Georgia Gould (Luna Pro) captured a convincing victory at the UCI category one Derby City Cup, round three of the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross (USGP). She finished with a more than two and half-minute lead ahead of second placed Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club Chaussure-Olgivy) and an additional 10 seconds to third placed Laura Van Gilder (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes).
"It was drier than half of the mountain biking out here," Gould said. "I know people always say that 'cross is when it's muddy, but really 'cross is also like this and you've got to be good at everything. This course had a lot of everything. The course today had a little bit of everything and kept you on your toes."
Gould surpassed US National Champion Katie Compton (Planet Bike) to take the USGP series overall lead and hopes to maintain her top spot in the standings during the final two weekends of racing in Fort Collins and Portland.
"The USGP is my goal for the season and I am always happy to show up here because Louisville is always a great race," Gould said. "I'd say, aside from the World Cup, the USGP is the most professional and talented field of racing out there. We are so lucky to have it here in the US. Joan and Bruce are so committed to supportive of women's cycling, and as a woman I am also supportive of that."
Nicole Duke (Hudz-Subaru) earned herself the event's Most Aggressive Rider award for starting the race in 27th place and ending it inside the top 10.
Sand pit debacle forces Miller to chase
A top-notch field started the elite women's C1-level race on Saturday on a brand new course held at the Eva Bandman Park, site of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships scheduled for 2013. Noticeably absent from the line up were top 'cross contenders Compton, Katerina Nash (Luna Pro) and Sue Butler (Hudz-Subaru).
The present contenders included Gould, Elliott and Van Gilder along with Meredith Miller and Teal Stetson-Lee (Cal Giant-Specialized), Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com), Kathy Sherwin and Nicole Duke (Hudz-Subaru), Under 23 National Champion Ashley James (Kenda) and Maureen Bruno Roy (Bob's Red Mill-Seven Cycles).
The opening lap proved to be more challenging than anticipated, in particularly the first run through the circuit's deep and lengthy sand pit. The front group of five riders lead by Elliott bobbled in the sand, including Miller who ran into the back of Gould's wheel, crashed and needed several second to untangle from other rider's bikes.
Gould surpassed Elliott in the sand and gained a several-second gap coming out of the pit. However, Miller was not so fortunate and was forced to run for several meters after the sand pit and then ride into the mechanic's pit in need of a spare bike.
By the start of the third lap, Gould powered her way into a 45-second lead with a quality chase group trying to limit their losses behind. Those in the chase included Elliott, Antonneau, Van Gilder, Duke and still further make James, Stetson-Lee, Sherwin, Bruno Roy, Amanda Carey (Kenda) and Pepper Harlton (Juventus). Miller continued chasing from further back in 12th place and more than one-minute behind Gould's lead.
Gould's average 5:20-minute lap times were untouchable. However, Miller, who was one of the most aggressive rider on the day, flew around the circuit in similar time splits picking off one rider at a time until the last lap where she finally made her way back in contention for a podium place.
Elliott attacked the chase group with three laps to go and gained the 10-second margin she needed to secure second place. The race for third included Van Gilder, Antonneau, Miller and Sherwin.
"I hit the sand first today and I bobbled," said Elliott who recapped the opening lap. "I went so hard for the first three minutes that when I hit the sand I was so tired. Then, I crashed on the third lap on the run up but caught back up and then dropped them at the barriers. I just kept putting my head down and I think I was doing the technical sections faster."
Van Gilder attacked over the green monster fly over on the last lap in order to gain the front position in line. As the riders rounded the final corner on to the pavement, Van Gilder started her sprint and held the others off for third place.
"I think we all made mistakes today, maybe not Kaitlin, even though we were all taking pulls it hurt us in the end," Van Gilder said. "It was those little mistakes that cost us the gap that we had to close to Georgia. When you have someone that can rider that smoothly at the front, we were pushing it so much that we were making in the back, it's hard."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team||0:37:51|
|2||Natasha Elliott (Can) Garneau Club Chaussure-Ogilvy||0:02:47|
|3||Laura Van Gilder (USA) C3 - Athletes Serving Athletes||0:02:55|
|4||Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com||0:02:58|
|5||Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant-Specialized||0:02:59|
|6||Katherine Sherwin (USA) Hudz-Subaru||0:03:01|
|7||Nicole Duke (USA) Hudz/Subaru||0:03:34|
|8||Teal Stetson-Lee (USA) California Giant-Specialized||0:03:45|
|9||Pepper Harlton (Can) Juventus||0:04:10|
|10||Amanda Carey (USA)||0:04:41|
|11||Linda Sone (USA) Planet Bike||0:04:56|
|12||Ashley James (USA) Team Kenda||0:05:09|
|13||Jennifer Maxwell (USA) Van Dessel Factory Team p/b Sterke Meiden||0:05:25|
|14||Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob's Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles||0:05:42|
|15||Marne Smiley (USA) Scott/Ollett Coaching||0:06:01|
|16||Lisa Strong (USA) Hudz-Subaru||0:06:09|
|17||Kimberly Flynn (USA) Grace Law-Trek p/b Vantaggio||0:06:12|
|18||Robin Williams (USA) Mercy-Specialized|
|19||Nicole Borem (USA) DRT Racing|
|20||Lisa Hudson (USA) Feedback Sports|
|21||Erin Silliman (USA) ALAN North America Cycling Team|
|22||Holly Klug (USA) Pony Shoop|
|23||Carrie Cash-Wootten (USA)|
|24||Anne Schwartz (USA) Flying Rhino Cycling Club|
|25||Lauri Webber (USA) Secret Henry's Team|
|26||Jeanne Fleck (USA)|
|27||Natasha Elliott (Can) Garneau Club Chaussure-Ogilvy|
|28||Deb Sweeney Whitmore (USA)|
|29||Geraldine Schulze (USA)|
|30||Amanda Mckay (USA)|
|31||Meghan Korol (USA)|
|32||Shannon Gibson (USA) Velobella- Ellsworth|
|33||Bridget Donovan (USA)|
|34||Lynn Bush (USA)|
|35||Tammy Wallace (USA)|
|36||Melissa Corliss (USA)|
|37||Kiersta Tucker (USA)|