The world champion did not disappoint today in Cincinnati. Belgian Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) came out swinging in his first race on American soil at at the Kings International Cyclocross (C2) in the Cincinnati suburb of Mason. In his final race before the 2013 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships, Albert claimed the win ahead of his teammate and under-23 rider Wietse Bosmans. American Jeremy Powers (Rapha Focus) was third.
Katerina Nash and teammate Georgia Gould put on the Luna show in the Women’s Elite race, finishing 1-2 with Swiss Champion Jasmin Achermann (Rapha-Focus) in third. Despite temperatures below freezing, the sun came out to melt the snow, turning the frozen course of the morning frozen into slick but not too sticky mud throughout the afternoon.
The fans came to see the World Champion in Cincinnati and that’s exactly what Albert gave them. After graciously signing autographs and posing for pictures, he took to the front from the start and turned the screws. Stringing out the group over the camel-hump switchback feature, the rubber band snapped. Albert led the front group with Vojtech Nipl (Czech National Team), Bosmans and US National Champion Jonathan Page (ENG VT) on his wheel coming down the flyover. Surprisingly Page was not wearing the Stars and Stripes jersey, but rather his team kit with stars only on his blue leg warmers.
Within two laps however, Albert’s power was too much for the others and he rode off the front with a nine-second gap to the chasing trio of Nipl, Bosmans and Page. At the halfway point, Powers emerged from earlier traffic to show his face near the front only a few seconds behind the Page, Nipl and Bosmans group. Then the wheels came off for Nipl. As he faded, the rest smelled blood. Bosmans and Page dug hard in an effort to solidify the podium. Meanwhile, with three laps to go, Ryan Trebon (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) and Powers found Nipl and worked together on the soft climb to the pit.
With two to go, Page began to lose his grip on Bosmans. Seeing the fading Page, Powers dug hard and broke free of Trebon. The effort gassed Nipl, who would drop to seventh behind Radomir Simunek (Kwadro-Stannah). While it may have been a day at the office for Albert, it was a stellar ride for Powers as did Ohio Valley Local Drew Dillman (Bob’s Red Mill) with his tenth place. The under23 rider Dillman will represent the US at the 2013 CYclo-cross World Championships in Louisville next week.
Who’s that Rapha Focus girl? Achermann was a new face to many of the fans at the Kings International Cyclocross and for good reason. In a post race interview, the Swiss Champion confided it was her first visit to the United States. Behind Nash and Gould, she put on quite the clinic.
From the gun, and much like Albert, Nash took to the front of the field and broke a four to five second gap on the first lap, up and down the camel-hump feature and over the flyover. A chase group never materialized. Gould remained in second the whole race with Achermann in third. Behind, Canadian Pepper Harlton (Juventus Cycling Club) impressively rode the barriers in fourth.
Making a great comeback after an early race crash, Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized) worked her way through traffic and began to knock on Harlton’s door. With mud all up her back Miller made the pass, but it didn’t last long. Harlton turned on the jets, and took fourth place back in the closing laps.
Photo gallery from Kent Baumgardt
Top 10 Elite Men
1.Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) 0:59:01
2.Wietse Bosmans (BKCP-Powerplus) +00:09
3.Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) +00:16
4.Jonathan Page (ENG VT) +00:23
5.Ryan Trebon (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) +00:29
6.Radomir Simunek (Kwadro-Stannah) +00:39
7.Vojtech Nipl (Czech national team) +02:10
8.Simon Zahner (EKZ Racing Team) +02:30
9.James Driscoll (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) +02:37
10.Andrew Dillman (Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross) +04:05
Top 10 Elite Women
1.Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) 0:40:14
2.Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) +00:35
3.Jasmin Achermann (Rapha-Focus) +00:55
4.Pepper Hartlon (Juventus Cycling Club) +02:12
5.Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized) +02:47
6.Arley Kemmerer (C3-Twenty20 Cycling Co.) +02:55
7.Corey Coogan Cisek (Cyclocrossracing.com p/b Blue Competition Cycles) +03:54
8.Katie Arnold (Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross) +04:57
9.Cooper Ambjorn (Team Hungry) -1LAP
10.Molly Hurford (Colavita) -1LAP