Bend, OR and Warwick, RI

December 7th and 8th, 2013

The Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld.com team spread across the country again with Ryan Trebon, Kaitie Antonneau, and Tim Johnson heading to Bend, OR for the Deschutes Brewery Cup and Bend Cross Crusade, while Curtis White raced to secure his Shimano Pro Cyclocross Series U23 Title at the NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross in Warwick, RI.

White animated the Elite Men’s race from the start on Saturday and when Redline/NBX rider Justin Lindine made the day’s decisive move, White was the only rider able to answer.  White fought hard for most of the race, but repeated attacks from Lindine finally took their toll and White lost contact with less than half the race remaining.

A hard-charging Mike Garrigan (Van Dessel/Shimano)eventually caught White with two laps left in the race and quickly opened a small gap over the youngster, but White fought back and was able to cross the line in 2nd place.

“Justin was riding so strong today, I just couldn’t stay with him,” said White after Saturday’s race.  “Once [Mike] Garrigan caught me, I knew I just needed to get to the last section of the course first,” he added. “I almost crashed us both fighting for that position, which wasn’t what I wanted, but it worked out in the end.”

In Sunday’s race, White once again made the early selection and looked poised for another podium finish when two mechanical mishaps in as many laps forced him to pit for bike changes.  The mishaps cost him contact with the leaders, eventual winner Shawn Milne (Keough Cyclocross) and Garrigan, and he was resolved to soldier on for a 5th place finish.  Not all was lost on Sunday, however, as the combined results for the weekend were enough to secure the overall U23 Shimano Pro Cyclocross Series Title for the 18 year old in his first year of U23 racing.

“I don’t know what happened with my drivetrain,” said a disappointed White after the race.  “Whenever I coasted the chain would whip up over the front rings and I couldn’t keep it on.  It was frustrating.”

Meanwhile, in Bend, Oregon, White’s teammates were fighting subzero temperatures on a snow-covered course.  Tim Johnson went on to win his 3rd UCI C1 victory this season on Saturday in dominant fashion while his teammate, Trebon, finished 5th.

Both Johnson and Trebon got off to good starts with Johnson settling into 3rd wheel behind early race leader and eventual 2nd place finisher, Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing), and Yannick Eckmann (California Giant Berry Farms – Specialized) while Trebon tucked in a few wheels back.

Johnson was able to catch Kabush a few laps into the race and once he passed the Canadian National Champion, he never looked back.  He went on to finish 20 seconds ahead of Kabush, crashing only once on a course he referred to as “frozen tundra.”

“I just had to focus on riding smooth because you couldn’t attack the course out there,” said Johnson after his victory.  As for the cold, Johnson added, “I had a great bike and I made the right clothing choices, so it was just another race for me and fortunately it worked out.”

Teammate Trebon finished the day in 5th place and echoed Johnson’s sentiments of smooth riding, “Tim rides smooth and light and I ride heavy.  It was like having a governor on all day out there, but I’m happy with 5th place.”

Trebon was less fortunate in dealing with the cold, though he said he wasn’t affected during the race.  “I felt fine out there, but after the race two of my fingers swelled up and are pretty numb and painful now.  I tried some heated gloves, but I don’t think they were the right choice.”

Kaitie Antonneau toed the line in both the Saturday UCI C1 Elite Event and Sunday’s Cross Crusade, choosing to use the both races as preparation for the potential conditions at the upcoming National Championships in Boulder, Colorado this coming January.  She finished well in both events with a 6th place finish on Saturday and a 2ndplace finish on Sunday.

“I had another consistent weekend,” said Antonneau.  “It was fun to race in the snowy conditions.”

“Sunday was a good day for me, because I really pushed myself out of my comfort zone technically,” added Antonneau.  “It was also good to see which clothing worked well and which clothing didn’t in case it’s cold like this in Boulder.”