On an extremely muddy course, the win came down to a sprint between Luna’s Katerina Nash and US Champion Katie Compton (Planet Bike/Stevens). With a few hundred feet to the finish, Nash powered ahead of Compton for the New Belgium Cup win.
“It was all about peddling as hard as I could to the finish. I think that’s why I won. I had a little bit more at the finish.” Nash said.
In her first USGP race this year, last year’s overall winner Nash broke Compton’s undefeated streak in the series.
Georgia Gould (Luna) claimed the hole shot and stayed with both Czech Champion Nash and Compton in the first laps. Compton made a huge push forcing Nash to pursue without teammate Gould. A critical mistake in the pits allowed Nash to catch Compton. A brilliant dual ensued between the two women who have posted World Cup victories. Both made mistakes; both recovered.
Gould held on to finish third with a big smile on her face in front of friends and family. She also held on to the USGP leader’s jersey.
The race began with a huge crash on the first turn. Race favorite Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) was caught up behind the crash and ultimately finished 13th.
Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized) crashed repeatedly in the first lap but made her way back up 20 spots. She was awarded SRAM Most Aggressive Rider for fighting back to finish 8th.
Racing continues tomorrow where conditions will be similar and the a new obstacle will be added to the course, a runup with railroad ties.
Katerina Nash (LUNA). “The race worked great though you really can’t predict what’s going to happen on a course like today. Every tiny mistake counts. I just tried to ride smooth and stay focus until the end. At the end of the race I knew that Katie was behind me, and the finish was a bit windy. She did not attack me. As soon as we hit the pavement I knew the finish wasn’t to far. I thought if I hit it and peddle as hard as I could I would get it. At this point there is no tactics involved. It was all about peddling as hard as I could to the finish. I think that’s why I won. I had a little bit more at the finish.”
Katie Compton (Planet Bike / Stevens). “We met at the pit and Katerina was going hard. I had to work to chase her. I caught her at the end but I didn’t have much at the final sprint. She definitely took that one fairly easily. It was a exciting, powerful race. It was good today and I look forward to tomorrow.”
Georgia Gould (LUNA). “I got the hole shot in the beginning. I just assumed that there was going to be something at the start so I tried to get out of there as soon as I could. I wanted to be able to have clean shot at the beginning. Katerina (Nash) and Katie (Compton) and I were racing pretty tight in the beginning. Everyone was making mistakes but I couldn’t get out of my way. I was not riding very smoothly. I just ended up losing contact with the front group, which was pretty frustrating. I feel good but I was making more mistakes than everyone else. I feel my fitness was good, my legs felt good but I kept crashing. I am bummed because there were so many people out there cheering for me. Today was the best crowd we have had in the US so far this year. Today was seriously an awesome crowd.”
Amanda Miller (Hudz-Subaru). “It was a fun day. I am sure what happened at the start. I did get a good start and the pile up happened right behind me. It did sound like carnage. I did not look back. I have been racing a lot locally. This race is the reason why I decided to cross this season. I plan on going to Jingle Cross because I am originally from Iowa and am thinking of Nationals.”
Meredith Miller (CalGiant). “It was hard, it was slippery and I’m still learning how to ride in mud. Pre-riding it I was like okay but then I rode it the Masters race but decided not to ride after the Masters race, first of all, we were supposed to get half an hour and the guys were late so we didn’t have that much time, I didn’t ride it again. I thought it wouldn’t matter. I had a little bit more confidence when I was pre-riding but riding it I was like ‘oh man’ and when you’re out of breath and tired, it was harder to keep control when it’s slippery like that. It was hard, it was fun but it was really hard, I’m tired.”
About moving up. “In one of the crashes my chain came off, it took me a while to get going again but I just kept seeing people out of the corner of my eye, passing me and I knew that it wasn’t good. So I just had to fight my way back again.”
Top 10 Elite Women
1. Katerina Nash (LUNA)
2. Katie Compton (Planet Bike / Stevens)
3. Georgia Gould (LUNA)
4. Amy Dombroski (LUNA)
5. Amanda Miller (HUDZ Subaru)
6. Alice Pennington (S&M)
7. Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com)
8. Meredith Miller (Cal. Giant Berries / Specialized)
9. Mo Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill/ Seven)
10. Katy Curtis (Cyclemeisters/Bow Cycle)