BOULDER, Colorado (VN) — Give her an inch, and she’ll take a mile. Or, more accurately, a minute and 20 seconds.
It was all Georgia Gould at the Colorado Cross Classic in Boulder on Saturday afternoon, as the 2012 Olympic mountain bike bronze medalist put in an absolutely textbook performance at the Boulder Reservoir.
The Luna rider made her move early on the first lap — she wasn’t in the pole position at the hole shot — and never looked back. She gained about seven seconds on the field with her attack, and a crash that held up the entire chase group gave her even more time than she was prepared to take on her own.
Gould said she attacked early so she could take a clear line through corners in the middle of the 3.5km circuit along the sandy shores of the Boulder Reservoir.
Not that she would need any favors — it was clear Gould was on from her first attack. The course in Boulder only got faster as the day beat on, and Gould was full gas even though she was out front by a minute.
“I didn’t see a crash or hear a crash or anything. I just got to the front and settled in,” she said. “It was a fast, fun course … but it was hard. There wasn’t a ton of recovery out there. But it was good. I felt good on my bike.”
Her teammate Teal Stetson-Lee came in second, followed by Optum’s Amanda Miller in third.
Stetson-Lee didn’t go down in the crash, but she was stalled.
“It certainly slowed the pack down, and that’s where Georgia opened up her gap, and she was gone from there,” she said.
Stetson-Lee was part of a large chase group but broke free and rode the purgatory between Gould and her chasers for most of the race.
“It’s always a toss-up. ’Cross is an interesting sport. You’re always trying to ride smart and make strategic moves when you’ve got the power,” Stetson-Lee said of her decision to make a move to her teammate.
Gould, who’s also racing Sunday’s Boulder Cup, said she never let off the throttle, even with the large lead.
“I don’t race like that,” she said. “Obviously, when you have a gap you don’t have to take a bunch of risks or anything. [But] I definitely wasn’t like, ‘Oh, I’ll just take it easy.’ Because you never know what’s going to happen. You could flat.
“If I did that and I had some mechanical and I ended up getting passed by a bunch of people I’d feel like an idiot.”