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Nash wins mudfest at Ute Valley Pro XCT

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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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Children raced just prior to the elite women's race

Children raced just prior to the elite women's race (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Ute Valley Park

Ute Valley Park (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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NoTubes Women's Team members (L to R): Kaila Hart, Nina Baum, and Sarah Kaufmann

NoTubes Women's Team members (L to R): Kaila Hart, Nina Baum, and Sarah Kaufmann (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Pua Mata (Sho-Air Specialized) has been having a terrific year

Pua Mata (Sho-Air Specialized) has been having a terrific year (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Heather Irmiger (Subaru Trek) is one of the many Colorado natives racing today

Heather Irmiger (Subaru Trek) is one of the many Colorado natives racing today (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) leading on lap two

Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) leading on lap two (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Pua Mata (Sho-Air Specialized) attempting to stay with Nash

Pua Mata (Sho-Air Specialized) attempting to stay with Nash (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Chloe Woodruff (Crank Bros) on a steep descent

Chloe Woodruff (Crank Bros) on a steep descent (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Diedre York having a brilliant race

Diedre York having a brilliant race (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Alison Mann (Bikes for Boobs) moving up in the field after crashing early

Alison Mann (Bikes for Boobs) moving up in the field after crashing early (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) descending a slick course during a rainstorm

Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) descending a slick course during a rainstorm (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Pua Mata (Sho-Air Specialized) riding solidly in second place

Pua Mata (Sho-Air Specialized) riding solidly in second place (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Heather Irmiger (Subaru Trek) riding alone in third position

Heather Irmiger (Subaru Trek) riding alone in third position (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Erin Huck (Tokyo Joe's) descending a rocky chute

Erin Huck (Tokyo Joe's) descending a rocky chute (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Chloe Woodrufff (Crank Bros) riding down from the top of the ridge

Chloe Woodrufff (Crank Bros) riding down from the top of the ridge (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Chloe Woodrufff walking Maya

Chloe Woodrufff walking Maya (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katerina Nash's support team cleans her tires before the last lap

Katerina Nash's support team cleans her tires before the last lap (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Judy Freeman (Crank Bros) leads the elite women up the first climb

Judy Freeman (Crank Bros) leads the elite women up the first climb (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Storm clouds gathered over the Rockies as the women's race started

Storm clouds gathered over the Rockies as the women's race started (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) rides third wheel on the first climb

Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) rides third wheel on the first climb (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Nina Baum (Notubes) on the first climb

Nina Baum (Notubes) on the first climb (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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The elite women crest the first ridge on the course

The elite women crest the first ridge on the course (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Mud wreaked havoc as it actually stopped wheels from turning

Mud wreaked havoc as it actually stopped wheels from turning (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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A thunderstorm hit during lap two

A thunderstorm hit during lap two (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) alone with two laps to go

Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) alone with two laps to go (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Pua Mata (Sho-Air Specialized) crashed on a slick wooden bridge and lost contact with Katerina Nash

Pua Mata (Sho-Air Specialized) crashed on a slick wooden bridge and lost contact with Katerina Nash (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Heather Irmiger (Subaru Trek) zig zags looking for traction on the wet clay

Heather Irmiger (Subaru Trek) zig zags looking for traction on the wet clay (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Judy Freeman (Crank Bros) apparently went down

Judy Freeman (Crank Bros) apparently went down (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Nina Baum (NoTubes) with one lap to go

Nina Baum (NoTubes) with one lap to go (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katie Sodergren (Tokyo Joes) seems happy there was just one lap to go

Katie Sodergren (Tokyo Joes) seems happy there was just one lap to go (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katie Compton has ended her mountain bike racing for the season to concentrate on training for cyclo-cross

Katie Compton has ended her mountain bike racing for the season to concentrate on training for cyclo-cross (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jamie Brede descending in the muddy conditions

Jamie Brede descending in the muddy conditions (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)

Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) used her speed, experience, and pit crew to not only defeat the other racers but also Mother Nature at Ute Valley Park on Saturday. Thunderstorms hit during the second lap of the five-lap Pro XCT race, which rendered some racers' bicycles un-rideable due to the build-up of clay.

Pua Mata (Sho-Air Specialized), also experienced in these types of conditions, was able to keep her machine rolling to take second place. Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Trek) had chosen wide tires that collected more mud. Her position changed a bit during the race, but she grabbed third place. Erin Huck (Tokyo Joe's) rode consistently to take the fourth spot on the podium, while Lauren Catlin (Rocky Mountain Chocolate) finished fifth.

US National Champion Georgia Gould (Luna), the pre-race favorite, was not able to start today due to a stomach illness. As a result, all eyes were on her equally capable teammate Katerina Nash. The race started on a dirt running track before heading uphill for the first of five laps. From the word go, Nash assumed command of the race, while the other top contenders attempted to hold her wheel. The course featured several climbs over ridges followed by highly technical descents on slick rock.

Halfway through lap two, a sizable group containing Nash, Mata, Huck, Irmiger, and Crank Brothers teammates Chloe Woodruff and Judy Freeman had split from the pack. Alison Mann (Bikes for Boobs) had crashed during the start and found herself moving up in the pack , but out of contention. Young Diedre York led the chasers and would eventually finish impressively in seventh place.

As the rains started to hit, Nash attacked the group and only Mata could answer the call. Unfortunately, when Mata was leading, she crashed on a slick wooden bridge on the backside of the course. She would spend the rest of the race in no-man's-land hanging onto her second place position.

Nash said after the race, "The conditions changed drastically because of the clay. There were sections where you could not corner. My Orbea and Shimano components were running well today." Some riders who had bikes with little mud clearance either had to stop and dig the mud off their frames, or remove their back wheels to remove the mud. Several women were seen carrying their bikes back to the start/finish as their back wheels would not turn.

Fortunately for Nash, she not only had her World Cup mechanic Chris Mathis in the pits, but also team director Waldek Stepnioski. Without Gould in the race, they could concentrate on keeping Nash's bike moving. With one lap to go, both men could be seen working furiously to remove the mud. They even poured a full bucket of water on the drivetrain as she headed back onto the course.

Irmiger said, "These conditions are unique to Colorado, where you go from fast super dry to like peanut butter and oil." It was quite evident that Irmiger came to compete today, but her tire choice did her in. "I decided to run these 2.2s up here, and I ended up with 2.2 inches of mud. I just couldn't move." At one point, Erin Huck moved into third position on the climb out of the venue, but Irmiger later got by her to reclaim third place.

Lea Davison (Specialized) and Georgia Gould had just been named to the USA Olympic team the day before the race. Davison chose to stay home and train rather than add more miles to her already busy travel schedule.

Many of the top women will now head to the Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec to compete in the next World Cup. From there, they will move to the final North American World Cup race in Windham, New York.

Full Results

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna1:38:09
2Monique Pua Mata (USA) Sho-Air0:02:25
3Heather Irmiger (USA) Subaru-Trek0:04:59
4Erin Huck (USA)0:05:28
5Lauren Catlin (USA)0:07:16
6Rose Grant (USA)0:07:30
7Diedre York (USA)0:08:27
8Kelly Boniface (USA)0:08:50
9Jane Rynbrandt (USA)0:12:21
10Zephanie Blasi (USA)0:12:56
11Jaime Brede (USA)0:14:53
12Katie Sodergren (USA)0:16:14
13Rebecca Blatt (USA)0:16:32
14Rebecca Gross (USA)0:16:47
15Karen Jarchow (USA)0:16:58
16Jill Behlen (USA)0:17:07
17Nina Baum (USA)0:18:55
18Chloe Woodruff (USA)0:21:52
19Alicia Rose Pastore (USA)
20Kaila Hart (USA)
21Judy Freeman (USA)
22Allison Mann (USA)
23Linnea Dixson (USA)
DNFErica Tingey (USA)
DNFKatherine O'Shea (Aus)
DNFSarah Kaufmann (USA)
DNFBryna Blanchard (USA)
DNFLisa Uranga (USA)
DNSGeorgia Gould (USA) Luna

 

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