Cyclocross fun in Pacific Northwest
Zipp-sponsored athletes wrapped up the leading U.S. cyclocross series last weekend with good results and a bit of drama.
The final leg of the 2011 Exergy US Gran Prix of Cyclocross presented by Greenware in Bend, Ore., also served as a showcase for emerging talent Teal Stetson-Lee (photo to right).
On Day 1 of racing in the Pacific Northwest, Tim Johnson (on a Cannondale equipped with Zipp Service Course SL, SRAM RED and prototype disc-brake-compatible Zipp 303 wheels with Avid BB7 disc brakes) and Jeremy Powers vied for the win. Johnson finished second after a powerful kick that almost caught Powers, who already had started to celebrate before the line.
Meredith Miller and Stetson-Lee -- California Giant/Specialized teammates each riding Zipp 303, Service Course SL, SRAM RED and Avid Shorty Ultimate – finished second and third respectively behind Katerina Nash on Day 1 of the elite women.
On Day 2, Jamey Driscoll of the Cannondale Prepared by Cyclocrossworld.com team continued his good form with a second place behind Powers.
For the elite women, Nicole Duke rebounded from a hard last-lap crash the day before to win the Avid Shorty Ultimate Holeshot and place second behind Nash.
Stetson-Lee returned to the podium with a third-place finish. The 25-year-old Colorado native may be an unfamiliar name to many cyclocross fans. “I’m brand new,” she admitted.
Stetson-Lee – who grew up hiking, cross-country skiing and simply being outdoors – took up cyclocross as a student at collegiate cycling powerhouse Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo.
“Elite is just a huge step up from collegiate,” she said during a recent visit to the Zipp factory in Indianapolis. “I stepped into the big leagues with all these women who just have tons of experience.... They know what they’re doing; they line up (and) know they’re going to win, and I had no idea even where to begin mentally to prepare myself for that. It’s just a different speed and a different flow. I’m still adjusting to all of that.”
And Stetson-Lee – who majored in gender studies and Spanish at Fort Lewis – really does focus on that mental side of performance. She’s an avid reader who counts “The Tao of Pooh” among her favorite books. When she visited us at Zipp she was reading “Bone Games: Extreme Sports, Shamanism, Zen, and the Search for Transcendence.”
“I love that kind of stuff because I can apply it to my life and absolutely to my sport,” she said.
Stetson-Lee is proving a quick study with her performance at the USGP finale as well as a victory last month at Jingle Cross Rock in Iowa.
Ryan Trebon, who missed the Bend races recovering from a knee injury, finished third overall in the elite men for the eight-race USGP series. Duke was second and Miller third in the series standings, while Cody Kaiser of California Giant/Specialized placed third overall in the Men’s Under 23 division.