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BOULDER, Colorado (VN) — Jeremy Powers (Aspire Racing) grabbed the holeshot on a dry, bumpy Boulder Reservoir course, then patiently gapped the field alongside Ben Berden (Raleigh-Clement) and Allen Krughoff (Noosa), until unleashing a searing attack on the final lap and win comfortably in the U.S. Open of Cyclocross on Saturday, up by 25 seconds at the line.
It was Powers’ second podium appearance in four days; he finished third behind Sven Nys and Lars van der Haar at CrossVegas.
“I’m definitely a little tuckered still from Vegas — not even from the race, just all the things that happen at [InterBike] and the moving and the shaking and all that,” Powers said. “It’s a quick turnaround, and I think everyone [out there racing] was feeling the same way. I wasn’t feeling super, but it was enough to allow me to put down some power and the sharp stuff I was still able to kind of capitalize a little bit. It was a good race.”
The first lap saw Powers take the lead with Berden and Krughoff in tow, followed closely by Jeremy Durrin (Neon Velo) and Jamey Driscoll (Raleigh-Clement). By the end of the lap, however, Krughoff’s efforts at the front saw him pull Powers and Berden away from the group, and the trio had a 10-second lead going into the second lap.
It remained much the same for another lap, until Powers was caught up in some fallen course tape, and lost touch with Krughoff and Berden. Just before the start-finish pavement, Krughoff bobbled and slid out in a corner, allowing Powers to regain contact. The trio was back together again. Meanwhile, Driscoll powered his way around in no-man’s-land, 25 seconds back.
Soon after, Powers went to the front and pushed the pace, as Krughoff went into the pit to grab his second bike, allowing a gap to grow between him and the lead duo.
“Unfortunately, Jeremy started going for it just as I had to pit,” Krughoff said. “I got a bike change and jumped on the other bike, and I don’t think we had the tire pressure totally dialed. That one seemed a little higher, less comfortable around the corners, so I lost a bit more time. Got back on the other bike and got back into the rhythm, but by that time it was a 15-second gap. I knew that maybe if I went all-all in I could catch Ben, but then we have to race tomorrow.”
By the end of the fifth lap, Powers and Berden had stretched their lead to 12 seconds over Krughoff. Powers looked to Berden to pull through, but when there was no response from the Belgian, Powers attacked through a series of switchbacks in the opening half of the course. Krughoff, however, was changing back to his ‘A’ bike, losing more ground. By the end of lap seven, he was 20 seconds adrift.
Behind, Shawn Milne (Boulder Cycle Sport-YogaGlo) was attacking a group of eight, pulling Troy Wells (Clif Bar) and Jake Wells (Stan’s No Tubes) with him, riding in fifth, sixth, and seventh, respectively.
Into the last lap, Powers had had enough. He immediately went on the attack, arcing through the dusty corners and pulling out time in each one. By the line he had enough of a buffer to sit up, adjust his Aspire Racing team jersey, high-five the gathered fans, securing victory by a comfortable 25 seconds over Berden. Krughoff cruised home for third, 45 seconds back.