Professional road and cyclocross racer Jeremy Powers is one of the most popular professional riders on the domestic scene. Racing for the Jelly Belly team since 2004, Powers is not only a formidable road racer, but has developed into the top cyclocross racer in North America. Last year Powers took home the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross series as well as the NACT series. Peloton checked in with Powers as he gears up for the second half of the road season and another run at cyclocross domination.
Give us a run down on the Jelly Belly team for the 2011 season.
Things are going well this year. We have a very young, new team, which has taken time to shape and gel but weve been riding great since the Tour of California. Last year was Jelly Belly P/b Kendas most successful season with a lot of victories. Jelly Belly is a program that develops riders to go on to bigger teams. We do the biggest races in North America so everyone gets that opportunity to shine and catapult themselves into a bigger team. One of the problems of being successful is that they all end up getting onto bigger programs that suit their goals. So when we succeed, we suffer a little bit sometimes but it feel good at the same time!
You survived another Tour of California, any horror stories?
I did survive. I love the long stage races, no horror stories this year just a lot of motivated, talented riders and hard climbs!
You have set up the J.A.M. fund and partnered with the Wheel House Racing team to develop up and coming riders. Can you give some details of the program?
J.A.M is a fund that is currently going through the process of becoming a non-profit organization. J.A.M stands for the first letter of each of my friends names: (J) Jeremy (A) Alec and (M) is for Mukunda. We started J.A.M last year to help offset the costs of racing for motivated, aspiring riders in our area. We also help with coaching, mentoring and a slew of other things that come along. We essentially created J.A.M to put a name to some of the things we were already doing, but we couldnt continue to afford to keep funding the program as it grew, so we created an event called the Grand FUNdo and the FUNdo took on a life of its own. Last year we had 150 people come out and ride and this year were looking at having about 300. The money raised from the event, supports the efforts of J.A.M. For more info on J.A.M and the FUNdo, www.grandfundo.com
The big news this season is your switch from the Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com team to the Rapha-Focus team. Congratulations on the new team. What brought the change?
Thank you! It was something that was brewing for a couple years, Slate Olsen from Rapha who is very passionate about cyclocross asked me two years ago to come on and take part in their new program, but it was scary to think about actually going through with that. They partnered with Focus bikes that is the bike sponsor of Jelly Belly and I already had a relationship with them. So you can see how the connection started. The second time Slate called and after speaking with Focus pretty extensively it became clear that it was something special and I wanted to be part of that.
What Focus bike and components will you be riding?
Ill be riding a custom painted Mares CX1 with SRAM red. The Mares is a machine that screams to be beaten, bashed and ridden fast!
With you on a different team, the triple threat of you, Tim Johnson and Jamey Driscoll is not longer in effect. How is this going to change the racing this season?
I dont really know yet! But I think as a spectator and fan watching the sport grow, its a great thing for cyclocross to have myself, Ryan Trebon, Todd Wells, Geoff Kabush etc all on different teams. Its going to make the racing exciting and unpredictable. Im hungry and it isnt for food!
Are we going to see J-Pow edition Rapha clothing?
Id love that, I think I need to put in a little more time over in London for that to become a reality though!
What music should we be listing to?
Right this minute Im rocking out to Clinton Sparks my AWESOME mixtape
Favorite Jelly Belly flavor?
I love the Margarita Jelly Bellys
Barrington Coffee Roasters! www.barringtoncoffee.com
The coffee they make is consistently perfect. Give it a try.