United States Under 23 Cyclo-cross champion Amy Dombroski (Primus Mootry) out-paced Georgia Gould (Luna) in a two-up sprint to win her second consecutive UCI race at the Whitmore’s Landscaping Super Cross Cup held in Southampton, New York. Pro mountain biker Kelli Emmett (Giant) made a solid return to the podium with third place.
“I’m happy with how my coach and I have timed everything and planned out the season,” said Dombroski, who is aiming to defend her national title at the end of this season. “My fitness is coming around at the right time and hopefully I’ll be able to keep that going through Portland and then US Nationals in Bend, Oregon.”
The Whitmore’s Landscaping Super Cross Cup marked the 10th and final round of the North American Cyclo-cross Trophy series. Canadian Natasha Elliott (Louis Garneau Chasseurs) won the overall title and was presented with a $1500 check plus a pink heavyweight champion belt handed over from last year’s winner Georgia Gould.
Course changes make for tougher racing
Warm autumn temperatures made for a gorgeous day of cyclo-cross racing in Southampton, New York. The course ran opposite to the previous day introducing tougher undulations that wore down the elite women’s field quicker.
“I felt like today was harder, the climbs were harder,” said Dombroski. “We descended this wicked hard hill yesterday that today we had to ride up and it was loose dirt. It was definitely a grind. That was where Georgia was riding stronger than me, and there was another kicker that was harder too. It seemed like there was more punch to the course today.”
NACT series leader Natasha Elliott tore a hole in the field to establish a commanding lead in the opening lap of the elite women’s six-lap race, forcing riders such as Gould, Dombroksi, notable road sprinter Laura Van Gilder (C3 Sollay-Athletes Serving Athletes) and Mary McConneloug (Kenda-Seven-No Tubes) to chase frantically.
“Like yesterday, the course had everything,” Dombroski explained. “It had power sections, technical sections and stuff that suited the mountain bikers, sprinters, the road riders. That’s what made this race so exciting.”
Elliott pulled the strongest two riders out of the bunch to chase her. Gould and Dombroski made contact with Elliott at the end of the first lap; however, one solid attack from Gould sent Elliott out the back as Dombroski gritted her teeth just to hang onto the Luna rider’s wheel.
McConneloug joined forces with Emmett and the pair fought hard to pass Elliott and close down a 10-second gap to the two leaders. The Giant rider placed second on Saturday and used her mountain biking skills over the rugged terrain to move ahead of McConneloug in a solo pursuit of the Gould and Dombroski during the last half of the race. Van Gilder briefly regained contact with the chase group before settling into a rhythm back in fifth place.
Meanwhile, the battle continued up front with Gould putting on a show for the Southampton fans. She attacked Dombroski several times through the twists and turns and technical sections of the circuit that suited her world-class mountain bike skills.
“Georgia gave me a run, we both did I guess,” Dombroski said. “Riding with her made me nervous. I decided to stay on her wheel a little bit and follow her line through technical stuff because she’s so good at that. I thought about making my move on the steep climb but we were very well matched for the climb; plus, she was riding the tech stuff better than me.”
Dombroski forced the pace over the lengthy grass straights, the only place she felt strong enough to get away from Gould. The pair continuously hit each other with attacks at the expense of the others’ weakness. Despite her technical prowess, Gould wasn’t able to drop Dombroski and while Dombroski was powerful, she couldn’t rid herself of Gould’s presence. With 300 metres to go they were sprinting neck-to-neck down the finishing straight.
“Early in the race, every time if I was leading onto the pavement I would gap her a bit so that was my last resort, to try and use that to hold a gap to the finish,” Dombroski recalled. “I didn’t want to rely on that 100 percent. I’m getting more confident in my sprint but I’m still no Laura van Gilder.”
Dombroski’s sprint was enough to steel few bike lengths ahead of Gould for her second consecutive win of the weekend.
|#||Rider Name, (Country), Team||Result|
|1||Amy Dombroski (USA) Schlamm p/b Clement&Primus Mootry||0:37:12|
|2||Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Chix||0:00:06|
|3||Kelli Emmett (USA) Giant Factory Team||0:01:01|
|4||Laura Van Gilder (USA) C3 Athletes Serving Athletes||0:01:16|
|5||Mary McConneloug (USA) KENDA-Seven-NoTubes||0:01:36|
|6||Natasha Elliott (USA) Garneau Club Chaussures Ogilvy||0:02:18|
|7||Sara Bresnick-Zocchi (USA) Pedalpowercoaching.com/ Landrys Bicycles||0:02:41|
|8||Andrea Smith (USA) Minuteman Road Club||0:02:59|
|9||Linnea Koons (USA) October Factory Racing||0:03:52|
|10||Sally Annis (USA) Hub Racing||0:04:18|
|11||Anna Barensfeld (USA) Minuteman Road Club|
|12||Christina Tamilio (USA) Minuteman Road Club||0:04:51|
|13||Anna Milkowski (USA) BikeReg.com / Joe's Garage / IF||0:04:13|
|14||Perri Mertens (USA) Embrocation Cycling Journal / Mad Alchemy||0:05:49|
|15||Emma Bast (USA) Cycle-Smart / NCC||0:06:08|
|16||Natalia Gardiol (USA) Cambridge Bicycle / Igleheart Frames||0:06:38|
|17||Amy Breyla (USA) C3 - Athletes Serving Athletes||0:06:50|
|18||Andrea Luebbe (USA) Human Zoom / Pabst Blue Ribbon|
|DNF||Anna Young (USA) Pioneer Racing|