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Nash triumphs in Bend

Katerina Nash (Luna) once again proved her dominance in the US scene, taking another commanding victory, this time over the California Giant Berry duo Meredith Miller and Teal Stetson-Lee. The win, her fourth of seven races so far, sealed her overall win in the Exergy USGP series.

However large her lead was in the end, Nash's usual from-the-gun aggression wasn't apparent in Bend, as Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld's Nicole Duke was able to stay with the Czech champion until an untimely crash ended her challenge at the front.

"Nicole got away a little on the first lap and I had to close it," Nash said. "Then I kept a little gap but I eliminated it with a crash and had to start all over again. It was nice to ride with someone, though. She was definitely strong."

Nash said she has taken some time away from racing to train, and that her cyclo-cross specific skills had suffered for it. "If you don't race they go away quickly. The skills were a little rusty, but second half of the race was better."

The loose, gravel turns took their toll on a number of riders, and even without last year's mud and snow, Nash and the rest had to keep concentration or suffer the consequences.

"I tried to do my best on this course, it was interesting. It was pretty busy, it kept me focused the whole time. Crashing early, you have to focus even more."

Duke, who stayed with the Czech champion until the mid-point of the race, was eventually relegated to the chasing group after a mid-race crash.

Stetson-Lee chased her way into third position after a slow start, putting in a stunning second lap in which she moved up from ninth to third position.

"I kind of shocked myself," she said of the acceleration. "I think it comes down to having put really good training in, and it's paying off. In the second lap I was watching how the others were riding, and I was feeling strong. I put in an attack, and picking the riders off built my confidence."

She put up a brilliant fight for second but was disappointed to see the duel and when Duke slid out in a dusty corner.

"Duke pulled ahead of me on the last section of the last lap and then she went down in the corner. It would have been a battle royale, because she still had a lot left," Stetson-Lee said.

It was a heart-breaking moment for Duke, who looked set to step onto a Exergy USGP podium for the second time this season until she realized her derailleur was broken. She had to run her bike in, being passed by three riders and ultimately taking seventh.

Meanwhile, Miller had fought hard to bridge up to her teammate, and was able to enact a last-lap strategy to take second place. "I caught them before the steep section on the back side, and I had in my mind I was going ot run past them on the stairs, and then Nicole went down, so that's what I ended up doing [with Stetson-Lee]. I busted my butt up the stairs because from there it's really hard to come by anyone. Then I was able to pull it off."

With her second place, Miller moved herself even on points with the absent US champion Katie Compton in the series. She is now poised to take over the second placed spot behind Nash in Sunday's finale.

Nicole Duke speaks about her mishap

Meredith Miller recounts the last lap

Full results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team0:43:36
2Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized0:00:19
3Teal Stetson-Lee (USA) California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized0:00:20
4Julie Krasniak (Fra) Rapha-Focus0:00:53
5Susan Butler (USA) Hudz Subaru0:01:05
6Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.Com0:01:22
7Nicole Duke (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.Com0:01:35
8Amanda Carey (USA) Kenda/Felt0:01:36
9Pepper Harlton (Can) Juventus Cycling Club0:01:47
10Andrea Smith (USA) Ladiesfirst Racing0:01:54
11Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob'S Red Mill/Seven Cycles0:02:15
12Alice Pennington (USA) Team S&M0:02:25
13Katherine Sherwin (USA) Stan'S Notubes Elite Cyclocross Team0:02:31
14Kelsy Bingham (USA) Roosters/Bikers Edge0:02:33
15Coryn Rivera (USA) Team Exergy Twenty120:02:35
16Sage Wilderman (USA) Unsponsored0:02:46
17Serena Bishop (USA) Silverado Jewelry Gallery P/B Sunnyside Sports0:03:02
18Heather Clark (USA) Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care Racing Team0:03:38
19Courtenay Mcfadden (USA) Cycling Northwest0:03:47
20Sarah Maile (USA) Ventana Mountain Bikes0:03:55
21Devon Gorry (USA) Team Rambuski Law0:03:59
22Jessica Cutler (USA) Cucina Fresca0:04:14
23Kari Studley (USA) Team Redline0:04:23
24Beth Ann Orton (USA) Team S+M0:04:39
25Tina Brubaker (USA) Vanilla Bicycles/Speedvagen Racing0:04:48
26Rebecca Blatt (USA) Rebecca Blatt0:04:53
27Kristi Berg (USA) Cycle U-Popcap0:04:56
28Anna Dingman (USA) Cycleution0:04:57
29Melanie Lewis (USA) Cycle U-Popcap0:05:08
30Joele Guynup (USA) Condo Group/Shimano/Marin0:05:33
31Jenni Gaertner (USA) Raleigh America0:05:42
32Courtney Dimpel (USA) Team Rambuski Law0:05:59
33Shannon Gibson (USA) Stan'S Notubes Elite Cyclocross Team0:06:10
34Katrina Baumsteiger (USA) Team Rambuski Law0:06:38
35Marsa Daniel (USA) Team Group Health0:06:49
36Alexandra Burton (USA) Upper Echelon Fitness0:07:19
37Karen Oppenheimer (USA) Yard Sale Cyclocross0:07:37
38Patricia Dowd (USA) USA
39Jadine Riley (GBr) GBR
DNFRebecca Gross (USA) Tough Girl
DNFMarne Smiley (USA) Bob'S Red Mill Cyclocross

Exergy USGP series standings after 7 rounds
1Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team314pts
2Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant-Specialized190
3Katherine Compton (USA) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team190
4Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld161
5Nicole Duke (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld157
6Caroline Mani (Fra) CC Etupes138
7Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team132
8Susan Butler (USA) River City Bicyles-Ridley125
9Chloe Forsman (USA) Race Club 1197
10Teal Stetson-Lee (USA) California Giant-Specialized89
11Mical Dyck (Can) Pro City Racing82
12Katherine Sherwin (USA) Stans's NoTubes Elite Cyclocross Team74
13Pepper Harlton (Can) Juventus Cycling Club64
14Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob's Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles52
15Kelsy Bingham (USA) Roosters-Bikers Edge46
16Laura Van Gilder (USA) C3 p/b Mellow Mushroom43
17Alice Pennington (USA) Team S&M37
18Andrea Smith (USA) LadiesFirst Racing33
19Julie Krasniak (Fra) Team Rapha Focus30
20Amanda Carey (USA) Kenda-Felt29
21Emily Batty (Can) Subaru-Trek25
22Coryn Rivera (USA) Marian University21
23Devon Gorry (USA) Team Rambuski Law12
24Linda Sone (USA) Cycle-Smart/Flanders11
25Rebecca Gross (USA) Tough Girl10
26Kari Studley (USA) Team Redline10
27Meghan Korol (USA) Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross8
28Sunny Gilbert (USA) Michelob Ultra - Big Shark Racing8
29Ashley James (USA) KCCX Elite8
30Annajean Dallaire (USA) Racin' for Riley p/b Alderfer Bergen8
31Nicole Thiemann (USA) Team CF7
32Sage Wilderman (USA)6
33Heather Irmiger (USA) Subaru-Trek6
34Serena Bishop (USA) Silverado Jewlry Gallery4
35Crystal Anthony (USA) LadiesFirst Racing4
36Heather Clark (USA) Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care Racing Team3
37Jennifer Gaertner (USA) Raleigh America3
38Courtenay McFadden (USA) Cycling Northwest2
39Sarah Maile (USA) Ventana Mountain Bikes2
40Lisa Hudson (USA) Feedback Sports2
41Jeanne Fleck (USA) Velo Duluth - Twin Ports Cyclery2
42Katy Curtis (Can) Cyclemeisters2

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Laura Weislo

Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks.

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