While some of the elite field at the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships got to Boulder just in time for the snow and subsequent deep freeze in Colorado over last weekend, Ryan Trebon was dealing with another issue all together.
That of a base layer.
“I have seen people complaining about it,” Trebon said of the Boulder cold snap, laughing. “It was only like 75 today, man… yeah. It’s 75 on the coast and about 82 inland. I was trying decide if I should wear an undershirt, or go without an undershirt…”
Such are the problems for Trebon (Cannondale), who spends time training in Southern California but is based in Bend, Oregon. He’ll arrive on Thursday in Colorado, three days before his bid to win a national title, but by then the temperatures will be in the 50s here during the day — a far cry from the single digits earlier in the week. Asked if he’s ready to suffer in the cold mud, Trebon said, “Oh yeah. For sure. I’ve been ready. Just waiting to go, man.”
He doesn’t have to wait much longer, and the 32-year-old Trebon has as good a shot as anyone to earn another set of stars and stripes; he won the Boulder Cup in 2012, also held at the Valmont Bike Park. Trebon won the national championship in cyclocross in 2006 and 2008.
“It’s a good course,” he said. “I’ve been training a bunch. You always hope that what you’ve done is enough to be competitive. I think I’ll be competitive. Whether I can win or not just kind of depends on how the day shakes out, you know?”
We will see many of the men’s field arrive with good shots to prevail. Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) is probably the favorite if there is one, as he meticulously picked off a heavy elite field in this year’s Boulder Cup, and said he dialed back his training early in the year to peak for nationals and the upcoming trip to Europe. Others, like Johnson and defending national champion Jonathan Page (Fuji-Spy) are easily capable of winning. The course could be fast, or it could be heavy if the snow from last weekend doesn’t have time to melt away, which would create a muddy mess.
“I think the course will be pretty heavy in some sections, and pretty fast. I think the hill’s gonna dry out,” Trebon said. “For me it doesn’t really matter. I’m really happy if it’s dry and fast or if it’s super boggy and muddy. I don’t think either way it will play into my favor.”
Trebon added that the more demanding the course is the better for him, as he lacks the zip of, say, Powers, but can draw on a deep well of fitness as the race grinds on.
“I hope that I can win. If not myself, I think that Tim [Johnson] can race well. Tim’s obviously one of the other three I would say,” Trebon said. “[Page] hasn’t really raced that well this year so far, so I don’t really know how he’s gonna race. I think Jamey Driscoll can ride well. Jamie’s one of those people who doesn’t get talked about a ton, but if he has a really good day he’s really strong. He’s just not a super dynamic racer. Depending on how the course works out it could be good for him.”
The men’s elite race is Sunday afternoon at Valmont Bike Park.