Trebon came up big again at Granogue, where the reigning U.S. national champion earned his first UCI win of the season. Wicknasty takes second.
“I’ve always really liked this course,” Ryan said. “It’s a hard race even when it’s dry because there are enough hills to make it very technical. Add in conditions like today, it’s an even greater challenge just to ride sections cleanly.”
Trebon and Wicks set race tactics aside and jumped out of the fray early to escape the chaos caused by the slick conditions. Trebon took the holeshot, followed closely by Wicks and Adam Myerson. Halfway through the first lap, Myerson fell off the pace as U23 Swiss rider Valentin Scherz moved into the mix with Trebon and Wicks. The trio hit the long run-up to the Granogue tower in quick succession, intensely searching for solid footholds.
Behind the leaders, much of the pack was stringing out as a steady stream of riders slid out on the steep off-camber sections, much to the satisfaction of the cowbell-ringing crowd.
As the Kona duo extended their lead in the early laps, Scherz, Davide Frattini, Dan Timmerman, Will Dugan and Adam McGrath were fighting it out for podium spots. By lap three, Scherz had pulled into third and continued to put time into his pursuers.
Trebon and Wicks may have gained some advantage thanks to frequent bike changes. The Kona crew was able to provide clean rides in the pit on every half lap. The top spots were sewn up by the bell lap, as Trebon ultimately crossed the finish 1:30 ahead of Wicks and more than 2 minutes up on Scherz.
“This has been a very tactical race in the past when it’s dry, but on a day like this you’re just racing the course,” Wicks explained. “These are the hardest conditions I’ve seen here. When it’s heavy like this, it just separates the race even more.”
Special thanks to Dusty and Donn for keeping the bike changes rolling when they needed em.