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Katerina Nash and Francis Mourey take cool CrossVegas

  • By Brian Holcombe
  • Published Sep. 23, 2010
  • Updated Jan. 14, 2011 at 2:55 PM EST

Francis Mourey (Française des Jeux) and Katerina Nash (Luna) scored big-time prize money and bragging rights at CrossVegas Wednesday night, but it was Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) and Nash who stole the show under the lights on the outskirts of Las Vegas.

The fourth annual CrossVegas was really many things. The first UCI C1 event of the U.S. season was a tough, grass-slowed, wind-blown race under the lights. It was a wild ride in front of an often unrully crowd, with Ryan Trebon (Kona) nearly getting off his bike when fans threw beer in his eyes at the TRP barriers. But more than anything, the final Interbike showdown in the desert was a study in timing.

The CrossVegas course was made up mostly of grass, with a short stretch of sidewalk in the middle third of the race. Three sets of barriers – two near the start/finish and one 600 meters from the finish — faced riders when they fought sticky grass and fading winds as the evening went on.

From the gun

Mary McConneloug (Kenda-Seven-NoTubes) caffeinated before the start and came to the desert set for the fight. She took it to the women from the get-go. A full season on the mountain bike circuit in her legs, the 39-year-old grabbed the holeshot ahead of Sue Butler (Hudz-Subaru) as vuvuzelas hummed over the Desert Breeze Soccer Complex.

Deep and sticky grass made the evening tough on all.

McConneloug took her advantage through the one-lap, hard-grass criterium start and strung the field out. When Nash countered a brief acceleration by teammate Georgia Gould (Luna), she shredded the elastic keeping Alison Powers (Specialized) and Kelli Emmett (Giant) in touch. The attack forced a six-rider selection that would make the first half of the race: Luna’s Nash, Gould and Amy Dombroski, Butler, McConneloug and Meredith Miller (Cal Giant-Specialized).

Half a lap later Dombroski gapped the group in a series of long, flat S-turns near the start-finish. When Butler drew Dombroski back, the pace popped Miller off the group. It was status quo for two laps as the leaders kept the pace high over thick turf and moderate winds.

Three laps in, Nash countered another Dombroski surge and quickly struck out to a 20-second lead. The two-time CrossVegas runner-up crouched low over her bars and slowly stretched her gap out as she wound up and over a 20-degree-plus, left-hand corner ramp and down the serpentine descent toward a sandy third run-up. Nash took 45 seconds into the penultimate of six laps and didn’t look back.

“I didn’t want to go out too early. Mary and I were pretty active, but I decided that at some point somebody had to start attacking for real and not just trying, so I went for it and it stuck,” said Nash. “I put in a good effort and got a gap and I was strong enough to stay up there.”

If she had looked back, Nash would have seen McConneloug pulling Dombroski and Gould around the circuit past thousands of fans lining barricades. Butler fought to stay in contact with the first chase group, but fell off the pace in the bell lap. All the while, Nash continued to meter her effort around the circuit and rolled through the uphill finish clear for her third win in three tries this season.

“This race is always so hard because it’s really dry,” said Butler, who ran out of water midway through the race. “It’s tough. Actually what went through my head was, ‘Katerina’s off the front in the wind. You better go chase her down.’”

McConneloug kept the pace even, so that she had a sprint left in her legs in the finale, but when Dombroski attacked on the last run-up, McConneloug found herself in fourth position, behind an apologetic Gould. McConneloug came around to take up the chase, but Dombroski secured second with a bike throw.

“I was just ready to sprint for the finish and got a little blocked up on the last hill,” McConneloug said. “It really is a testament to team tactics, but it’s all right; I’m ready to play.”

Gould came through in fourth, 28 seconds down, admitting that it was not team tactics so much as an illness she’s fought since before the world mountain bike championship in August that kept her on McConneloug’s wheel.

“The sad secret is that I couldn’t counter attack or anything or chase down a move. I was just sucking a wheel,” said Gould. “I was holding on for dear life from the beginning of the race.”

Nash has podiumed every year since CrossVegas started in 2007. The win is something she’s aspired to for four years. “I had a great race and I’m excited to finally win CrossVegas.”

A matter of timing

The elite men took the course for warm-ups as the women gave interviews on the grass tarmac. Last year’s fifth-ranked UCI ’crosser Gerben De Knegt (Rabobank-Giant) was the first to be called to the line, but it was Trebon who took the holeshot and led the first three laps at speeds making passing difficult on the wide open course.

It was a big battle right from the start

“I punched it and looked back and had 50 feet or so and thought, ‘Oh, my legs are pretty good I guess,” said Trebon. “I like to stay at the front. It’s easier and you get to stay out of the way.”

Davide Frattini (Hudz-Subaru), Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) and Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) were there as well, but a surge by Trebon on the first run-up of the second lap split the front group, catching Jesse Anthony (Cal Giant-Specialized) out.

Trebon was a one-man wrecking crew and when he jumped again early in the third lap, Driscoll countered and soon had 15 seconds on the Tim Johnson-controlled chase. Johnson’s thigh was impaled on a pedal when Todd Wells (Specialized) went down on the third run-up. The stumble, along with Johnson’s defensive riding, helped earn Driscoll a 25-second advantage three laps into the one-hour race.

“Every little bit helps,” Johnson said. “You know, there were probably 20 corners per lap and if Jamey can get through without any issue, he gained a little bit of time each lap. He got his gap like that and he’s a strong kid.”

After a few laps, it seemed like déjà vu with Driscoll cruising over the soccer pitch-painted grass solo from early in the event. His shoulders pumping ever so slightly, the wear of the long day increasingly apparent, Driscoll’s lead faded to 18 seconds with four to go as Trebon, Chris Jones (Rapha-Focus) and Page led the steamrolling group toward Driscoll’s back wheel.

“I guess I just like to suffer,” Driscoll said. “I knew it was a tall order when I got the decent-size gap.”

When they rounded the über-steep corner toward the third run-up, Trebon was still on front of the group and could see his rival on the first switchback of the winding descent, five seconds up the road.

“Nobody else seemed to want to bring it back,” said Trebon. “I felt pretty good but I did too much.”

The World Cup-sized crowd oohed and ah’d tensely as Driscoll was drawn in. Around the final, 180-degree corner, Mourey clamped onto Driscoll’s wheel and finally accelerated around the right side to seal his third cyclocross win in as many tries on U.S. soil.

“They are very good racers,” Mourey said through a translator of the racing he has seen in the United States over the last week. “The level of the American racers is improving every year.”

Johnson said the team could take solace in Driscoll’s big effort.

“We’re disappointed in that it’s not the absolutely perfect, fairy tale ending, but we’ll take it. He rode incredibly.”

Women

  • 1. Katerina Nash, (CZE) Luna Pro Team, in 0:46:10
  • 2. Amy Dombroski, (USA) Luna Pro Team, in 0:46:27
  • 3. Mary Mcconneloug, (USA) Kenda/seven/notubes, in 0:46:27
  • 4. Georgia Gould, (USA) Luna Pro Team, in 0:46:38
  • 5. Susan Butler, (USA) Hudz-Subaru, in 0:47:09
  • 6. Meredith Miller, (USA) California Giant/specialized, in 0:47:31
  • 7. Kelli Emmett, (USA) Giant Bicycles, in 0:47:31
  • 8. Alison Powers, (USA) Team Vera Bradley Foundation, in 0:47:31
  • 9. Kari Studley, (USA) Redline, in 0:47:31
  • 10. Teal Stetson-lee, (USA) California Giant/specialized, in 0:47:31
  • 11. Nicole Duke, (USA) Hudz/subaru, in 0:47:31
  • 12. Natasha Elliott, (CAN) Garneau Club Chaussures-Ogilvy, in 0:47:31
  • 13. Maureen Bruno Roy, (USA) Bob’s Red Mill P/b Seven Cycles, in 0:47:31
  • 14. Sara Bresnick-zocchi, (USA) Crossresults.com/pedalpowercoaching.com, in 0:47:31
  • 15. Laura Van Gilder, (USA) C3 Athletes Serving Athletes, in 0:47:31
  • 16. Linnea Koons, (USA) Embrocation Cycling Journal, in 0:47:31
  • 17. Heather Holmes, (USA) Yeti/sunflower Markets, in 0:47:31
  • 18. Rebecca Blatt, (USA) Central Wheel, in 0:47:31
  • 19. Lisa Strong, (USA) Hudz-Subaru, in 0:47:31
  • 20. Kelly Benjamin, (USA) Kccx P/b Challenge Tires, in 0:47:31
  • 21. Linda Sone, (USA) Planetbike, in 0:47:31
  • 22. Katherine Sherwin, (USA) Hudz-Subaru Cycling Team, in 0:47:31
  • 25. Lisa Hudson, (USA) Feedback Sports, at +1 Laps
  • 26. Kate Scheider, (USA) , at +1 Laps
  • 27. Courtney Dimpel, (USA) Bike Station Aptos, at +1 Laps
  • 28. Shannon Gibson, (USA) Velobella- Ellsworth, at +1 Laps
  • 29. Rebecca Gross, (USA) Velo Bella Ellsworth, at +1 Laps
  • 30. Emma Bast, (USA) Team Plan C, at +2 Laps
  • 31. Kendall Ryan, (USA) The Team – Socalcross, at +2 Laps
  • 32. Kristal Boni, (USA) Blue Sky Velo, at +2 Laps
  • 33. Miranda Long, (USA) Team Pg-13, at +2 Laps
  • 34. Erika Powers, (USA) Revolution/peak Fasteners, at +2 Laps
  • 35. Carrie Edwards, (USA) Sheila Moon/big Swingin’ Cycles, at +2 Laps
  • 36. Karen Oppenheimer, (USA) Bend Memorial Clinic Race Team, at +2 Laps
  • 37. Michele Bliss, (USA) Justin’s-Titus, at +2 Laps
  • 38. Christina Probert, (USA) , at +2 Laps
  • 39. Alexis Ryan, (USA) The Team – Socalcross, at +3 Laps
  • 40. Dorothy Wong, (USA) The Team – Socalcross, at +3 Laps
  • 41. Vicki Thomas, (CAN) Disasterrecovery.com, at +3 Laps
  • 42. Ivie Crawford, (USA) The Team (socalcross), at +4 Laps
  • 43. Pia Pensaari, (FIN) Team Velo Cycling, at +5 Laps
  • 44. Annette Padilla, (USA) Celo Pacific, at +5 Laps

Men

  • 1. Francis Mourey, (FRA) Francaise Des Jeux, in 0:59:30
  • 2. James Driscoll, (USA) Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.com, in 0:59:30
  • 3. Gerben De Knegt, (NED) Rabobank – Giant Off Road Team, in 0:59:31
  • 4. Ryan Trebon, (USA) Kona, in 0:59:31
  • 5. Christian Heule, (SUI) Vc Gippingen Champion System, in 0:59:32
  • 6. Jonathan Page, (USA) Planet Bike, in 0:59:32
  • 7. Jeremy Powers, (USA) Cannondale Cyclocross Team, in 0:59:33
  • 8. Haar Lars Van Der, (NED) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team, in 0:59:34
  • 9. Geoff Kabush, (CAN) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain, in 0:59:38
  • 10. Adam Craig, (USA) Rabobank/giant Offroad, in 0:59:40
  • 11. Christopher Jones, (USA) Rapha Focus, in 0:59:43
  • 12. Timothy Johnson, (USA) Cannondale Prepared By Cyclocrossworld, in 0:59:47
  • 13. Jesse Anthony, (USA) California Giant / Specialized, in 0:59:53
  • 14. Luca Damiani, (ITA) Kenda Pro Cycling P/b Geargrinder, in 1:00:06
  • 15. Todd Wells, (USA) Specialized Factory Racing, in 1:00:15
  • 16. Derrick St John, (CAN) Garneau Club Chaussures-Ogilvy, in 1:01:24
  • 17. Jake Wells, (USA) , in 1:01:24
  • 18. Tyler Wren, (USA) Boo Bicycles, in 1:01:32
  • 19. Rene Birkenfeld, (GER) Harvesterhude Rv, in 1:01:39
  • 20. Zach Mcdonald, (USA) Rapha Focus, in 1:01:39
  • 21. Craig Richey, (CAN) Cyclocrossracing.com P/b Blue, in 1:01:39
  • 22. Tim Van Nuffel, (BEL) Van Goethem-Prorace-Cycling Team, in 1:01:40
  • 23. Carl Decker, (USA) Giant, in 1:01:41
  • 24. Molly Cameron, (USA) Portland Bicycle Studio, in 1:01:47
  • 25. Barry Wicks, (USA) Kona, in 1:01:49
  • 26. Aaron Schooler, (CAN) Team H&r Block, in 1:02:05
  • 27. Jonathan Baker, (USA) Hudz-Subaru, in 1:02:13
  • 28. Mitchell Hoke, (USA) Clif Bar Development Team, in 1:02:24
  • 29. Brady Kappius, (USA) Team Clif Bar, in 1:02:55
  • 30. Joachim Parbo, (DEN) Kch Leopard Cycles, in 1:03:01
  • 31. Valentin Scherz, (SUI) Cyfac-Champion System P/b Revolution Wheelworks, in 1:03:07
  • 32. Davide Frattini, (ITA) Team Type 1, in 1:03:07
  • 33. Tyler Trace, (CAN) Trek Red Truck, in 1:03:07
  • 34. Brandon Dwight, (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport, in 1:03:13
  • 35. Jeremy Ferguson, (USA) California Giant/specialized, in 1:03:18
  • 36. Matthew Pacocha, (USA) Hudz-Subaru, in 1:03:22
  • 37. Mark Lalonde, (USA) Specialized, in 1:03:30
  • 38. Ryan Dewald, (USA) Bikyle/mazur Coaching, in 1:03:31
  • 39. Jared Nieters, (USA) Haymarket/seavs, in 1:03:34
  • 40. Kevin Noiles, (CAN) La Bicicletta Pro Shop, in 1:03:43
  • 41. Adam Myerson, (USA) Mountain Khakis F/b Jittery Joes, in 1:03:46
  • 42. Kamden Reedy, (USA) Web-Op, in 1:03:49
  • 43. Troy Wells, (USA) Team Clif Bar, in 1:04:04
  • 44. Mathew Ankney, (USA) Kccx/verge Elite Cyclocross Team Presented By Challenge Tires, in 1:04:07
  • 45. Stephen Cummings, (USA) Indiana Regional Medical Center, in 1:04:15
  • 46. Aaron Bouplon, (USA) Rocky Mounts / Izze, in 1:04:24
  • 47. Jamie Newall, (GBR) Team Corley Cycles, in 1:04:26
  • 48. Sergio Hernandez, (USA) Jelly Belly Presented By Kenda, in 1:04:37
  • 49. Anthony Grand, (SUI) Cyfac-Champion System P/b Revolution Wheelworks, in 1:04:37
  • 50. Ben Chaddock, (CAN) Rubicon-Orbea, in 1:04:38
  • 51. Geert Wellens, (BEL) Scott Usa Cycling Team, in 1:04:46
  • 52. Scott Tietzel, (USA) Mountain Khakis F/b Jittery Joes, in 1:04:50
  • 53. Jason Siegle, (USA) Bike Religion, in 1:05:19
  • 54. Justin Robinson, (USA) California Giant/specialized, in 1:05:26
  • 55. Kevin Mullervy, (USA) Team Exergy, in 1:05:41
  • 56. Morgan Ryan, (USA) The Team So Cal Cross, in 1:05:50
  • 57. Spencer Powlison, (USA) , in 1:07:22
  • 61. Roger Rilling, (USA) Stoller, in 0:25:14
  • 62. Jason Holbrook, (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport, in 0:25:17
  • 63. Dean Poshard, (USA) Rockloboster, in 0:09:20
  • 65. Mike Sherer, (USA) Verizon U25 Team, in 0:01:28
  • 66. Peter Sullivan, (USA) Svelte Cycles, in 0:01:29
  • 67. Luke Keough, (USA) Bikereg.com/cannondale, at +1 Laps
  • 68. Dave Hackworthy, (USA) Clement Cx, at +1 Laps
  • 69. Nicholas Weighall, (USA) California Giant/specialized, at +1 Laps
  • 70. Conor Mullervy, (USA) Team Exergy, at +1 Laps
  • 71. Kyle Reedy, (USA) Web-Op, at +2 Laps
  • 72. William Gault, (USA) Kccx/verge Elite Cyclocross Team Presented By Challenge Tires, at +2 Laps
  • 73. John Bailey, (USA) Bailey Bikes, at +2 Laps
  • 74. Anton Petrov, (USA) Bike Religion, at +2 Laps
  • 75. Phil Grove, (USA) Lake Washington Velo, at +2 Laps
  • 76. Cody Kaiser, (USA) California Giant/specialized, at +2 Laps
  • 77. Geoffrey Nenninger, (USA) Colorado Multisport, at +2 Laps
  • 78. Shawn Harshman, (USA) Pm Racing Team, at +2 Laps
  • 79. Kyle Peppo, (USA) Gs Mengoni Usa, at +2 Laps
  • 80. Zoltan Tisza, (HUN) Tecnofilm-Betonexpr 2000, at +3 Laps
  • 81. Bryan Alders, (USA) S.o.l.o., at +3 Laps
  • 82. David Mcneal, (USA) Birmingham Bicycle Company, at +3 Laps
  • 83. Bill Marshall, (USA) Kccx/verge Elite Cyclocross Team Presented By Challenge Tires, at +3 Laps
  • 84. Charles Coyle, (USA) Hudz-Subaru Cycling Team, at +3 Laps
  • 85. Brian Astell, (USA) Lost Coast Brewery/ Marin, at +3 Laps
  • 86. Daniel Macdonald, (CAN) Total Restoration, at +3 Laps
  • 87. Michael Hosang, (USA) Team Tripower, at +4 Laps
  • 88. Zach Lail, (USA) Mock Orange Racing, at +4 Laps
  • 89. John Behrens, (USA) Bailey Bikes, at +4 Laps
  • 90. Gary Douville, (USA) Platinum Performance, at +4 Laps
  • 91. Matthew Mcgee, (USA) Unattached, at +4 Laps
  • 92. Cort Cramer, (USA) Svelte Cycles, at +4 Laps
  • 93. Joshua Lehmann, (USA) Sunapee/s & W Racing Team, at +4 Laps
  • 94. Benjamin Popper, (USA) Rock Lobster, at +4 Laps
  • 95. Anastasio Flores Jr, (USA) California Giant Strawberry, at +4 Laps
  • 96. Andy Bestwick, (USA) Allegiant Airlines/ Pain Md’s, at +5 Laps
  • 97. Tyler Wertenbruch, (USA) Slo Nexus – Gym One, at +5 Laps
  • 98. Jp Partland, (USA) Kissena, at +5 Laps
  • 99. Danny Kam, (USA) Herbalife La Grange, at +6 Laps
  • . Greg Gibson, (USA) Truckerco.com Racer’s Cycle Service, at DNF
  • . Guillaume Nelessen, (USA) Van Dessel Factory Team, at DNF
  • . Travis Livermon, (USA) Mock Orange Racing, at DNF
  • . Dylan Mcnicholas, (USA) , at DNF
  • . Martin Gujan, (SUI) Cannondale Factory Racing, at DNF
  • . Allen Krughoff, (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport, at DNF
  • . Nick Truitt, (USA) Yeti Cycles, at DNF

FILED UNDER: Cyclocross / News / Race Report TAGS: / / /

Brian Holcombe

Brian Holcombe

Brian Holcombe is the editor of VeloNews.com. Holcombe joined VeloNews in 2009 following years spent introducing students to whitewater kayaking and working in avalanche control, among other more risky ventures. A Master of PR and Marketing Communications, his graduate work at the University of Denver focused on innovation, digital media management and custom publishing. Holcombe is a CSU Ram fan and proud parent, and has been accused of attacking too much on the VN lunch ride. Follow him on Twitter @FCBrian.

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