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Nash wins big on Vegas gamble

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Mo Bruno-Roy (Bob's Red Mill - Seven) running with her bike.

Mo Bruno-Roy (Bob's Red Mill - Seven) running with her bike. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Mountain bikers Heather Irmiger (l) and Willow Koerber (r) were enjoying their off-season.

Mountain bikers Heather Irmiger (l) and Willow Koerber (r) were enjoying their off-season. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Mary McConneloug (Kenda - Seven - No Tubes) with her husband Michael Broderick after her brilliant race.

Mary McConneloug (Kenda - Seven - No Tubes) with her husband Michael Broderick after her brilliant race. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Amy Dombroski (Luna Pro Team) finishing second.

Amy Dombroski (Luna Pro Team) finishing second. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry) leading Kelli Emmett with one lap to go.

Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry) leading Kelli Emmett with one lap to go. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) leading with one lap to go.

Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) leading with one lap to go. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Mary McConneloug (Kenda - Seven) in a flat-out foot race with Georgia Gould (Luna).

Mary McConneloug (Kenda - Seven) in a flat-out foot race with Georgia Gould (Luna). (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) over the barriers.

Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) over the barriers. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) riding a short descent.

Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) riding a short descent. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Sue Butler (Hudz - Subaru) over the barriers.

Sue Butler (Hudz - Subaru) over the barriers. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) running the barriers with the chasers.

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) running the barriers with the chasers. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) rides in alone for the victory.

Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) rides in alone for the victory. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) on a breakaway.

Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) on a breakaway. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Leaders chasing McConneloug.

Leaders chasing McConneloug. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Mary McConneloug (Kenda - Seven - No Tubes) leading the race.

Mary McConneloug (Kenda - Seven - No Tubes) leading the race. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Natasha Elliot (Garneau Club Chassures)

Natasha Elliot (Garneau Club Chassures) (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Back and forth at Desert Breeze Park.

Back and forth at Desert Breeze Park. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Kelli Emmett (Team Giant) running with her bike.

Kelli Emmett (Team Giant) running with her bike. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry) at the start.

Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry) at the start. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) on the second row.

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) on the second row. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Sue Butler (Hudz - Subaru) gets another hole shot.

Sue Butler (Hudz - Subaru) gets another hole shot. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry) running after the barriers.

Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry) running after the barriers. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Announcer Richard Fries working the crowd into a frenzy.

Announcer Richard Fries working the crowd into a frenzy. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Amy Dombroski (Luna Pro Team) in the lead group.

Amy Dombroski (Luna Pro Team) in the lead group. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Kathy Sherwin (Hudz-Subaru) on a run-up.

Kathy Sherwin (Hudz-Subaru) on a run-up. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Elvis puts a move on Mary McConneloug.

Elvis puts a move on Mary McConneloug. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katerina Nash (Luna) crosses the line for the win.

Katerina Nash (Luna) crosses the line for the win. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) on an uphill run.

Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) on an uphill run. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) running the barriers.

Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) running the barriers. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Women's podium (l-r): Mary McConneloug (Kenda - Seven - No Tubes),3rd; Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team), 1st; Amy Dombroski (Luna Pro Team), 2nd.

Women's podium (l-r): Mary McConneloug (Kenda - Seven - No Tubes),3rd; Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team), 1st; Amy Dombroski (Luna Pro Team), 2nd. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) with Elvis's belt.

Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) with Elvis's belt. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) in the arms of Elvis.

Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) in the arms of Elvis. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) running the barriers.

Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) running the barriers. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) is coming off two wins last weekend in Seattle.

Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) is coming off two wins last weekend in Seattle. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Alison Powers (Specialized) trying out her off-road skills after a big year on the road.

Alison Powers (Specialized) trying out her off-road skills after a big year on the road. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Mary McConneloug (Kenda) fought hard to hold on to third place.

Mary McConneloug (Kenda) fought hard to hold on to third place. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Katerina Nash (Luna) put a huge gap on the rest of the women's field.

Katerina Nash (Luna) put a huge gap on the rest of the women's field. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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New steps made things a little more difficult this year.

New steps made things a little more difficult this year. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Meredith Miller (California Giant) finished off the road season and is back to racing 'cross.

Meredith Miller (California Giant) finished off the road season and is back to racing 'cross. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Amy Dombroski (Luna) on one of the run-ups.

Amy Dombroski (Luna) on one of the run-ups. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Racing under the wild lights of Vegas.

Racing under the wild lights of Vegas. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Amy Dombroski (Luna) all smiles on the start line.

Amy Dombroski (Luna) all smiles on the start line. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Women's podium (l-r): Mary McConneloug (Kenda - Seven - No Tubes), 3rd; Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team), 1st; Amy Dombroski (Luna Pro Team), 2nd.

Women's podium (l-r): Mary McConneloug (Kenda - Seven - No Tubes), 3rd; Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team), 1st; Amy Dombroski (Luna Pro Team), 2nd. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)

Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) proved to be a class above the rest as she dominated the women's event at the fourth annual CrossVegas in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nash never looked back after showing her cards with a move on the third lap, leaving Mary McConneloug (Kenda/Seven/NoTubes) to drag Nash's two teammates around the course as they attempted to limit the damage to the Czech rider.

"I can't complain, it was super hard today," said Nash. "A couple of races last weekend definitely took a little bit out of me, but I still had a great race and I'm just excited to finally win CrossVegas."

After working hard - and largely solo - for much of the race McConneloug couldn't resist a late-race surge from Amy Dombroski (Luna Pro Team). Dombroski made her final-lap move 1.5 kilometres from the finish and while McConneloug shadowed her closely, she had to settle for third place as they climbed up towards the finish line.

"I was definitely at a disadvantage with all the Luna women working against me but I was ready to sprint for second place at the finish," said McConneloug. "Amy went at the bottom of the hill and Georgia Gould was riding on the inside and I couldn't get by her. There wasn't much of a gap but that's racing. I'm still so happy to be on the podium.

"This was just for fun, though, a necessary evil here in Vegas," she added. "We'll see what happens next. I'll do a little more mountain biking for now. I love 'cross but I can't do it all so we'll see."

The victory was Nash's first at the Las Vegas event until now dominated by Katie Compton. The current US 'cross champion was forced to withdraw prior to the event as she continues to recover from a knee injury sustained at the mountain bike world championships in Monte Saint Anne, Canada two weeks ago.

"It's too bad Katie was sick, it happens to everybody," said Nash when asked if she missed having Compton to compete with. "I hope she has a speedy recovery."

Luna lights it up

Just one lap into the women's race the bid for victory had been narrowed to five riders. The small group, which consisted of Nash, Dombroski, McConneloug, Susan Butler (Hudz-Subaru) and Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team), quickly gained a lead that looked unlikely to be recovered.

McConneloug drove the pace hard over the ensuing lap, but while Dombroski rode second wheel Nash launched a crucial attack. The group shed Butler as it gathered pace in an attempt to shut down the move, but neither McConneloug, Dombroski or Gould could muster the required pace.

As Dombroski and Gould sat on McConneloug's wheel Nash was quickly shaping up as the likely victor. Despite having a comfortable margin Nash never relented, extending her lead by a reasonable margin as each of the final three laps passed.

"It was really windy and it was shaping up to be a little bit like a road race," said Nash. "Mary and I were both active but at the same time I thought someone just had to start attacking for real. I went and it stuck."

Dombroski's late surge bumped McConneloug down to third, despite her impressive ride throughout the race. Dombroski said the strong teamwork demonstrated by Luna will be a feature of this year's North American cyclo-cross season.

"We're all really strong and capable of the win," said Dombroski. "It's awesome we're all up there together - power in numbers.

"Katerina was probably the most active," she added. "I tried to chase but just didn't have it in my legs."

Butler never gave up on a potential podium place, receiving a notable boost in motivation over the final laps as she attempted to regain contact with the chase group ahead. "I really wanted to stay with that group, but I started having a really hard time trying to get oxygen because it's so dry here," said Butler. "Once I dropped off the group it was just so much more work, but I kept telling myself ‘come on, come on, you've got to stay with them'. It was just so hard.

"I was pushing, man," she added. "I knew the podium was within reach at this race but it just didn't happen."

Butler was sandwiched between two groups of three riders as Meredith Miller (California Giant/Specialized) led Kelli Emmett (Giant) and Linnea Koons (Embrocation Cycling Journal) behind. After a short break following her long road season, Miller wasn't completely unhappy with her performance which she expects to improve as she gains more cyclo-cross miles.

"It's alright after having a little break," said Miller. "I did better than I did two years ago, so it's alright."

Full Results
1Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team0:46:10
2Amy Dombroski (USA) Luna Pro Team0:00:17
3Mary McConneloug (USA) Kenda/Seven/Notubes
4Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team0:00:28
5Susan Butler (USA) Hudz-Subaru0:00:59
6Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant/Specialized0:01:21
7Kelli Emmett (USA) Giant Bicycles
8Alison Powers (USA) Team Vera Bradley Foundation
9Kari Studley (USA) Redline
10Teal Stetson-Lee (USA) California Giant/Specialized
11Nicole Duke (USA) Hudz-Subaru
12Natasha Elliott (Can) Garneau Club Chaussures-Ogilvy
13Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob'S Red Mill P/B Seven Cycles
14Sara Bresnick-Zocchi (USA) Crossresults.Com/Pedalpowercoaching.com
15Laura Van Gilder (USA) C3 Athletes Serving Athletes
16Linnea Koons (USA) Embrocation Cycling Journal
17Heather Holmes (USA) Yeti/Sunflower Markets
18Rebecca Blatt (USA) Central Wheel
19Lisa Strong (USA) Hudz-Subaru
20Kelly Benjamin (USA) Kccx p/b Challenge Tires
21Linda Sone (USA) Planet Bike
22Katherine Sherwin (USA) Hudz-Subaru
23Lisa Hudson (USA) Feedback Sports-1lap
24Kate Scheider (USA)
25Courtney Dimpel (USA) Bike Station Aptos
26Shannon Gibson (USA) Velo Bella - Ellsworth
27Rebecca Gross (USA) Velo Bella - Ellsworth
28Emma Bast (USA) Team Plan C-2laps
29Kendall Ryan (USA) The Team - Socalcross
30Kristal Boni (USA) Blue Sky Velo
31Miranda Long (USA) Team Pg-13
32Erika Powers (USA) Revolution/Peak Fasteners
33Carrie Edwards (USA) Sheila Moon/Big Swingin' Cycles
34Karen Oppenheimer (USA) Bend Memorial Clinic Race Team
35Michele Bliss (USA) Justin'S-Titus
36Christina Probert (USA)
37Alexis Ryan (USA) The Team - Socalcross-3laps
38Dorothy Wong (USA) The Team - Socalcross
39Vicki Thomas (Can) Disasterrecovery.com
40Ivie Crawford (USA) The Team - Socalcross-4laps
41Pia Pensaari (Fin) Team Velo Cycling-5laps
42Annette Padilla (USA) Celo Pacific
DNSKatherine Compton (USA) Planet Bike-Stevens Bikes
DNSKrista Park (USA) Cannondale/Incycle

Second lap sprint award
1Mary McConneloug (USA) Kenda/Seven/Notubes
2Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team
3Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team

Fastest lap award
1Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team

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