October 23, 2006; Conshohocken, PA, USA: The Verge MAC Cyclocross Series moved 25 miles to the North of yesterday�s Cyclocross at Granogue Estate for Round 2 of it�s 2006 campaign. Held for the second time at the Ludwig�s Corner Horse Show and Country Fair Ground, the long-running Wissahickon Cyclocross featured the rematch of the previous day�s historic first-ever showdown between Paralympic Gold Medalist and two-time defending U.S. Cyclocross Champion Katie Compton, current Verge MAC and U.S. National Mountain Bike Champion Georgia Gould and Lyne �the Canadian Legend� Bessette -- a two time Olympian, five time Canadian cycling champion and one of the most successful international professional athletes in Canadian history.
The course at Ludwig�s Corner is much different than Granogue. Though still hilly, the climbs tend to be less abrupt than Granogue and the course is much more exposed to the wind. If the course was different, so was the action in the women�s race. The previous day at Granogue, the women�s race was decided in the first 200 meters. On Sunday at Ludwig�s Corner, it wasn�t decided until the final 200 inches.
Bessette (Cyclcrossworld.com) led from the gun, and she and Compton (Spike Professional/Primus Mootry) quickly gapped Gould (Luna) and dropped the rest of the field. What ensued was a scintillating battle of wheels and wills as neither racer would ever be more than about a foot away from the other for the entire race. �I felt much better today,� said Bessette after the race. �Yesterday I think I got too caught-up in the Katie and Georgia and Lyne thing, so today I said I�m just going to ride my own race.� Though the lead swapped many times, it became apparent that Bessette wanted to lead on the course�s twisty, technical southern half, while Compton was content to take the lead on many the power sections on the course�s northern half. �I wanted to be in front there. In front you can ride your own lines and there�s nobody in front of you that can crash and knock you down,� Bessette continued, �but Katie and I were sharing the work.�
Eventually, inevitably, the race came down to a sprint on Ludwig�s Corner�s long, paved, uphill finish. More of a drag race than the classic lead-out and sprint, both rider sprinted out of the saddle, side-by-side, until Compton eked out a narrow and popular victory. �That was a hard race,� said Compton afterwards with a smile. �There was no place I could gap her. And I would have bled through my eyes before I let her go.�
The men�s race lacked the excitement of the women�s race, and it was all Ryan �the Tree Farm� Trebon�s fault. Though nobody in the large, 71 rider field got a good enough start to be considered a holeshot, Trebon (Kona) was able to take the lead going into the first turn. Moments later, he had put a large gap between himself and the rest of the five-nation field. For two laps, Trebon rode flat out. On the paved sections, his carbon fiber wheels made the loud, rhythmic whooshing sound that is normally only heard by sprinters on a velodrome. The race settled down with Trebon holding a large lead over Tim Johnson (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com), who in turn had a significant gap over a chase group of Barry Wicks (Kona), Matt White (FiordiFrutta), Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly) and U.S. National Cyclocross Champion Todd Wells (GT). Johnson clawed his way back up to Trebon, only to have Trebon attack and drop him again. Mid-race, Wells attacked the chase group and only Wicks responded and the race splintered. Trebon came across the line with a 45 second win over Johnson. In the best sprint battle of the day, Barry Wicks led-out Todd Wells and almost crashed into the poles holding the finish line sign when Wicks looked over the wrong shoulder. Despite the miscue, Wicks held on to the podium spot.
Overall, it was a very successful weekend -- especially for the duo of Compton and Trebon, who both won the UCI Elite races at both Granogue and Wissahickon.