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Pendrel opens season with victory at Mellow Johnny's US Pro XCT

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Catharine Pendrel (Luna) takes a convincing win

Catharine Pendrel (Luna) takes a convincing win (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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There was plenty of Texas B-B-Q to go around today

There was plenty of Texas B-B-Q to go around today (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Amanda Sin (3Rox Racing) rides some uphill rocks

Amanda Sin (3Rox Racing) rides some uphill rocks (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Sarah Kaufman (NoTubes) rides through the forest

Sarah Kaufman (NoTubes) rides through the forest (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Judy Freeman (Crank Bros) has her best US Pro XCT finish ever

Judy Freeman (Crank Bros) has her best US Pro XCT finish ever (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Catharine Pendrel congratulates Judy Freeman's second place

Catharine Pendrel congratulates Judy Freeman's second place (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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The elite women's start is led out by Georgia Gould (Luna)

The elite women's start is led out by Georgia Gould (Luna) (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Georgia Gould (Luna) has to put a foot down on a rocky section of the course

Georgia Gould (Luna) has to put a foot down on a rocky section of the course (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Catharine Pendrel (Luna) rides in fourth place at the end of lap one

Catharine Pendrel (Luna) rides in fourth place at the end of lap one (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Judy Freemen (Crank Bros) rides fifth on the first lap

Judy Freemen (Crank Bros) rides fifth on the first lap (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Heather Irmiger (Trek Subaru) rides in the top ten

Heather Irmiger (Trek Subaru) rides in the top ten (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Lea Davision (Specialized) leads Pua Mata

Lea Davision (Specialized) leads Pua Mata (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Pua Mata (Sho-Air) putting in an impressive ride

Pua Mata (Sho-Air) putting in an impressive ride (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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The "A" line that many of the elite men rode

The "A" line that many of the elite men rode (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek) rides mid-pack after flatting

Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek) rides mid-pack after flatting (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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A rider on singletrack littered with rocks

A rider on singletrack littered with rocks (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Crank Bros teammates Chloe Forsman (left) and Judy Freeman

Crank Bros teammates Chloe Forsman (left) and Judy Freeman (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Chloe Forsman (Crank Bros) puts in a good ride

Chloe Forsman (Crank Bros) puts in a good ride (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Georgia Gould (Luna) was slightly off her game today

Georgia Gould (Luna) was slightly off her game today (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Pua Mata (Sho-Air) leads Georgia Gould up a rocky climb

Pua Mata (Sho-Air) leads Georgia Gould up a rocky climb (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek) in her new black helmet

Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek) in her new black helmet (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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World Champion Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team) warms up on a trainer

World Champion Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team) warms up on a trainer (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team) with two young Canadian racers

Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team) with two young Canadian racers (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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You know it is a UCI Cat. 1 event when all the big rigs show up

You know it is a UCI Cat. 1 event when all the big rigs show up (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Brisket Texas style

Brisket Texas style (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Judy Freeman (Crank Bros) in her new kit

Judy Freeman (Crank Bros) in her new kit (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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US Cyclo-cross Champion Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant)

US Cyclo-cross Champion Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant) (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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US Cross Country Champion Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) is undefeated at Mellow Johnny

US Cross Country Champion Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) is undefeated at Mellow Johnny (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Lea Davision (Specialized)

Lea Davision (Specialized) (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Elite women's front row

Elite women's front row (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Kaila Hart (NoTubes Elite Women's Team) passes by the old western town

Kaila Hart (NoTubes Elite Women's Team) passes by the old western town (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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A Colonel's Bikes rider maneuvers through the rocks

A Colonel's Bikes rider maneuvers through the rocks (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Kaila Hart (NoTubes Elite Women's Team) rides singletrack

Kaila Hart (NoTubes Elite Women's Team) rides singletrack (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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This trail begged for a dual suspension bike

This trail begged for a dual suspension bike (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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World Champion Catharine Penrel (Luna) passes by a drag queen in the woods

World Champion Catharine Penrel (Luna) passes by a drag queen in the woods (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Judy Freeman (Crank Bros) is heckled by a man in a dress

Judy Freeman (Crank Bros) is heckled by a man in a dress (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Adam Morka (Trek Canada) and fianc

Adam Morka (Trek Canada) and fianc (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)

World Champion Catharine Pendrel (Luna) opened her season with a win at the first US Pro XCT race of the season, the Mellow Johnny's Classic in Dripping Springs, Texas. Judy Freeman (Crank Bros) pulled herself from as far back as fifth place to nail down second place. Pua Mata (Sho-Air-Specialized) rode a consistent race to take third place. USA Cyclo-cross Champion Katie Compton was fourth, while Georgia Gould (Luna) finished a disappointing fifth.

Unlike previous editions of the Mellow Johnny’s Classic where heat was the major story, today’s weather at the Flat Creek Ranch was perfect for racing. The temperature never rose above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the humidity seemed low, and there was a bit of moisture in the dirt which kept dust to a minimum. The hilly ranch course featured a huge amount of rocky singletrack complete with many technical features that challenged the riders.

Gould took the hole-shot on a one-mile start loop and seemed to be on track for her third straight Mellow Johnny’s win. Within the first lap she forced an elite selection that included Pendrel, Emily Batty (Subaru Trek) and Mata. Gould, however, began to have a series of bobbles that cost her the lead. She had a problem with a stream crossing, then had to stop on a technical climb, and according to Gould had “several off-trail moments”.

“I was slowly getting dropped by Emily and Catharine,” Gould said after the race. “I’m definitely a bit rusty.”

On the second lap the world champion attacked and only young Batty could keep pace. Unfortunately Batty then suffered a puncture nearly as far from the tech zone as possible. Pendrel felt that twenty-six inch (wider) tires were less prone to flats on this course. She commented after the race that 26" inch is where it’s at."

For the final two laps of the race, Pendrel padded her lead while riders behind her battled for podium spots. Gould drifted back to fifth while Freeman was clawing her way up from fifth to second place. The petite rider seemed to have every lined dialed and gave the illusion of floating over the endless rock gardens. A member of the USA Olympic “Long Team”, this was her first race for the Crank Brothers team. When asked what was different for her this season, she responded, “I’m a lot more focused this year.”

Pendrel seemed pleased with her performance, “I felt really good, really fluid…everyone rode strong physically and technically. It’s going to be an exciting 2012.”

When asked about how she prepared for the Texas terrain, she said, “We’ve (the Canadian Team) spent a couple weeks training in the desert.”

Mata, better known for endurance events, showed last year that she could be competitive at the World Cup level. She seemed to be the most consistent rider on the track yesterday in terms of speed. When you drop Gould, you know you are having a good day.

USA cyclo-cross Champion Katie Compton was impressive as well. “It was a fun day and I was happy to make the first group but the fitness struggled with the long effort," said Compton.  Her cyclo-cross races are typically 40minutes long.  “I need to get some base."

This UCI Cat. 1 race began the battle for USA and Canadian Olympic Team spots. Pendrel, the World Champion, is the favorite for the Canadians. Behind her, Batty, Amanda Sin (3Rox Racing), and Marie-Helene Premont are expected to compete for positions.

For the Americans, Gould is favored to grab one of two likely Olympic spots. Willow Koerber (Subaru Trek), Lea Davison (Specialized), Judy Freeman, Heather Irmiger (Subaru Trek), Chloe Woodruff (Crank Bros), and Krista Park (NoTubes) will join Gould in the competition for the remaining place

The World Cup racers will head next to Pietermaritzburg, South Africa for the first round of the World Cup Season. Willow Koerber, traveling with her two-month old baby, has already arrived there in hopes of acclimating and continuing her training.

Full Results

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Catherine Pendrel (Team Luna Chix)1:12:56
2Judy Freeman (Crankbrothers Race Club)0:00:44
3Monique Mata (Sho-Air/Specialized)0:01:16
4Katie Compton (Giant RaboBank Team)0:01:27
5Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team)0:01:42
6Lea Davison (Specialized Racing)0:02:21
7Heather Irmiger (Subaru/Trek)0:03:14
8Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek)0:03:34
9Chloe Woodruff (Crankbrothers Race Club 11)0:04:29
10Amanda Sin (Scott-3 Rox Racing)0:06:59
11Daniela Chavz0:07:56
12Mariske Strauss (Pepper Palace.Spin-Tech Training p/b ABR)0:08:02
13Zephanie Blasi (WXC World Racing)0:08:20
14Sarah Kaufmann (Stan's No Tube Elite Women's Team)0:08:28
15Erica Tingey (Kuhl/Rocky Mountain)0:08:32
16Sage Wilderman (Kenda/Felt)0:09:29
17Erin Huck (Tokyo Joes)0:11:37
18Lisa Uranga (PACC)0:11:57
19Christina Gokey-Smith (Colonels/Sho-Air)0:13:22
20Meghan Korol (Pepper Palace.Spin-Tech Training p/b ABR)0:14:44
21Haley Smith (Team Canada)0:16:22
22Melanie Long (Tough Girl/ Scott)0:18:16
DNFAnnaJean Dallaire (Racin' for Riley p/b Alderfer Bergen)
DNFKaila Hart (Stan's No Tubes Elite Women's Team)
DNFKelli Emmett (Giant Factory Team)

Junior women 10 & under
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Vallen Tupper0:12:43
2Emmaline Baxter-Harwell (Southern Elite/Sun & Ski Sports/PARD)0:00:01
3Emma Jones (Team Bicycle Sport Shop)0:01:16
4Antoinette McCall (Orange Seal)0:02:28
5Mackenzie Anderson (Bicycles Outback p/b Jubilee Mitsubishi)0:02:42
6Gabriela Watts (Hill Country Bicycle Works)0:02:52
7Natalie Barrera (787 Racing)0:03:14
8Ella Waldrip (Hill Country Bike Works)0:03:53
9Charlize Anne Hallett0:06:12
DNSBriana Roberson (enviroINKS.com / Bike Route)
DNFAva Foster (Lucky Spoke Pro Bike Service)

Junior women 11-12
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alexis Bobbitt (Retro Racing USA)0:25:30
2Meg Howitt (McKinney Velo)0:00:32
3Sarah Howitt (McKinney Velo)0:01:03
4Emily Mathis (Bicycles Outback p/b Jubilee Mitsubishi)0:10:37
5Katherine (Katie) Roberson (enviroINKS.com / Bike Route)

Junior women 13-14
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Claire Boatman (Southern Elite/Sun & Ski Sports/APARD)1:03:16
2Marley Kotick0:01:03
3Kiara McDonald (Southern Elite/Sun & ski Sports/APARD)0:13:53

Junior women 15-18
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mercedes Drummond (Bell & Company MTB Team)0:44:54

Senior women 19-29
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Heather Graham (Bikemojo.com)0:44:02
2Larissa Tater (Team Chain Drop)0:07:11
3Laura Gonzalez0:12:55

Master women 30-39
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andrea Fox0:44:43
2Rebekah Trevelise (Team Spin City)0:02:19
3Darlene Streeter (BikesOnline.com Racing)0:05:57
4Wendy Bobbitt (Retro Racing USA)0:07:33
5Emmylou Layne (Bikeland Dev Factory Team)0:13:06
6Angela Mathis (Bicycles Outback p/b Jubilee Mitsubishi)0:25:56
7Sonia Rios (Level X)0:28:27

Master women 40+
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Melissa Grubbs (Team Bicycle Sport Shop)0:45:13
2Laura Neighbors (Team Bicycle Sport Shop)0:02:50
3Lori Watkins (Austin Flyers Women's Cycling)0:23:12

 

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