Georgia Gould (Luna Pro) took a second consecutive commanding victory at the Derby City Cup, round four of the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross (USGP) held at the Eva Bandman Park in Louisville, Kentucky. After a crash-filled start, Meredith Miller (Cal Giant-Specialized) fought her way into second place ahead of Laura van Gilder (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) in third.
"You never know and it is always when you think you a have a huge gap that you get a mechanical, run into a tree or something stupid happens," Gould said. "I would rather just pretend that there is someone right on my wheel and stay in it because you never know. It is better to not wait around. The bigger the gap you have the more room for error."
Gould took over the USGP lead following her win at the previous day's round three and increased it after winning the fourth round. She is looking forward to the next weekend of competition held at the New Belgium Cup in her home city of Fort Collins, Colorado.
"Aside from the World Cup, the USGP does an awesome job in putting on this series and it is definitely my goal to do well in all the races and the series overall," Gould said.
Miller was awarded the event's Most Aggressive Rider for fighting back to a second place performance after two days marred by crashes and mechanicals.
"I got a little jumbled up in the sand and came out of that coming over the barriers I hit a post and crashed and I had to chase back on again," said Miller. "I started off bad and just had to collect myself and get back in."
Pit zone turns to feed zone under warm temperatures
The elite women racers took on a more technically challenging course than the previous day. One thing that stayed the same was the dusty film that coated the entire Eva Bandman Park due to a three-month drought suffered in Kentucky.
Like the previous day, race officials opened the pit zone to feeding for the middle two laps of the race, closed for the first two and the last two, due to the 80 degrees Fahrenheit conditions.
Gould blasted off the start line and hit the grass section fully intending to cause gaps to open behind her on the first lap. She opened up a 15-second lead on her rivals by the start of the second lap.
It was Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club Chaussure-Olgivy) who put up a strong chase from behind. However, a crash on the third lap caused her to lose a lot of time and she was caught and passed by the next chase group.
"I really went for it and tried to reel Georgia back in," Elliott said. "I started to get sloppy and played the look-behind-me game. I wasn't looking forward, hit some stakes and lot my places. I almost got back on and screwed up another corner, so I was really giving it."
Gould's chasers included Van Gilder, Nicole Duke and Kathy Sherwin (Hudz-Subaru), Teal Stetson-Lee (Gal Giant-Specialized) and Pepper Harlton (Juventus).
Further back still, but catching up quickly, was Meredith Miller who had a bad start followed by a crash in the opening laps. Miller made contact with the first group of chasers on the fourth lap and went straight to the front to set the pace for the remainder of the race.
"I went right into a post and went down," Miller said. "I picked my bike up and caught my way back, again. I kept my composure and rode my race steadily. I got back up to Van Gilder and I didn't want to bring her to the line."
By the start of the fifth lap, Gould was on her way to victory with a more than one-minute lead. Miller pushed the pace so hard that the race for second was between her and Van Gilder alone.
On the sixth and final lap, Gould soloed in for her second victory of the weekend. Miller stalled on the Selle Italia run-up causing Van Gilder to unclip behind. Miller gained the slim lead she needed and cruised flawlessly around the last half lap to secure second place.
"Meredith and I have been duking it out and we have very different styles," Van Gilder said. "As we went over the hill she stalled out and it was pretty tough for me behind because I was over geared. She had a slight gap and we went through the pit area which suits her. She is a strong racer and respect her ability."
Van Gilder soloed in for third place ahead of chasers Elliott in fourth, Stetson-Lee in fifth, Sherwin in sixth, Duke in seventh and Harlton in eighth.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Georgia Gould (USA) LUNA PRO TEAM||0:38:59|
|2||Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant Berry Farms/Sp||0:01:53|
|3||Laura Van Gilder (USA) C3 Athletes Serving Athletes||0:02:08|
|4||Natasha Elliott (Can) Garneau Club Chaussure-Olgivy||0:02:27|
|5||Teal Stetson-Lee (USA) California Giant Berry Farms/Sp||0:02:34|
|6||Katherine Sherwin (USA) Hudz-Subaru||0:02:35|
|7||Nicole Duke (USA) Hudz -Vista Subaru||0:02:52|
|8||Pepper Harlton (Can) Juventus Cycling Club||0:02:59|
|9||Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Team Kenda||0:03:27|
|10||Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) MM Racing p/b Seven Cycles||0:03:48|
|11||Amanda Carey (USA) Kenda/Felt||0:04:02|
|12||Lisa Strong (USA) Hudz -Vista Subaru||0:04:23|
|13||Linda Sone (USA) Minneapolis Bicycle Racing Club||0:04:29|
|14||Kimberly Flynn (USA) Grace Law-Trek p/b Vantaggio||0:05:15|
|15||Jennifer Maxwell (USA) Van Dessel Factory Team p/b Ste||0:05:44|
|16||Nicole Borem (USA) DRT Racing||0:06:02|
|17||Robin Williams (USA) Mercy-Specialized||0:06:04|
|18||Lisa Hudson (USA) Feedback Sports||0:06:16|
|19||Carrie Cash Wootten (USA) team vera bradley foundation||0:06:23|
|20||Erin Silliman (USA) Fruit 66/Artemis||0:06:32|
|21||Anne Schwartz (USA) Flying Rhino Cycling Club||0:07:11|
|22||Nina Elliott (USA) Greenville Women's Cycling||0:07:13|
|23||Deb Sweeney Whitmore (USA) Performance Bicycle racing team||0:07:14|
|24||Lauri Webber (USA) Secret Henrys Team||0:07:23|
|25||Jeanne Fleck (USA) Velo Duluth/Twin Ports Cyclery|
|26||Shannon Gibson (USA) Velo Bella|
|27||Tammy Wallace (USA) ThinkCash Racing|
|28||Bridget Donovan (USA) Trek Store Cincinnati/ Seven Cy|
|29||Geraldine Schulze (USA) Bio Wheels Racing|
|30||Lynn Bush (USA) Tough Girl / SCOTT|
|31||Melissa Corliss (USA) Michelob Ultra Cycling|
|32||Kiersta Tucker (USA) Wood - N - Wave|
|DNF||Ashley James (USA) Team Kenda|
|DNF||Lenore Pipes (USA) Fruit 66/Artemis|
|DNF||Holly Klug (USA) The Pony Shop|
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