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Cyclocross Nationals Preview, and a Winner
This week's winner was Matthew Haughey's photo of Chris Jones blasting through the barriers at the USGP Stanley Portland Cup. Last weekend was a great one for the Rapha-FOCUS boys as it saw both Zach and Chris atop the podium. However, all of these races were to build up for what is happening as we speak — The US Cyclocross National Championships.
Who should you bet on for our new National Champion? Not sure? Well, we here at Rapha North America do not like to play favorites because we love each and every one of these guys out there. But, obviously we are gunning for our boys McDonald and Jones. With that being said here are a few of the Pro's to keep a close eye on.
Chris Jones pulled out all the stops at the USGP last weekend and garnered a second place finish. With a few third places under his belt Jones goes into the weekend with a bit of the underdog moniker following him around. This is a good spot to be because the expectation tends to be a bit lighter right off the line. But make no mistake, with a front row start and a fast course, anything can and will happen. The season has been going great for Jones and the combination of the race-face we saw for a few laps last week on the USGP Course. If one could win on intensity alone Jones would be the first over the line every time.
Ryan Trebon has been on the top step a few times before, most recently he was the National Champion of 2008 when he took the win in Kansas City, Missouri. All year long Trebon has been chasing the green and black (and red and white) that is the Cannondale- Cyclocross World team. This will be his chance to show what he has learned and in his hometown none the less. If you watch his twitter feed you will see that Trebon sound ready to race as this was a quote from earlier today. "Lets get to racing already…"
Tim Johnson is the returning National Champion and a force to be reckoned with on the US scene. If the conditions continue to degrade and be sloppy the way that they were yesterday Johnson has a good chance to run away with another win. The interesting thing will be to see Johnson pitted against his teammate Jeremy Powers. Powers and Johnson have traded wins throughout the season so far, but it is no holds barred when it comes down to the big dance and Powers had two very convincing wins last weekend at the USGP's in Portland. Keep an eye on these two.
Adam Craig is another hometown hero who resides in Bend. With his fantastic win yesterday in the first ever Single Speed National Championship event Adam has had not only a great preview of the course but a chance to show Bend that he means business when it comes to the National Title. Even if he did do it in cutoff jean shorts and an old school helmet. It just goes to show that not only does this man race hard, but he has the required sense of humor to make it all worthwhile.
Zach McDonald has been charging forward the entirety of the season racking up one good result after another. Sloppy conditions tend to be McDonald's favored race day setup as drifting and sliding all over the course is something that he has in his bag of tricks. The U23 race will also be a hotly contested race as a mechanical last year prevented him from showing competitor Danny Summerhill what he was really made of. Keep an eye out for this up and comer as we are psyched to have him as part of the program. Check out this interview with Zach on the FOCUS website.
If you aren't in the Bend area and able to catch the racing in person (we feel sorry for you) you can follow along on Cyclingdirt. Saturday's racing will be mostly a Masters affair but keep an eye out here throughout the weekend for updated US Cyclocross National Championship content. Good luck to everyone out there this weekend!
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