Katie Clouse (Alpha Bicycle-Groove Subaru) took her second USA Cycling ProCX victory of the season Saturday in the Elite women’s crace at Ruts 'n' Guts in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
After taking the holeshot, Clouse settled into a front group that separated itself from the 25-rider field in the first lap of racing. Joining Clouse at the front were Sunny Gilbert (Van Dessel Factory Team), Courtenay McFadden (Pivot Maxxis pb Stan's DNA Cycling), Samantha “Sammi” Runnels (Squid Squad), Clara Honsinger (Team S&M CX), Raylyn Nuss (Gateway Harley Davidson-Trek) and Caroline Mani, who finished third in 2017 but lost contact with the lead group after one more turn around the course.
“Too many lead changes to count in the early laps, but I know I did a lot of work at the front to push the pace," said Gilbert, who finished second "With a brisk wind, and near-freezing-but -ry conditions, a large group stayed together for most of the way through lap three."
Halfway through the six-lap contest, Gilbert was leading the front group, which was down to five riders after Nuss fell off the pace. Clouse put in the first attack in the sandpit, but Gilbert closed it down.
With only two laps of racing remaining, last year's runner-up McFadden was the next rider to drop out of the lead group, leaving the four riders to fight for the top step of the podium. Clouse made another attack on the barriers going into the final lap, but Gilbert immediately closed the slight gap and retook the front of the group.
“It was down to Clara H., Katie, and me exchanging attacks,” Gilbert said. “Katie built a small gap through the final wooded section, and I got an even smaller gap coming out of the woods. We both held off a hard charging Clara and motivated Sammi R. for the podium spots.”
Clouse made one more attackand this one worked. The 18-year old held the gap to the finish line. Clouse's winning time was 43 minutes, 18 seconds. Gilbert took the sprint for second place ahead of Honsinger, crossing the line five seconds behind the winner.
“No bobbles or mechanicals to heighten the drama among the top riders, just sheer riding ability and speed,” Gilbert said.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Katie Clouse (USA) Alpha Bicycle-Groove Subaru||0:43:18|
|2||Sunny Gilbert (USA) Van Dessel Factory Team||0:00:05|
|3||Clara Honsinger (USA) Team S&M CX|
|4||Samantha Runnels (USA) Squid Squad||0:00:06|
|5||Raylyn Nuss (USA) Gateway Harley Davidson-Trek||0:00:45|
|6||Courtenay McFadden (USA)||0:01:10|
|7||Caroline Mani (Fra)||0:01:57|
|8||Dani Arman (USA)||0:02:13|
|9||Beth Ann Orton (USA)||0:02:27|
|10||Amanda Nauman (USA)||0:02:34|
|11||Jennifer Malik (USA)||0:02:44|
|12||Abigail Yates (GBr)||0:03:06|
|13||Turner Ramsay (USA)||0:03:29|
|14||Lauren Stephens (USA)||0:03:49|
|15||Anna "Katrina" Engelsted (USA)||0:04:02|
|16||Susan Livingston (USA)||0:04:27|
|17||Aubrey Drummond (USA)||0:04:37|
|18||Molly Clark-Oien (USA)||0:04:46|
|19||Rebecca Gross (USA)||0:04:58|
|20||Cara O'neill (USA)||0:05:07|
|21||Leslie Ethridge (USA)||0:05:12|
|22||Marilyn Rayner (USA)||0:05:17|
|23||Meghan Newlin (USA)||0:05:20|
|DNF||Bridget Tooley (USA)|
|DNF||Shannon Mallory (USA)|
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