Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) proved today that she was on top form by riding away from everyone with just two laps to go. Lea Davison (Specialized) had to battle three Luna women, but managed to get around them to take the silver medal. World champion Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team) finished third. Heather Irmiger (Subaru Trek) had her most impressive short track in a while to finish a strong fourth. Eva Lechner (Colnago-Sudtirol), who had set the early pace, finished fifth.
As expected, the day's race became Luna against the world. Lechner and her Colnago teammate immediately went to the front from the starting gun. They are two of the fastest starters on the World Cup circuit. However, neither of them had ever done a short track race so they may have been surprised when the pace never came down, and the more experienced North American women began working them over.
After a couple laps on the front, the Colnago women gave way to a surging Pendrel. She said after the race, “The North Americans have raced on this short track before. I knew there were a couple sections where we knew the lines and were a bit faster (than the Europeans).”
Davison could never quite get to the front of the race and seemed intent on trying not to let two Luna women get in front of her. She was aided a bit when with three laps to go Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) dropped a chain and lost up to 15 seconds. Gould was never able to fully recover from that incident.
With two laps to go, Nash put the hammer down as she has done dozens of times in the past. Within a few seconds, it was apparent that only Davison was able to give chase.
Pendrel settled into third behind Davision as she was not going to be part of chasing her teammate down. With one lap to go, the gap had grown to about 100 feet, and the race for second began in earnest. Davison put in a strong last lap and held off Pendrel to take second place.
"Today was great. It’s been a while since I’ve won anything at Sea Otter," said a jubilant Nash. “I’m really excited to get on the top step of the podium today."
Pendrel explained her strategy: “I wanted to make it to the front and make it all Luna... and that’s what we did. Katerina was awesome and was able to take control at the end.”
Pendrel commented also on having the Colnago-Sudtirol women in the race, “Eva and Nathalie lead out practically every World Cup, so I said to myself it’s going to hurt when they come over. I am super happy they came. It raises our level every time we get a super fast woman in our field.”
Emily Batty (Subaru Trek), winner of the 2010 short track race seemed to have a bit of an off day. She was still good enough to take 10th place. Pua Mata (Sho-Air), who finished eighth, and Chloe Forsman (Crank Bros), who finished ninth, also had good rides.
Former road national champion Meredith Miller (Cal Giant Berry) decided to enter the mountain biking races this weekend to keep her cyclo-cross dirt skills sharp. She finished an impressive 12th place.
The pro women will compete in the cross country event on Sunday.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team|
|2||Lea Davison (USA) Team Specialized|
|3||Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Pro Team|
|4||Heather Irmiger (USA) Subaru Trek|
|5||Eva Lechner (Ita) Colnago|
|6||Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team|
|7||Nathalie Schneitter (Swi) Colnago|
|8||Monique Mata (USA) Sho-Air|
|9||Chloe Woodruff (USA) Crankbrothers Race|
|10||Emily Batty (Can) Subaru Trek|
|11||Kelli Emmett (USA) Giant Factory Off Road|
|12||Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant|
|13||Amanda Sin (Can) Scott-3 Rox Racing|
|14||Allison Mann (USA) B4B/RNR|
|15||Teal Stetson-Lee (USA) Luna Pro Team|
|-2laps||Nina Baum (USA) Star's Notubes Elite|
|-4laps||Jenny Smith (NZl) Star's Notubes Elite|
|-5laps||Jamie Busch (USA) Quadzilla/Calmar|
|-5laps||Kelsy Bingham (USA) Team Jamis|
|-6laps||Haley Smith (Can) Norco Factory Team|
|-6laps||Sarah Kaufmann (USA) Stan's Notubes Elite|
|-6laps||Kaila Hart (USA) Star's Notubes Elite|
|-6laps||Shannon Gibson (USA) Star's Notubes Elite|
|-6laps||Sydney Fox (USA)|
|-6laps||Wan Lin Chang (Tpe) Specialized Racing|
|-6laps||Vanessa Humic (USA) Stan's Notubes Elite|
|DNF||Judy Freeman (USA) Crankbrothers Race|