Nash, Mourey Top CrossVegas

Posted on 23. Sep, 2010 by in race

Under a full moon, with the lights of Las Vegas shimmering in the distance, Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) and Francis Mourey (FDJ) took the win in on Wednesday night in what could be the last CrossVegas. The two races could not have been different with the winner in the women’s race self-evident while it came down to the line, literally in the men’s race.

Katerina Nash (Luna) solo's to win CrossVegas

Katerina Nash (Luna) solo's to win CrossVegas

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Nash Dominates Again. Continuing on what was last year’s story, Nash’s win was evident once she took a solo flyer with three laps to go. From the start of the race, the women of Luna Pro Team were in total control of the race. Nash, Georgia Gould and Amy Dombroski went immediately to the front along with former US National cross country champion, Mary McConneloug (Kenda/Seven Cycles) and Sue Butler (Hudz-Subaru). With one lap into the race, the five were off. McConneloug put in a few attacks and that was enough for Nash and she just went. Butler was dropped as the pace went up, leaving McConneloug to battle for second place against teammates Gould and Dombroski.

McConneloug’s plan for a sprint were spoiled by Dombroski who attacked on the final lap and was able to hold on for second. McConneloug took third and Gould fourth.

Reactions.

Katerina Nash (Luna), winner. “Tonight is super special for us because they equalled out our prize money for the men, last year it was one tenth of the men so we’re really really excited to be out here tonight and race for the same prize money.”

About the race. “It’s kind of windy out there, I didn’t want to go out too early, Mary was riding super strong. I put in a good effort, got a gap. I was out there chasing the wind by myself, and I had three people behind me but I was strong enough to stay out there. It was hard, I was definitely happy to be on the last lap but I just pace myself pretty well.”

About the grassy course. “I think you have to try to convince yourself that you don’t have two flat tires because that’s what it feels like. It’s just a mental game.”

Amy Dombrowski (Luna), second. “We all want to win but we’d rather see one of our teammates than someone else. There’s so real strategy, Georgia and Katerina are both insanely experienced so when they are racing they know what the smart thing to do is. So just followed them and tried to use my brain as much as I could.:

About her strategy. “I was just trying to conserve, I’ve done a couple of local races and I had no idea where my fitness was. I didn’t know where I would stack up, last year I hardly cracked the top 10 here. In the past, I haven’t been going well at this time of the season, I was just trying to stay on wheels and not open up gaps, that was kind of my main focus, just watched Georgia and Katerina and see what they do and learn from them.”

About her attack on the last lap. “Last year that was where I was able to get out of the group that I was with, was over on that hill. You have to attack where it’s hard, I think that’s probably one of the hardest part, because it’s a steep hill, the grasses are real dry, I just of gave it everything there and tried to keep turning the pedals over even though I was totally inside out.”

About her form. “I’m happy where it is, and I feel that I have a lot more work to do.”

Mary McConneloug (Kenda/Seven/No Tubes), third. “Once that happened, the split, I knew where my race was and I had to be smart about it. I was pretty much soft-pedaling on the front, neither of them would come around, finally a little bit of help on windy sections but got a little blocked off on the last hillclimb, Georgia didn’t know I was trying to come by and she earnestly said she wasn’t trying to block me, Amy just split and I was just stuck, that was it. Damn I was ready to sprint.”

About going out fast. “Someone on the sidelines said, really quietly, just like a minute to go, ‘it’s all about the start Mary’, and I don’t even know who it was, and I was like, I didn’t even looked over, and I was just like yes it’s all in the start. I know I have a pretty wicked start and I just went for it, I was like oh shoot I think I have a little gap in the field but then I saw shadows okay not too much. I was right in the position I wanted to be in because all these turns, it’s chaos with all those wheels and spinning.”

The fight for second. “I knew that that was my race right there. Either wanted to be first or second, I didn’t want to be third because I was going to get blocked off. They weren’t necessarily working together really, that was my vibe, I could hear them breathing really hard so I was like okay I’m just going to go to the front, I pushed my own pace, keeping it steady, listening to lap counts, okay three to go, don’t make any attacks, I need to save it for the sprint. I was ready to sprint, I know I’m not going to be able to drop them. I knew that was my race, I had fun out there, I enjoyed it.”

CrossVegas podium: 1st Katerina Nash (Luna), 2nd Amy Dombrowski (Luna), 3rd Mary McConnelough (Kenda/Seven.NoTubes)

CrossVegas podium: 1st Katerina Nash (Luna), 2nd Amy Dombrowski (Luna), 3rd Mary McConnelough (Kenda/Seven.NoTubes)

Mourey Blitzes by. It looked to be a repeat from last year when defending champion Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com) took a solo flyer halfway through the race and grew a gap up to 24 seconds. But behind him, the chase was on with Ryan Trebon (Kona) putting in major pulls, dragging along a strong group of riders that included Mourey, Chris Jones (Rapha Focus), Jonathan Page (Planet Bike), Christian Heule (Vc Gippingen Champion System), Gerben De Knegt (Rabobank-Giant Off Road) and Driscoll’s teammates US National Cyclocross Champion Tim Johnson and Jeremy Powers. Driscoll’s teammates played the defensive card with Johnson slowing things down at the front and Powers watching from the back, ready to pounce on attacks.

Blitzing to the line, Francis Mourey (FDJ) , will pipp jamey Driscoll (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com) at the line

Blitzing to the line, Francis Mourey (FDJ) , will pipp jamey Driscoll (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com) at the line

Driscoll, hurting, continued to push ahead but the gap was coming down. Would he be caught before the finish? The gap was down to 14 seconds on the final lap, and though Driscoll could not feel them coming, he could see them on the twisty turny course. And the attacks flew, with riders elbowing each other as they chased down the lone rider off the front. Mourey, who was betting on a sprint finish, waited until the right time to pounce and just blitzes his way up to nip Driscoll at the line. Amazing timing. De Knegt came in third right after Driscoll.

Reactions.

Francis Mourey (FDJ), winner. “My third race in America, I raced last weekend in Seattle. There were a lot of people and again tonight, an enormous crowd. I think that for Americans, cyclocross is a big party, and we saw that tonight the crowd was present, it was a really beautiful evening.”

About the race. “Today I’m a little bit tired because I got to Las Vegas last night at midnight, didn’t go to sleep before 2am because it’s the first time that I come here. And today, for my sponsors I spent the day in the booth. It was a tiring day and today, I favored a low energy race. I knew I had a chance to win a sprint, I wagered my race on the sprint and it worked.”

About Driscoll off the front. “I knew because the solo rider at the front was not taking a lot of time on us, us behind we were going a bit faster. For us, with a few riders, it was hard, so the rider at the front would get tired over an hour. In the last two laps, he was hurting and that’s why we caught him.”

About American cross riders. “It’s a high quality [field]. For about ten years I’ve been in the best in the world and you always find Trebon, Jonathan Page, the women are good too, there’s a very good level from America. When you see races like tonight with the crowd, I think it’s going to continue to expand, especially with the World Cyclocross Championships here in 2013, and I think it’s going to grow enormously.”

Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com). “It’s a bummer to be out there and try so hard and get nipped by half a wheel at the line, but his reputation precedes him, he’s a darned good bike rider. When I heard he was coming, yeah I knew that he’d the guy to beat so I came about as close as I could I guess.”

About his attack. “Admittedly I have a bad habit of just attacking when it’s easy, everyone sat up and there was room to go on the outside and just carried my momentum from the back of the group. I did that. I was surprised that everyone let me go, I was looking behind me a little bit, not full rotation , I thought someone was on my wheel but it just happened to be multiple lights and multiple shadows, but when I came around the hairpin right after the pit, everyone had sat up. Just gave it go.”

Was his attack planned? “I’d have to say to say no, it was a little emboldened. It was a lot harder without Chris Jones or someone else up there with me to share the workload.”

Did he think it would stuck? “At two laps to go, I kind of did, it was coming down steadily, everyone sat up and it went back up to seventeen seconds. You can never underestimate the speed of a finishing pack like that, especially when they were playing cat and mouse all day, the majority of them were very well rested.”

About seeing the chase. “Trebon was doing most of the work there. I had a pretty good sense of where everyone was because it doubled back on itself so much, I always had markers.”

About the last lap. “I thought they were really really close to me at the top of the hill, at the Cannondale runup. I thought they were on me, but it was not worth it giving up then, I was just throttling it as hard as I could. Having the gap that I did, I was able to up my pace compared to what I was doing compared to every other lap. Mourey obviously had a killer sprint.”

Jeremy Powers (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com), seventh. “We had Jamey off, that was good, the kid took up the reigns. What can I say he’s strong, we have to keep doing this, you have to really make him earn his keep.” (laughs)

About Driscoll’s attack. “He just took the bull by the horns and he went for it. After that we just played the defensive, this is a great race for us to play our tactics out. I saw Tim at the front and I was hanging at the back and just monitoring and if one of the big guys had blasted off and I kind of made my way to the front and I wanted to make sure that I was covering those things.”

About the race. “It was weird, this race is very similar to last year, Jon Page threw a bomb and I remember that very well. I was thinking I don’t want him to do that but it’s so hard to gauge everyone’s effort here because they can just sit, sit, sit for so long and then bam they’re done, it’s over, TKO. Then the problem, they pop back on just a little bit before at the barriers because it bunches up, and then we’ve got guys that popped once now in front of guys like myself, I feel good. (sigh) Then you have to make your way through the traffic, a lot of bobbing and weaving, I don’t really like to race like that, I hate it when they are elbowing the shit out of me.”

About the final lap. “The final lap, I was in about 14th place. Someone blew right after we went down and run up the stairs on the further side of the course and then through that twisty, turny section I came underneath Geoff Kabush. Tim had four more guys with him and then he popped and then I went flying by them straight to the back of Jon Page. And then Page blew on the climb, so then I popped by him and came to the twisties here in fourth wheel on de Knegt, Mourey, the other Rabobank guy and Ryan. When we came through here, I came underneath Mourey and then Mourey put me in the tape over there, and that’s kind of how the sprint worked out, very similar. That guy is explosive, it’s unbelievable, it’s unbelievable. I came out of the corner, I was like ‘oh I definitely got this’ and then ‘no I don’t have this, actually I was wrong.’”

CrossVegas podium: 1st Francis Mourey (FDJ), 2nd Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com), 3rd Gerben De Knegt (Rabobank-Giant)

CrossVegas podium: 1st Francis Mourey (FDJ), 2nd Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com), 3rd Gerben De Knegt (Rabobank-Giant)

Top 10 Elite Men Results
1 3 FRA19801208 MOUREY Francis Francaise Des Jeux FRA 0:59:30
2 7 USA19861111 DRISCOLL James Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.Com USA 0:59:30
3 2 NED19751211 DE KNEGT Gerben Rabobank – Giant Off Road Team NED 0:59:31
4 8 USA19810305 TREBON Ryan Kona USA 0:59:31
5 4 SUI19750402 HEULE Christian Vc Gippingen Champion System SUI 0:59:32
6 5 USA19760916 PAGE Jonathan Planet Bike USA 0:59:32
7 10 USA19830629 POWERS Jeremy Cannondale Cyclocross Team USA 0:59:33
8 19 NED19910723 * VAN DER HAAR Lars Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team NED 0:59:34
9 12 CAN19770414 KABUSH Geoff Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain CAN 0:59:38
10 22 USA19810815 CRAIG Adam Rabobank/Giant Offroad USA 0:59:40

Top 10 Elite Women Results
1 3 CZE19771209 NASH Katerina Luna Pro Team CZE 0:46:10
2 4 USA19870909 DOMBROSKI Amy Luna Pro Team USA 0:46:27
3 8 USA19710624 MCCONNELOUG Mary Kenda/Seven/Notubes USA 0:46:27
4 12 USA19800105 GOULD Georgia Luna Pro Team USA 0:46:38
5 10 USA19710912 BUTLER Susan Hudz-Subaru USA 0:47:09
6 5 USA19731226 MILLER Meredith California Giant/Specialized USA 0:47:31
7 14 USA19770407 EMMETT Kelli Giant Bicycles USA 0:47:31
8 17 USA19791214 POWERS Alison Team Vera Bradley Foundation USA 0:47:31
9 16 USA19800921 STUDLEY Kari Redline USA 0:47:31
10 43 USA19860524 STETSON-LEE Teal California Giant/Specialized USA 0:47:31

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