Back-to-back Gloucester victories for Elliott

Van Gilder takes second over Bruno Roy

Canadian Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club Chaussure Ogilvy) triumphed after her second consecutive victory at the Gran Prix of Gloucester ahead of runner up, Laura van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) who lost the opportunity to sprint for the win after a flat tire on the way to the finish line. Maureen Bruno Roy (MM Racing/Seven Cycles) slid into third place after a strong early lead.

"It was just Laura and I rode around with her for a while and I knew I had to stay in front of her," Elliott said. "The last thing I wanted was for her to get in front of me in the last two minutes of the race. I kept trying to attack from the front instead of off the back and it worked. I put the pressure on coming into the barriers and got a gap, she bobbled and I got the win."

Elliott has moved closer to her goal of winning the Verge New England Cyclo-Cross series this season after winning the first four races in a row. "I want to just focus on one," Elliott said following her victory the previous day. "I chose the Verge series because a lot of the races are close to home and it's good competition."

Some 40 women lined up under very different conditions compared to the previous day's wet and muddy course. The sun dried up the course which made for a much faster race where tactics were key in the resulting outcome.

Bruno Roy started the day off right with a fast first lap and opened up a 10-second solo lead on a chase group of four riders. The chasers included van Gilder, Elliott, Rad Racing winner, Sue Butler (Monavie-Cannondale) and U23 National Champion, Amy Dombroski (Richard Sachs).

"I had a good start and I was feeling pretty strong and Natasha took the lead," Bruno Roy said. "She's pretty aggressive off the start and she's good technically so I enjoy sitting on her wheel and following her. I took the lead and feeling good."

A second chase group formed to include Lyne Bessette (October Factory Racing), Arley Kemmerer (Hub Racing), Rebecca Wellons (Team Plan C) and Kristin Gavin (Human Zoom). The three riders moved in closer to the lead group by the end of the race but never fully caught back on.

Bruno Roy is typically known for having good mud skills and a strong running background. Her efforts in this race displayed her all round ability to take control of a race under dry and fast conditions as well.

The five leaders, Bruno Roy, Elliott, Van Gilder, Butler and Dombriski reunited on the second lap and each took a turn leading the way. Butler suffered a mechanical that resulted from a crash and was not able to work her way back in with the leaders.

With two laps to go Elliott, Bruno-Roy and Van Gilder solidified a strong lead over chasers Butler and Dombroski. Elliott and Bruno-Roy worked well together to keep the speeds high enough to try and shed Van Gilder, the strongest sprinter of the three.

"I thought if we could work together and push the pace then maybe we could pop Laura," Bruno Roy said.

"Laura is so strong that she could sit on and she kept coming back. Then went through the U-turn onto the pavement and I slid out. I hit the pavement and they attacked really hard. I spent the next laps chasing. Sue caught up but then got a flat tire."

An unfortunate crash took Bruno-Roy out of contention for the win and she was later caught by the chasing Butler. Up ahead, Elliott set the pace as van Gilder remained patient and focussed on holding her opponent's wheel.

Rounding the finale half lap, Elliott gave several strong attacks and gained a slim margin on Van Gilder. The famed sprinter suffered a rear flat tire and could not catch back up with Elliott before the finish line.

"I threw my chain too and it is what it is, that's all part of cross racing," said Van Gilder. "I'm not upset because I had a great opportunity and I rode smart the whole time and those things are out of your control. I'm really happy to show that I'm more than just a sprinter but I'm also a fighter."

Elite Women
1Natasha Elliott (Can) Garneau Club Chaussure Ogilvy0:40:45 
2Laura Van Gilder (USA) C3 Athletes Serving Athletes0:00:15 
3Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) MM Racing p/b Seven Cycles0:00:24 
4Susan Butler (USA) Monavie-Cannondale.com0:00:36 
5Rebecca Wellons (USA) Team Plan C0:00:47 
6Amy Dombroski (USA) Richard Sachs/RGM Watches/Radix0:01:09 
7Kristin Gavin (USA) Human Zoom/Pabst Blue Ribbon0:01:19 
8Andrea Smith (USA) Minuteman Road Club0:01:26 
9Amanda Carey (USA) Kenda/Trainwitheric.com0:01:27 
10Nicole Thiemann (USA) Human Zoom Pabst Blue Ribbon0:01:52 
11Gesa Bruechmann (Ger) Stevens Racing Team0:02:12 
12Sara Bresnick-Zocchi (USA)'s Bicycles0:02:19 
13Anna Barensfeld (USA) Minuteman Road Club0:02:23 
14Anna Milkowski (USA) / Joe's Garage / IF0:02:49 
15Linnea Koons (USA) October Factory Racing0:03:09 
16Arley Kemmerer (USA) Hub Racing0:03:29 
17Sally Annis (USA) Hub Racing0:03:33 
18Cris Rothfuss (USA) Seven Cycles  
19Ann D'Ambruoso (USA) Minuteman Road Club0:03:48 
20Katrina (Trina) Baumsteiger (USA) Team Rambuski Law0:04:05 
21Rebecca Blatt (USA) US Army/ Central Wheel0:04:21 
22Crystal Anthony (USA) Minuteman Road Club  
23Kate Harris (USA) October Factory Racing0:04:31 
24Perri Mertens (USA) Embrocation Cycling Journal / Mad Alchem0:04:41 
25Christina Tamilio (USA) Minuteman Road Club0:04:42 
26Lauri Webber (USA) Secret Henry's Team0:04:58 
27Anna McLoon (USA) Altarum Women's Cycling Team0:05:05 
28Clara Kelly (USA) NEBC/Cycle Loft/Devonshire Dental0:05:06 
29Sarah Krzysiak (USA) Syracuse Bicycle/Spokepost.com0:05:20 
30Melissa Ross (USA) Landry's Bicycles0:05:44 
31Michelle Kersbergen (USA) Joe's Garage0:05:58 
32Kristine Church (USA) Human Zoom/ Pabst Blue Ribbon0:06:13 
33Sara Cushman (USA) Gear Works/Spin Arts0:06:51 
34Callie Gordon (USA) Cyclocrossworld.com0:07:37 
35Kerry Litka (USA) FxD Coaching0:08:46 
36Natalie Dumont (USA) Gearworks / Spinarts0:10:11 


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