Katerina Nash (Luna) once again proved her dominance in the US scene, taking another commanding victory, this time over the California Giant Berry duo Meredith Miller and Teal Stetson-Lee. The win, her fourth of seven races so far, sealed her overall win in the Exergy USGP series.
However large her lead was in the end, Nash's usual from-the-gun aggression wasn't apparent in Bend, as Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld's Nicole Duke was able to stay with the Czech champion until an untimely crash ended her challenge at the front.
"Nicole got away a little on the first lap and I had to close it," Nash said. "Then I kept a little gap but I eliminated it with a crash and had to start all over again. It was nice to ride with someone, though. She was definitely strong."
Nash said she has taken some time away from racing to train, and that her cyclo-cross specific skills had suffered for it. "If you don't race they go away quickly. The skills were a little rusty, but second half of the race was better."
The loose, gravel turns took their toll on a number of riders, and even without last year's mud and snow, Nash and the rest had to keep concentration or suffer the consequences.
"I tried to do my best on this course, it was interesting. It was pretty busy, it kept me focused the whole time. Crashing early, you have to focus even more."
Duke, who stayed with the Czech champion until the mid-point of the race, was eventually relegated to the chasing group after a mid-race crash.
Stetson-Lee chased her way into third position after a slow start, putting in a stunning second lap in which she moved up from ninth to third position.
"I kind of shocked myself," she said of the acceleration. "I think it comes down to having put really good training in, and it's paying off. In the second lap I was watching how the others were riding, and I was feeling strong. I put in an attack, and picking the riders off built my confidence."
She put up a brilliant fight for second but was disappointed to see the duel and when Duke slid out in a dusty corner.
"Duke pulled ahead of me on the last section of the last lap and then she went down in the corner. It would have been a battle royale, because she still had a lot left," Stetson-Lee said.
It was a heart-breaking moment for Duke, who looked set to step onto a Exergy USGP podium for the second time this season until she realized her derailleur was broken. She had to run her bike in, being passed by three riders and ultimately taking seventh.
Meanwhile, Miller had fought hard to bridge up to her teammate, and was able to enact a last-lap strategy to take second place. "I caught them before the steep section on the back side, and I had in my mind I was going ot run past them on the stairs, and then Nicole went down, so that's what I ended up doing [with Stetson-Lee]. I busted my butt up the stairs because from there it's really hard to come by anyone. Then I was able to pull it off."
With her second place, Miller moved herself even on points with the absent US champion Katie Compton in the series. She is now poised to take over the second placed spot behind Nash in Sunday's finale.
Nicole Duke speaks about her mishap
Meredith Miller recounts the last lap
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team||0:43:36|
|2||Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized||0:00:19|
|3||Teal Stetson-Lee (USA) California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized||0:00:20|
|4||Julie Krasniak (Fra) Rapha-Focus||0:00:53|
|5||Susan Butler (USA) Hudz Subaru||0:01:05|
|6||Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.Com||0:01:22|
|7||Nicole Duke (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.Com||0:01:35|
|8||Amanda Carey (USA) Kenda/Felt||0:01:36|
|9||Pepper Harlton (Can) Juventus Cycling Club||0:01:47|
|10||Andrea Smith (USA) Ladiesfirst Racing||0:01:54|
|11||Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob'S Red Mill/Seven Cycles||0:02:15|
|12||Alice Pennington (USA) Team S&M||0:02:25|
|13||Katherine Sherwin (USA) Stan'S Notubes Elite Cyclocross Team||0:02:31|
|14||Kelsy Bingham (USA) Roosters/Bikers Edge||0:02:33|
|15||Coryn Rivera (USA) Team Exergy Twenty12||0:02:35|
|16||Sage Wilderman (USA) Unsponsored||0:02:46|
|17||Serena Bishop (USA) Silverado Jewelry Gallery P/B Sunnyside Sports||0:03:02|
|18||Heather Clark (USA) Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care Racing Team||0:03:38|
|19||Courtenay Mcfadden (USA) Cycling Northwest||0:03:47|
|20||Sarah Maile (USA) Ventana Mountain Bikes||0:03:55|
|21||Devon Gorry (USA) Team Rambuski Law||0:03:59|
|22||Jessica Cutler (USA) Cucina Fresca||0:04:14|
|23||Kari Studley (USA) Team Redline||0:04:23|
|24||Beth Ann Orton (USA) Team S+M||0:04:39|
|25||Tina Brubaker (USA) Vanilla Bicycles/Speedvagen Racing||0:04:48|
|26||Rebecca Blatt (USA) Rebecca Blatt||0:04:53|
|27||Kristi Berg (USA) Cycle U-Popcap||0:04:56|
|28||Anna Dingman (USA) Cycleution||0:04:57|
|29||Melanie Lewis (USA) Cycle U-Popcap||0:05:08|
|30||Joele Guynup (USA) Condo Group/Shimano/Marin||0:05:33|
|31||Jenni Gaertner (USA) Raleigh America||0:05:42|
|32||Courtney Dimpel (USA) Team Rambuski Law||0:05:59|
|33||Shannon Gibson (USA) Stan'S Notubes Elite Cyclocross Team||0:06:10|
|34||Katrina Baumsteiger (USA) Team Rambuski Law||0:06:38|
|35||Marsa Daniel (USA) Team Group Health||0:06:49|
|36||Alexandra Burton (USA) Upper Echelon Fitness||0:07:19|
|37||Karen Oppenheimer (USA) Yard Sale Cyclocross||0:07:37|
|38||Patricia Dowd (USA) USA|
|39||Jadine Riley (GBr) GBR|
|DNF||Rebecca Gross (USA) Tough Girl|
|DNF||Marne Smiley (USA) Bob'S Red Mill Cyclocross|
|1||Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team||314||pts|
|2||Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant-Specialized||190|
|3||Katherine Compton (USA) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team||190|
|4||Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld||161|
|5||Nicole Duke (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld||157|
|6||Caroline Mani (Fra) CC Etupes||138|
|7||Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team||132|
|8||Susan Butler (USA) River City Bicyles-Ridley||125|
|9||Chloe Forsman (USA) Race Club 11||97|
|10||Teal Stetson-Lee (USA) California Giant-Specialized||89|
|11||Mical Dyck (Can) Pro City Racing||82|
|12||Katherine Sherwin (USA) Stans's NoTubes Elite Cyclocross Team||74|
|13||Pepper Harlton (Can) Juventus Cycling Club||64|
|14||Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob's Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles||52|
|15||Kelsy Bingham (USA) Roosters-Bikers Edge||46|
|16||Laura Van Gilder (USA) C3 p/b Mellow Mushroom||43|
|17||Alice Pennington (USA) Team S&M||37|
|18||Andrea Smith (USA) LadiesFirst Racing||33|
|19||Julie Krasniak (Fra) Team Rapha Focus||30|
|20||Amanda Carey (USA) Kenda-Felt||29|
|21||Emily Batty (Can) Subaru-Trek||25|
|22||Coryn Rivera (USA) Marian University||21|
|23||Devon Gorry (USA) Team Rambuski Law||12|
|24||Linda Sone (USA) Cycle-Smart/Flanders||11|
|25||Rebecca Gross (USA) Tough Girl||10|
|26||Kari Studley (USA) Team Redline||10|
|27||Meghan Korol (USA) Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross||8|
|28||Sunny Gilbert (USA) Michelob Ultra - Big Shark Racing||8|
|29||Ashley James (USA) KCCX Elite||8|
|30||Annajean Dallaire (USA) Racin' for Riley p/b Alderfer Bergen||8|
|31||Nicole Thiemann (USA) Team CF||7|
|32||Sage Wilderman (USA)||6|
|33||Heather Irmiger (USA) Subaru-Trek||6|
|34||Serena Bishop (USA) Silverado Jewlry Gallery||4|
|35||Crystal Anthony (USA) LadiesFirst Racing||4|
|36||Heather Clark (USA) Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care Racing Team||3|
|37||Jennifer Gaertner (USA) Raleigh America||3|
|38||Courtenay McFadden (USA) Cycling Northwest||2|
|39||Sarah Maile (USA) Ventana Mountain Bikes||2|
|40||Lisa Hudson (USA) Feedback Sports||2|
|41||Jeanne Fleck (USA) Velo Duluth - Twin Ports Cyclery||2|
|42||Katy Curtis (Can) Cyclemeisters||2|