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Georgia Gould gets revenge at Windham Mountain

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The Women’s start included a long grass section and a starting loop

The Women’s start included a long grass section and a starting loop (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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A rider picks her way down the “Rock no Roll” section of the course.

A rider picks her way down the “Rock no Roll” section of the course. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) was on a tear during lap two with a 30-second lead

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) was on a tear during lap two with a 30-second lead (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) makes her way through a seemingly impossible section of course on her Orbea hardtail.

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) makes her way through a seemingly impossible section of course on her Orbea hardtail. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) stayed on her bike while many riders had to put feet down or walk.

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) stayed on her bike while many riders had to put feet down or walk. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Barbara Benko (Focus XC) owned second place for the final four laps

Barbara Benko (Focus XC) owned second place for the final four laps (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Rachel Robino (Fearless Femme Racing) on her way to a top twenty finish.

Rachel Robino (Fearless Femme Racing) on her way to a top twenty finish. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Natasha Elliot ( Garneau Easton Cycling) pushing he bike on a run-up next to the Erie Canal.

Natasha Elliot ( Garneau Easton Cycling) pushing he bike on a run-up next to the Erie Canal. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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These spectators had a birds eye view of the action

These spectators had a birds eye view of the action (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Sarah Kaufman (Stans NoTubes) rolling through a serious rock garden

Sarah Kaufman (Stans NoTubes) rolling through a serious rock garden (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Emily Shields (Stans NoTubes) heading up the mountain for the final time

Emily Shields (Stans NoTubes) heading up the mountain for the final time (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) is congratulated by her husband/mechanic Dusty Lebarr

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) is congratulated by her husband/mechanic Dusty Lebarr (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Women’s podium finishers, (L to R) Barbara Benko (Focus) 2nd, Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) 1st, Annie Last (CMX Pro Team) 3rd

Women’s podium finishers, (L to R) Barbara Benko (Focus) 2nd, Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) 1st, Annie Last (CMX Pro Team) 3rd (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Three young Canadian women finished in the top six places (L to R) Haley Smith (Norco)4th, Maghalie Rochette (Luna) 6th, Rebecca Beaumonth (Cyclone) 5th.

Three young Canadian women finished in the top six places (L to R) Haley Smith (Norco)4th, Maghalie Rochette (Luna) 6th, Rebecca Beaumonth (Cyclone) 5th. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Rebecca Beaumont (Cyclone D’Alma) riding to a podium finish

Rebecca Beaumont (Cyclone D’Alma) riding to a podium finish (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Maghalie Rochette (Luna Pro Team) riding in fifth position next to Larissa Connors

Maghalie Rochette (Luna Pro Team) riding in fifth position next to Larissa Connors (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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U.K. Champion Annie Last (CMX Pro Team) shares a laugh with Larissa Connors (Ridebiker) and Noga Korem (Cycling Academy).

U.K. Champion Annie Last (CMX Pro Team) shares a laugh with Larissa Connors (Ridebiker) and Noga Korem (Cycling Academy). (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Emily Shields (Stans NoTubes)

Emily Shields (Stans NoTubes) (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Haley Smith (Norco Factory Team) takes the hole-shot on the uphill start.

Haley Smith (Norco Factory Team) takes the hole-shot on the uphill start. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Haley Smith (Norco Factory Team) leading the Elite Women on the starting loop.

Haley Smith (Norco Factory Team) leading the Elite Women on the starting loop. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Barbara Benko (Focus XC Team) leading the race at the end of the starting loop.

Barbara Benko (Focus XC Team) leading the race at the end of the starting loop. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) riding fifth wheel at the end of the starting loop.

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) riding fifth wheel at the end of the starting loop. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Riders making their way up the switchbacks on Windham Mountain

Riders making their way up the switchbacks on Windham Mountain (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Noga Korem (Cycling Academy) crossing one of the dozens of bridges

Noga Korem (Cycling Academy) crossing one of the dozens of bridges (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Evie Richards (Cyclone D’Alma) on her way to victory in the U-23 Race

Evie Richards (Cyclone D’Alma) on her way to victory in the U-23 Race (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Laura Slavin (Trek) making her way down the “Rock no Roll) section of the course.

Laura Slavin (Trek) making her way down the “Rock no Roll) section of the course. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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At end of the first climb, Barbara Benko (Focus XC) had a small gap over Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team)

At end of the first climb, Barbara Benko (Focus XC) had a small gap over Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Barbara Benko (Focus XC) being chased by Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) and Annie Last

Barbara Benko (Focus XC) being chased by Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) and Annie Last (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) would make contact with Barbara Benko on the first lap

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) would make contact with Barbara Benko on the first lap (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)

Georgia Gould came as close as you can get to winning a World Cup at Windham in 2012. With a commanding lead, she flatted near the finish and had to watch her teammates pass her as she finished on foot. It was a bitter pill to swallow, but today Gould put in the same kind of dominating performance, and it paid off with her biggest win of the year.

Gould was the only American to make the podium. Behind her was Hungary's Barbara Benko (Focus) who finished in second place. U.K. Champion Annie Last (OMX Pro Team) finished in third place. Canadians wrapped up the remaining podium spots with Haley Smith (Norco Factory Team) in fourth place, and Rebecca Beaumont (Cyclone D'Alma) in fifth position.

In a bit of a switch from normal, the Elite Women raced at 3:00, after the Elite Men's race. The race conditions were oppressive with heat, humidity, and mud. More than one rider would be seen walking during the race because they were overheated.

Haley Smith took the hole-shot on the uphill grassy start and led the riders out onto a starting loop. By the end of that starting loop, Barbara Benko took the lead and held it well into the first lap.

When the riders reached the top of the track for the first time, Benko had about a ten-bike-length lead over Gould. Annie Last trailed Gould by at similar margin.

Gould commented on the race, "This is just a fun racecourse and a fun venue. I was really disappointed that it wasn't a World Cup this year. But luckily I had an opening in my summer and was able to come race it anyway," she joked after missing out on the selection for the Rio Olympic Team.

"Everyone was seeing how everyone was feeling. It's pretty hot. I was feeling pretty good but I wanted to ride within myself so I didn't really attack. I caught up to Barbara on the first descent. I went around her and just rode my own race."

Gould rode her Orbea hardtail to give her an advantage on the climbs, while the vast majority of her competitors were on full suspension bikes. Despite not having full suspension, Gould was at least as fast as the others through the incredibly difficult "Rock no Roll" section of the course.

Larissa Connors (Team Ridebiker) finished in eleventh place, but had enough points to hold off Georgia Gould and win the Pro-XCT series championship.
 

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