Sven Nys (Crelan-Euphony), current Cylocross World champion and Katerina Nash of Team Luna both came up winners at yesterday’s Cross Vegas.
The women’s race was hard-fought. For the first half of the race several riders tried pulling away from the field but none of the riders were wanting to let anyone go for an early lead. Finally, about halfway through the race, Nash decided it was time to make her move. Attacking the other riders, Nash quickly built a small lead and spent the rest of the race consolidating that lead, coming it 18 seconds ahead of second place rider, Lea Davison (Specialized Racing). Catharine Pendrel, Nash’s Luna teammate, took 3rd.
The men went full gas from the gun. The group was ripping through the course so fast fans were choking on the dust cloud that followed the riders around the long course. Wrapping around the large park, the course had several exciting features to challenge the riders including two huge flyovers, barriers, a sandy stair section, and a very exciting bermed turn which tested the riders track racing abilities.
An early attack in lap 1 by Bart Wellens of Telenet-Fidea was short-lived, with two riders, including Nys crossing the gap to make a leading group of three as the riders heading out for lap 2. Nys wasted little time though, separating himself from the other riders and taking a small lead.
Refusing to be content to let Nys ride away with a win, Ryan Trebon (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) jumped across the gap, connecting with Nys and the two riders began their work to distance themselves from the chasing group which, by the third lap, had dropped to around 15 seconds back. By this time, the relentless pace had done its damage to the riders and the field had fragmented across the course. Several good-sized chase groups had formed behind the front-runners but the pace of the leaders made it almost impossible to gain any ground.
With just over 4 laps to go, Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) made his move, jumping from the chase group to try and cross to the leaders. He put in a hard effort to close but paid for it.
With a few laps to go the three riders battling for a podium spot were still close enough that anyone of them could potentially battle for the win. Nys and Trebone were still together with Powers close on their heels but Nys was about to stamp his authority on this race and let everyone know why he was wearing the Rainbow Jersey. With Trebon fading through the barriers and Powers slowly pulling himself up to the leader, Nys attacked and dropped the hammer on all those who had hopes of a win at Cross Vegas 2013.
It was as if everyone else was standing still.
Nys quickly established a lead of around 30 seconds on Powers and Trebon with Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing) holding a solid 4th place in front of the chase group. With just a couple of laps left in the race, Trebon was clearly paying for the effort he put in on the front with Nys. The advantage soon shifted to Powers as he left Trebon behind to try and hold off Kabush who was quickly closing to vie for the final podium spot.
Nys had ample time to celebrate as he came through the last few hundred meters, greeting the crowd and riding along the barriers high-fiving the fans as he approached the finish. Powers came through almost 30 seconds behind but was in great spirits as he triumphantly held up two fingers, indicating his second place finish on the day. Kabush followed soon after to round out the podium after passing Trebon towards the end of the final lap. Trebon finished 4th.