One of the deepest and largest elite women’s field, at 53 riders, took the start of the race at Eva Bandman Park for day one of the USGP Derby City Cup on Saturday. Maybe the largest. Some simply wanted to experience the 2013 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships course but most were racing hard, to get points, to better themselves and to test themselves against the Worlds course.
“I think it really speaks to the quality of the racing right now in North American that we have a World Cup level field right here at home.” said Georgia Gould (Luna) after the race.
She added, “It’s great to heave Katie here, Katerina healthy, We have so many great riders at the USGP this year, that didn’t race last year or stepped up their game for this year. I think it’s going to benefit all of us heading into Worlds.”
Once again, US Champion Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) solo’ed to the win but this time, she didn’t have to come from behind. She finally had a good start after multiple flubs in previous races in the United States and Europe.
“I finally did it, did not mess up the start. I think all season I’ve struggled with that, what I want to do is actually hit my pedal the first time and go, I finally did it and I actually had a good start.” Compton stated.
And then, well once at the start why not go? That’s exactly what she did. “I wanted to make it an effort like I’d have to do at Worlds, I wanted to see how I would feel by the last laps. It was hard out there definitely, it was hot and hard. That course wears on you, especially the sand pit.”
Only one rider was able to match Compton’s acceleration. Katerina Nash (Luna) jumped on her wheel for a while at least. Returning from a break, Saturday was Nash’ first cross race of the season and she held on to finish second.
“I tried to stay on Katie’s wheel, I made a mistake, and she got the separation right there. It was sort of time trial, where I was by myself. The course is great, and I’ll be a lot faster by February, I hope.” laughed Nash.
Gould continued with another laugh, “I’m really excited to be able to follow these guys, far behind them, but follow them nonetheless. I also was training for my start at Worlds except that I’ll be starting even further back. It was a good eye-opener on.”
Gould, who started the race with a paper mustache stating that ‘why should only the men wear silly to partake in Movember, finished third after a strong surge to catch and dropped to chase group.