2014 US Cup Series Round Two: Nash Wins Again

two weekends, two races, two wins for Katerina Nash

Katerina Nash continued her post-retirement winning ways this afternoon with a victory in the second round of the 2014 US Cup Series. This win comes on the heels of a win in the first round race at Austin Texas and helps her solidify her position atop the series standings.

As noted previously, this years' course at Bonelli Park was given an hors category rating; the race organizers and course designers cobbled together every challenge that the inner hills south of Puddingstone Reservoir possessed. Leg searing climbs, rocky rutted descents, technical off-camber turns, a little pavement, momentum eating grass, and a lot of dust. 

Always the dust. Have you ever seen the amount of dust that gets kicked into the air by one-hundred plus pairs of wheels in a pro mens' race? Dust was so thick that when they came charging past in one long line during the "parade" lap, you couldn't see riders more than fifteen back until they materialized out of a cloud of fine particulates. Some of that stuff filling the air was more substantial as well - looking back now I can see it in the photos. As they came flying through at 30+ mph you could hear the ping of granite bouncing off glasses, helmets and what ever else they made contact with. Driving a herd of cattle north out of Texas back in the day would have been a pleasure trip in comparison. Dust caked everything, bodies and bikes - team mechanics took care of the bikes immediately after, the racers though, are on their own.

In the women's race, it was going to be tough for anyone to deny the Luna Pro Team - they have such a strong and experienced group of racers which, at Bonelli, included Katerina Nash, Catherine Pendrel, Georgia Gould, Rochette Maghalie, and Hannah Rae Finchamp. A few other racers of note were Emily Batty and Annie Last (Trek Factory Racing Team), Mary McConnneloug (Kenda/Stans No Tubes), Daniela Campuzano (Mexico National Team), and Amanda Nauman (SDG / Felt). The final placings began to play out on the first of four laps. Pendrel and Nash opened up a gap over their closest chasers. By the second lap Nash had ridden clear of Pendrel, whose gap of Batty was about the same. Two laps and a long stretch later the lead three would finish in the order in which they raced most of the day - 1st Nash, 2nd Pendrel, 3rd Betty. Campuzano soloed in for 4th, while Evelyn Dong (Backcountry.com) took a very popular 5th. Behind those top five races came McConneloug in 6th, Mikaela Kofman (Scott 3 Rox Racing) 7th, and Georgia Gould in 8th spot.

Though the main pro events were today (as well as Cat 1), there is more action tomorrow, including the fast paced short track cross country races. Beside the few photos here, there is a selection of 133 in this Flickr set.

yes, it was kind of warm out there

Erin Huck (Tokyo Joe's / VC Graphix.com) and Amanda Nauman

Rochette Maghalie and Karlee Gendron (Trek Canada Mountain Bike Team)

the uphill grind

Georgia Gould

Evelyn Dong

Mary McConneloug

Evan Guthrie gets a little air time during the racing

when you know they have given it their all