Say what you want about Ryan Trebon. Over the years, we've always wanted to see Ryan race well. Yes, he is opinionated. Yes, he calls people out. But, unlike other top US racers, it's our opinion that Trebon keeps his ego in check, and doesn't act like someone he's not. Recently Ryan turned down a spot on the US Worlds team. Despite the decision, Ryan took time to share some thoughts on the up and coming World Championships, and US cyclocross.
You’ve been selected to represent the US at CX Worlds in Zolder. Tell us how many times you’ve been on the worlds team since being a junior. Have you raced Worlds at Zolder before?
Unfortunately I had to turn down the selection for Worlds. Never raced Zolder at Worlds but a few times as a World Cup.
It seems like 2015 cyclocross season started off really well for you with a solid 12th place at the Vegas World Cup, and yet you’ve had to deal with an excruciating back issue for most of the season. How is your health feeling after Asheville?
I’m feeling better and on the up and up. I was really hoping for more at Nats and had working very hard to strengthen my back and train as best as possible.
We appreciate the candidness you’ve provided cycling fans over the years, whether it was the “F MY LIFE” comment at the top of a dusty and hot gravel climb at the Rapha Gentleman’s race, to the praise you’ve had for your current Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld team. What can you say about the new school and crop of European fast kids at the front of the races these days? Have you seen an attitude shift in terms of friendliness from those riders, or are they still the cold-faced, unfriendly riders of the last generation?
I think as you get older and your focus becomes more about winning and results, that hyper focus can make you seem cold to outsiders. I think they are all friendly they just desire the result and there is no time to fuck around!!
Tell us about the last time you raced Zolder. It’s an infamous track, and the weather is obviously a huge factor on how that course rides. If you could have Zolder in any condition, what would you choose?
The Zolder track is good, very sandy soil. Drains well for the most part so you don’t get these hugetractor pull sections. But it’s a challenging track with lots of technical sections.
Many of us ask this question. When riders of any country line up, and it’s likely they are not going to win, what becomes the secondary goal. Given your long history of racing the World Championships, what would be your stretch goal for this year?
For me the result is never really the goal. It’s the sensations I have during the race. For me when I line up I want my legs to respond, ride technically well, and be able to race the solid hr. I know that if I feel good on the bike the results will be good.
Who is your favorite rider right now in the cyclocross peleton, US or international? Who is your least favorite rider?
Gianni Vermeersch is my least favorite, he rode like a total cock at Vegas this year in the group we were in. I really like Curtis White and Logan Owen. I think those two posses every bit of skill and ability they will need to be fantastic professional racers in the future. [Ed Note: apparently Trebon isn't the only one with a disliking for Vermeersch as this video indicates]
Stephen Hyde seems to be going really well right now. Is there any discussion of what role you might be able to play for him at Worlds, as his trade team teammate, or is everyone out for themselves?
Usually it’s everyone for themselves, US racing is different when you are 2 of 3 or 4 at the front but when you are in 20th you’re fighting for every wheel.
I was at the WC race in Hoogerheide when you hit a camera boom. That must have been annoying. Tell us about that. Did the UCI address this mishap after the fact?
No the UCI, USAC didn’t do anything after that. It was a pretty surreal situation at the time. I believe it was the 2nd or 3rd lap. I was probably sitting around 15th or so, and I was on the outside of the group going around a corner, next thing I know I’m laying on the hard cold concrete wondering WTF just happened. It was super cold that day and hitting the ground hurts even worse on those days.
You’ve been on disc brakes for a few years now. You’ve raced canti’s in Europe, where the courses are much heavier, steeper, and more technical. What do disc brakes allow you to do in Europe, that you might not have been able to do before?
Does the trip to Europe and the fanfare and the largeness of cyclocross still excite you, or do you see the scene there in a different way?
Yes for sure, I love absolutely everything about racing in Europe. For me the World Cups don’t have half the appeal as the Super Prestige and Bpost races. I like the old classic courses and nature that smaller events bring.
Who are you most likely to talk and joke around with once you reach Europe?
Other Americans for sure.
As we watch the race on the web, and given the features at Zolder, how will we know if you are having a good race at Worlds? Are there any lines or parts of that section that we can look to, and watch to know how you are feeling?
I think when you are in chase mode all day, it’s hard to look good on the bike when you’re at 100% for the hr.
There’s the distinct traverse section at Zolder where riders take a left and turn onto the side of a hill, and then will opt to go high, middle, or low, before taking a sharp uphill right hand turn to the next section. Of course the lines are dependent on mud vs. dry, vs. slick, but in general, how do you like to ride and hook up that section? Low to High? High to High?
I think it depends on how you want to exit that right hand 180, some guys accelerate fast so they take the inside line, a guy like myself who may want to keep more momentum and speed with take the lower line even if its slightly slower so they don’t have to accelerate as much on the exit of that 180.