The Aspire Racing team—Jeremy Powers and Ellen Noble, plus new rider Spencer Petrov—kicked off the 2017 season with two weekends of C1, C2 and World Cup racing in Rochester, New York, and Iowa City, Iowa. Jeremy finished third in the first C1 of the season, and was the third American at the World Cup. Ellen took the C1 win in Rochester, and followed it up with an eighth place finish in the World Cup on Sunday. And the team newbie Spencer took fourth place on Saturday and Sunday of Rochester, but suffered a bad crash during the World Cup that drastically dropped his placing. But overall, as the team heads to CrossVegas and on to the Waterloo World Cup in Madison, spirits are high and the team is having a great time.
In Rochester, Ellen took her first-ever C1 win on Saturday at Rochester, a major victory after a summer plagued by concussions and other complications. “I was so excited to take my first C1 win,” she says. “There were some question marks about where I would be coming into the season, but this helped ease my anxieties about that. I know that I’m on the right track and that makes me really excited for the rest of the season. Sunday’s race, I was pretty tired—I used up all of my energy on Saturday! Tired legs with a crash put me out of contention for the podium, but it was still great to be out racing.”
Rochester started the season strong for Jeremy, who took back-to-back wins there last season. “My race weekend was great boost for me personally as I felt I needed a strong weekend to come back from last seasons hardships. Overall I felt like I have a lot of power in my legs. We had some small things that turned into some seconds over the hour-long races, but overall my fitness is confirmed to me and it’s only going to improve as I recover from the weekends of racing. I knew this season with a lack of summer racing would be hard at the start, but I’m very happy with where I’m starting from.”
In his first UCI weekend with the Aspire Racing team in Rochester, Spencer not only celebrated his 19th birthday, he also celebrated two top-U23 results and two 4th place finishes in a stacked UCI field. “First race with the team was amazing!” he says. “It was the least stressful race environment I’ve ever been a part of.”
“I was stoked with my best C1 result ever Saturday,” he added. Racing in the lead pack isn’t new to the young racer, but having a strong finish after 60 minutes of racing is always the goal. “My legs continued to feel good Sunday, though I got caught behind people making mistakes,” he added.
“This was the first weekend that we had the team together and it was absolutely amazing. I’ve gotten to know Spencer this summer, and having him on the team is really exciting. We all have a really great dynamic,” Ellen added.
After Rochester, the team headed to Iowa for the first World Cup race of the season, plus a C1 under-the-lights night race.
Friday’s race wasn’t a team favorite: Ellen ended up in 12th, Jeremy in 27th and Spencer in 32. But with Sunday’s World Cup coming up, it was a tough race to pace, as none of the riders wanted to end up overtired or injured for the biggest race of the weekend.
On Sunday, Ellen shocked and delighted the crowd with her barrier-hopping abilities, and was able to finish in eighth in a heavily stacked field. Jeremy started slow, as per his plan, and was able to ride into 27th place as the third American finisher, while Spencer dealt with some back pain and ended in 38th after a strong start.
“The team is so much fun: Spencer, Ellen and I are having a lot of laughs and anytime thats in place, it makes the racing for all of us, that much better,” Jeremy added. (Make sure you’re following along on Behind THE Barriers, Aspire Racing Edition.)
Rochester Photos, Videos and Results:
JingleCross Photos, Videos and Results: