Bold Predictions for the US Cyclocross Championships

4:06 AM

Nationals is less than a week away, and I’m more excited than I ever was for Christmas as a kid – on Sunday the best elite men and women will attack a course in Verona, Wisconsin that will feature one long climb, a host of technical twists, a fairly deep sandpit, and some descents that could be very interesting depending on the weather conditions.  And by the time the sun sets on Sunday afternoon, champions will be crowned.

So, who will win?  There’s nothing like a prognosticating challenge to bring out the fortune-teller in all of us!

Elite Women

The amazing Katie Compton
This one is easy – Katie Compton has won the US Championships eight times running, and is the only US woman to reach the podium at the World Championships.  This year has brought Compton a host of World Cup wins, and last weekend she won the World Cup overall with her second place in Rome.  She is an amazing cyclist, and has dominated every domestic race she entered this year.  Something unusual would have to happen to keep her off of the top step of the podium.

After Compton, however, the field opens up to several contenders.  Georgia Gould (my favorite person in the whole wide world) has had an excellent year with bronze medals in the Cross Country Olympic and Cross Country World Championship races.  She has also been a consistent presence in the USGP of Cyclocross races, winning the overall title with a slew of second place finishes (Comption, who won the six races she entered, did not race the full series).  She has the technical skills and the motivation to finish well in Verona.

Other races to consider for podium spots…Katilin Antonneau, Teal Stetson-Lee, Amanda Carey, Meredith Miller and Nicole Duke are all contending for a spot.  Antonneau, who is coached by Compton, is seen as the future of American cyclocross, and Meredith Miller was having an incredible year before a broken wrist took her out of competition for a month.  My bold predictions:

1. Katie Compton
2. Georgia Gould
3. Teal Stetson-Lee
4. Meredith Miller
5. Kaitlin Antonneau

Elite Men

Generally, the top spot on the men’s podium is slightly more open than the women’s, though the odds-on favorite is definitely Jeremy Powers.  Powers, the 2012 US Champion, has dominated the domestic races this year and won the USGP of Cyclocross overall title.  He also is much improved in his World Cup racing with a top 10 finish, though he is still far from consistent when racing against the Europeans.  Powers has incredible speed on the bike, but epic conditions (mud, ice, etc.) could open things up dramatically.

Other contenders – there are just too many of them: Trebon, Driscoll, Johnson, Summerhill, Jones, Craig…  One that shouldn’t be forgotten is Jonathan Page, who also had a top 10 finish in Europe this fall and has raced well considering he is without a sponsor (great news – he picked one up just for the Nationals weekend!). 

With the men’s race I think it all comes down to conditions.  A dry, fast race favors Powers, but if it is muddy I would put my money squarely on Trebon, and with ice I wouldn’t be surprised if someone like Zach McDonald could find his way to the podium.  Basically, my predictions for the Elite Men get less bold:

1. Jeremy Powers
2. Ryan Trebon
3 Jonathan Page
4. Tim Johnson
5. Jamie Driscoll

You Might Also Like