After a year of doing the stars-and-stripes of the U.S. National Champion proud, Jeremy Powers makes the return trip to Verona, Wisconsin, for another shot at the title. Before Jeremy gets there, Behind THE Barriers catches up with him at the Chicago New Year’s Resolution in Bloomingdale, Illinois. The race is a prime tune-up for anyone seriously vying for the national championship in one week’s time. Bloomingdale keeps to the script, and provides snowy, freezing weather that will be a glimpse of what’s to come in Verona. After a back and forth race, Jeremy manages to take home the win at the final “regular season” event on the U.S. calendar. Once the racing is over, and the feeling comes back to the extremities, it’s time to run to the airport and head north to Nationals. After spending time with the important figures in Jeremy’s life – going out on a routine trip to Whole Foods with family, catching up with young protege Anthony Clark, getting an art lesson from mechanic Tom Hopper and sampling local delicacies with Rapha-Focus’ great sponsors – it’s time to get down to business. Unfortunately, Jeremy comes up short in his bid to defend his national title, but it’s not long before he’s back on his feet, thanks to friends, family and America’s amazing cyclocross community. After some reflection, some cleaning and some arm wrestling, Jeremy’s already got his eyes on the future, and the UCI World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky.