Standing at around five feet tall, Amy Dombroski (Primus Mootry) may be the smallest woman in cyclo-cross but she achieved a big win at the Whitmore's Landscaping Super Cross Cup held in Southampton, New York.
Her win did not come without a fight from Kelli Emmett (Giant) who conceded to second place on the last lap. Georgia Gould (Luna) put her mountain bike skills to the test over the circuit's rooted trails and placed third on the day.
"This was my first UCI win this year," said the US Under-23 National Cyclo-Cross Champion. "It feels really good. I put in a surge on the last lap and that stuck. It was cool because it came all apart on the first lap but then it came together with Emmett. Eventually it came down to tactics at the end and that made it fun. It feels good to get a win under the belt, it's always nice to win."
The Whitmore's Landscaping Super Cross Cup double header marks the final stop on the North American Cyclo-Cross Trophy (NACT) series. Canadian Natasha Elliott placed sixth on the day and maintained a healthy lead in the overall series standings.
Mountain bikers and roadies collide in Southampton
The warm autumn sun shone over the Whitmore's Landscaping Super Cross Cup, a sharp contrast to last year's frigid early winter air that kept many of the racers from finishing. The circuit incorporated the same technical wooded trails that catered to the mountain bikers coupled with several lengthy straightaways that aided the road riders.
"Today was pretty warm, a nice change from last year," Dombroski said. "It was probably the best weekend of racing so far. No clean up or anything which is nice. The parts through the woods were a little tacky and it was fast."
Several well-known mountain bikers arrived equipped to handle the circuit's rooted trails and technical off-camber sections. Off-road riders like Gould, Emmett, Elliott, Maureen Bruno-Roy (MM Racing-Sevens Cycles) and Mary Mcconneloug (Kenda) were joined by road riders like Laura Van Gilder (C3 Sollay-Athletes Serving Athletes), Lyne Bessette (October Factory Racing) and Anna Milkowski (Bike Reg).
Notably missing from the start line was UCI World Cup leader, Katie Compton (Planet Bike) and US Gran Prix of Cyclo-Cross leader Katerina Nash (Luna). According to Dombroski, their absence increased her chances at victory.
"It's funny because showing up to the races so far it was Katie and Katerina who are both on a different level," Dombroski said. "It's all I can do just to stay on their wheel as long as I can. When I do get to race against them I sit on their wheels for a little bit longer each time. This race, neither were here and I knew a win was possible."
Mcconneloug nabbed the hole-shot and kicked off the race with a leading performance on the first of five laps. She was reeled back in by a reshuffling group of chasers that included Dombroski, Emmett, Gould, Van Gilder, Bruno-Roy and Elliott.
"It was kind of a mountain bike course and that was where Kelli would shut the gap down on me," Dombroski said. "I wasn't going that fast in those parts. It also had some all-out power section and I think that was where I was going good. So it was almost like we were opposite riders today. But it made for a good race."
Dombroski made her first attack on the second lap however, her lead was quickly shut down by one lone chaser, Emmett. "I decided it's always smarter to attack when it's hard," Dombroski said. "There was one climb that goes up into the woods. I did my first attack at the bottom of that climb. I got a gap but Emmett closed it down."
Emmett not only caught Dombroski, she showed that she was still fighting for victory when she launched her own attack at the start of the third lap. Dombroski attached her self to Emmett's wheel in order to catch a breath and rest from the two-up battle.
It took two more attacks over the next two laps before Dombroski was able to ride Emmett off her wheel. However, by then the pair were on the last lap with only an eight-second difference between them. "I knew it would be a fight," Dombroski said.
Dombroski mustered up the strength to maintain the eight-second advantage as she crossed the line ahead of a hard-fought performance from Emmett. Gould snapped away from the chase group and maintained third place crossing the line.
|1||Amy Dombroski (USA)||0:39:21|
|2||Kelli Emmett (USA) Giant||0:00:20|
|3||Georgia Gould (USA) Luna||0:01:03|
|4||Laura Van Gilder (USA) C3 Athletes Serving Athletes||0:01:10|
|5||Mary Mcconneloug (USA)||0:01:13|
|6||Natasha Elliott (Can) EMD Serono-Stevens|
|7||Maureen Bruno Roy (USA)|
|8||Andrea Smith (USA)||0:02:47|
|9||Sara Bresnick (USA)||0:03:27|
|10||Anna Barensfeld (USA)|
|11||Lyne Bessette (Can)||0:04:18|
|12||Linnea Koons (USA)||0:04:48|
|13||Sally Annis (USA)||0:05:23|
|14||Anna Young (USA)||0:05:31|
|15||Perri Mertens (Aus)||0:05:57|
|16||Christina Tamilio (USA)||0:06:36|
|17||Emma Bast (USA)|
|18||Natalia Gardiol (USA)|
|19||Amy Breyla (USA)|
|20||Andrea Luebbe (USA)|