The Big Picture: Providence Cyclocross Festival Day 1 (UCI Elite Women)

Under overcast skies and over a course of tacky mud, Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Cyclocross) took the win at day 1 of the KMC Cyclocross Festival. A bobble from Katie Compton (Trek Factory Racing) mid-way through the race would allow Nash to open a gap on the leading group, with no one else able or willing to chase. Compton put in a hard effort to fight her way back and reestablish contact with Nash, but would have to settle for second. Amanda Miller (Boulder Cycle Sport/YogaGlo) rode well from the gun to take 3rd place on the podium.

© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

Here’s how things went down:

After the dry, warm, dusty conditions of last week, today started at a chilly ~50F and damp. Rain over the previous week left the course tacky with some ruts developing, but not oppressively muddy. Cross is without a doubt here, and gently easing us towards an Autumn of cold, wet, and waxing poetic about the textures of mud.

© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris
“1 minute.” 2015 John Kavouris

 

Ellen Noble (JAM/NCC/Vittoria) showed once again that she has zero hesitation to light up a race from the start, taking the holeshot and leading over the first half-lap. (Including several of the power sections on course, and over the steep, narrow run-up)

© 2015 John Kavouris
Rumor has it the UCI fields will go down this tomorrow, for some ultimate World Cup style action. © 2015 John Kavouris
Noble leads over the first half of the course. © 2015 John Kavouris
Noble leads over the first half of the course. © 2015 John Kavouris

By the end of the first lap, the leading group was comprised of Noble, Compton, Miller, Nash, and Emma White (CyclocrossWorld Devo Team).

Compton, Noble, Nash. © 2015 John Kavouris
Compton, Noble, Nash. © 2015 John Kavouris
Nash, Miller, White. © 2015 John Kavouris
Nash, Miller, White. © 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

Caroline Mani (Raleigh-Clement) was notably missing from the front of today’s race. After a fantastic pair of races last weekend (1st and 2nd places, respectively), she suffered a poor start today and spent much of the race trying to make up ground.

Nash waits to make her move. © 2015 John Kavouris
Nash waits to make her move. © 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

A lap later and Compton was suspiciously absent from the leading group, appearing several seconds later. Overheard after the race, a rider switched her line when approaching the barriers, forcing an error from Compton and putting her off the pace.

Moments later, Nash would use the technical section in front of the beer garden to make her attack on Noble and Miller, while Compton was still making her way back to the group.

© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

Oh, and speaking of the beer tent, it was a fun time: Women-BeerTent (1)

After making her way through traffic, Compton would put in a solid chasing effort, but never come closer than a few seconds down. With 1 lap to go, Compton had almost closed the gap by the time she and Nash had reached the run-up, but was noticeably fatigued compared to Nash.

image14
© 2015 John Kavouris

Over the remaining lap, Compton continued to chase, but didn’t have the extra kick to fully close the gap, finishing only 4 seconds down behind Nash.

Meanwhile, Mani continued to ride hard and consistent, making up ground on a rapidly fading Noble, catching her sometime before the run-up.

© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

Over the remaining lap, Mani would complete the pass to grab 4th place, leaving Noble to take 5th.

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