Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) soloed to victory in the elite women's cross country race at the Sea Otter Classic on Saturday afternoon. Gould rode across the finish with a huge 1:55 gap over teammate Catharine Pendrel. Emily Batty (Subaru Trek) made a move on the final climb to edge out Lea Davision (Specialized) for third place. Davison finished fourth followed by Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) in fifth. As expected, it was a good day for the number one ranked women's team in the world, which collected three of the top five spots.
Heat and lack of a breeze was the biggest factor in the race with the women starting at 12:20 pm. They competed on a 19.6-mile single loop without any shade. Temperatures hit the mid 80s, so proper hydration was critical."
"The heat was a very big factor. It was like racing in an oven out there, but it was the same for everybody," said Davison. "You just try to take water whenever you can and dump it all over yourself."
The race started on the racetrack, and riders made nearly a full loop before finally hitting the fire roads. Once riders hit the dirt, they were out of sight of spectators for well over an hour.
Leaving the pavement, all the main contenders were in close contact. Pendrel and Eva Lechner (Colnago-Sudtirol) led the charge up the first big climb. Close behind were Gould, Batty, and Davision. Struggling to stay in contact with her new teammates was Teal Stetson-Lee in her first cross country outing for Luna.
Davison explained what happened out of sight of the spectators, "Georgia and Catharine got away right after that first technical climb. Eva and I made a bit of a mistake, and I had to run up that hill. After that gaps started forming."
"I attacked on one of the last climbs, and Emily and I were working together," said Davison. "Then as the hills starting coming, we weren't working together - we were attacking each other. It was fun. You want to race like that."
Gould is coming off a solid 12th place finish at the World Cup in Houffalize, Belgium after a poor early season start in South Africa. "Sea Otter is one of my favorite races to come to each year, and I seem to race well here," said Gould. "Things haven't been going so well, so it's great to have some follow-through with my race results."
Kelli Emmett (Team Giant) rode consistently and as usual was smoking the descents. She finished a strong sixth just 10 seconds behind Nash.. Lechner and her Colnago-Sudtirol teammate Nathalie Schneitter finished only seconds apart for seventh and eighth place.
Pua Mata (Sho-Air) completed an impressive weekend with a ninth place finish. Allison Mann (Bikes for Boobs) grabbed 10th place in what was a good outing for her.
The Colnago-Sudtirol women will return to Europe tomorrow. The top American women will continue their chase for Olympic positions at the next round of the World Cup in the Czech Republic on May 13. At the moment Georgia Gould and Lea Davison lead in that competition.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team||1:25:12|
|2||Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Pro Team||0:01:55|
|3||Emily Batty (Can) Subaru Trek||0:03:51|
|4||Lea Davison (USA) Team Specialized||0:04:04|
|5||Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team||0:04:11|
|6||Kelli Emmett (USA) Giant Factory Off Road||0:04:21|
|7||Eva Lechner (Ita) Colnago||0:04:44|
|8||Nathalie Schneitter (Swi) Colnago||0:04:57|
|9||Monique Mata (USA) Sho-Air||0:05:06|
|10||Allison Mann (USA) B4B/Rnr||0:06:02|
|11||Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant||0:06:55|
|12||Judy Freeman (USA) Crankbrothers Race||0:08:04|
|13||Amanda Sin (Can) Scott-3 Rox Racing||0:08:27|
|14||Erica Tingey (USA) Kulh/Rockey Mountain||0:08:36|
|15||Chloe Woodruff (USA) Crankbrothers Race||0:10:23|
|16||Heather Irmiger (USA) Subaru Trek||0:11:07|
|17||Jenny Smith (NZl) Star's Notubes Elite||0:11:35|
|18||Jamie Busch (USA) Quadzilla/Calmar||0:11:48|
|19||Teal Stetson-Lee (USA) Luna Pro Team||0:12:15|
|20||Kelsy Bingham (USA) Jamis||0:14:56|
|21||Sarah Kaufmann (USA) Star's Notubes Elite|
|22||Rebecca Rusch (USA) Specialized Racing||0:15:24|
|23||Nina Baum (USA) Star's Notubes Elite||0:16:57|
|24||Haley Smith (Can) Can19931122 Norco Factory Team||0:21:42|
|25||Sydney Fox (USA)||0:22:10|
|26||Shannon Gibson (USA) Star's Notubes Elite||0:25:07|
|27||Kaila Hart (USA) Star's Notubes Elite||0:27:17|
|28||Kelly Chang (USA)||0:28:24|
|29||Vanessa Humic (USA) Star's Notubes Elite||0:29:28|
|30||Lauren Gregg (USA) Loeka||0:30:55|
|DNF||Wan Lin Chang (Tpe) Specialized Racing|