The Big Picture: Providence Cyclocross Festival Day 1 (UCI Elite Men)

Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus/Aspire Racing) added yet another victory to his impressive palmares today at the KMC Cyclocross Festival in Providence, RI. Taking a win once again over Stephen Hyde (2nd) and Curtis White (3rd) (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld), a question emerges: what can anyone do to outsmart or outride Powers as he continues to dominate the domestic pro-CX calendar?

© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

Let’s get right into it and see how the race played out. But first, a recap: Chilly weather, overcast, tacky course, gnarly run-up. Got it?

Good.

Danny Summerhill (Maxxis-Shimano Pro Cyclocross) is off to a good start this season, having mixed it up at the front the Grand Prix of Gloucester last weekend, and today was no exception – while White took the holeshot, it was Summerhill setting the pace on the front over the early laps.

© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

For the first lap or two, Summerhill remained at the front, with a particularly large group in tow and nobody yet forcing a selection.

Rather than wait for the Cannondale team to single him out again, Powers soon went to the front to dictate a blistering pace.

© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

Within half a lap, only Hyde was able to stay on Powers’ wheel, with White beginning to lose contact and the remainder of the former lead group riding together.

© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

A second later, White clipped a post on an apex just after a downhill, was ripped from his bike, and immediately relegated to the chase group.

© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

 

While nasty looking, White seemed OK and continued chasing, despite the crash ripping a buckle from his shoe.

 

Powers and Hyde continued to trade pulls, while White attempted to launch himself from the chase group and back into contention.

© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

 

© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

Technique Critique: Ride the planks or run them?

image10

 

Verdict: draw! Powers rode the barriers each time, but didn’t gain any discernable time against competitors that opted to run.

© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

A lap and a half later, though, and White was behind his fellow chase group members.

 

Where’d he lose the extra time? It’s possible I missed another crash somewhere else on course, but I know that White did make a stop in the pits. To swap out that broken shoe, of course.

 

At the run-up with 2 to go, Hyde was still hanging with Powers, and White was making his way through the chase group (again), but the situation on course would soon change…

© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

 

© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

By the time I saw the leaders again on the bell-lap, Powers had put in a solid dig to open a gap and cruise in for the finish ahead of Hyde.

© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

 

© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

 

 

The fight for 3rd was not over, with White, Summerhill, and Jamey Driscoll (Raleigh-Clement) riding together within striking distance from the finish. After opening up a long sprint along the pit lane before the pavement, White managed to find just enough gas in the tank to beat Summerhill (4th) and Driscoll (5th). And this was AFTER chasing the entire race. Outstanding.

 

© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

 

 

Post race:

 

image17
© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

Podium: Stephen Hyde (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld; 2nd), Jeremy Powers (Aspire Racing; 1st), Curtis White (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld; 3rd)

 

 

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