Czech champion Katerina Nash proved once again that she is the queen of the USGP Portland Cup by putting in a error-free ride to claim her sixth career victory there on Sunday afternoon.
Nash virtually led from start to finish in a Luna team podium sweep, beating USGP series winner Georgia Gould, while Amy Dombroski claimed the third spot with a sizable margin over the rest of the field.
"I didn't quite get the hole shot, I was second or third place, but I moved up to the front and wanted to make it a hard pace," said Nash. "Georgia was always close, so there was always the concern about not making mistakes, pushing the pace and accelerating out of corners."
In comparison with the previous day's slip and slide where everyone seemed to have numerous mishaps, today's race was nearly flawless for the Czech powerhouse, who decimated the field with her pace by the second lap.
"I had clean ride today, I didn't crash - a couple times I had to unclip in the super tight corners, and then I just realised it was better to slow down for the turns and go hard on the straightaways. It was a good ride, super clean today."
Gould, with her back-to-back second places, took home the white jersey of the USGP series winner by a huge margin. While she was happy to take home her second overall win, she said the absence of other riders like US champion Katie Compton left a bit of a hole in the competition for the series on the final weekend.
"It feels good," said Gould of her series win, "but at the same time there were a lot of people that didn't do all the races. But this was definitely one of my big goals for the season. The USGP is always a big goal, it's the best series and they do such a great job putting it on."
Nash, having only taken part in the final two weekends, earned enough points to knock Compton off the series podium to take third, while Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry-Specialized) held onto second overall with fourth place on the day.
Miller had to overcome a string of bad-luck races, where, she explained, just about every Saturday race had some major mishap in store for her while each Sunday race was a bit better. "That makes me really worried for next week's nationals, because there is no Saturday race," Miller said.
"Today was much drier and faster but I'm still not nearly as fast in the tight, twisty stuff as [Nash and Gould] are. It's just a matter of being a bit more confident, not slowing down so much and having to accelerate hard out of the turns."
While riders like Dombroski had hoped for rain and mud, the skies were blue and the temperatures cool for the Portland Cup finale. Brisk winds and bright sunshine had set up the mud into a peanut butter-like consistency, taking some of the technical nature from the course.
Saturday's third place finisher Sue Butler (Hudz-Subaru) claimed the hole shot, setting a brisk tempo through the open fields before being overtaken on the back side by the three Luna riders.
The trio opened up a gap to fourth placed Miller by the end of the first lap and, after establishing their pecking order, the four remained in the same positions through to the end.
Canadian Wendy Simms earned the most aggressive rider award after chasing back from a second lap incident to pull back into fifth place.
After keeping pace with Nash for much of Saturday's race, Gould had hoped to contend for the victory today, but a lapse of concentration at the start put her on the defensive.
"I had a good initial start, but then in the first couple corners somehow I ended up in like seventh. I thought this isn't very good! I was kind of stuck behind and I could see Katerina go to the front, and I told myself I have to get around these people.
"It took me a little while to get up there, but then I was up with Amy and Katerina and I crashed in one of the tight corners on the back side. I just couldn't get out of my own way out there.
"That was enough to give Katerina the initial gap and I couldn't close it down."
For Dombroski, the third place finish was a relief after a disastrous ride on Saturday. "I tried to put yesterday out of my mind. You can't really dwell on those things," she told Cyclingnews. "I've been struggling a lot with my starts this year, and yesterday the one good thing was that I had a good start, so I tried to do that again. I had a good start and was able to stay on [Nash and Gould's] wheel."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team||0:40:32|
|2||Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team||0:00:19|
|3||Amy Dombroski (USA) Luna Pro Team||0:01:12|
|4||Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant/Specialized||0:01:39|
|5||Wendy Simms (Can) Ridley - Fsa||0:02:16|
|6||Katherine Sherwin (USA) Hudz-Vista Subaru||0:02:24|
|7||Susan Butler (USA) Hudz Subaru||0:02:28|
|8||Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.Com||0:02:31|
|9||Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Mm Racing P/B Seven Cycles||0:02:33|
|10||Ashley James (USA) Team Kenda||0:02:40|
|11||Linnea Koons (USA) Embrocation Cycling Journal||0:02:43|
|12||Pepper Harlton (Can) Juventus Cycling Club||0:03:00|
|13||Katy Curtis (Can) Bow Cycle/Cyclemeisters||0:03:02|
|14||Barbara Howe (USA) Ibis And The Danger Twins|
|15||Amanda Carey (USA) Kenda/Felt||0:03:17|
|16||Devon Haskell (USA) Bh Usa||0:03:32|
|17||Teal Stetson-Lee (USA) California Giant/Specialized||0:03:56|
|18||Alice Pennington (USA) S&M||0:04:05|
|19||Coryn Rivera (USA) Peanut Butter & Co.Twenty12||0:04:29|
|20||Kari Studley (USA) Velo Bella||0:04:51|
|21||Rebecca Blatt (USA) Silverbull Centralwheel||0:05:03|
|22||Wendy Williams (USA) River City Bicycles||0:05:13|
|23||Linda Sone (USA) Planet Bike||0:05:25|
|24||Lisa Curry (USA) Gas/Intrinsik||0:05:44|
|25||Katrina Baumsteiger (USA) Team Rambuski Law||0:05:51|
|26||Serena Bishop (USA) Sunnyside Sports|
|27||Abby Watson (USA) Embrocation Cycling Journal||0:06:12|
|28||Anna Dingman (USA) Gas/Intrinsik Cycling Team||0:06:22|
|29||Shannon Gibson (USA) Velobella- Ellsworth||0:06:41|
|30||Corey Coogan (USA) Team Plan C Pb Stevens||0:06:56|
|31||Laura Winberry (USA) Elite Endurance/Cascade Couriers||0:07:10|
|32||Emily Thurston (USA) Missing Link/ 3Rd Rail||0:07:18|
|33||Becca Blay (USA) Mafia Racing||0:07:30|
|34||Annie Usher (USA) Bridgetown Velo|
|35||Carrie Cash (USA) Team Vera Bradley Foundation||0:08:16|
|36 -1 lap||Megan Chinburg (USA) Veloforma|
|37 -1 lap||Brigette Stoick (USA) River City Bicycles|
|38 -1 lap||Megan Elliott (USA) Black Mountain Bicycles|
|39 -1 lap||Tina Brubaker (USA) The Vanilla Workshop/Speedvagen|
|DNF||Joele Guynup (USA) Island Racing Club/Everti/Shimano|
|DNF||Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Lotto Ladies Team|