Despite crashing early, Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) reeled in her rivals to take her sixth consecutive win and the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross (USGP) series title during day two of racing in Portland. Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry), who lost a heartbreaking sprint for third yesterday, spent much of the race leading but had to settle for second place. Rising young star Amy Dombroski (Clement-Mootry-Primus) rounded out the podium with her third place finish.
Portland's weather turned frigid as heavy winds made conditions seem like the middle of winter. The course firmed up dramatically and was even faster than Saturday's conditions. Course changes eliminated a major run-up so that riders only had to get off their bikes for a short set of stairs installed on the motocross course.
Sue Butler (MonaVie/Cannondale) made her return to racing known as she took the hole shot and lead the racers out onto the course. As is her custom, Alison Sydor (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) came to the front and led Alison Dunlap (Luna Pro Team), Butler, and Nash over the first set of barriers.
Nash tangled with a root and crashed on the backside of the first lap. Meredith Miller attacked and took a 75 meter lead over Dunlap. Dombroski, who did not have a strong start, assumed third position. Nash remounted her bike in fourth place followed by Sydor and Kelli Emmett (Giant).
For the remainder of the race Nash put on a clinic as she picked one rider after another. Finally she set her sights on Miller and had little trouble taking the race lead.
As the race progressed, riders got strung out in what was essentially their finishing order. While Miller did not get a chance to sprint against the Czech rider, her second place finish was the best of the season. As the USA road national champion, Miller has been on a steep learning curve that is starting to pay some dividends. It will be interesting to see if she can ride with US champion Katie Compton at the national championships in Bend, Oregon next weekend.
"I put everything out there today. I was pissed yesterday after the finish," said Miller of her performance. By winning today’s race, Katerina Nash has won every USGP race since Compton returned to Europe. She will be competing for the National Championship in the Czech Republic shortly before the world championships in Tabor.
"The Gran Prix series is the biggest series I’m racing in this year so it was definitely on my list of goals" said Nash. "I would also like to win my national championships and then go for a medal at worlds," she added.
Amy Dombroski finished second in the Gran Prix series, followed by Alison Dunlap in third. Dunlap, a six time national champion, came out of retirement to make a run at another championship. She has consistently been a top five rider all season.
|1||Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Chix||0:39:03|
|2||Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized||0:00:11|
|3||Amy Dombroski (USA) Primus Mootry-Schlamm||0:00:27|
|4||Kelli Emmett (USA) Giant Bicycles||0:00:46|
|5||Alison Dunlap (USA) Luna Chix||0:01:08|
|6||Alison Sydor (Can) Rocky Mountain-Maxxis||0:01:12|
|7||Susan Butler (USA) Monavie-Cannondale.com||0:01:28|
|8||Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) MM Racing p/b Seven Cycles||0:01:31|
|9||Linda Sone (USA) Planet Bike||0:02:07|
|10||Coryn Rivera (USA) Proman Hit Squad||0:02:34|
|11||Alice Pennington (USA) Veloforma||0:02:38|
|12||Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Planet Bike||0:03:07|
|13||Deidre Winfield (USA) C3 - Athletes Serving Athletes||0:03:19|
|14||Barbara Howe (USA) Vanderkitten||0:03:38|
|15||Kari Studley (USA) Velo Bella||0:03:43|
|16||Sarah Maile (USA) Ventana||0:04:12|
|17||Kristin Wentworth (USA) Planet Bike||0:04:14|
|18||Elizabeth Frye (USA) Boone Velo||0:04:18|
|19||Megan Faris (USA)||0:04:28|
|20||Devon Haskell (USA) Velo Bella||0:04:35|
|21||Lisa Curry (USA) GAS/Instrinsik Cycling Team|
|22||Ann Knapp (USA)||0:04:39|
|23||Joele Guynup (USA)||0:04:48|
|24||Serena Bishop (USA)||0:05:11|
|25||Shannon Gibson (USA)||0:05:22|
|26||Abby Jenkins (USA)||0:05:32|
|27||Megan Elliott (USA)||0:05:38|
|28||Katrina Baumsteiger (USA) Team Rambuski Law||0:05:40|
|29||Shannon Holden (USA)||0:05:54|
|30||Tina Brubaker (USA)||0:06:18|
|31||Marian Jamison (USA) Sinclair/Stevens||0:06:33|
|32||Corey Coogan (USA)||0:06:38|
|33||Patricia Dowd (USA)|
|34||Jadine Riley (GBr)||0:07:45|
|35||Amy Frykman (USA)|
|1||Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Chix|
|2||Amy Dombroski (USA) Primus Mootry-Schlamm|
|3||Alison Dunlap (USA) Luna Chix|