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Elliott ends Toronto 'cross with a victory

Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club Chaussures-Ogilvy) secured the victory that she travelled to southern Ontario for on day two of the Toronto Cyclo-cross in Centennial Park. The Ottawa native took a convincing solo victory ahead of Alberta mountain bikers Katy Curtis (CMC BOW- Cycle) and Pepper Harlton (Juventus).

“I’ve never gotten a better place, ever, on the second day of ’cross racing,” Elliott said. “Coming in second yesterday and then winning today is my best result in two days of racing.”

The Elite women competed on a completely new circuit that included a set of barriers followed by a technical wooded section, a steep hill and a drop off that brought the riders back around to the finish line through an off camber slope and a sand pit.
Harlton took the hole shot that followed the gravel finishing straight and led her competitors through the first set of barriers. She was quickly overtaken by Elliott, who displayed the strong start she lacked the previous race.

“My initial start wasn’t that good because my foot popped out,” Elliott said. “I was relentless and by the time we got to the uphill I had a gap.”

Similar to the previous day’s race three leading women that included Elliott, Harlton and Curtis opened a sizable lead heading into the second lap. “I really tried to correct everything I did wrong yesterday,” Elliott said.

Perhaps equally impressive was the valiant effort put forth by the lone chaser Melissa Bunn (Stevens Racing-The Cyclery). Bunn remained in no man’s land between the leaders and the next chase group for the entirety of the race and finished in fourth place.

Behind Bunn were teammates Amanda Sin and Laura Bietola (3 Rox Racing), Leigh Hobson (Hub Racing) and Marne Smiley (Scott-Ollett Coaching). Hobson lost her place in the line when she rolled a tire in the opening laps of the race.

The race for the podium was between the three leading women. Elliott made her winning move on the gravel straightaway at the start of the second lap. Her gap grew from five seconds to nearly 15 seconds by the end of the race.

“I got a gap by just a couple of seconds and then it grew,” Elliott said. “I think I was riding a little bit scared lately and not really emptying it, so today I wanted to go as hard as I could and finishing knowing that I couldn’t go a second or two harder.”

Curtis and Harlton worked together to try and reduce the gap but they were not successful. When it became apparent that they were racing for second place, Curtis attacked Harlton on the off camber hillside with on the last lap and opened a five-second advantage.

Curtis bobbled and crashed just before entering the sand pit but that did not put a dent in her second place finish ahead of Harlton.


Elite Women Results - 14 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Natasha Elliott (Garneau-Club Chaussures- Ogilv)0:36:24
2Katy Curtis (Cmc/Bow Cycle)0:00:17
3Pepper Harlton (Juventus)0:00:27
4Melissa Bunn (Stevens Racing P/B The Cyclery)0:01:58
5Marne Smiley (Scott/Ollett Coaching)0:03:15
6Laura Bietola (3 Rox Racing)0:03:33
7Amanda Sin (3 Rox Racing)0:03:57
8Sophie Matte (Stevens Racing P/B The Cyclery)0:04:25
9Leigh Hobson (The Hub Race Team)0:05:18
10Christiane Knobbe (7Thgroove/Re:Form Body Clinic)0:05:57
11Briana Illingworth (True North Cycles Race Team)0:06:33
12Emily Flynn (Emd Serono - Specialized Cc)0:06:52
13Emily Fisher (Cycle Solutions/Angry Johnny's)0:08:10
14Aimee Allen (Maple Leaf Cycling Club)0:09:31

Two laps behind
#Rider Name (Country) Team
15Shannon E. Ford-Smith (Lapdogs Cycling Club)

Master Women Results - 17.5 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Joanne Thomson (Ride With Rendall)0:53:05
2Lori Kofman (Coach Chris.Ca / Ted Velikonja)0:00:20
3Michelle Cordy (Hamilton Cycling Club)0:00:31
4Aly Armstrong (St. Catharines Cycling Club)0:02:02

One lap behind
#Rider Name (Country) Team
5Lesley Chown (Team Cf)
6Carolyne Haill (Chain Reaction)
7Sandra Deegan (Ontario Masters Cycling Associ)
8Leslie Greene (Chain Reaction)
9Gillian Frise (Independent)
10Korina Besednik (Lapdogs Cycling Club)
11Lesley Fisher (Cycle Solutions/Angry Johnny's)
12Dawn Pritchard (Les Rouleurs De L'outaouais)

Two laps behind
#Rider Name (Country) Team
13Leslie Guillemette (Midweek Cycling Club)
14Miranda De Pencier (Independent)
DNSVanessa Stauffer (Maple Leaf Cycling Club)

Cadet Women Results - 10.5 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Siobhan Kelly (Independent)0:41:10


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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.

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