Nash takes second win on brithday weekend in USGP Oregon

Gould and Mani fill again left to fill podium spots

It's not every race that ends with the winner being serenaded to "Happy Birthday" by fans as she crosses the finish line, but Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) got exactly that greeting Sunday at the Trek US Gran Prix of Cyclocross Deschutes Brewery Cup after a brazen race-long solo effort that paid off with her second win in as many days.

Day two of the USGP in Bend, Oregon, played out a lot like the first for the Elite women. Birthday girl Nash claimed the podium's top step, while Luna teammate Georgia Gould came in second and Caroline Mani (Raleigh-Clement) finished third to repeat the podium from the day before.

Gould's two second-place finishes this weekend moved her to the top of the final series standings over Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective), who won the first six races of the series but skipped the final two. Julie Krasniak's seventh-place finish Sunday was disappointing for the Rapha-Focus rider from France, but it preserved her third-place spot in the series standings.

"I wasn't really thinking about that," said Krasniak, who finished 11th the day before. "I was trying to finish my race and not be disappointed. It was a bad weekend, but I have given all I have and I did a good workout. I'm just having a bad weekend this week."

Krasniak did get off to another fast start on Sunday, fighting Nicole Duke for the holeshot and then settling into the top three with Duke and Nash. But that lead trio was short-lived after Nash distanced herself from the group in the technical sections on the backside of the course. The former Czech national champion had an eight-second lead over Krasniak by the end of the first lap, while Gould and the rest of the field dangled just behind.

Both Luna riders started slowly and were 5-10 riders back as the race headed into the dirt and wooded sections on the east side of the course, but Nash was able to regain the front before the technical bits, while Gould was left to battle through traffic over the short-steep inclines and tight turns.

"We both kind of a had a bad start," Nash said of herself and Gould. "But I came around on the straightaway on the back side of the course. I just wanted to get into the technical stuff in first place. It gives you an advantage because if you mess it up everybody behind you will mess it up."

Gould could only watch as Nash, riding in the clear, started opening up the winning advantage.

"She got around that group at the perfect time," Gould said. "And I just didn't have time to go with her before all the technical stuff. It was like someone bobbled on every little hill. And then by the time I got through the traffic it was just too big to close down. It's disappointing, but I did the best I could."

Gould caught Krasniak halfway through the second of six laps and briefly stayed with the French rider before jettisoning her and going after Nash, who had an 18-second lead over Gould by the end of the lap two.

That's when Krasniak started to fade, falling back into a chasing group that was beginning to form behind. But as Krasniak faded, another French rider, Mani, started to surge. The Raleigh-Clement rider jumped away from the chasers and into third place, trailing Gould by just nine seconds and Nash by 38 as they closed out the third lap.

With the top three places starting to look well established, Krasniak joined Elle Anderson (Ladies First racing) and Optum Pro Cycling riders Amanda Miller and Jade Wilcoxson in the next group on the course.

With just two laps remaining, Nash led Gould by 28 seconds and Mani by 44 seconds. She had 1:10 over Krasniak, Miller, Anderson and Wilcoxson, who attacked the chasing group on the penultimate lap and had a slight lead over the rest, who were all chasing individually as they took the bell for the final loop.

Nash remained smooth and powerful, over the final circuits, never seeming to let off the pace except to grab a "birthday" hand up from a fan - a cupcake with lighted candle - on her way to her second win of the series and the weekend.

"I just kind of pushed it all the way through the race," Nash said. "I had the advantage of coming into those technical sections first, so that was very good, but I had to push it, because when you have an Olympic medalist behind you you can't back off."

Nash took the win with a 24-second advantage over Gould. A thrilled Mani crossed the line another 25 seconds later, while Wilcoxson grabbed the fourth spot, coming in 1:20 after Nash. Miller came in for fifth one second later, nipping Anderson at the line.

It was a fast, fitting end to the 2012 series, and now riders will turn their attention to the reaming World Cup races, their national championships and then the world championships.

Gould said she plans to stay in the US through nationals and Worlds, while Nash will head back to Europe to race the Christmas series in Belgium and several World Cups before heading back to the US for the world championships in February. Mani said she also plans to travel back to Europe on Wednesday to race the World Cups and then the French national championships. She, too, hopes to return to the states for Worlds.

"I'm actually not on the team for Worlds yet," Mani said after the race. "I don't know yet, but we are bringing two girls, and I didn't race in Europe, so actually I don't know. I just have to be the best on the bike, and then they will have no choice. I really like the course, and I feel like I'm at home. I'm French, but I've spent more time in your country than in mine over the last two years. I actually feel really happy here, so I just want to come back. The American people are so amazing and so nice with me, so I really want to race there. It will be fun."

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Cycling0:46:19 
2Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Cycling0:00:24 
3Caroline Mani (Fra) Raleigh / Clement0:00:49 
4Jade Wilcoxson (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies0:01:20 
5Amanda Miller (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies0:01:21 
6Elle Anderson (USA) LadiesFirst Racing0:01:22 
7Julie Krasniak (Fra) Rapha-Focus0:01:40 
8Mical Dyck (Can) Stan's NoTubes0:01:42 
9Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld0:01:51 
10Crystal Anthony (USA) CYCLOCROSSWORLD.COM0:01:57 
11Pepper Harlton (Can) Juventus Cycling Club0:02:07 
12Amanda Carey (USA) Volkswagen Boise  
13Courtenay McFadden (USA) Peterson Racing p/b Spokesowomen0:02:10 
14Wendy Simms (Can) KONA0:02:15 
15Nicole Duke (USA) Raleigh / Clement0:02:31 
16Serena Gordon (USA) Silverado p/b Sunnyside Sports0:02:33 
17Alice Pennington (USA) Kona0:03:18 
18Jessica Cutler (USA) Cyclocrossracing.com p/b Blue C0:03:38 
19Jenni Gaertner (USA) Motofish Racing0:03:51 
20Rebecca Blatt (USA) Van Dessel0:04:03 
21Andrea Smith (USA) LadiesFirst Racing0:04:11 
22Beth Ann Orton (USA) Team S&M0:05:08 
23Jayne Mclaughlin (GBr) Zuster Cycling0:05:39 
24Evelyn Dong (USA) White Pine Touring0:05:41 
25Joele Guynup (USA) Condo Group0:06:34 
26Natalie Koncz (USA) Zuster Cycling0:06:58 
-1 LapKatie J Melena (USA) Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobst  
-1 LapJana Repulski (USA) Broken Spoke Cycling  
-1 LapShannon Gibson (USA) Stan's NoTubes Elite Cyclocross  
-1 LapShantel Koenig (Can) redbike  
-1 LapAlexandra Burton (USA) Upper Echelon Fitness  
-2 LapsSara Fletcher (USA) West Coast Women's Cycling p/b  
DNFMeredith Miller (USA) California Giant Berry Farms  
DNSGabriella Day (GBr) Rapha-Focus  
DNSTeal Stetson-Lee (USA) Luna Pro Team  
DNSCarmen McNellis Small (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
DNSEllen Sherrill (USA) Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobster Cyclocross  
DNSMarsa Daniel (USA) Team Group Health  
USGP series standings - Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team308 pts
2Katherine Compton (USA) Trek Cyclocross Collective300 
3Julie Krasniak (Fra) Rapha-Focus196 
4Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team180 
5Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld158 
6Teal Stetson-Lee (USA) Luna Pro Team151 
7Caroline Mani (Fra) Raleigh Clement142 
8Pepper Harlton (Can) Juventus Cycling Club137 
9Mical Dyck (Can) Stan's NoTubes109 
10Jade Wilcoxson (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies88 
11Nicole Duke (USA) Raleigh Clement71 
12Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant Berry Farms70 
13Gabriella Day (GBr)64 
14Amanda Miller (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies62 
15Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona60 
16Amanda Carey (USA) Volkswagen Boise Cycling56 
17Carmen McNellis Small (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies55 
18Elle Anderson (USA) LadiesFirst Racing46 
19Crystal Anthony (USA) CYCLOCROSSWORLD.COM39 
20Courtenay Mcfadden (USA) Peterson Racing p/b Spokesowome39 
21Andrea Smith (USA) LadiesFirst Racing38 
22Gabriella Day (GBr) Rapha-Focus35 
23Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob's Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles27 
24Alice Pennington (USA) Kona17 
25Rebecca Blatt (USA) Van Dessel16 
26Rebecca Gross (USA) KCCX/Fuji14 
27Wendy Simms (Can) KONA12 
28Serena Gordon (USA)12 
29Marne Smiley (USA) Bob's Red Mill Racing9 
30Jennifer Gaertner (USA) Motofish Racing8 
31Emily Batty (Can)8 
32Judy Freeman (USA) Crank Bros. Race Club8 
33Ellen Noble (USA) Trek Cyclocross Collective8 
34Jessica Cutler (USA) Cyclocrossracing.com p/b Blue C7 
35Maghalie Rochette (USA) Powerwatts-FTTIME4 
36Abby Strigel (USA) Team Abyssa4 
37Arley Kemmerer (USA) C3-Athletes Serving Athletes3 
38Ashley James (USA) KCCX/Fuji p/b Challenge Tires2 
39Linda Sone (USA) Crossniacs p/b Wesley2 
40Lara Kroepsch (USA) BOO bicycles1 
41Amber Markey (USA) My Wife, Inc1 
42Sarah Huang (USA) Exergy TWENTY121 

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