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Trebon clinches, Gould closes in and Bessette surprises
A day of surprises greeted the NACT competitors at the first day of the Whitmore’s Landscaping Super Cross Cup on Saturday. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the UCI C1 event occurred before most of the Elite competitors had even arrived at the venue.
Earlier in the morning, Tim Johnson, tested his injured knee on the trainer and found he couldn’t even pedal a full circle. Johnson injured his knee when he banged it on a wood post while riding to victory in the USGP in New Jersey last Saturday.
An MRI during the week had confirmed that there was no major damage to the knee beyond severe bruising. But since most of the bruising was underneath the kneecap, a disappointed Johnson didn’t have the mobility to pedal and had no choice but to withdraw. As the only racer with a mathematical opportunity to overtake Ryan Trebon’s points lead in the NACT, Johnson’s withdrawal effectively ended the inaugural NACT points chase.
While Johnson’s absence was a surprise, it wasn’t completely unexpected following his decision not to race last Sunday’s USGP. But what was a completely unexpected surprise was seeing his wife, retired cycling great Lyne Bessette, warming up for the women’s race in her Cyclocrossworld.com kit. Bessette was lured out of retirement for the weekend by promoter Myles Romanow.
“A long time ago, actually at the beginning of ‘cross season, Myles called me and asked if I’d come out of retirement and do his race,” she said. “And I said ‘sure’ because he supports the women’s racers as much as he does the men’s. I think that’s great and that’s why I’m here today.”
Bessette said there was another reason, too. Romanow, who owns the acclaimed Wild Thyme restaurant with his wife Delaney, tempted the Canadian with cooking lessons to come out of retirement.
“I love to cook, I’ve always loved to cook,” Bessette said. “I asked Myles if I could get into the kitchen for, you know, a couple of hours and he accepted, so that was part of the deal.”
Gould ramps it up
The race itself was dominated in the end by another epicurean, Georgia Gould (Luna Chix), who has been enrolled in fine cooking lessons for some time. But, Gould was anything but dominant at the start and was well behind early leader Sue Butler (MonavieCannondale.com) when the field went up the course’s defining hill the first time.
“Yeah, I wasn’t aggressive enough at the start,” she admitted afterwards. “It’s kind of a long start straight, so I ended up seventh or something and you get stuck behind people who aren’t quite as fast through the single track stuff, and that’s when Sue (Butler) got away. But I didn’t panic, and I waited until I had a good spot to move up.”
As Gould leapfrogged up through the pack, Butler, Natasha Elliot (EMD Serono-Stevens) and Mo Bruno-Roy (MM Racing / 7 Cycles) were leading the field and Bessette was surprising many by running strongly in the front third of the field.
Gould and Dee Dee Winfield (Velo Bella Kona) made it to the front group, but Bessette was also leapfrogging to the front. Riders were swapping position and dropping in and out of the lead group. Elliot was off the front when Gould attacked on the finish straight and bridged to the lead. Elliot would hang on for a while before dropping back.
Meanwhile, Bruno-Roy crashed, knocking her seat and handlebar askew and causing her to lose contact with the leaders and moving Bessette into fourth. Bessette soon passed Butler, and what followed was a back-and-forth battle between Bessette and Elliot that lasted until the end of the race.
“Lyne’s got a lot of experience, but I think I could get her in the technical spots,” said Elliot. “And as long as I could get to the technical spots first, I was okay,”
But Bessette held her own and finished the day in second place, an impressive performance for a rider lured out of retirement.
“I haven’t been riding cyclocross bikes,” Bessette said, “Only once, so I was a little bit scared on the off-camber stuff.”
Gould went on to another convincing win. In the process, she narrowed the points gap between her and NACT point leader Amy Dombroski (Velo Bella Kona) to just 18, less than the difference between first and second place ahead of Sunday’s NACT Final.
On the men’s side, with Johnson out, Ryan Trebon had the opportunity to clinch the NACT championship with one race left. He did so by completely overwhelming the competition in a race he described as “Cold, and extremely windy.”
It was a sentiment that eventual third-place finisher Todd Wells seconded, “I had icicles on my eyelashes and the back of my hair when I finished” said Team GT’s former national champion.
With Trebon off the front and gaining timing every lap, the focus of the race became a tough-fought battle for second place between Todd Wells, his brother Troy Wells (TIAA-CREF-Clif Bar), Jeremy Powers (Cannondale–Cyclocrossworld.com), Andy Jacques-Maynes (Specialized-KBC-California Giant) and Jesse Anthony (Team Jamis).
Like the women’s race, this was another back-and-forth affair with riders dropping off, only to rejoin several laps later. But all the time, Trebon was riding away with the big prize. With the race in its second half, Anthony was the first to get dropped permanently. Then Troy Wells quietly dropped back.
Jacques-Maynes, who had looked to have been dropped earlier before clawing his way back to the group, was in contention for the second spot on the last lap along with Powers and Todd Wells. But he got gapped slightly in the upper woods and lost even more time coming down the treacherous off-camber decent, leaving Powers and Wells to sprint for second while Trebon coasted home, giving high-fives and exchanging pleasantries with spectators as he came to the line.
Nearly a minute later, Powers led out the sprint before it even hit the asphalt, but went wide on the final corner. Wells seemed to have more momentum and pulled nearly even, but Powers had enough acceleration to hold on for Cyclocrossworld.com’s second runner-up finish of the afternoon.
But the day, and the NACT season, went to Trebon. “I’ve had a bad November, so to good day here was nice,” said Trebon. “It’s one of those courses where there’s a lot of drafting, but it’s so much wind that there’s a lot of cross wind’s and stuff. I pretty much had the series tied up with what happened to Tim, so I wanted to put an effort in to show I deserved it.”
Runner-up Jeremy Powers got the last word in as he summed up the race and the season so far, “We’ve seen in the past couple of weeks that anybody can win one of these races, it just depends on who’s on their day. Ryan’s had a little bad of bad luck, but I’m not surprised at what Ryan was able to do today.” Then with a smile, he added, “We’ve had that coming to us for a while.”
1. Ryan Trebon Kona/fsa in 1:00:36
2. Jeremy Powers Cannondale/cyclocrossworld.com in 1:01:25
3. Todd Wells Team Gt in 1:01:29
4. Andy Jacques-Maynes Specialized/kmc Pb Cal Giant in 1:01:36
5. Troy Wells Tiaa-Cref/clif Bar in 1:02:40
6. Jesse Anthony Team Jamis in 1:02:50
7. Jamey Driscoll Cannondale/cyclocrossworld.com in 1:04:09
8. Matt White Bikereg.com / Joe’s Garage in 1:04:27
9. Erik Tonkin Kona in 1:04:29
10. Derrick St. John Stevens Cyclocross in 1:05:02
11. Justin Spinelli Rgm Watches – Richard Sachs – Boathouse Inc in 1:05:30
12. Brian Matter Gear Grinder in 1:05:46
13. Sean Babcock Team S&m in 1:05:50
14. Adam Myerson Cycle-Smart/van-Dessel in 1:05:58
15. Nathaniel Ward Bikereg.com / Joe’s Garage in 1:06:04
16. Andrew Wulfkuhle C3-Sollay.com in 1:06:17
17. Matt Kraus Rgm Watches – Richard Sachs – Boathouse Inc in 1:06:31
18. Nicholas Keough Sonic/ Louis Garneau, at 1 lap
19. Ryan Iddings Lapierre Usa, at 1 lap
20. Guillaume Nelessen Van Dessel Factory Team, at 1 lap
21. Zoltan Tisza Pnivo-Betonexpressz 2000, at 2 laps
22. Peter Bradshaw Embrocation/igleheart/cambridge/mad Alchemy, at 2 laps
23. Giancarlo Dalle Angelini Team Redline, at 2 laps
24. Christopher Consorto Henrys Bikes, at 3 laps
25. Nicholas Shaffer Human Zoom/ Pabst Blue Ribbon, at 3 laps
26. Patrick Bradley Rutgers University Cycling Team, at 3 laps
27. Rickey Visinski Exodus Road Racing, at 4 laps
Women’s results | ( Men’s results )
1. Georgia Gould Luna Chix in 0:37:17
2. Lyne Bessette Cyclocrossworld.com in 0:37:39
3. Natsaha Elliot Emd Serono/stevens in 0:37:45
4. Susan Butler Monaviecannondale.com in 0:37:52
5. Laura Van Gilder C3 Sollay in 0:38:00
6. Deidre Winfield Velo Bella – Kona in 0:38:33
7. Maureen Bruno Roy Mm Racing P/b Seven Cycles in 0:38:53
8. Amy Dombroski Velo Bella – Kona in 0:39:26
9. Barbara Howe Www.barbrides.com in 0:39:50
10. Kathy Sherwin Velo Bella – Kona in 0:40:14
11. Sally Annis Nebc/cycle Loft/devonshire Dental in 0:40:27
12. Rebecca Wellons Ridley Factory Team in 0:41:04
13. Sarah Kerlin Hrs/ Rock Lobster in 0:41:26
14. Cris Rothfuss Nebc/cycle Loft/devonshire Dental in 0:42:00
15. Anna Milkowski Velo Bella-Kona in 0:42:20
16. Kristin Gavin Human Zoom/pabst Blue Ribbon in 0:42:25
17. Linnea Koons International Bicycle/global in 0:43:01
18. Carolyn Popovic Team Cicle in 0:43:01
19. Heidi Von Teitenberg C3-Sollay.com in 0:43:01
20. Jennifer Maxwell Team Kenda Tire in 0:43:47
21. Callie Mcdowell Boston University / Scantily Plaid in 0:44:00
22. Nikki Thiemann Human Zoom Pabst Blue Ribbon in 0:45:00
23. Kristine Church Human Zoom/ Pabst Blue Ribbon, at 1 lap
24. Marci Titus Hall Desalvo Custom Cycles, at 1 lap
25. Elizabeth Harlow C3-Sollay.com, at 1 lap