Katarina Nash (Luna Pro Team) claimed her second consecutive CrossVegas victory, opening her 2011-2012 cyclo-cross season with another dominating performance on an uncharacteristically soggy Las Vegas course.
Nash claimed the top spot by riding away from the field from the second lap, coming in a dozen seconds ahead of Amy Dombroski (Crankbrothers) and Kelli Emmett (Giant)
Heavy overnight rains turned the normally fast, dry grass into a spongy, power-sucking shag carpet that favoured the powerful Czech champion.
"The conditions out there today really felt like a cross race," said Nash "It was interesting to add the wet element. CrossVegas has really become the classic of cyclocross. It's great to win in front of so many enthusiastic people."
While Nash's Luna teammate Georgia Gould lit up the first lap, helping to separate the pair from a star-studded field by the start of the second lap, the American would fade from the front after a few ill-timed mistakes, leaving Nash to solo away to glory.
Gould was swept up by a hard-charging chase group led by Dombroski on the final lap and didn't have enough left in the tank for the four-rider sprint. She claimed fifth behind Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry/Specialized).
"Georgia and I were working together keeping the gap," Nash said. "Perhaps I was keeping a faster pace than Georgia could maintain today. Georgia and I didn't talk before the race. We have raced together enough times to know what to expect from each other. We did talk during the race though. We talked about working together to maintain a gap."
Dombroski said she was in a bad position when the Luna pair's winning move went away, but had good cooperation from her chase group companions.
"I realized that the two blueberries were riding away so I tried to bridge it myself and then everyone started working together. It was me, Kelli, I think Meredith was there. I thought we might catch them because they were right there but Katerina is fast."
Dombroski wasn't able to shake them in the final lap, but was able to take second in the sprint over Emmett after a concerted effort.
"I didn't know how close she was, I was just going as hard as I could."
"I was just watching everyone and seeing what their weakness were out there," commented Emmett. "I was really feeling good. I knew my fitness was good, It was just a matter of finding the right opportunity."
|1||Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team||0:37:42|
|2||Amy Dombroski (USA) Crankbrothers Race Club||0:00:12|
|3||Kelli Emmett (USA) Giant Bicycles||0:00:13|
|4||Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant-Specialized||0:00:17|
|5||Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team||0:00:20|
|6||Lea Davison (USA) Specialized Racing||0:01:38|
|7||Chloe Forsman (USA) Momentum Endurance||0:01:45|
|8||Pepper Harlton (Can) Juventus Cycling Club||0:01:51|
|9||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel) Cycling Team Vermeeren||0:01:56|
|10||Teal Stetson-Lee (USA) California Giant-Specialized||0:01:59|
|11||Andrea Smith (USA) Ladiesfirst Racing||0:02:01|
|12||Nicole Duke (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld||0:02:02|
|13||Katheryn Mattis (USA) Bikes To Rwanda||0:02:08|
|14||Rebecca Blatt (USA) Team Kenda-Silverbull||0:02:13|
|15||Mical Dyck (Can) Pro City Racing||0:02:30|
|16||Rebecca Gross (USA) Velo Bella||0:02:32|
|17||Susan Butler (USA) River City Bicyles-Ridley||0:02:33|
|18||Katherine Sherwin (USA) Notubes Elite Cyclocross Team||0:03:01|
|19||Jennifer Gaertner (USA) Raleigh America||0:03:06|
|20||Allison Mann (USA) Rock n' Road Cyclery||0:03:20|
|21||Katy Curtis (Can) Cyclemeisters||0:03:33|
|22||Kari Studley (USA) Mercy Cycling||0:03:36|
|23||Caroline Mani (Fra) CC Etupes||0:03:37|
|24||Marne Smiley (USA) Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross||0:04:14|
|25||Kelsy Bingham (USA) Roosters-Bikers Edge||0:04:24|
|26||Emily Shields (USA) SmartStop-Mock Orange Bikes p/b Ridley|
|27||Meghan Korol (USA) Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross||0:04:27|
|28||Linda Sone (USA) Cycle-Smart|
|29||Nina Baum (USA)||0:04:28|
|30||Katherine Shields (USA) SmartStop-Mock Orange Bikes p/b Ridley||0:04:31|
|31||Lisa Hudson (USA) Feedback Sports||0:04:42|
|32||Cassandra Maximenko (USA) Silverbull Centralwheel||0:05:01|
|33||Kate Scheider (USA)||0:05:55|
|34||Christina Probert (USA) The Team-Socalcross||0:06:04|
|35||Sage Wilderman (USA) Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory-Durango Devo||0:06:26|
|36||Kelly Benjamin (USA) KCCX-Fuji Elite p/b Challenge Tires||0:06:40|
|37||Jennifer Hill (USA) Rivet SG||0:06:58|
|38||Shannon Gibson (USA) Notubes Elite Cyclocross Team||0:07:42|
|39||Cristina Begy (USA) Gates Carbon Drive||0:07:49|
|40||Michele Bliss (USA) Justin's Cycling|
|41||Michelle Melka (USA) Red Racing|
|42||Megan Elliott (USA)|
|43||Dorothy Wong (USA) The Team-Socalcross|
Latest on Cyclingnews
Katusha-Alpecin riders to be paid from UCI bank guaranteeGoverning body steps in as team sponsor defaults on payment
Bora-Hansgrohe complete 2020 roster with Patrick GamperSagan, Ackermann, Buchmann and Majka headline 27-rider German WorldTour team
The best cycling overshoes: full coverage overshoes to see you through winterCyclingnews' round-up of the best cycling overshoes and toe warmers available to buy this winter
Poulidor's funeral to take place in his home town on TuesdayPlans for a big screen as big crowds expected