The Big Picture: Providence Cyclocross Festival Day 2 (Elite Women)

Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) doubled up over the KMC Cycocross Festival weekend, taking another win today over Katie Compton (Trek Factory Racing) in 2nd, and Caroline Mani (Raleigh-Clement) in 3rd. After making her move halfway through the race, Nash simply could not be caught, slowly but steadily increasing her gap on Compton, with Mani yo-yoing just behind Compton for the remainder of the race.

Here’s how Day 2 went down:

The course was a slightly modified version of Day 1 run in reverse. Remember that gnarly run-up from Day 1? Now it’s a gnarly, World Cup style downhill section! It looks like this:

© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

Please note the right hand turn immediately at the bottom, with tree conveniently placed in the middle. With no new precipitation and mild temperatures, the course was a little drier, a little faster, and just a little bit loose on that downhill. Thrilling to watch, lots of snark from riders approaching while pre-riding.

From the whistle, Mani set out with a hard charge to take the holeshot, perhaps aided by aero- and performance-enhancing benefit of exposed tongue.*

© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

By the time the field reached the downhill, the pack was sufficiently strung out for a single file approach, led by Courtenay McFadden (American Classic/Zones), followed by Nash, Mani, Compton, Katie Antonneau (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld), and Maghalie Rochette (Luna Pro Team).

© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

Even further back in the field, in heavier traffic, riders were still making it down with relative ease.

© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

Within another lap, a selection had been made, with 5 riders pulling clear of the field:

Compton, Nash, Mani, Emma White (Cyclocrossworld Devo Team), and Amanda Miller (Boulder Cycle Sport/YogaGlo). © 2015 John Kavouris
Compton, Nash, Mani, Emma White (Cyclocrossworld Devo Team), and Amanda Miller (Boulder Cycle Sport/YogaGlo). © 2015 John Kavouris

Half a lap later, and it looked like Mani was putting in an aggressive attack – trademark expression on her face, opening up a couple second gap on a chasing Nash, and another couple seconds on the remaining chasers.

© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

The leaders disappeared on the backside of the course, over several power sections and the downhill. When back in sight, Nash was all alone, having clearly put in a massive counter to Mani’s attack.

image8
© 2015 John Kavouris

Compton took up the chase, with Mani recovering behind her and Miller and White dropped. Miller would continue for 4th place, and White would take 5th.

© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

Nash would go on to ride an impressive race, keeping Compton just at arms reach over much of the race, and amassing an 8s gap by the finish. Compton would likewise keep Mani trailing and at her limit, preventing another explosive and expressive attack from the Frenchwoman to make a pass.

 

© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

Post race:

Nash was positively glowing after the back-to-back wins. © 2015 John Kavouris
Nash was positively glowing after the back-to-back wins. © 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris
© 2015 John Kavouris

*Maybe it’s a French thing? #Voeckler

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