Katerina Nash sealed her third consecutive victory at the UCI C2 Rapha-Focus Gran Prix held at the Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah, Washington. In similar fashion to the previous day’s win at StarCrossed p/b Stanley, the Czech National Champion soloed to her win ahead of Mical Dyck (Pro City Racing) in second and Caroline Mani (SRAM) in third.
"It seems like it’s been a long week and I’m looking forward to spending a bit of time at home," said nash who won CrossVegas and StarCrossed this week. "It was very exciting to win three races in a row and I’m very happy. I knew I was in good fitness after the mountain bike season. I’ve very happy with this week."
Rapha-Focus Gran Prix, formerly known as Rad RCacing, was held on at the same venue as the previous day’s StarCrossed p/b Stanley at Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah, Washington.
The mid-afternoon women’s race was held on a flat 2.8km circuit that included a built-in fly-over and a set of Rapha-Focus barriers close to the crowd expo area and beer garden. One of the most challenging aspects of the circuit was the number of corners and twist and turns positioned throughout each lap.
"It was a similar course to yesterday with some little changes," Nash said. "The biggest change was that it was not so dry and so the course was a little bit slippery in places. Also, today they had one long sand beach section that you had to run."
Nash entered the race as the odds-on favourite to win having already won StarCrossed and CrossVegas. Her main competitors were French National Champion Carline Mani (SRAM) and Sue Butler (River City Bicycles-Ridley), who placed second and third during StarCrossed.
Other potential top ten contenders included Devon Hadkell (USA), Pepper Harlton (Juventus Cycling Club), Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) and Kathy Sherwin (Notubes Elite Cyclocross Team) Kari Studley (Redline) and Mical Dyck (Pro City Racing).
"It was a pretty similar race too," Nash said. "A group of us stayed together a little longer and then it started to spread out a little bit."
A group of four riders emerged part way into the start of the women’s race. Those riders included Nash, Dyck, Mani and Butler. Nash and Dyck gained a small lead on Mani and Butler at the halfway point of the race.
"With one and half laps to go Caroline attacked and I just didn't have enough to go," Butler said. "I rode the last lap trying to catch back on but it was pretty much decided. It was a solid fourth. It's a great starting place and my first real weekend of racing so very happy with how it went. The fields in North America keep getting stronger and deeper. It's great to see."
Nash gained time on Dyck by virtue of running faster through the sand however, Dyck improved on her previous day’s fourth place performance that was the result of a mechanical, and rallied closely behind Nash for the duration of the race in second place.
"I was running faster and that’s where I was able to get a gap and it grew to a comfortable lead," Nash said. "I had to keep pushing the pace for sure, even though I had a descent lead."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team||0:42:37|
|2||Mical Dyck (Can) Pro City Racing||0:00:14|
|3||Caroline Mani (Fra) CC Etupes Doubes Pay||0:00:27|
|4||Susan Butler (USA) Team river city bicycles/ Ridley||0:00:49|
|5||Devon Haskell (USA) Rambuski Law||0:01:10|
|6||Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob's Red Mill pb Seven Cycles|
|7||Pepper Harlton (Can) Juventus Cycling Club|
|8||Katherine Sherwin (USA) Stan's NoTubes Elite Cyclocross Team||0:01:22|
|9||Alice Pennington (USA) Team S&M||0:01:48|
|10||Jenni Gaertner (USA) Raleigh America||0:02:10|
|11||Katy Curtis (Can)||0:02:22|
|12||Courtenay Mcfadden (USA) Cycling Northwest||0:02:23|
|13||Kelsy Bingham (USA) Roosters/Bikers Edge||0:03:08|
|14||Jayne Mclaughlin (GBr) Zuster||0:03:34|
|15||Marne Smiley (USA) Bob's Red Mill pb Seven Cycles||0:03:36|
|16||Natasha Hernday (USA) Amgen||0:03:42|
|17||Marsa Daniel (USA) Team Group Health||0:03:44|
|18||Joele Guynup (USA) Condo Group/Shimano/Marin||0:03:55|
|19||Melanie Lewis (USA) Cycle U-PopCap||0:04:25|
|20||Lindsy Campbell (USA) Northern Rockies Orthopedics||0:04:42|
|21||Kelly Jones (Can) North Shore Sports Medicine||0:04:49|
|22||Anna Dingman (USA) Cycleution||0:04:59|
|23||Allison Beall (USA) Team Rep||0:05:06|
|24||Shannon Gibson (USA) Stan's NoTubes Elite Cyclocross Team||0:05:20|
|25||Jadine Riley (GBr)||0:05:34|
|26||Nicola Mann (USA) Jack's Bicycle Center|
|27||Michelle Melka (USA) RED Racing|