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USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships - CN
Mt. Snow, Vermont, USA, July 17-22, 2008
Race 10 - Saturday, July 19: Elite women cross country
McConnneloug wins epic battle of Olympians
By Dave McElwaine in West Dover, Vermont
Mary McConneloug (Kenda/Seven) successfully defended her national championship in a hard fought battle with Georgia Gould (Luna Womens MTB). Heather Irmiger (Gary Fisher) finished third while up-and-coming rider Lea Davison (Trek/VW) took fourth spot.
It appeared for most of the race that Gould would ride to victory as she held a lead as large as 20 seconds. "Actually, every climb I would pass her (Gould) and on every descent she would pass me," McConneloug commented. "On the last descent I was finally familiar with all the lines I needed to be familiar with."
"I wouldn't give up," she added. "I just tried to keep the cadence up and not touch my brakes. I was cramping…and I just started to think of Mike (team-mate Mike Broderick) and how he pushes through all kinds of cramping."
Both McConneloug and Gould will be headed to Beijing, China as team-mates on the United States of America Olympic Mountain Biking Team. They are among the top ten ranked UCI riders in the world.
"It was the same as the other two laps," said Gould of the final lap. "Mary would get a gap on the climbs and then I would close it down on the downhill. I just couldn't get by her on the last lap. She was pretty good at blocking."
How it unfolded
Powerful rider Katie Compton (Spike) won the start, holding her lead up the ski slope and around the parade lap. She was followed closely by Gould and McConneloug.
Gould had a 16 second lead over McConneloug heading out onto lap two. Irmiger was third, Compton fourth, and Willow Koerber fifth.Compton had slipped back to sixth position at the end of the second lap's descent while Lea Davison (Trek/VW) moved up to fifth place.
Gould had a 16 second lead at the start of the third lap's steep climb. However McConneloug passed Gould on the way up to the top and was able to hold Gould off on the descent this time around.
Pua Sawicki (Ellsworth) also passed Compton on the last lap and would go on to sixth place. Davison moved by Koerber into fourth place on the final lap.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Dave McElwaine/www.trailwatch.net
Images by Jamie Lau/www.jamielau.com
1 Mary McConneloug (USA) Kenda/Seven Cycles 1.33.08 2 Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Womens MTB Team 3 Heather Irmiger (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 3.03 4 Lea Davison (USA) Trek/VW 4.53 5 Willow Koerber (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher 5.47 6 Pua Sawicki (USA) Ellsworth 8.04 7 Kelli Emmett (USA) Giant MTB Team 8.36 8 Judy Freeman (USA) Tough Girl/Contessa 9.02 9 Jenna Zander (USA) Sobe Cannondale 10.26 10 Katie Compton (USA) Spike Shooter 12.14 11 Heather Holmes (USA) Kenda/Titus/Hayes 13.06 12 Zephanie Blasi (USA) Kenda Titus Hayes 14.39 13 Krista Park (USA) Kenda-Titus-Hayes 15.12 14 Sue Butler (USA) Monavie/Cannondale 16.27 15 Nina Baum (USA) Sobe-Cannondale 18.27 16 Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) 19.09 17 Karen Potter (USA) MTBmind.Com 20.08 18 Caitlyn Tuel (USA) Trek/VW /Rocky Mountain 20.24 19 Annajean Dallaire (USA) Sobe-Cannondale 21.11 20 Johanna Kraus (USA) Charlottesville Racing Club 21.44 21 Bryna Nestor (USA) Sobe Cannondale 22.15 22 Tanya Nestvogel (USA) Vantaggio/Scv 23.12 23 Betsy Shogren (USA) Sobe Cannondale 24.08 24 Theresa Richardson (USA) Sobe Cannondale 26.16 25 Shannon Edson (USA) Velo Bella 26.25 26 Sarah Kaufmann (USA) Roaring Mouse/Titus 26.57 27 Emily Van Meter (USA) Sobe/Cannondale 28.01 28 Marci Titus-Hall (USA) Desalvo 28.15 29 Lindsey Bishop (USA) Mafia Racing/Felt 30.28 30 Kimberly Flynn (USA) Vantaggio/Specialized 30.50 31 Joy Duerksen (USA) Cole/Marten Transport 31.17 32 Patricia Buerkle (USA) Vanderkitten 31.53 33 Cheryl Sornson (USA) Trek VW East Coast 32.46 34 Jennifer Tilley (USA) Velo Bella/Kona 38.55 35 Natasha Cowie (USA) Velo Bella/Kona 38.56 DNS Kathy Sherwin (USA) Sobe-Cannondale DNF Kyia Anderson (USA) Ekho/Cannondale DNF Sara Bresnick-Zocchi (USA) Pedalpowercoaching.Com DNF Susan Haywood (USA) Trek/VW