By Laura Weislo in Portland, Oregon
Katerina Nash (Luna) and Tim Johnson (Cyclocrossworld/Cannondale) won the Portland Cup, round number five in the US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross on Saturday in Portland, Oregon. The pair took their respective wins in similar fashion, each crossing the finish line first against a teammate and a third breakaway companion in tight races.
Luna teammates Katerina Nash and Georgia Gould again went one-two in the US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross, but it wasn't without a strong fight from Rachel Lloyd (California Giant Berry/Specialized), however, as the three riders separated themselves from the rest of the field at the mid-point of the race and took turns to attack.
Nash was pleased to take the win in one of her last races of the season, and valued the presence of Gould in the lead group. "It's always good to have a strong teammate out there – one can attack and the other can sit in," she told Cyclingnews. "Everyone was strong – we kept attacking each other and nobody could get away, so I just waited for an opportunity."
In the men's race, US National Champion Tim Johnson stunned both the crowds and himself by taking the win on the first race of the Portland Cup. Johnson, who just three weeks ago sustained a knee injury which forced him off the bike for 10 days, rode into the lead group with his Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com teammate Jeremy Powers, and local favorite Ryan Trebon (Kona). It came in unexpected circumstances, although Johnson wasn't complaining.
"It's definitely something I didn't expect," Johnson said of his victory. "When I crashed in New Jersey, I was able to get back up and win that race but I couldn't even start the next day. Then I had 10 days off the bike and I was worried that that was going to be the end of my season. I just tried to take care of it and do a couple days of training. So it's a huge surprise to even be in the top three, let alone to win here."