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Batty outsprints Pendrel for Sea Otter cross country victory

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Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek) celebrates the biggest win of her career at the Sea Otter Classic cross country

Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek) celebrates the biggest win of her career at the Sea Otter Classic cross country
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Sea Otter cross country winner Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek)

Sea Otter cross country winner Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek)
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Riders on top of the ridge

Riders on top of the ridge
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Emily Batty (Trek-Subaru) lookS back in disbelief that they got away

Emily Batty (Trek-Subaru) lookS back in disbelief that they got away
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Catharine Pendrel (Luna) looks to Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant) to lead on the pavement

Catharine Pendrel (Luna) looks to Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant) to lead on the pavement
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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The elite women's cross country start at the Sea Otter Classic

The elite women's cross country start at the Sea Otter Classic
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) hopes for a similar race as last year

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) hopes for a similar race as last year
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Emily Batty (Trek-Subaru) neutralized Catharine Pendrel's uphill attack

Emily Batty (Trek-Subaru) neutralized Catharine Pendrel's uphill attack
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Shannon Gibson (NoTubes) rides the top of the short track course

Shannon Gibson (NoTubes) rides the top of the short track course
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Emily Batty (Trek-Subaru) puts distance between herself and Katerina Nash (Luna)

Emily Batty (Trek-Subaru) puts distance between herself and Katerina Nash (Luna)
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Racers ride a fireroad on the back of the course

Racers ride a fireroad on the back of the course
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Rebecca Rusch (Specialized) would prefer that the race be a few hours longer.

Rebecca Rusch (Specialized) would prefer that the race be a few hours longer.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Krista Park (Incycle) rides well before a somewhat spectacular crash

Krista Park (Incycle) rides well before a somewhat spectacular crash
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team) sets the pace

Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team) sets the pace
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Lea Davison (Specialized) and Heather Irmiger (Trek) ride the top of the short track course

Lea Davison (Specialized) and Heather Irmiger (Trek) ride the top of the short track course
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Judy Freeman (Kenda-Felt) on the big climb

Judy Freeman (Kenda-Felt) on the big climb
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Much of the cross country course resembled a road race

Much of the cross country course resembled a road race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Riders got a brief respite from the sun in this wooded section of course

Riders got a brief respite from the sun in this wooded section of course
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Chloe Forsman (BMC) rides in the top 10

Chloe Forsman (BMC) rides in the top 10
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Kelli Emmett (Giant) in her first big cross country race of the season

Kelli Emmett (Giant) in her first big cross country race of the season
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Mical Dyck (Trek Toronto) heads out for one more lap

Mical Dyck (Trek Toronto) heads out for one more lap
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Trek Subaru teammates Heather Irmiger (left) and Emily Batty (right)

Trek Subaru teammates Heather Irmiger (left) and Emily Batty (right)
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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The sisterhood of Canadian women

The sisterhood of Canadian women
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Luna teammates Canadian Champion Catharine Pendrel (left), Katerina Nash, and American cross country National Champion Georgia Gould ®

Luna teammates Canadian Champion Catharine Pendrel (left), Katerina Nash, and American cross country National Champion Georgia Gould ®
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Emily Batty (Trek-Subaru) is mobbed by the media after her win

Emily Batty (Trek-Subaru) is mobbed by the media after her win
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Elite women's front row at the Sea Otter Classic cross country

Elite women's front row at the Sea Otter Classic cross country
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) on the front of the race

Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) on the front of the race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katie Compton (Giant Rabobank) rides just behind the lead group

Katie Compton (Giant Rabobank) rides just behind the lead group
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Lea Davison (Specialized) climbs through the trees

Lea Davison (Specialized) climbs through the trees
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Georgia Gould (Luna) suffered an untimely flat that forced her to run at least a half lap

Georgia Gould (Luna) suffered an untimely flat that forced her to run at least a half lap
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Kathy Sherwin (NoTubes) rides just behind the leaders

Kathy Sherwin (NoTubes) rides just behind the leaders
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Emily Batty (Trek-Subaru) hammers up the climb

Emily Batty (Trek-Subaru) hammers up the climb
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) rides second wheel

Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) rides second wheel
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek) on her way to winning the Sea Otter cross country

Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek) on her way to winning the Sea Otter cross country
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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A jubilant Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek) outsprinted Catharine Pendrel (Luna)

A jubilant Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek) outsprinted Catharine Pendrel (Luna)
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)

Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek) sprinted to victory in the cross country race at the Sea Otter Classic ahead of Catharine Pendrel (Luna). Batty was all smiles after taking the biggest win of her career on a day when the Canadians dominated.

When asked if she was surprised to take such a major victory, Batty said quietly but confidently, "No, I wasn't surprised. I knew what I was doing all winter, and I knew my fitness should come around and it was just a matter of time. It worked out well."

"Next weekend's World Cup will be a whole different story - it's a long season, and I hope my fitness will just keep going up."

Katerina Nash (Luna) rode strong to finish in third place while Lea Davison (Specialized) and Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Trek) earned the final two podium spots in fourth and fifth.

At the start of the race, it looked like the Luna team would dominate with Pendrel, Nash and Georgia Gould (Luna) in a break together going into lap two. Behind them, Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant) chased on her own.

"I wasn't exactly riding 'safe' out there," said Pendrel. "But that was my plan - I wanted to try and make it hard and take away the amount of hard accelerations that were going to happen." Her efforts would shatter many of the favorites.

Gould was the first to depart the break. An untimely flat tire on lap three of the seven-lap race, just after the first tech zone, meant Gould would be doing about a half lap of running on the sub-five-mile course. She made her way to the second tech zone, but lost so much time, she would not factor in the race for the duration although she did still finish the race.

"My flat happened right after the tech zone as I was leaving the pavement. I was the farthest point from a tech zone I could be," said Gould, who blamed no one but herself for not carrying spare tubes.

"It wasn't bad luck. It was my own mistake," said Gould. "I always carry tubes with me. This is the one time I was like, 'oh it's a 15-minute lap' and didn't bring them. It was total karma. From now on, I will always carry tubes."

Pendrel, Nash and Batty spent much of the race together - trading leads. Compton chased on her own in no-woman's land. A chase group, including Davison, Irmiger, Pua Mata (Sho-Air/Specialized) and Kelli Emmett (Giant) followed.

With two to go, Compton disappeared from the race. Her teammate Adam Craig reported after the race that she had been stung by a bee, had an allergic reaction and left the race to head promptly for medical treatment.

With a lap and a half to go, Nash bobbled, making a small mistake that cost her a few seconds. Batty was driving the pace, and Nash was unable to close the gap as she started to drop off the two leaders.

"Katerina is just coming off the 'cross season," said Pendrel. "She'll be on fire later this season. It was a hard pace throughout."

"With a lap and a half to go, I tried to get away by myself, but Emily was on me all the time, and it was nice to have someone to work with on the road," said Pendrel.

"On the other side of the course on the last lap, I jumped and rode the downhill in front," said Batty. "I crested the top and hit the pavement and we came into that final stretch side by side and sprinted."

"We were both feeling pretty good. We were talking to each other a little bit and decided at the top that it would be a drag race to the finish, side by side," said Batty.

Pendrel and Batty put on an all-Canadian show at the front. It was a battle between veteran racer and World Cup leader Pendrel and the younger Batty, and it came down to the final downhill turn and finishing straight. Batty had the biggest kick and won the sprint to the line ahead of Pendrel.

"Emily was my equal in every aspect today except she was my better in the sprint," said Pendrel. "This was the first time Emily and I have ever been able to work together like this in a race - we worked well together."

Nash rode in 2:47 later on her own for third place.

"I made a mistake after a sandy uphill before you get on the track and I didn't catch that wheel, and then I couldn't close the gap," said Nash, who fell off the pace with about a lap and a half to go. "It was my first weekend of racing this year. I know there's more to improve, but I'm happy with my fitness right now."

The sprint for fourth was a tight one, with Davison narrowly nipping Irmiger. Emmett was next in sixth and Mata finished seventh.

"It was helpful to have a group. Heather caught on to me on the second or third lap and I was thankful. Pua and Kelli caught us then," said Davison. "You don't want numbers, but in this race, where there is so much pavement, it's better to have numbers so that you can actually recover."

"I was leading out of the sandy corner, but I realized I didn't have a gap, so I sat up and waited for someone to jump, and I was ready," said Davison. "I didn't want to lead into the sprint. Pua jumped and I hopped on her wheel and went around. I went all out - that was everything I had."

"I have no speed right now," said Mata. "The only chance I had was to get them tired, but there were so many road tactics today."

"It's always interesting when you're in a group and you've been together for three or four laps," said Irmiger before joking, "We were separated by a tire tread, which wasn't much because I'm sure we were all running pretty low profile stuff."

When asked about her teammate Batty's win, Irmiger said, "People shouldn't be surprised - and if they were, now they won't be any more."

Emmett described the final sprint for fourth as a bit comic with all four of them spun out on their 2x10 drivetrains.

The very open course with lots of pavement and dirt road drew mixed reactions. Pendrel summed up the thoughts expressed by many of the women.

"Coming into the race, I wasn't super excited about the course, and it was more roadish and tactical, but it's good every once in awhile," said Pendrel. "It added another dynamic. It makes you have to think about tactics."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Emily Batty (Can) Subaru - Trek1:41:22
2Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Pro Team0:00:01
3Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team0:02:47
4Lea Davison (USA) Specialized0:04:12
5Kelli Emmett (USA) Giant Factory Off-Road
6Heather Irmiger (USA) Subaru - Trek
7Pua Mata (USA)0:04:13
8Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team0:07:29
9Mical Dyck (Can) Pro City Racing0:08:06
10Amanda Carey (USA) Kenda/Felt0:09:53
11Chloe Forsman (USA) BMC Mountainbike Development0:10:15
12Kathy Sherwin (USA) Notubes Elite0:10:22
13Teal Stetson-Lee (USA) Rocky Mountain Chocolate0:10:32
14Erica Zaveta (USA) BMC Mountainbike Development0:10:51
15Zephanie Blasi (USA) Notubes Elite0:10:59
16Sarah Maile (USA) Ventana Mountain Bike0:11:09
17Rebecca Rusch (USA) Specialized0:11:24
18Catherine Vipond (Can) Norco Factory Team0:11:46
19Nina Baum (USA) Notubes Elite0:12:20
20Judy Freeman (USA) Kenda / Felt0:12:40
21Erica Tingey (USA) White Pine Touring0:12:46
22Krista Park (USA) Notubes Elite0:13:00
23Sarah Kaufmann (USA) Elete Electrolytes0:13:12
24Alice Pennington (USA) Team S&M0:14:06
25Kelsy Bingham (USA) Team Jamis0:14:20
-1lapShannon Gibson (USA) Notubes Elite
-1lapCarolyn Popovic (USA) Team CF
-1lapBrandi Heisterman (Can) Team Whistler
-3lapsKaila Hart (USA) No Tubes Elite
-3lapsLydia Tanner (USA) Lydia Tanner
-3lapsCaroline Mani (Fra) SRAM
-3lapsAnna Fortner (USA) The Team
-4lapsCayley Brooks (Can) Trek Canada
-4lapsLaura Winberry (USA)
DNFAmy Dombroski (USA) Crankbrothers Race

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