Deja vu all over again at the opener of the Exergy US Gran Prix of Cyclocross when Katerina Nash (Luna) powered away from the field on the second lap at day one of Planet Bike Cup. It wasn’t a concerted attack by the rider, just engaging her engine as she rode smoothly even when the rain opened for one lap.
More photos in gallery.
The race went off fast with Nicole Duke (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) taking the holeshot and the $250 associated with the Avid Holeshot competition. The first split happened quickly with Duke, Nash and French Champion Caroline Mani taking turns at the front. Duke would take the front in the turns while Nash came back around on the straights. In that early split were also Luna’s Georgia Gould, CalGiant’s Meredith Miller and Teal Stetson-Lee, Sue Butler (River City Bicycles), Chloe Forsman (Race Club 11), Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek) and US U23 Cross Champion Kaitie Antonneau (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com).
The chase was on with Gould sitting it, waiting with other yo-yoing off the back until finally the elastic broke. With two laps to go, USGP defending champion Gould made a solo attack and was off with Miller taking off after her in a solo chase. Behind the three solo riders off the front, Duke, Mani and Forsman were together.
And that was the podium: Nash, Gould and Miller.
Racing continues on Sunday where weather is expecting to turn to more showers. It will be interesting to see if it changes anything.
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Katerina Nash (Luna). “I’ve had pretty good last weeks of racing and super happy to have this win. I just do my best and come back out here tomorrow.”
About the first two laps. “Nicole got such a great start and she was really fast through the corners and I just sat behind her, kind of having a hard time to hang on, a couple of times I told her ‘Oh my God, can I take your cornering class’ because she did very well. Then I just felt that some of the straightaways, the pace was starting to slow down a little bit and we had little gaps, I just gunned it, I just wanted to maintain the higher pace.”
“I just like to win, it doesn’t matter if I’m beating my husband in a bike ride, or if it’s here, it’s always great.” (laughs)
Georgia Gould (Luna). “I wanted to wait (to attack), I was lucky enough that Katerina, my teammate, was off the front so I didn’t have to do too much work in that group. I knew that there was plenty of strong people in that group, I didn’t want to leave it too late in the race because that didn’t work out too well for me in Vegas. With two to go, I figured a spot where I was a little faster and just tried to hang on until the end.”
Meredith Miller (CalGiant). “It was just a matter of time before one of the two of them went off the front. I’m not nearly as fast as these two going in and out of these turns so I was just trying to hang on in the beginning when the split started happening, I was yo-yoing off the back off the group and catch back on on the straights where I was a little stronger. When Georgia finally went away with two laps to go, I was trying to get back to her. Still happy with third.”
Nicole Duke (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com). “We had talked about it (the holeshot competition) that it was going to be a fun event. I was excited to get the first one. I’m known as a good starter so I knew that I had a chance at it but I was surprised that I got it literally right off the line so it felt really good. I was happy to have some glory at the beginning of the race.” (laughs)
About the first two laps. “For me, it was about control because I was getting a little frustrated in the corners because I do like to roll through the corners fast and that slowing down and speeding up in the corners and having to really put a lot of power to get back on the speed, it kind of hurts me. I like to flow through the corners so being in front through those corners was an advantage for me because I was able to reserve a little bit and then when Caroline would come around me. We had talked about working together so we worked together for awhile, her and I tried to get away but we had some mishaps, just stuff happened along the way so we weren’t able to get away like we wanted to.”
Top 10 Results
1.Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) 0:40:34
2.Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) +00:17
3.Meredith Miller (California Giant Cycling) +00:28
4.Chloe Forsman (Race Club 11)
5.Caroline Mani (Fra)
6.Nicole Duke (Cannondale pb CyclocrossWorld.com) +00:37
7.Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek) +00:50
8.Sue Butler (River City/Ridley)
9.Teal Stetson-Lee (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized) +01:14
10.Pepper Harlton (Juventus Cycling Club)