnson’s return to the series, adding that his main goal for the weekend is to beat Wells, the overall leader.

“The gloves are definitely going to be off. Everyone, Ryan and Tim, are going to be going for it,” he said. “Most of all, I’d just like to have a strong weekend and put some finishing touches on my form for the nationals.”

But it’s Wells – a two-time cyclocross national champion who climbed into the series lead for the first time in his career after finishing second on Day 1 in Mercer and a win on Day 2 – who leads coming into the final weekend, placing the seasoned GT rider squarely in the driver’s seat to win the series.


Local promoter Ross said he expects the “usual suspects” from Portland’s cross-crazy fan base to show up in force.

“It’s going to be more typical cyclocross weather, maybe a little rainy,” he said. “That doesn’t scare people away. What scares people away is when it’s like it was last year – hurricane! It’s going to be a good party. The beer will be flowing. This race has a little bit more of a hype and visibility level than Cross Crusade because of the top pros being here and the advertising we’ve done.”

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Are you rrrready to RRRRRumble?!!

This video action from last year's Toyota Portland Cup, the last stop on the Crank Brothers US Gran Prix of Cyclocross, may help you get prepared for this weekend's version Dec. 6 and 7 at Portland International Raceway.

Spanish cops stop Horner for no helmet


Professional cyclist Chris Horner had a brief encounter Tuesday with Spanish police over his choice of headwear, or lack thereof, while training on the Canary Islands.

The Associated Press reported that Horner, a Bend, Ore., resident who rides in Europe for Lance Armstrong's Astana team, was training with the seven-time Tour de France winner and the rest of the squad when a police cruiser pulled over the pack of riders.

After a routine identification check on Horner, the team pedaled away. Horner kept riding without a helmet because professional cyclists are not required to wear one in Spain.

The weeklong team training camp opened Sunday.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mt. Hood Cycling Classic makes big leap in 2009

The good news is that Oregon's successful six-year-old Mt. Hood Cycling Classic will retain its prominent place on the National Race Calendar.

The better news is that the continually growing race will be undergoing some big changes in 2009.

The freshly re-minted event will be named the Oregon Pro Cycling Classic, and it will morph to eight days, covering 600 miles and 50,000 feet of climbing, according to the Oregonian.

"It will hands down be the most difficult stage race in the U.S.," spokesman Tre Hendricks told reporter Boaz Herzog of The Oregonian. "We want to build the reputation of the race so that the best riders in the world want to come here."

The 2009 edition will start and finish in Portland, Hendricks told Herzog, and it will feature two additional stages that travel to the Willamette Valley as far south as Eugene.

Other prominent promoters believe the race is well on its way to achieving those goals. From Herzog's report:
"The Mt. Hood Classic has without question gained a fantastic reputation, so I'm not surprised by any means it's taken that next leap," Chris Aronhalt, managing partner of Medalist Sports, which produces and organizes the nation's two most prestigious stage races, the tours of Georgia and California, as well as the Tour of Missouri and LiveStrong Challenge fundraiser in Beaverton.

The chief obstacle for Oregon Pro Cycling Classic organizers' intention to host a bigger, better race: funding. Expanding the race by two stages will probably triple its budget, said Hendricks, adding that the race has covered its expenses to this point.

"It's most definitely a challenge," he said. "The way we're planning to do it is expand our media coverage substantially. That'll draw in a host of different sponsors than we've had in the past."
The Oregon Pro Cycling Classic will be an invitational-only format for the 2009 men's race, and promoters hope to recruit America's best teams and some Europeans. The extension to eight days means the race will match the Tour of California in length and exceed the length of the (now-canceled) Tour de Georgia by one day.

In the future the race may grow to reach areas as far away as Crater Lake and the Wallowa Mountains.

The six-stage 2008 edition took place from May 13 to 18. Rory Sutherland (Health Net/Maxis) won the men's race, and Julie Beveridge (Aaron's Professional Cycling Team) grabbed the women's top prize.

The boys from Bissell control the pace for their man in yellow during the Mt. Tabor Criterium stage of the 2008 Mt. Hood Cycling Classic.

VanMeter, Sager harvest Kruger's Crossing wins

Another unseasonably dry Oregon afternoon greeted more than 500 competitors Sunday, Nov. 23, at the Kruger's Crossing Cyclocross Classic, the closing race of Portland's local 'cross scene before the Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix comes to town Dec. 6 and 7 for its finale.

Held on Sauvie's Island, an agricultural area and migratory bird sanctuary about 20 minutes from downtown Portland, the course sent riders careening along rutted farm roads, through berry fields, pastures, a barn, over a pile of pumpkins and past a dead rat. Oh, and of course, the obligatory beer garden and bonfire.

River City Bicycles' Emily VanMeter made the women's race a battle for second place as she burst from the starting line to gain a dominant lead that the rest of the field struggled in vain to close. VanMeter's teammate and Cross Crusade series winner Wendy Williams finished second, nearly a minute behind. Tina Brubaker (Vanilla Bicycles/Stumptown) rounded out the top three two minutes later.

In the Elite Men's race, Shannon Skerritt (Vanilla/Stumptown) set a blistering pace for the hole shot and then settled in with a handful of leaders that eventually pulled away from the rest of the field. With the group's lead looking insurmountable, Eric Sheagley (Veloce Racing) charged away from the rest for several laps and built a lead of about 15 seconds on Skerritt, Cross Crusade series winner Jason Sager ( and Ian Brown of River City Bicycles.

Skerritt countered Sheagley's move and passed the Veloce rider with about four laps to go. Building a lead of as much as twenty seconds, Skerritt seemed to be pulling away from Sager, Brown and Sheagley, who dangled behind the top three after his solo effort.

Sager and Brown combined their efforts to whittle away at Skerritt's lead before Sager shed his chase companion and set out alone to reel-in the leader. Sager quickly caught Skerritt, and the two riders stayed together until Sager launched a final burst for the line, leaving Skerritt to finish a handful of seconds behind. In the battle for third, Sheagley caught and passed Brown, nipping the River City rider for the final podium spot.


Emily VanMeter rode away from the competition to an impressive win in the Elite Women's race.

The dry weather made for a fast course.

Shannon Skerritt won the hole shot and led the Elite Men's race late.

Eric Sheagley gained an early advantage but settled for third.

Ian Brown helped eventual winner Jason Sager chase Skerritt, but he fell off the pace and finished fourth.

Despite the dry weather, promoters managed to find some mud.