Skip to main content

Underdog Curtis steals a victory in Toronto

Image 1 of 17

Katy Curtis (CMC/Bow Cycle) finishes 4 seconds clear of Natasha Elliott

Katy Curtis (CMC/Bow Cycle) finishes 4 seconds clear of Natasha Elliott (Image credit: Jon Safka/Cyclingphotos.ca)
Image 2 of 17

Natasha Elliott crosses the line in 2nd.

Natasha Elliott crosses the line in 2nd. (Image credit: Jon Safka/Cyclingphotos.ca)
Image 3 of 17

Katy Curtis wins Toronto UCI Cross, Day 1.

Katy Curtis wins Toronto UCI Cross, Day 1. (Image credit: Jon Safka/Cyclingphotos.ca)
Image 4 of 17

Katy Curtis leading Natasha Elliott with less than one lap remaining.

Katy Curtis leading Natasha Elliott with less than one lap remaining. (Image credit: Jon Safka/Cyclingphotos.ca)
Image 5 of 17

Race winner Katy Curtis in full flight.

Race winner Katy Curtis in full flight. (Image credit: Jon Safka/Cyclingphotos.ca)
Image 6 of 17

Melissa Bunn, local favorite chasing in 4th place

Melissa Bunn, local favorite chasing in 4th place (Image credit: Jon Safka/Cyclingphotos.ca)
Image 7 of 17

Amanda Sin leading a small chase group.

Amanda Sin leading a small chase group. (Image credit: Jon Safka/Cyclingphotos.ca)
Image 8 of 17

Katy Curtis.

Katy Curtis. (Image credit: Jon Safka/Cyclingphotos.ca)
Image 9 of 17

Pepper Harlton leads Carter through the sand pit as Elliott struggles in behind.

Pepper Harlton leads Carter through the sand pit as Elliott struggles in behind. (Image credit: Jon Safka/Cyclingphotos.ca)
Image 10 of 17

Marney Smiley on the run up.

Marney Smiley on the run up. (Image credit: Jon Safka/Cyclingphotos.ca)
Image 11 of 17

Pepper Harlton over the barriers on the first lap.

Pepper Harlton over the barriers on the first lap. (Image credit: Jon Safka/Cyclingphotos.ca)
Image 12 of 17

Katy Curtis followed by Pepper Harlton (Juventus).

Katy Curtis followed by Pepper Harlton (Juventus). (Image credit: Jon Safka/Cyclingphotos.ca)
Image 13 of 17

Natasha Elliott leading on first lap.

Natasha Elliott leading on first lap. (Image credit: Jon Safka/Cyclingphotos.ca)
Image 14 of 17

Women's Start.

Women's Start. (Image credit: Jon Safka/Cyclingphotos.ca)
Image 15 of 17

Natasha Elliott & Derrick St. John .

Natasha Elliott & Derrick St. John . (Image credit: Jon Safka/Cyclingphotos.ca)
Image 16 of 17

Toronto UCI Cyclocross Day 1 Elite Women's Podium.

Toronto UCI Cyclocross Day 1 Elite Women's Podium. (Image credit: Jon Safka/Cyclingphotos.ca)
Image 17 of 17

Elite Women's Podium, Toronto UCI Cross, Day 1.

Elite Women's Podium, Toronto UCI Cross, Day 1. (Image credit: Jon Safka/Cyclingphotos.ca)

Katy Curtis (CMC BOW- Cycle) plowed away from a small but quality field through the sand pit to take a solo victory in round one of the Toronto Cyclo-cross at Centennial Park on Saturday. Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club Chaussures-Ogilvy) was forced to settle for second place ahead of Pepper Harlton (Juventus) in third.

“I think I’m a cross racer now,” Curtis said. “I’ve always liked the idea of cross and started racing out west last year. Pepper Harlton dragged me out here this weekend. I’d say I was a bit of an unknown today. I think this kind of technical course suited me and I really liked the sand pit.”

The start list may have appeared thinned in comparison to the previous years when the event was a member of the North American Cyclo-cross Trophy (NACT) series. Although it is not apart of the series this year, many of the top Canadian riders were in attendance including defending champion Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club Chaussures-Ogilvy, Olympian Leigh Hobson (Hub Racing) and a trio of mountain bikers Amanda Sin (3 Rox Racing), Pepper Hartlon (Juventus) and Katy Curtis (CMC Bow Cycling).

Curtis took the race by the reins and assumed a leading position in the opening lap. The headstrong move came to a surprise to her competitors who were not aware of her cyclo-cross ability. She went on to initiate several attacks against her two lead rivals Elliott and Harlton.

Elliott won both events last year but struggled to stay with the two mountain bikers and spent the majority of the race closing gaps and
clawing her way through each lap.

“I got a late start to training because I was really sick most of the this year with a parasitic infection,” Elliott said. “I took a lot of time off
and started training in July. I’m having problems with my starts and I’m trying to work my way into it. I’m trying to build fitness as the season goes on.”

A chase group formed behind that included Hobson, Melissa Bunn and Sophie Matte (Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery), Laura Bietola and Amanda Sin (3 Rox Racing).

Harlton lost a few seconds through the sand pit and a few more after an untimely bobble on the off-camber hill at the start of the last lap. “I came out of the sand pit bad and I was trying to chase back on. I had a bit of adrenaline going and went through the corner a bit too hard. It was good to get the bugs out and the intensity going so I am happy with today.”

Curtis sprinted ahead of Elliott to take the lead through the sand pit on the last lap. She sprinted out of the sand with a slim lead, just enough to hold off Elliott for the win.

“I could never get in front on the sand and whoever got there first would slow down and because there was only one line there was no where to go,” Elliott said. “It affected the end of the race. I tried to get in front there but Katy got a good gap there, she had a good race.”

Full Results
1Katy Curtis (Can) CMC/Bow Cycle0:42:27
2Natasha Elliott (Can) Garneau Club Chaussure-Ogilvy0:00:04
3Pepper Harlton (Can) Juventus0:00:24
4Melissa Bunn (Can) Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery0:02:26
5Leigh Hobson (Can) The Hub Race Team0:03:09
6Amanda Sin (USA) 3 Rox Racing0:03:22
7Marne Smiley (USA) Scott/Ollett Coaching0:03:33
8Sophie Matte (Can) Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery0:04:55
9Laura Bietola (Can) 3 Rox Racing0:06:06
10Christiane Knobbe (Ger) 7thgroove/Re:Form Body Clinic0:06:49
11Emily Fisher (Can) Cycle Solutions/Angry Johnny's0:08:30
12Emily Flynn (Can) Emd Serono0:08:41
13Briana Illingworth (Can) True North Cycles Race Team-1lap
14Aimee Allen (Can) Maple Leaf Cycling Club

Latest on Cyclingnews