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US Gran Prix of Cyclocross - Derby City Cup - C2
Louisville, USA, October 25-26, 2008
Race 1 - October 25: US GP of Cyclocross #1 - Elite Women
Luna's Nash teams up for win
By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor in Louisville, Kentucky
As was the case in the early season Cross Vegas race, the Luna Chix duo of Katerina Nash and Georgia Gould worked with each other all race. But unlike Vegas, they did not have Katie Compton (Spike) as the third wheel to spoil the party. Instead it was an opportunistic Rachel Lloyd (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized) who tried to spoil the day. But Nash and Gould were too tough, and it was a late-race mistake by Gould that put Nash up for the win.
"I attacked Rachel and just gave it a shot," said Nash. "Then she made a mistake and was suddenly gone. So I caught up to Georgia and we rode together, but then she made a mistake and I was by myself! It worked out well for me again!"
"I saw I had a gap so I tried to stay on the gas," said Gould about leading off the front late in the race. "Katarina caught up to me and we rode together for a few minutes until I took myself out in a corner! I hit a post and it went into my brake between my rim. Luckily it was right before the pit but they were at the far end, so I had to run the whole way through the pit. Rachel passed me while I was in the pit but it was the last lap."
Though Nash did not have to contend with US champion Compton, who is taking a couple of weeks off to rehabilitate after an injury, or Canadian champ Wendy Simms (Kona), who is racing the world cup in Tabor, she said she prefers the competition. "I appreciate the competition because it makes us all better - the stronger the field, the better. Nobody is excited about Katie's injury."
Though the top-two riders are not here this weekend, strong racing by others in recent weeks, such as road sprinter Laura Van Gilder, has increased the depth of women's 'cross racing in North America. "A lot of these girls have raced all year so in the beginning it was kinda tough to move up," said Nash.
While not excited about Compton's injury, Rachel Lloyd was happy to be up in the mix and not in the second group like other races. "It was fun to have a race where I could play. When Katie is here she just rides away, so it was fun to be in the action!"
But being in the action is not easy, and it took its toll late in the race up against two teammates. "They were tag-teaming me," said Lloyd. "Georgia attacked and I couldn't stay on her wheel. Then Katerina stayed on my wheel for a couple of laps. I knew she was going to eventually go once I got tired, and she did."
Right after that fatigued almost cost Lloyd her third place position as she crashed into the course markers. "I just swung too wide around the turn. You can usually bounce off the plastic poles but the wood ones don't move!" Fortunately Lloyd did not panic and kept moving, taking advantage of Gould's late-race mistake and mechanical. "I bet they wondered what happened to me! I just got back on my bike and put my head down - maintain, maintain! And then I see Georgia in the pit. Cool! I get a second chance!"
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Trish Albert/www.southeasterncycling.com
Images by Dave McElwaine/www.trailwatch.net
Images by Mitch Clinton/www.clintonphoto.com
Images by Mark Zalewski/Cyclingnews.com
1 Katerina Nash (LUNA Women's MTB Team) 2 Rachel Lloyd (PROMAN Racing) 3 Georgia Gould (LUNA Women's MTB Team) 4 Susan Butler (MonavieCannondale.com) 5 Laura Van Gilder (C3 Sollay.com) 6 Natasha Elliott (EMD Serono/Stevens) 7 Deidre Winfield (Velo Bella - Kona) 8 Maureen Bruno Roy (MM Racing presented by) 9 Devon Haskell (The Pony Shop) 10 Rebecca Wellons (NEBC/Cycle Loft/Devonshire) 11 Kristin Wentworth (Team Kenda Tire) 12 Meredith Miller (Aaron's Womens Pro Cycling) 13 Josie Jacques-Maynes (California Giant Berry) 14 Anne Schwartz (Flying Rhino Cycling Club) 15 Anna Young (America's Dairyland) 16 Amy Wallace (Richard Sachs - RGM) 17 Shannon Gibson (VeloBella) 18 Maria Stewart (Velo Bella) 19 Heidi Von (C3/ADG) 20 Robin Williams (Mercy-Specialized) 21 Nicole Borem (DRT Racing) 22 Kristen Bowers (Atomic Race Team) 23 Amanda Mckay (BioWheels/Reece-Campbell) 24 Deb Whitmore (BMW/Bianchi) 25 Christy Blakely (BMW/Bianchi) 26 Marne Smiley 27 Elicia Hildebrand (Gear Grinder)