Pepper Palace's Meredith Miller broke in a her new team colors with an upset win over 10-time and current US champion Katie Compton (Trek Factory Racing) at CrossVegas in a three-up sprint that also included Luna's Katerina Nash.
"It's the first race of the season, so you don't know how everyone else is riding," Miller said. "I knew I was feeling pretty good, but that's all relative. I didn't know how I was going to compare with everybody else. I was just hoping to feel good about my ride regardless of my result. So I'm incredibly excited to have pulled off the win."
Newly-crowned cross country mountain bike world champion Catharine Pendrel (Luna) had been in the lead group of four, which got away early in the race, but she crashed on a corner on the final lap and lost contact.
Miller, Compton and Nash surged away from the field on the first of six laps around the sports park on the north side of Las Vegas, and the race briefly looked like it might be a contest between those three, but Pendrel bridged to the leaders on lap two.
The quartet continued to power away from the field, taking turns attacking each other without success. The race appeared headed for a showdown between the four before Pendrel slid out in a paved corner and had to settle for the fourth spot.
"On that pavement I knew it was slick, but every lap I had been fine," Pendrel said. "But I think as the race went long we were laying some rubber down and it was just slick that time. So I slid down and didn't have enough to get back on."
Miller lost contact briefly on the final lap but regained the leaders in time to set up her final dash for the line. She initially believed she had blown her chance for the win, however.
"Coming into the finish with all the twists and turns, during pre-ride I kept saying if you're not first you're last, and then I was third coming into it," Miller said. "I tried to make a few passes on Katie but it didn't work, and then coming through the last turn I just had to give it everything I had."
Compton said the difficulty of the course and her early season fitness combined to make it a really hard race, but she was happy with how her season started despite not getting the win.
"I don't have that road or mountain bike fitness right now, so I was struggling a bit, and the course rides really heavy," the US champion said. "I was trying to do the least amount of work possible, but once it came down to a sprint I tried to position myself as well as possible. I just didn't quite have the legs at the end. But I'm happy to be on the podium. It's a good start to the season for me."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Meredith Miller (USA) Pepper Palace Pro Cycling||0:40:01|
|2||Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team|
|3||Katherine Compton (USA) Trek Factory Racing|
|4||Catharine Pendrel (CAN) Luna Pro Team||0:00:22|
|5||Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team||0:00:36|
|6||Rachel Lloyd (USA) California Giant Cycling||0:00:49|
|7||Caroline Mani (Fra) Raleigh Clement||0:00:56|
|8||Amanda Nauman (USA) Sdg-Bellwether Pb Krema Peanut||0:01:02|
|9||Erica Zaveta (USA) Amy D Racing||0:01:07|
|10||Cassandra Maximenko (USA) Rare Vos / Vandessel / Power Ba||0:01:13|
|11||Gabriella Durrin (GBr) Neon Velo Cycling Team||0:01:14|
|12||Maghalie Rochette (CAN) Luna Pro Team||0:01:24|
|13||Courtenay McFadden (USA) Gecapital/American Classic||0:01:36|
|14||Kelli Emmett (USA) Giant Factory Off Road Team||0:01:47|
|15||Elle Anderson (USA) California Giant Cycling||0:01:53|
|16||Teal Stetson-Lee (USA) Luna Pro Team||0:01:55|
|17||Lisa Jacobs (Aus) Rapha-Focus||0:02:08|
|18||Crystal Anthony (USA) Optum P/B Kelly Benefit||0:02:16|
|19||Jessica Cutler (USA) Fcs|Cycling: P/B Zngine + Mr.||0:02:24|
|20||Arley Kemmerer (USA) Pb2 Pro Cycling||0:02:34|
|21||Mical Dyck (CAN) Stans No Tubes||0:03:01|
|22||Nina Baum (USA) Stan's No Tubes||0:03:05|
|23||Emily Kachorek (USA) Squid||0:03:07|
|24||Carolina Gimez (Arg) Vanderkitten Cx||0:03:49|
|25||Andi Zolton (USA) Nemesis Racing||0:04:15|
|26||Kristin Weber (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport||0:04:25|
|27||Diane Lee (GBr)||0:04:29|
|28||Sofia Gomez Villafane (USA) Ft Lewis Cycling||0:04:44|
|29||Beth Ann Orton (USA) Team S&M/Sellwood Cycle Repair||0:04:59|
|30||Rebecca Gross (USA) Vanderkitten Cx||0:05:15|
|31||Nicole Brandt (USA) Michelob Ultra - La Grange +21||0:05:21|
|32||Katie Arnold (USA) First Internet Bank Cycling Tea||0:05:42|
|33||Vicki Barclay (GBr) Stan's No Tubes||0:05:51|
|34||Suzie Godart (Lux) Team Differdange-Losch||0:06:03|
|35||Rachel Dobrozsi (USA) Red Zone Elite||0:06:07|
|36||Heidi Wood (USA) 333Fab Cx Factory Team||0:06:13|
|37||Lisa Hudson (USA) Feedback||0:06:19|
|38||Karen Hogan (USA) Team Kappius||0:07:07|
|39||Liz Barcheck (USA) Team Small Batch|
|40||Katherine Santos (USA) Red Zone Elite||0:07:17|
|41||Michelle Khare (USA) Dartmouth||0:07:18|
|42||Mackenzie Green (USA) Red Zone Elite||0:07:31|
|43||Julie Hunter (USA) Seavs/Haymarket Pb Van Dessel||0:07:54|
|44||Natalie Koncz (USA) Nemesis Racing||0:08:06|
|- 1 Lap||Meghan Korol (USA) Don Walker Cycles Racing||0:08:28|
|- 1 Lap||Jennifer Nordhem (USA) Hudson Furniture/Cycling Cross|
|- 1 Lap||Shane Ferro (USA) Rockstar Games/Signature Cycles|
|- 2 Laps||Kelly Chang (USA) Voler/Hrs/Stevens Creek Bmw/Roc|
|- 2 Laps||Gemma Kernich (Aus) Focus Bikes Australia/Port Adel|
|- 4 Laps||Stace Cooper (USA)|
|51||Sarah Lukas (USA) Quantum Mesa Cycles|
|DNF||Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona|
|DNF||Ally Stacher (USA) Ally'S Bar|
|DNF||Jenna Blandford (USA) Vo2|
|DNS||Amy Bradley (Aus)|
Growing up in Missoula, Montana, Pat competed in his first bike race in 1985 at Flathead Lake before studying English and journalism at the University of Oregon. He has covered North American cycling extensively since 2009, as well as racing and teams in Europe and South America. Pat currently lives in the US outside of Portland, Oregon.
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