The 2014 Canadian National Cyclo-cross Championships, held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, saw Catharine Pendrel (Luna) repeat as the Elite women's champion.
The Winnipeg organizers put together a course that garnered high praise, taking place in the middle of the city through The Forks park area, on the banks of the Red River and the Assiniboine River. At the south end of the 2.2 kilometre course was the Forks Market, and at the top was the new Canadian Museum of Human Rights, with much of the course following along the edge of the Red River.
The circuit began on pavement before heading onto a long grassy section with numerous off-camber turns and some barricades. After going by the pit area the first time, the riders headed along beside the river, with a couple of steep drops; the first followed by a fast, steep climb, and the second drop by a very steep and long run up.
At this point the riders were near the far end of the circuit, and had to plow through back-to-back long sand pits in front of the raucous beer garden. The course then hit pavement again as it went around the Market, before another twisty grassy and cobblestone section, and then back to the finish for the final paved 200 metres.
The sunny but cool weather made for a very fast course, with Pendrel's Luna team mate Maghalie Rochette setting a fast pace on the first lap until the sandpits, when she got off the fast line, bogging down and allowing four riders by, including Pendrel, 2012 champion Mical Dyck (Stan’s NoTubes) and Sandra Walter (Liv Canada).
Pendrel and Dyck immediately opened a gap on the rest of the field going into the second lap, with Walter sitting third, and Rochette chasing hard. Dyck then crashed hard in an off-camber grassy turn, leaving the reigning mountain bike world champion alone at the front, and she proceeded to ride away for the win. Rochette recovered to pass Walter for second.
"Maghalie led out the race, and she was so strong," commented Pendrel. "Then she went high in the sand and it totally sucked up all her speed and that created the gap. Then Mical had a washout, so it was a series of things going wrong for other people and that gave me a chance to get off the front. I felt really good, and just went with it. I was pretty confident I had good form, but the other girls have been racing really well this fall, so I wasn't sure how it would go."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team)||0:41:24|
|2||Maghalie Rochette (Luna Pro Team)||0:00:21|
|3||Sandra Walter (LIV Canada)||0:00:47|
|4||Natasha Elliott (Cycle-Smart Elite Team)||0:01:04|
|5||Anna Schappert (Dark Red Racing)||0:02:06|
|6||Ashley Barson (Coachchris.Ca/Tedvelikonja/Trudellmed.)||0:02:07|
|7||Jamie Gilgen (Real Deal Gears p/b WASPcam)||0:02:09|
|8||Janna Gillick (Mid Island Velo Assoc.)||0:03:04|
|10||Shantel Koenig (Redbike)|
|11||Siobhan Kelly (AdrenlineRace / To Wheels)||0:05:25|
|12||Susan Clarke (Team Sask. / BCW Cycling)||0:05:50|
|DNF||Alexandra Morley (RealDeal Gears p/b WaspCam)|