October 21, 2006; Conshohocken, PA, USA: The Women�s event at the UCI C1 Cyclocross at Granogue Estate near Wilmington Delaware had been widely touted as a heavyweight battle between three champions who had never previously met in competition -- Katie Compton (Spike Professional/Primus Mootry), Georgia Gould (Luna Mountain Bike Team) and Lyne Bessette (Cyclocrossworld.com). As Verge MAC race announcer Chris Mahew said during one of the preliminary races, �It�s like NSynch vs. 98 Degrees vs. New Kids on the Block.� And there was no doubt that, on this day in Delaware, the Women�s race was the main event.
In cyclocross racing, every race starts, rather than ends, with a field sprint. The start at Granogue is a long, paved slightly uphill driveway, and it proved decisive. �At the start, Georgia got a good start and Lyne was on her wheel,� said Compton afterwards.
Bessette added her perspective, �Georgia got the holeshot and I was right on her wheel. Katie went by on the right, and I should have jumped on her wheel right away, but I didn�t and Katie got a gap.� Only 200 meters into the race, and not yet even off the pavement, and Compton had scored a first-round knockout. �I would have had to ride much faster than her to catch up,� continued Bessette, �but she is so strong I couldn�t.� Bessette stabilized the gap at about 15 seconds, but could never close it, and Compton never made any mistakes en route to victory in her much-heralded homecoming. Gould held on for third while three-time Iron Cross champion Dee Dee �Grasshopper� Winfield (Velo Bella/Kona) came from behind in a thrilling handlebar bumping sprint to steal fourth place from Mo Bruno Roy (Independent Fabrication).
After the Women�s, it seemed like the crowd thinned-out during the UCI Elite Men�s race. But they hadn�t actually left. Instead, most had gravitated to the viciously steep and slippery run-up in the woods where many of the men were putting on a spectacular show of strength by riding all the way to the top. Every time one of the riders attempted to conquer the hill, the growing assemblage of spectators would start a crescendo of noise -- erupting in cheers whenever one of the riders succeeded. It seemed that, for some riders, riding up the hill without dabbing became a goal in and of itself.
Up front, it was a four-rider race almost from the start. Last year�s winner Tim Johnson (Cannondale/CyclcrossWorld.com), Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly) hooked up with the twin towers of Kona, Ryan Trebon and Barry Wicks, to separate themselves from the rest of the field. Powers seemed to be the workhorse of the four, but all of them spent time at the front -- and all had moments when they had to chase back up to the rest. For Trebon, it was on the fourth trip up the run-up when he dropped a chain and had to stop and put it back on his chainring. The four continued their thrust and parry until Trebon was able to open a significant gap going up the tower hill with about three-and-a-half laps to go. �It wasn�t really an attack,� he said after the race, �I just upped the tempo to see who would follow�. With Trebon�s teammate Barry Wicks doing absolutely no work to help catch him, it was left to Powers and Johnson to track down the tall man in orange who was lapping riders in front of them.
By two laps to go, Wick, Powers and Johnson had clearly conceded the win and were racing tactically among themselves for second. Nobody told Trebon, however, as he continued to pour on the coals and record a 23 second victory. The sprint for second saw Powers beat Wicks with Johnson finishing fourth two seconds later.