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Gould tames Texas heat

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Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) takes the win by a comfortable margin

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) takes the win by a comfortable margin
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Willow Koerber (Subaru/Gary Fisher) rides in third.

Willow Koerber (Subaru/Gary Fisher) rides in third.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Amy Dombroski (Luna Pro Team) climbs on her Orbea

Amy Dombroski (Luna Pro Team) climbs on her Orbea
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) enjoys a bit of shade

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) enjoys a bit of shade
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) after she lost Georgia Gould's wheel

Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) after she lost Georgia Gould's wheel
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Kelli Emmett (Giant) is about to catch Katerina Nash (Luna).

Kelli Emmett (Giant) is about to catch Katerina Nash (Luna).
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Willow Koerber (Subaru/Gary Fisher) on her big wheel bike

Willow Koerber (Subaru/Gary Fisher) on her big wheel bike
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Alison Mann (Rock n' Road) rides in fifth place.

Alison Mann (Rock n' Road) rides in fifth place.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Kimberly Flynn (Grace Law)

Kimberly Flynn (Grace Law)
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Sue Butler (River City Bicycles) rides to a top 10 finish

Sue Butler (River City Bicycles) rides to a top 10 finish
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Alison Pennington (Team S&M) streaks through the woods

Alison Pennington (Team S&M) streaks through the woods
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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A Trek rider descends through the trees

A Trek rider descends through the trees
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Danae York (Voler) with one lap to go

Danae York (Voler) with one lap to go
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Willow Koerber (Subaru/Gary Fisher) signs autographs in the sweltering heat

Willow Koerber (Subaru/Gary Fisher) signs autographs in the sweltering heat
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katerina Nash (left) and Luna teammate Georgia Gould on the biggest climb

Katerina Nash (left) and Luna teammate Georgia Gould on the biggest climb
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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"Mom" York in her official team clothing

"Mom" York in her official team clothing
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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The elite women are off to a hot, dusty start.

The elite women are off to a hot, dusty start.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Willow Koerber (Subaru/Gary Fisher) leads at the end of the start loop.

Willow Koerber (Subaru/Gary Fisher) leads at the end of the start loop.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) near the front at the end of the start loop

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) near the front at the end of the start loop
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katerina Nash and teammate Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) in a breakaway on lap one

Katerina Nash and teammate Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) in a breakaway on lap one
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Kelli Emmett (Team Giant) chases the Luna women.

Kelli Emmett (Team Giant) chases the Luna women.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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The top tattoo of the day was at the coffee truck

The top tattoo of the day was at the coffee truck
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Willow Koerber (Subaru/Gary Fisher)

Willow Koerber (Subaru/Gary Fisher)
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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The trophies were some of the best we have seen in awhile

The trophies were some of the best we have seen in awhile
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Georgia Gould (Luna) at the start.

Georgia Gould (Luna) at the start.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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The elite women at the start

The elite women at the start
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Sue Butler (River City Bicycles) came down from Portland, Oregon

Sue Butler (River City Bicycles) came down from Portland, Oregon
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) concentrates on the race ahead

Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) concentrates on the race ahead
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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"Mom" York is always cheering her daughters on

"Mom" York is always cheering her daughters on
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Elite women's podium (L to R): Allison Mann (Rock n' Roll) in fifth, Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) in thirdrd, Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) in first, Kelli Emmett (Team Giant) in second, Willow Koerber (Subaru/Gary Fisher) in fourth

Elite women's podium (L to R): Allison Mann (Rock n' Roll) in fifth, Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) in thirdrd, Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) in first, Kelli Emmett (Team Giant) in second, Willow Koerber (Subaru/Gary Fisher) in fourth
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)

Battling the oppressive heat as much as the other women, Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) rode away from her rivals to win the Mellow Johnny's Classic on Lance Armstrong's ranch. Kelli Emmett (Team Giant), who duked it out with Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team), won the battle for second. Nash was third followed by Willow Koerber (Subaru-Gary Fisher) in fourth, and Alison Mann (Rock n' Roll) in fifth.

With temperatures in the 90s (degrees Fahrenheit) and humidity to match, today's racing was more about racing "smart" than attacking the other racers. "I knew it was going to be super hot, so I didn't want to go super hard and be in the red zone," explained Gould. "So, I started out a bit conservatively."

At the end of one lap, Nash and Gould worked effectively together in a breakaway. Behind them, Koerber seemed to be backing it down just a bit, while Emmett was surging. By the end of the second lap, Gould had flown the coop, and Emmett bridged up to Nash.

"I had a bunch of (mechanical) problems out there today, but that's racing," said Nash.

"It was a matter of pacing myself," said runner-up Emmett. "I knew it was hot so I stayed steady the whole time. It's too hot to be drilling it."

"Katerina was descending amazingly, but I felt better on the climbs. I went as hard as I could on the climbs and got away."

Gould has regained her form from 2008, when she was dominating races in the United States. When asked what is different from last season, she said, "I took a little more time off between 'cross season and mountain bike season. It allowed me to get more rest."

"I am really psyched that the North American women are riding so well," said Gould, complimenting her competition. "It's great to come out to a race like this and have top World Cup riders dicing it up in Texas." Last weekend, Gould finished second at the World Cup in Offenburg, and Koerber previously lead the World Cup series.

While the weather was not optimal, many racers gave the course on Armstrong's ranch a thumbs up. The six-mile loop was a combination of rolling Texas hills, grassy fields, and semi-shaded groves of trees. On the back of the course, there were some moderately technical rock and drop-off sections. The final climb back to the start/finish area was not that high but was made plenty difficult due to the heat.

"I hope we can race on more courses like that," said Nash. "It's really good mountain biking. Somebody put a lot of work into that course. I think anytime someone opens up their private property for racing instead of putting up no-trespassing signs, it's really great."

With her victory today, Gould was awarded the US Pro XCT leader's jersey. The series will head next to the Subaru Cup on June 26 in Wisconsin. It will be the first time the series, as currently named and run, has made a stop in that state.

Full Results

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team1:42:55
2Kelli Emmett (USA) Giant Factory Team0:02:44
3Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team0:03:17
4Willow Koerber (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher0:05:24
5Allison Mann (USA) Rock N' Road0:07:50
6Amy Dombroski (USA) Luna Pro Team0:09:43
7Aleksandra Mooradian (Pol) K. Bedford/0:11:38
8Kimberly Flynn (USA) Grace Law-0:13:23
9Sue Butler (USA) River City Bicycles0:14:31
10Christina Smith (USA) Orbea/Colonels0:14:52
11Bryna Blanchard (USA) Windham0:19:29
12Shae Rainer (USA) Team Bicycle Sport Shop0:21:28
13Alice Pennington (USA) Team S&M0:22:03
14Lisa Hudson (USA) Feedback0:23:52
15Meghan Korol (USA) Mafia Racing0:30:50
16Danae York (USA) Mafia Racing0:34:06
17Diedre York (USA) Velobum.comlapped
DNFHeather Irmiger (USA) Subaru/Gary Fisher
DNFSuzanne Karklins (USA) Orbea

 

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