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Davison repeats at US cross country national champion

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Lea Davison (Specialized) wins back-to-back national championships

Lea Davison (Specialized) wins back-to-back national championships
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) congratulates Lea Davison on her championship ride

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) congratulates Lea Davison on her championship ride
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Mary McConneloug (Kenda NoTubes) is one of the most consistant USA riders ever

Mary McConneloug (Kenda NoTubes) is one of the most consistant USA riders ever
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Evelyn Dong (Backcountry.com) riding in third place on lap four

Evelyn Dong (Backcountry.com) riding in third place on lap four
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Lea Davison (Specialized) marking Gould on lap four

Lea Davison (Specialized) marking Gould on lap four
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) leads Lea Davison near the end of four laps

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) leads Lea Davison near the end of four laps
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Crystal Anthony barely has room to squeeze through the crowds

Crystal Anthony barely has room to squeeze through the crowds
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Mary McConneloug (Kenda NoTubes) is quite used to fans like this at the World Cup races

Mary McConneloug (Kenda NoTubes) is quite used to fans like this at the World Cup races
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Erin Huck (Tokyo Joe’s) riding among crazed fans on top of the mountain

Erin Huck (Tokyo Joe’s) riding among crazed fans on top of the mountain
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Former USA Champion Mary McConneloug (Kenda NoTubes)

Former USA Champion Mary McConneloug (Kenda NoTubes)
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Erin Huck (Tokyo Joe’s) has joined the top ranks of USA women this year

Erin Huck (Tokyo Joe’s) has joined the top ranks of USA women this year
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Chloe Woodruff (Backcountry.com) takes the hole-shot and lead the women up the mountain

Chloe Woodruff (Backcountry.com) takes the hole-shot and lead the women up the mountain
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Chloe Woodruff (Backcountry.com) leading the race on lap one

Chloe Woodruff (Backcountry.com) leading the race on lap one
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) chasing Davison on lap one

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) chasing Davison on lap one
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Mary McConneloug (Kenda NoTubes) riding brilliantly on lap one

Mary McConneloug (Kenda NoTubes) riding brilliantly on lap one
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Erica Tingey (Team Jamis) flying off one of the jumps on lap one

Erica Tingey (Team Jamis) flying off one of the jumps on lap one
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Amy Beisel; (Liv Giant) at the end of lap four

Amy Beisel; (Liv Giant) at the end of lap four
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Lea Davison’s (Specialized) margin of victory was apparent on the final switchbacks

Lea Davison’s (Specialized) margin of victory was apparent on the final switchbacks
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Lea Davison (Specialized) being chased by a devil with a megaphone

Lea Davison (Specialized) being chased by a devil with a megaphone
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) makes her way through superheroes and nuns

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) makes her way through superheroes and nuns
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Backcountry.com riders Chloe Woodruff (L) and Evelyn Dong

Backcountry.com riders Chloe Woodruff (L) and Evelyn Dong
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Teal Stetson-Lee (Luna Pro Team)

Teal Stetson-Lee (Luna Pro Team)
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Elite women at the start

Elite women at the start
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Nina Baum (Stan’s NoTubes) riding switchbacks

Nina Baum (Stan’s NoTubes) riding switchbacks
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Teal Stetson-Lee on the downhill switchbacks

Teal Stetson-Lee on the downhill switchbacks
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Sarah Kaufmann (Stans NoTubes) on a descent

Sarah Kaufmann (Stans NoTubes) on a descent
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) riding in first place

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) riding in first place
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Chloe Woodruff (Backcountry.com) descending in the woods

Chloe Woodruff (Backcountry.com) descending in the woods
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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The fans at the top of the mountain were numerous and in a festive mood

The fans at the top of the mountain were numerous and in a festive mood
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Former Pro Susan Haywood enjoying the festivities at the top of the mountain

Former Pro Susan Haywood enjoying the festivities at the top of the mountain
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Nina Baum (Stan’s NoTubes) on a very steep descent

Nina Baum (Stan’s NoTubes) on a very steep descent
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Rose Grant (Sportsman & Ski Haus) riding in the top ten

Rose Grant (Sportsman & Ski Haus) riding in the top ten
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Erin Huck (Tokyo Joe’s) on a technical descent on lap two

Erin Huck (Tokyo Joe’s) on a technical descent on lap two
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Evelyn Dong (Backcountry.com) riding in the top five on lap two

Evelyn Dong (Backcountry.com) riding in the top five on lap two
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Lea Davison (Specialized) coming off a jump on lap one

Lea Davison (Specialized) coming off a jump on lap one
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Lea Davison (Specialized) was all smiles at the start

Lea Davison (Specialized) was all smiles at the start
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Lea Davison (Specialized) leading Georgia Gould near the end of lap two

Lea Davison (Specialized) leading Georgia Gould near the end of lap two
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)

Lea Davison (Specialized) won the US Cross Country National Championships for the second year in a row at Bear Creek Resort in Pennsylvania on Saturday afternoon. Although she was the defending champion, her win was a comeback to competition after having to sit out the first half of the 2014 season due to injury.

"This win means so much because I was in the pool getting my range of motion back while all the other girls were training and racing," said Davison, who had hip surgery earlier this year. "I started back to racing in Missoula one month ago, but I've been training like mad."

Chloe Woodruff (Backcountry.com) started off the race like a rocket.

"At the beginning of the race, Chloe set a pace that made me wonder if she had some secret form," said Georgia Gould (Luna). "I thought 'five laps of this - whew!'. Then at the top of the climb, Lea and I went around her and gapped her off on the downhill."

From then on, it was a two-woman battle between Davison and Gould. The two Olympians took turns at the front. With Davison having been out of competition most of the year, neither woman knew quite how she measured up against the other.

"I was a wild card, even for myself," said Davison. "I didn't know how I would perform. I just started feeling good in the nick of time this week, so I had a little bit of confidence, but it was definitely a question mark."

"I didn't know if Lea was just riding around and I thought she was going kind of slow at one point. I also thought Evelyn was catching us on the climb, so I put in a attack on the rocky climb on the third lap, but Lea caught back up," said Gould. "I think we were pretty evenly matched."

Both riders were impressed by the vociferous crowd at the Lone Wolf Heckle Pit.

"I have never heard so much noise. I couldn't hear myself think," said Davison. "That was hands-down the best cheering section I ever heard, even from Europe. If I could hire the Lone Wolf Heckle Pit and bring them to Europe, that'd be great."

Gould said, "Those guys in the heckle pit were deafening. I would liken it to 'cross Worlds in Louisville and the Czech World Cup when you're riding around Katerina. It was amazing, but I messed up every time after not having unclip once in that section in training."

Going into the final lap of five total, Davison made a move on the first climb.

"I tried to get away from her at the beginning of the last lap, but she was sticking right to me," said Davison.

Gould said, "I was feeling pretty fatigued on the last lap. Lea went in front and I thought I'd just see what would happen. Then I realized I was running out of chances to get around. We were both off our bikes on the heckle pit the last time. She gapped me on that climb and there was nowhere else to make it up after that."

Davison said, "I was cramping so bad, I fumbled in the Lone Wolf cheer pit. My calf cramped as I was running up the hill. Then I gave it absolutely everything on the last switchback climb - that's where I got my gap."

"It's disappointing to finish second, but at least it was a good race," said Gould.

Davison said she was so excited to be back to racing after her rehabilitation.

Evelyn Dong (Backcountry.com) finished third in her best-ever placing at nationals.

"I had a slow start, like usual, but I managed to work my way back up. I was chasing Erin Huck and Mary McConneloug a little bit, and they're both stronger descenders than me, so I knew I wanted to follow their line for at least the first descent. On the second lap, I turned on the gas a little bit to see what I could do."

"I'm with some pretty good company on the podium, and I'm pumped to be up there with them."

Erin Huck (Tokyo Joe's) bobbled a bit in the beginning as she dealt with nerves but said she had more and more fun each lap. "I just couldn't quite catch Evelyn. It was a good race," said the fourth placed finisher.

Mary McConneloug (Kenda/NoTubes) rounded out the top five. "I hadn't raced since the Trans-Sylvania Epic. I'm just getting into a big block of racing with the upcoming World Cups. It was so fun to have such a technical track."

Results

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lea Davison (Specialized Factory)1:43:45
2Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team)0:00:15
3Evelyn Dong0:03:08
4Erin Huck (Tokyo Joes-Vcgraphix)0:04:07
5Mary McConneloug (Team Kenda/Stan's NoTubes)0:06:42
6Rose Grant (Sportsman & Ski Haus)0:10:16
7Cheryl Sornson0:11:30
8Erica Zaveta (Team Redline)0:12:44
9Crystal Anthony (Mountain Bike)0:13:34
10Teal Stetson-Lee (Luna Pro Team)0:14:05
11Maureen Bruno Roy (Cycle Loft Velo)0:15:32
12Amy Beisel0:16:46
13Elisa Otter (Bicycle Express Racing)0:17:07
14Chloe Woodruff0:17:26
15Jamie Busch (Juliana Bicycles/San)
16Nina Baum0:17:35
17Serena Gordon0:19:12
18Alexis Skarda0:21:03
19Sarah Kaufmann (Stans Notubes Womens)0:22:00
20Erin Alders (Liv/ Giant)0:22:41
21Carolyn Popovic (Rare Disease Cycling)0:22:58
-2 lapsAbbey Alexiades
-2 lapsKimberly Flynn
-2 lapsBonita (Bonnie) Kleffman (Totalcyclist Racing)
DNFArley Kemmerer
DNFErica Tingey (Team Jamis)
DNFJena Greaser
DNFJessica Rawlins (Bicycles Plus Racing)

 

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