Making it look easy, Katerina Nash (Luna) took the second victory of the weekend at the Deschutes Brewery Cup and completed her domination of the Exergy US Gran Prix of Cyclocross to also take the overall title.
“It’s never easy. I try to keep my serious game on. You’ll never see me walk across the finish line.” Nash said after the race.
Nash made the decision to skip the Czech National Championships in order to race in Bend this weekend. “I got my start in the USGP races and I figured out that cyclocross is an awesome sport. I made USGP my priority this year. I wanted to be at all the races. I wanted to support the USGP races. The level of competition is great. I love that the prize money is the same. The Europeans can’t believe that men and women make the same prize money. It’s such an awesome thing.”
She added, “I had a lot of national championships at this point, I skipped the mountain bike, I skipped the cyclocross so it gives the younger riders a chance to get more sponsorship at home. Maybe I was missed but it’s okay, maybe I’ll go back next year.”
For Nicole Duke (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com), today’s race was all about redemption. After breaking her derailleur in a crash on the final lap on Saturday’s race which took her off the podium, Duke hit the gas straight from the gun.
“I have always been a fast starter. I think it’s from my dual slalom and downhill racing. I just like to be out of the mix and away from any possible crashes. I do like to get the hole shot then sit up a bit and let the race settle in.” Duke said.
Soon once again, it was two at the front when Nash attacked and Duke covered by the second lap. And then, just like yesterday, Nash went off and Duke was battling with Teal Stetson-Lee (CalGiant).
“When Katerina passed me today and I got on her wheel and my goal was just stay on it as long as possible. As per usual she gapped me. I knew Teal was behind me. I knew we would work together. It was so similar to yesterday. When I came up to that corner I fell in yesterday I cringed through it. It made me nervous but then I knew I had it. It was total redemption.” Duke said.
While Nash was sailing away for the win, Duke and Stetson-Lee fought it out, trying to drop each other until the final lap.
“Nicole and I were definitely battling it out. She lost me on the final lap. I still have quite a bit to learn about tactics, and also my own ability and where I’m going to be the strongest, making a move, attacking, whatever it may be. But the final lap, she just out rode me, flat out out rode me. I thought I was in a good position going in, I was on her wheel which is right where I wanted to be. I didn’t want to be pulling her around like I did a lot yesterday. I was like yeah I’ll just hang with her and then when the time is right I’ll be able to attack and I’ll be more recovered. Well, when we hit the technical stuff back here, she had some amazingly smooth lines, I made just the slightest mistakes, just not quite as smooth as she was and that was right where the gaps started opening up. And then, at that point, she just took advantage. She just hammered it. My plan didn’t exactly work that time.” Stetson-Lee said.
A happy Duke was able to cross the line solo for second place. “My heart and soul was in the race, I wanted to make sure I kept second place because of yesterday, I felt like I really deserved it yesterday and I wanted to give it my all today. I even had Katerina in mind up there towards the end, and I realized that maybe I could get close to her but there just wasn’t enough time.”
One name was missing throughout. Meredith Miller (CalGiant) flatted right after the pit on the first lap. By the time, she got a new bike, she was way off the back of the field.
“I have to admit that I thought, “do I keep going?” It was hard to make it all the way to the pit and see riders off to the finish line. I knew I needed to stay mentally tough. I just kept pushing harder and harder. I had no idea where I was or what place I was or who I was in the overall. Towards the end I heard the announcers talk about it. It was just a matter of making my way to the finish. I did not want to DNF.” Miller said.
Though Miller finished, she lost her second overall in the series to Duke.
Top 10 Results
1. Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team)
2. Nicole Duke (Cannondale pb Cyclocrossworld.com)
3. Teal Stetson-Lee (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized)
4. Julie Krasniak (Rapha-Focus)
5. Kaitlin Antonneau (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized)
6. Susan Butler (River City Bicycles/Ridley)
7. Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt)
8. Andrea Smith (Ladiesfirst Racing)
9. Maureen Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill pb Seven Cycles)
10. Coryn Rivera (Team Exergy Twenty12)