Maghalie Rochette (Ten Speed Hero-Specialized) became the first Canadian - and first person not named Katie Compton - to win the elite women's Pan-American Cyclo-cross Championship Sunday in Canada. Rochette soloed to the win on a dry, fast course after US rider Ellen Noble (Trek Factory Racing CX) bobbled on the penultimate lap and opened the door for Rochette's victory.
Four-time and defending Pan-American champion Compton skipped the race this year, choosing to remain in Europe as the UCI World Cup circuit begins to heat up there.
That left a wide-open race for the elite women's field, and the race started quickly on the track in Midland, Ontario. The field was spread out over the first lap as the pecking order was quickly established, and Noble, this season's dominant rider, was soon at the head of affairs.
Noble was followed in succession by Rochette and Kaitie Keough (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com), establishing a three-rider group off the front that would race for the win.
Keough started to fade from the lead group, and Noble led Rochette across the start/finish with two laps remaining. Rochette opened a small gap on the ensuing lap, but Noble clawed her way back. A bobble, fall and mechanical issues slowed Noble before the sand section, and Rochette pressed the pace from there.
Rochette started the final lap with about 15 seconds on Noble, and the chase was on for the title. Noble pulled back some Rochette's gap, but the Canadian hung on for the historic win.
"Today I was all about being clear and clean and not making any mistakes," Rochette said after the win.
"I was definitely expecting a race with those two girls [Ellen Noble and Kaitlin Keough]; that's how it's been all season. Unfortunately, Katie Compton, the defending champion wasn't here; it would have been a different race with her.
"I got a gap with about two lap to go, and only Ellen got back to me," Rochette continued. "She tried to go around me on the inside, and she hit both me and a pole, and crashed. That gave me a little bit of room, and I pushed it to open the gap a bit more.
"It's very special to win this; I think it is my biggest win so far. I think the best thing today was to have all Canadian fans; they were on fire! To win the title in front of the home crowd is pretty cool.
Noble confirmed how her crash was the turning point: "I rode into Maghalie and flipped over, going into one [lap] to go. She got 10 seconds and that was it. I tried, but 10 seconds on this course is a lot. I felt like I could have won it, and I got impatient."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Maghalie Rochette (Canada)||0:42:29|
|2||Ellen Noble (United States Of America)||0:00:14|
|3||Kaitlin Keough (United States Of America)||0:00:40|
|4||Courtenay Mcfadden (United States Of America)||0:01:11|
|5||Jenn Jackson (Canada)||0:01:26|
|6||Samantha Runnels (United States Of America)||0:01:30|
|7||Catharine Pendrel (Canada)||0:01:40|
|8||Rebecca Fahringer (United States Of America)||0:01:46|
|9||Sandra Walter (Canada)||0:01:52|
|10||Erica Zaveta (United States Of America)||0:02:49|
|11||Sarah Sturm (United States Of America)||0:03:46|
|12||Emily Werner (United States Of America)||0:03:49|
|13||Laurel Rathbun (United States Of America)||0:03:51|
|14||Jennifer Malik (United States Of America)||0:03:56|
|15||Raylyn Nuss (United States Of America)||0:04:00|
|16||Natasha Elliott (Canada)||0:04:42|
|17||Lisa Holmgren (Canada)||0:05:08|
|18||Corey Coogan Cisek (United States Of America)||0:05:25|
|19||Anna Schappert (Canada)||0:05:39|
|20||Helena Coney (Canada)||0:05:56|
|21||Natascha Piciga (Canada)||0:06:11|
|22||Natalie Tapias (United States Of America)||0:06:22|
|23||Shantel Koenig (Canada)||0:06:23|
|24||Chelsea Weidinger (United States Of America)||0:07:42|
|25||Alana Heise (Canada)||0:14:53|
|-1 Lap||Siobhan Kelly (Canada)|
|-2 Laps||Carolyn Smith (Canada)|
|-2 Laps||Jill Messier (Canada)|
|-2 Laps||Evelyn Sifton (Canada)|