While she had her hands full the entire race, Georgia Gould (Luna) won the Subaru Cup short track race with a last lap surge. Lea Davison (Specialized) had hoped it would come down to a final sprint with Gould, but had to settle for second place. Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek) finished third, Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Trek) was fourth, and a hard-charging Judy Freeman rounded out the podium with fifth place.
The Mt. Morris, Wisconsin, course was extremely fast with few places to escape. For half of the lap, the riders faced a gradual climb while on the other half, they were descending. This allowed for re-grouping and some recovery on every lap.
Kathy Sherwin (NoTubes) took the hole-shot and led the field up the first climb and onto the traverse of the ski hill. Within one lap, Gould took command of the race while Davison, Irmiger, and Batty were close behind. Sherwin could not hold the pace and slipped back.
In a surprising move, Freeman came from behind and bridged the gap to the leaders. Given the pace at the front, she buried herself to make contact. Freeman was rewarded later with a spot on the podium.
Gould was content to pull the entire race despite a slight headwind on the left-to-right traverse of the mountain. She is one of only two racers in North America (Katie Compton being the other) who could pull this off.
"I figured if anyone else wanted to make a move they would," said Gould. "My plan is usually to push a hard pace and have fewer people to deal with, and there's less jostling around. In short track, you always have to be ready for an attack, so I'm always waiting and watching. Lea can certainly put in a strong attack."
Irmiger was the next rider to lose contact with the leaders. Gould, Batty, and Davison rode a couple laps together before Batty also was dropped. This left Davison and Gould to duke it out for the victory.
Davison was contemplating how she could win. "I was thinking about it the whole race - how I was going to win and where I was going to go. I thought it would be good to have it come down to a sprint because I went too early in Fontana. But she (Gould) just inched it up on that last lap and I couldn't make it happen."
"Georgia is one of the top cyclists in the world so she's always a good one to compete against," said Davison. "I did the best I could under the circumstances (a cast on her left hand - Ed.).
In a strange coincidence, Chloe Forsman (BMC Development) and Irmiger also raced with casts on their left hands due to thumb injuries.
The national championships in Sun Valley, Idaho, are next up for the elite women domestically, although in between, they will contest two North American World Cups. Compton, Davison, and Gould can be expected to put on an exciting show in the short track event. Gould will be racing in front of her hometown crowd so she may have a slight advantage.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team)||0:24:48|
|2||Lea Davison (Specialized USA)||0:00:04|
|3||Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek)||0:00:16|
|4||Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Trek)||0:00:48|
|5||Judy Freeman (Kenda)||0:00:57|
|6||Kathy Sherwin (Notubes Elite)||0:01:45|
|7||Zephanie Blasi (Notubes Elite)||0:01:56|
|8||Kelli Emmett (Giant Factory)||0:02:18|
|9||Chloe Forsman (BMC Mountain Bike Team)||0:35:12|
|10||Krista Park (Notubes/Cannondale)||0:35:12|
|11||Kaila Hart (No Tubes Elite)||0:35:12|
|12||Carolyn Popovic (Team CF)||0:35:13|
|13||Nina Baum (Notubes Elite)||0:35:13|
|15||Sarah Kaufmann (Elete Electroly)||0:35:13|
|16||Melanie M Colavito (Missing Link)||0:35:13|
|17||Abigail Strigel (Trek Stores)||0:35:13|
|18||Meghan Korol (Momentum Racing)||0:35:13|
|19||Shannon Gibson (Notubes Elite)||0:35:13|
|20||Kim Eppen (Mercy-Specialized)||0:35:13|
|22||Erica Zaveta (BMC Mountain Bike Team)||0:35:13|
|24||Rebecca Blatt (Embrocation)||0:35:14|
|25||Lisa Krayer (Adventure 212)||0:35:14|
|DNF||Sara Kylander-Johnson (Trek Coop/Kuhl)|
|DNF||Kelsy Bingham (Team Jamis)|
|DNF||Rosara Joseph (Rabobank Giant)|