By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor
Jesse Anthony (Jamis) and Katerina Nash (Luna) came out of the Derby City Cup in Louisville, Kentucky as leaders of the US Grand Prix of Cyclo-cross with consistent finishes in the two UCI C2 races. Anthony finished second each day while Nash took the first day while finishing second to her teammate Georgia Gould on the second.
For Anthony, the leader's jersey is a sign that his time off the bike from a broken wrist in July, which cut short his road season, has not affected his 'cross season.
"I've been out there suffering and I've put the work in," he told Cyclingnews. "I have been being coached by Gord Fraser and he has gotten me in shape for this stuff. Some of it I wasn't quite sure what he was doing, even when he explained it to me. But I followed it and no no arguments from me! I am going to do what he tells me to!"
Along with getting back into racing shape, he thinks that this year could be a turning point for him. "Every year I jump up another step but I think from last year to this year I've jumped up two steps. I know I have more in me, and I feel really good at these races. But I know my suffering point and where my legs are at, and I am not quite at the full suffering point... I know I have more fitness to dig out before it comes down to how deep I can dig."
As for the series lead, he acknowledged that he was surprised he came out of the weekend with it. "I am going to give it my best shot to hang onto it. A leader's jersey often makes the wearer ride like two men, so I am hoping."
A Luna rider in the leader's jersey was less of a surprise, except for maybe which one it would be. Both Katerina Nash and Georgia Gould won a race at the Derby City Cup, pounding the entire field into submission. It was only Gould's misstep near the end of the first race that cost her the chance at a top two place that would have tied her teammate. But still the jersey is in the family, with each ready to defend it from attacks as well as push each other just as hard.
"We are teammates, but we don't cut each other any slack... we race hard!" said Gould. Both riders are planning on racing the entire series, with the overall an obvious goal. "I'm doing all the races so I would love to keep it to the end," said Nash.
For complete 2008 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Calendar standings, visit the Cyclo-cross National Calendar page www.usacycling.org/cnc