Trebon adds elite men's 'cross title to his mountain bike crown

trebon_USAC_001.sized.jpgProvidence, R.I. (December 16, 2006)—Ryan Trebon (Ventura, Calif./Kona) added an elite men’s cyclo-cross title to his résumé Saturday with a commanding victory at the 2006 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships in Providence, R.I.  Trebon’s victory is the latest accomplishment in a season that’s also seen him capture a pro men’s mountain bike crown and the overall title in the Crank Brothers U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross series.

Trebon’s win earned him an automatic bid to represent the United States at next month’s world championships, a slot he had already solidified by virtue of his Gran Prix series title. 

Two other winners – Danny Summerhill (Centennial, Colo./TIAA-CREF-Clif Bar) in the junior men’s 17-18 category and Jesse Anthony (Beverly, Mass./Clif Bar) in the men’s U23 class – also earned automatic nominations to the U.S. National Team that will compete at the world championships January 27-28 in Hooglede-Grits, Belgium.  Like Trebon, Summerhill was already qualified as the highest-placed junior in the Gran Prix series, but Anthony, who finished second behind Jamey Driscoll (Jericho, Vt./FiordiFrutta) in the six-race series, emphatically earned a spot with a national title.

In all three events Saturday, the victors turned in dominating performances that saw each rider mount early leads that proved insurmountable to whatever chase groups formed behind them.
 
In the elite men’s race, Trebon, the odds-on favorite, jumped to an early advantage in the 60-minute event after the first lap of the undulating two-mile circuit.  Not far behind, a chase group containing Jonathan Page (Northfield, N.H./Cervelo), Jeremy Powers (Niantic, Conn./Jelly Belly) and Trebon’s teammate on the Kona squad, Barry Wicks (Corvallis, Ore.), dangled behind.  With Wicks not inclined to help chase his teammate down, the virtual two-man chase group continued to lose ground until a second pair of chasers – defending champion Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./GT-Hyundai) and 2001 champion Tim Johnson (Middleton, Mass./Cyclocrossworld.com) – made contact with the trio.

Ahead, Trebon continued to pull away from the five-man chase group, aided by the luxury of riding conservatively because of the significant gap.
 
“If I have a gap like that, I can just keep the pressure on by taking it easy in the corners and really hitting the sections I want to go hard in,” Trebon explained of his strategy.  “I was more worried about losing than I was about winning. I just went out hard on the first lap and opened up a good gap right away.”

summerhill_USAC.sized.jpgWith one lap remaining, Trebon’s 40-second advantage was safe, leaving the quintet behind strategizing for the silver medal.  After Trebon crossed the line first with a winning time of 59 minutes, 37 seconds over the 15.9-mile distance, Page nipped Johnson in a two-up sprint to win the silver medal.  Wells and Powers finished closely behind, just seconds off the pace to round out the five-man podium.  Hoping for a Kona sweep, Wicks was the victim of a final-lap crash that left him in sixth place, losing 27 seconds in the process.

Trebon’s ‘cross season has been a successful one. After earning the overall Gran Prix title, he prepared for the USA Cycling National Championships with a 10th-place effort at last weekend’s Superprestige event in Belgium, arguably the world’s toughest cyclo-cross scene.  It was the perfect lead-in for an event he wasn’t quite prepared for in 2005 because of an early-season injury.

“I broke my wrist last year and didn’t have a chance at a really good build-up to the season. The crowd was great today, people were pretty loud. That helped.”

Earlier in the day, Summerhill, the defending junior men’s 17-18 champion, repeated his feat with a 32-second win over 17-year-old Ethan Gilmour (Ludlow, Vt./K2Bike-Okemo-Coyote Hill).  Summerhill’s TIAA-CREF-Clif Bar teammate, Taylor Phinney (Boulder, Colo.) claimed the bronze ahead of Nick Bax (Bethesda, Md./Hot Tubes) and Nicholas Keough (Sandwich, Mass./CL Noonan-Coast to Coast-KAM). After Summerhill secured an early advantage, Gilmour stayed within striking distance for much of the race, remaining within 10 seconds with three laps remaining.  But Summerhill proved too strong as Gilmour ceded roughly 10 seconds per lap for the rest of the race.

As the pre-race favorite on paper, Summerhill simply relied on his engine and rode a conservative race.

“I had some scary things happen,” explained Summerhill.  “I almost ate it in the barriers on the first lap, but I didn’t have to take any real risks.”

As one of the top junior development programs in the country, TIAA-CREF scored an unexpected bronze medal according to Summerhill – a result that added to his national title.

“I’m so proud of (Phinney)!” I had no idea he was anywhere close to me.  I just looked back at the finish after I won and saw someone in our team jersey come in third.  It was one of the coolest things ever.”

anthony_USAC.sized.jpgAfter a mechanical mishap jinxed his chances last year, Anthony returned to Providence with one goal in mind – to win a U23 title in his native New England.  With a biased hometown crowd behind him, Anthony powered away from his challengers to claim a win over Morgan Schmitt (Seattle, Wash./Hagens Berman LLP).

In perhaps the deepest and most evenly matched field of the weekend, a group of nine riders established themselves as the leaders after the opening lap.  By the time the bell lap came around, Anthony had ridden any serious threats off his wheel, but 30 seconds behind a fierce battle for second place was on between Schmitt, Driscoll and Bjorn Selander (Hudson, Wis./Alan Factory Team).  After Anthony soloed across the line for the win, Schmitt finished just two seconds ahead of Selander for the silver, while Driscoll finished just another second off the pace.

“The level of U23 riders is so high in this country,” explained Anthony of his competition after his win.  “I wanted to win here in New England.  The crowds are so great and to bring home a national title here is awesome.  After what happened last year, this is the race I wanted to win the most.”

With those three events defining much of the action Saturday, ten additional stars-and-stripes jerseys were awarded to several other categories.

In the collegiate ranks, Lees-McRae College dominated the women's Division I field, sweeping the top three spots.  Clara Beard rode to a win in the eight-mile event ahead of teammates Kacey Mandefield and Monique Hein. Fort Lewis College’s Teal Stetson-Lee was fourth and Tela Crane of Western Washington University placed fifth. 

Dartmouth’s Jennifer Stebbins was crowned Division II women’s collegiate champion in front of runner-up Caitlyn Bever of MIT.  Kate Scheider of Williams College was third ahead of MIT teammates Natalia Gardiol and Sonya Cates, who placed fourth and fifth respectively.
Held in conjunction with the collegiate race, Amy Dombroski (Boulder, Colo./Excel Sports) captured the U23 women’s crown.  Arielle Filiberti (Worcester, Mass./Hot Tubes) won the silver, while Mandefield, Stebbins and Crane rounded out the top five.

Other national champions crowned Saturday include Samantha Haulman (Denver, Colo./Hot Tubes) in the junior women’s 17-18 class, Coryn Rivera (Tustin, Calif./Major Motion) in the junior women’s 15-16 category, Elizabeth White (Bedford, N.H./NEBC-Cycleloft) in the junior women’s 13-14 category and Sarah Huang (Kenosha, Wis.) in the junior women’s 10-12 division.  Young men’s champions included Luke Keough (Sandwich, Mass./CL Noonan-Coast to Coast-KAM) in the 15-16 age group, Yannick Eckmann (Boulder, Colo.) in the 13-14-year-olds and Logan Owen (Bremerton, Wash./Redline) in the 10-12’s.

The 2006 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships conclude Sunday as elite women will vie for a spot on the world championship team.  The collegiate men will also compete and contribute to their school’s overall point total to determine an overall DI and DII winner.

Masters and elites will also have another chance to race in non-national championship category events.

2006 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships
Providence, R.I.
December 15-17
Day Two National Champions:

Junior Women’s 10-12: Sarah Huang (Kenosha, Wis.)
Junior Women’s 13-14: Elizabeth White (Bedford, N.H.)
Junior Women’s 15-16: Coryn Rivera (Tustin, Calif.)
Junior Women’s 17-18: Danielle Haulman (Denver, Colo.)
Junior Men’s 10-12: Logan Owen (Bremerton, Wash.)
Junior Men’s 13-14: Yannick Eckmann (Boulder, Colo.)
Junior Men’s 15-16: Luke Keough (Sandwich, Mass.)
Junior Men’s 17-18: Daniel Summerhill (Centennial, Colo.)
U23 Men’s: Jesse Anthony (Beverly, Mass.)
U23 Women’s: Amy Dombroski (Boulder, Colo.)
Collegiate Women’s Division I: Clara Beard (Lees-McRae)
Collegiate Women’s Division II: Jennifer Stebbins (Dartmouth)
Elite Men’s: Ryan Trebon (Ventura, Calif.)

COMPLETE RESULTS


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