Rapha Focus Cyclocross

Archive for the ‘Chris’ Category

Jeremy strong and Julie debuts at first UCI Cyclocross World Cup in Plzeň, Czech Republic

Plzeň, 90 km west of Prague and the fourth most populous city in the Czech Republic, played host to round one of the most prestigious and hotly contested series of cyclocross in all the world, the UCI World Cup. Team Rapha FOCUS was well represented by Jeremy Powers hot off his big win in Fort Collins, CO and the team’s newest member, making her first appearance in the team livery, Julie Krazniak.

Julie Krasniak toed the line for the first time this season coming straight off of the UCI Road World Championships in Copenhagen, DEN. And the first World Cup event of the season is quite the place to do it! Julie managed a strong ride, coming in 25th in easily one of the strongest women’s fields ever to start a World Cup. After the race, Julie reflected on Facebook:

Première coupe du monde, premiers repères en cyclo cross, un peu de mal avec… tout! le double shift qui bloque, le boyaux qui se décolle, le moteur en mode super diesel!… Une 25ème place en coupe du monde pour commencer une longue série de course et débuter l’entrainement cyclo cross!

First World Cup, first cyclo cross benchmark, a bit of trouble with… everything! [such as] the double barriers, the engine is [strong] in super diesel mode!… a 25th place in the World Cup to start a long series of cyclo cross racing and training!

You could tell it was going to be a good day when Jeremy starts off the day with a tweet like:

I woke up and said to myself. “I’m going to suffer today, a lot.” Ready for a good day, thanks for all the messages.

After an interesting start where Jeremy was luckier than many and did not get blocked at the start of the race, we saw Jeremy play it smart and stick with the front group getting ahead of the initial splits in the field, getting as high as 7th place on the stairs in the first lap. Jeremy spent much of the middle of the race with former World Champion Niels Albert chasing a hard charging front group containing the current World Champion and perennial strongman, former World Champion, and eventual winner Sven Nys. Jeremy closed out the day in 10th place, his highest career finish in a World Cup! Jeremy later reflected on twitter:

Thanks everyone for all the messages, it was a great day, met my goal of top 10. Couple [of] things to work on I’ll try for a little better in Tabor!

Back home, Chris Jones held down the fort in Southern California at Spooky Cross, recovering well from his Tour of Britain injury that kept him off the bike for the early part of the season, coming in 4th and 5th in the excellent Southern California weather.

Chris and Zach will join Jeremy and Julie next week on the site of last year’s UCI Cyclocross World Championships for World Cup #2 in Tábor, CZE.

photos by: Balint Hamvas

UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup kicks off Sunday in Plzeň, CZE

The biggest and most prestigious international series in cyclocross kicks off Sunday in the fourth most populous city in the Czech Republic, Plzeň. Jeremy was identified in the pre-race press release from the UCI as someone to watch out for, the results of the past few weekend speak for themselves: Gloucester, Fort Lewis. Joining Jeremy in the Czech Republic will be our newest member’s first race for the team, Julie Krasniak, Chris and Zach are representing in Irvine, California at the two days of Spooky Cross before crossing the pond and joining Jeremy and Julie at the second World Cup race in Tábor, Czech Republic the site of the 2010 Cyclocross World Championships.

Powers Conquers New Belgium Cup

What a weekend in Fort Collins, CO! USGP Rounds 3 and 4 did not disappoint, with two days of exciting action. We had the full men’s squad for the first time this season with the return of Chris Jones, recovered from a crash last month at the Tour of Britain.

Day 1 saw temperatures in the low 40s and rain, but that didn’t slow Jeremy Powers from winning the Avid Shorty Ultimate Hole Shot and putting the hammer down, opening up a gap on the field. Mid-race, Ryan Trebon was able to bridge and put in time into Jeremy at 3 laps to go as Jeremy bobbled in the slick conditions. 2 laps to go saw Geoff Kabush come across from the field to battle it out with Jeremy for the 2nd and 3rd steps on the podium. At the end of the day, we saw Jeremy in 3rd, Zach in 11th, and Chris in 21st. “Today was crazy because it was altitude, in conditions that I don’t love. It was not my perfect ideal scenario, and I did the best I could,” Jeremy said reflecting on the sloppy conditions, “I have to be happy with third.” Zach was 2nd on the day in the U23 competition.

Day 2 saw temperatures 10 degrees higher in the low 50s and a welcome lack of rain. Jeremy once again took the Avid Shorty Ultimate Hole Shot. 2nd place finisher from the day before, Geoff Kabush, took the early lead in the first lap as the field started to sort itself out. Chris started things off for the day by putting in a strong attack to get away from the field causing the previous day’s winner, Ryan Trebon, to lead the chase with Jeremy in tow, “[Chris] got a big, big gap and Ryan had to close that down,” said Jeremy. “It’s nice to have a teammate to mess things up.”

By the half way point, it was Trebon and Powers at the front with Kabush chasing not far behind. A group fighting for 4th had formed that included Chris and in the next group behind that was Zach. Jeremy was able to put a gap into Trebon on a section that he was able to ride and Ryan had to run, from there Jeremy quickly opened up a gap. At about the half way point, the lead changed hands as Jeremy bobbled at the top of the course, over the next four laps, Jeremy chased hard eventually making contact entering the last lap of the race. Half way through the last lap, Jeremy makes his move and puts some time into Ryan and is able to come across the line with a comfortable gap.

Chris and Zach roll in 8th and 10th, respectively; Zach was also the top U23 finisher.

USGP New Belgium Cup Preview

For the first time this season the Rapha FOCUS Cyclocross Team feature all three of its male riders this weekend at rounds 3 and 4 of the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross Series at the New Belgium Cup in Fort Collins, CO. The USICX’s number one ranked cyclocross rider, Jeremy Powers, is looking to continue his winning ways from last weekend in Gloucester, MA and one-up his 2nd place finish last year, while Zach McDonald is set to defend his overall lead in the U23 competition in the USGP of Cyclocross Series as well as his number 1 position in the USICX U23 ranking. Chris Jones will be returning to cyclocross competition for the first time this season after sustaining an injuring while racing the Tour of Britian.

If the weather predictions hold true for snow and rain, Fort Collins, CO will be the scene of some memorable racing. The Elite Mens’ race is scheduled to start at 3:30pm both days. Team Rapha Focus will also be representing in the Mens’ Masters 35+ race with Slate Olson!

For those that can’t make it to the Drake Centre in Fort Collins, CO; follow along live online with streaming video at cyclingdirt!

Powers takes top step at night time Gateway Cross Cup

Jeremy Powers took top honors at the after-dark UCI C2 Gateway Cross Cup in St. Louis, MO last night out of a very selective and strong lead group that had formed by five-to-go containing: Ben Berden (Bel), Jonathan Page, Jamey Driscoll, and Todd Wells.

Elite Men Top 5:

  1. Jeremy Powers (USA) Team Rapha FOCUS in 0:57:23
  2. Ben Berden (Bel) Stoemper at 0:00:05
  3. Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike-Blue Bicycles at 0:00:08
  4. Jamet Driscoll (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com at 0:00:11
  5. Todd Wells (USA) Specialized at 0:00:34

Tonight also saw the return of Chris Jones to the dirt, coming off a full road season that finished at the Tour of Britain just three days prior.

Look for the team this weekend at the first US Gran Prix of Cyclocross series race, the Planet Bike Cup in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin!

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