2015 CXLA, Day One: Another Notch in the Top Tube for Nash

In a way I feel some empathy for some of these racers who arrive in town from colder climes - Europe, Colorado, even Northern California has experienced some winter-like weather by now. They come here for CXLA, to nearly 90º temperatures, to merciless sun. They may have believed they were finished with choking dust for a few months, hoped that blowing soot out of their noses would become a faded memory. But no, CXLA brings it all back for one last gasp. Not that it seemed to bother any of those riders - of the top five finishers in the UCI Elite Womens' race, two were from Europe, and two from NorCal. Not until the fifth spot did a SoCal rider crack the podium. 

France's Caroline Mani grabbed the hole shot when the mad rush traded the paved start for that familiar gopher-infested grass that defines most of the Long Beach course. By the time the race had completed most of the first circuit, Katerina Nash had taken over at the front. That is until just before the sand, and coming out of a turn Rachel Lloyd jumped to the lead. Those two out front were followed closely by Courtenay McFadden, Mani, and Elle Anderson. Gaps were beginning to show between the contenders, but they were still small. The second lap confirmed that today would not be a runaway victory for anyone - Anderson, Nash, Lloyd, McFaddan, Mani, and Amanda Nauman were all, still, quite tightly bunched at the head of the race. Eventually, slowly but surely, Nash and Lloyd pulled clear, gaps once measured in wheel-lenghts grew to multiple seconds. At the end Nash claimed the win by a mere nine seconds over Lloyd, with Mani coming in at thirty-three seconds, Anderson at fifty-two seconds back, and Nauman at a minute thirty seconds for fifth place.

Due to the spread out nature of the Long Beach course, races there often tend to be something less than exciting, but this women's race was one of the best to be run at El Dorado Park - a kick ass race, by some kick ass women.

Other victors from day one included James Driscoll (UCI Elite Men), Tobin Ortenblad (UCI U23 Men), Denis Faye (Masters Men 35+), Bob Downs (Masters Men 55+), John Ruger (Masters Men 65+), Jose Vigil (Men C), AJ Sura (Masters Women), Victor Sheldon (Masters Men 35+), Greg Turner (Masters Men 45+), Garrett Follmuth (Men B), Ryan Dahl (Non-UCI Men A), Barrett Schreiner (Masters Men 35+ B), Travis Robertson (Masters Men 45+ B), Katie Clouse (Non-UCI Women A), Alicia King (Women B), Ashlee Weimar (Women C), Cameron Beard (UCI Junior Men 17-18), Lucas Rowton (Collegiate Men), Amy Benner (Collegiate Women), Wes Biesen (Men C), Brad Bingham (Single Speed Men A), Kenten Harris (Single Speed Men B), Lynn Kennedy (Single Speed Women).

The Flickr album for this years' CXLA contains ninety-seven photos - check it out. If you don't see what, or who, you were looking for in the album, let me know and I will see what I can find. If you see a photo you like, feel free to download it (credit where credit due, of course). You can also contact me via email and I will gladly send a full size jpeg file of the image. As usual, I don't charge for photos, but do appreciate it when someone purchases a copy of the annual (link at top of page). Until next time, good riding. 


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