Katerina Nash (Team Luna) continued her love affair with at the Derby City Cup, round four of the US Grand Prix of Cyclo-Cross held in Louisville, Kentucky, with a solo victory ahead of Under 23 US National Champion Amy Dombroski (Richard Sachs) and her teammate Georgia Gould in third.
It was the Czech rider's second consecutive win of the weekend, and it showed after the finish. "I really enjoyed the course out here in Kentucky and the fans were spectacular," said a beaming Nash who increased her lead in the USGP overall standings. "It helps you to get going and so thank you guys for being out here. It was great," she added.
Dombroski spoils the Luna party
The elite women's race kicked off with the dominant Team Luna riders - Nash, Gould and Alison Dunlap - pushing the pace early. Canadian national champion Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain-Maxxis) and Sue Butler put up a fight to stay with the blue clad leaders but eventually fell off the pace by the end of the second lap.
A chase group formed behind that included US national road champion Meredith Miller, Dombroski, Kristin Wentworth (Planet Bike) and Kari Studley (Velo Bella). "No crashes today, just a slower start," said Dombroski. "If I could just start faster I wouldn't have to catch up. I definitely need to work on my starts and I think it's a matter of following too close - I kept bobbling, so I have to find that fine line."
The course changed slightly from the previous day's circuit to include a stair step run up on the back side of the course and some added technical twists and turns. The sand pit remained, as did the green monster bridge and the barriers. Nash once again displayed her technical prowess, covering the terrain flawlessly and gaining time each lap.
Behind Nash, Gould and Dunlap worked together to maintain a sizeable lead on the next chase group. Each rider took a turn on the front as Dunlap looked to be back in the game for a podium place and earned the day's Most Aggressive Rider's award for her persistent effort.
"Even though I had number 19 which was kind of a mistake, I got to start in the front row which makes all the difference," said Dunlap. "The last USGP I was in the back row and it's very tough when you start way back there and I feel sorry for the other women who are stuck back there. I had great legs today and it was super fun when it was the three of us because I love tactical racing. It makes it exciting," she explained.
"I remember how hard this is an how much it hurts," continued Dunlap. "Once Katerina had a gap and Amy caught up to Georgia and myself, I told Georgia that we had to start attacking and try and get rid of Amy because I know she is a good sprinter. We did the best we could and Amy was super strong today, I give her a lot of credit. I did all I could leading out coming into the finish, but Amy is fast and she's only twenty-something. I could be her mom."
Dombroski closed in on the two Luna teammates with two laps to go, destroying Team Luna's odds-on chances at sweeping the podium. As Nash rolled across the line with the victory, the race continued with the three chasers coming to the final corners together. Dombroski found herself momentarily caught up in the course tape but still managed to muster up the snap to win the sprint against Dunlap for second place. Dunlap placed third and Gould fourth.
"I guess I got up there and took a deep breath after the effort and maybe I didn't have the confidence today, I guess," said Dombroski. "My plan was to attack before on the left and take a different line. I started to get in there and I got off track and it took me way over to the right and I almost hit the fencing and everything and luckily I kept it upright today."
|1||Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team||0:40:40|
|2||Amy Dombroski (USA) Richard Sachs/RGM Watches||0:00:21|
|3||Alison Dunlap (USA) Luna Pro Team|
|4||Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team||0:00:25|
|5||Alison Sydor (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain||0:01:04|
|6||Susan Butler (USA) Cannondale/Monavie||0:01:24|
|7||Kari Studley (USA) Velo Bella||0:01:45|
|8||Kristin Wentworth (USA) Planet Bike||0:02:11|
|9||Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant Berry Farm/Specialized||0:02:45|
|10||Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Planet Bike||0:02:51|
|11||Devon Haskell (USA) Velo Bella||0:03:02|
|12||Kimberly Flynn (USA) Vantaggio/Specialized/SCV||0:03:38|
|13||Wendy Williams (USA) Hudz/Subaru||0:03:50|
|14||Elizabeth Frye (USA) Boone Velo||0:04:09|
|15||Nicole Borem (USA) DRT Racing||0:04:23|
|16||Lisa Strong (USA)||0:04:34|
|17||Marne Smiley (USA) Scott Bikes||0:05:18|
|18||Ashley James (USA) Team Kenda||0:05:28|
|19||Robin Williams (USA) Mercy-Specialized||0:05:33|
|20||Andrea Wilson (USA)||0:05:46|
|21||Corey Coogan (USA) Ridley Factory Team||0:07:42|
|22||Lauri Webber (USA) Secrety Henry's Team||0:08:17|
|23||Dayna Deuter (USA) Church of the Big Ring||0:08:23|
|24||Therese Meek (USA) BikeClicks/Team Louisville||0:08:37|
|25||Bridget Donovan (USA) Trek Store Cincinnati/Seven Cycles||0:09:08|
|26||Becca Finley (USA) Vanderkitten|
|27||Kristin Jo Markham (USA) Team Kenda|
|28||Whitney Kroll (USA) Cane Creek|