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Jeremy Scores Two Second Places at Derby City Cup

by Wil Matthews

by Wil Matthews

It was a strong weekend of racing in Louisville, Kentucky, with one night race on Saturday and another UCI C2 race the next day. But the weather couldn’t have been nicer—mid-50s and sunny all weekend, with a bit of mud leftover on the course from an earlier storm—and the racing action was exciting all weekend as Jeremy battled with Stephen Hyde both days, ceding victory to his JAM Fund protege.

“The weekend was a strong one,” Jeremy said. “I felt great on Saturday, but things went wild off the line as we sped off the pavement at 30 miles an hour, spun out of our gears, and hit this wild mud pit that sent riders going all over the place.”

That start dictated much of the race for Jeremy, and he adds, “The luck of the draw and not having my best start of the season left me a few riders back and I got hung up behind some heavy traffic after a crash right in front of me. Luckily, the riders up front stayed consistent and I was able to do damage control, but it took some time to work because I had to pick my spots to open it up on the heavy-driving course.”

As the sun set on Eva Bandman Park and Cyclocross Venue, the riders faced even more challenges, including simply being able to see the best lines on the course. “Once I made contact with the front group,” Jeremy explained, “It was about recovering and I wanted more tread on my tires, so I switched bikes, but minutes after getting that bike, I flatted the front tire on a rock in a hole I couldn’t see well because of shadows from the night racing.”

Pitting and swapping bikes quickly became the name of the game as the race wore on, but Jeremy finally made contact with the front group again with two laps to go. “I immediately had to give it what I had, and I was able to distance us from Logan Owen, leaving just Stephen and I battling, as we have many times this season. I led into most of the technical sections in the final lap, but on one little kicker, Hyde shot passed me and then we ended up on the pavement for a sprint finish I’ve lost a few times over the years!”

However, despite losing the sprint, Jeremy was happy for several reasons: “It was some great racing, and yes, I lost the sprint,” he says. “It’s not awesome to lose any race, but I’m happy for Stephen as a rider who came through our development system, lives down the street and a rider I’ve personally had a hand in helping —to win a big one like Saturday was good to see, he rode well and deserved the win.”

 

by Wil Matthews

by Wil Matthews

The race played out similarly on Sunday, but in daylight this time, and with Logan Owen having an early mechanical that knocked him out of the lead group early. However, Owen was replaced by a hard-charging Danny Summerhill, who was looking to replay some previous wins on the course.

“Sunday was a new day but my legs weren’t amazing,” Jeremy recalls. “I don’t think anyones were and that always ends up with riders playing games, waiting, not pulling, opening gaps… So, with two to go, I hit it as hard as I could to get some separation and once again, Hyde stuck with my effort.”

It seemed like the two would have another chance at a sprint, but in the last half lap, a small spill for Jeremy gave Stephen the opening he needed to get a gap and take a solo win.

In all, Jeremy was pleased with the weekend. “I would have liked to of had better luck on Saturday night and have been able to execute better on Sunday, but it wasn’t meant to be,” he says. “Overall, I really enjoyed the fast, punchy, technical courses and atmosphere again in Louisville. There were great crowds all weekend who came out!”

Jeremy heads to Koksijde, Belgium, next week for the next round of World Cup racing.

by Wil Matthews

by Wil Matthews

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