BOULDER, Colorado (VN) — It seemed that Ryan Trebon had the Colorado Cross Classic firmly in control. And then, it seemed that his Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com teammate Jamey Driscoll would win the day, after he overtook Trebon with two laps to go.
But it was Raleigh-Clement ace Ben Berden who used a cagey effort to take the UCI C2 event around the Boulder Reservoir on a cold Saturday afternoon, first using Garmin-Sharp’s Danny Summerhill to turn the screws, then jumping across to Driscoll, who was reeling in Trebon after he struggled in a long sand pit.
“My legs weren’t that good. Halfway I was surprised that Ryan Trebon made a mistake, and then we were three together. And I hadn’t that good feeling. But if the finish line is coming, I’ve always got something extra,” Berden said.
The cold temperatures and the day of pounding the course took were enough to firm up a track that was muddy and slippery early.
“It was fast,” Driscoll said. “It was so tacky. Usually when it hasn’t snowed or rained here it’s more challenging because it’s so loose. But when this stuff tacks up, it’s just like pavement.”
The race began furiously, with Summerhill putting in the initial kick. Trebon then rode off the front, forcing Summerhill, Berden and Driscoll to chase. Driscoll fled the chase group, a rabbit for Berden to chase. Summerhill toiled between the front and middle groups, riding alone.
With a lap and a half left, Driscoll led, Trebon was third, and the Raleigh-Clement man found himself in the space between. Berden made his magic over the rollers and withstood attacks from both men over the final laps.
“I know that Ryan, on those fast power sections, I knew he would try something,” he said. “So, like, with two laps to go it happened. He tried to attack. But I had something left. And at the bunny hop, I was much faster than those two guys,” he said.
When Trebon, a two-time U.S. national champ, erred in a section of obstacles, Berden had one less rival to ponder.
“A math geek would appreciate this,” said Driscoll. “In the turn, or the logs to hop, [Trebon] went tangent to the curve and into the course tape. That was in the last half lap. He was coming back strong, but it was too big of a mistake to make up.”
The race came down to a sprint between Driscoll and Berden. The Belgian was slightly out front, and then Driscoll pulled out of his pedal. Berden took the victory as Driscoll looked over his shoulder; his teammate Trebon would hold on for third.
Racing continues on Sunday with the Boulder Cup in Valmont Park. Berden won there last year, and is looking to produce more magic this weekend in Colorado.
“Normally, my second day is my better day,” he said.