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Nash too fast at StarCrossed

Czech National Champion Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) displayed her strong early season form after winning her second consecutive cyclo-cross race at the UCI C2 StarCrossed p/b Stanley a Brand of PMI. She rode away from the field during the early laps and finish solo ahead of French National Champion Caroline Mani (SRAM) in second and Sue Butler (River City Bicycles-Ridley) in third.

“It was a very good race for me,” Nash told Cyclingnews. “I didn’t have the strongest first lap but that’s OK. I sort of warmed up and at the end of the race it was much better. The race was a little different this year, there was no rain and the ground was all dried up and fast.”

StarCrossed p/b Stanley a Brand of PMI was held at a new venue Lake Sammamish Park. The Shimano Elite women’s racers were treated to a challenging circuit that included Rapha-Focus barriers, Lazer Beach Helmets double sandpits and a fly-over, that was also used as the entrance to the lively beer garden.

“It was supposed to rain but ended up being super dry,” said co-promoter Zac Daab. “But even though it was overcast the rain held off and it ended up being a super fast course.”

“The women’s race was really good,” Daab said. “Nash sort of walked away with the whole race. But Mani and Butler were neck and neck until the last lap.”

Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) lined up as the odds on favourite for the Shimano Elite women’s race having recently won the first round of the inaugural Cross After Dark series at CrossVegas.

There were several top-notch female contenders on the start line that included US Mountain Bike Champion Georgia Gould, French National Champion Carline Mani (SRAM), Maureen Bruno Roy, Sue Butler (River City Bicycles-Ridley) and Kathy Sherwin (Notubes Elite Cyclocross Team). Other strong ‘crossers included Kari Studley (Mercy Cycling) and Mical Dyck (Pro City Racing).

Nash took the early lead in the women’s 40-minute race on the second lap. She took advantage of the flat, fast and technical sections that catered to her world-class mountain bike skills. Dyck followed in second position for much of the race, however, an untimely mechanical forced her into the pits and to slip into fourth position.

“The course was dry and fast and unusual for this area,” Nash said. “Once I got away I kept on full gas and kept going. Mical got a mechanical and so suddenly my gap got even bigger. The girls that were riding in third and fourth were now riding in second and third together.”

Nash led the women’s race by a sizable 45 seconds. Butler led the chase followed by Mani with one lap to go. She maintained her lead and soloed to the finish line with relative ease for her second consecutive victory this week. Mani put in a tough-to-beat effort to solidify second place ahead of Butler.

"I was quite apprehensive going into the race after having breathing problems in Vegas," Butler told Cyclingnews. "I played it a bit conservatively in the start but made the initial selection of four. Caroline [Mani] was cornering much better than me but we worked well together to close the gap to Mical [Dyck]. Unfortunately for Mical she had a mechanical so she made it easy for us to close it.

"Caroline and I kept the gas on and she used her cornering skills to get a gap on me after the flyover. I was still very happy with my result and feel I am back on track. I am definitely relieved that Vegas was an anomaly."

Full Results
1Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team0:42:16
2Caroline Mani (Fra) CC Etupes0:00:25
3Susan Butler (USA) River City Bicyles-Ridley0:00:28
4Mical Dyck (Can) Pro City Racing0:01:13
5Devon Haskell (USA)0:01:36
6Pepper Harlton (Can) Juventus Cycling Club
7Maureen Bruno Roy (USA)
8Katherine Sherwin (USA) Notubes Elite Cyclocross Team0:01:49
9Alice Pennington (USA) Team S&M0:01:52
10Jennifer Gaertner (USA) Raleigh America0:02:02
11Kari Studley (USA) Mercy Cycling0:02:15
12Courtenay McFadden (USA) Cycling Northwest0:02:36
13Kelsy Bingham (USA) Roosters-Bikers Edge0:03:01
14Kristi Berg (USA) Cycle U-PopCap0:03:21
15Katy Curtis (Can) Cyclemeisters0:03:29
16Joele Guynup (USA) Condo Group-Shimano-Marin0:03:30
17Lindsy Campbell (USA)0:04:07
18Anna Dingman (USA) Cycleution0:04:11
19Allison Beall (USA) Team Rep0:04:12
20Natasha Hernday (USA)0:04:32
21Marsa Daniel (USA) Team Group Health0:04:33
22Melanie Lewis (USA) Cycle U-PopCap
23Kelly Jones (Can)
24Lea Stralka (USA) Ragnarok0:04:46
25Jessica Cutler (USA) Cucina Fresca0:05:07
26Jadine Riley (GBr) Team Group Health0:05:23
27Shannon Gibson (USA) Notubes Elite Cyclocross Team0:05:52
28Ellen Ruotsala (USA) Team Group Health0:06:25
29Michelle Melka (USA) Red Racing

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