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CrossVegas Report, Results, Photos – Nash Easily Repeats as Champion, Van der Haar Wins Sprint

by Mia Sullivan
September 16, 2011 (Las Vegas, NV) – Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) easily repeated as the CrossVegas winner. She and team mate Georgia Gould separated themselves from the field early on. Nash then lifted her tempo and maintained a significant lead for most of the race.

“Georgia and I were working together keeping the gap,” stated Nash. “Perhaps I was keeping a faster pace than Georgia could maintain today. Georgia and I didn’t talk before the race. We have raced together enough times to know what to expect from each other. We did talk during the race though. We talked about working together to maintain a gap.”

With first place wrapped up, second and third places were contested by Dombroski, Gould, Kelli Emmett (Giant) and Meredith Miller (CalGiant/ Specialized). Dombroski was able to push ahead of Miller and Gould then out sprinted Emmett for second.

“The two Luna girls took off and I was kind of caught off the back of the chase group and I just didn’t see, I guess it was Georgia that went and I totally didn’t see that,” added second place winner Amy Dombroski (Crankbrothers). “Katerina bridged and I kind of sat there hoping that other people would do the work. I realized that the two blueberries were riding away so I tried to bridge it myself and then everyone started working together. It was me, Kelli, I think Meredith was there. I thought we might catch them because they were right there but Katerina is fast man.”

“I know that I’m strong in that hill,” continued Dombroski. “I can get a quick gap so that my strategy. I went there and definitely got a gap but Kelli is strong and bridged right up to me. I knew she was right there, I also knew that if you can rail it through the corners you can open the gap but Kelli is an amazing bike handler so that didn’t full happen. I didn’t know how close she was, I was just going as hard as I could.”

“I was just watching everyone and seeing what their weakness were out there,” commented Emmett. “I was really feeling good. I knew my fitness was good, It was just a matter of finding the right opportunity. I heard Amy sufferings so she was not the person I thought would go for the attack. I expected Meredith to attack. Nobody wants to go to the line with Meredith.”

“The conditions out there today really felt like a cross race,” said Nash “It was interesting to add the wet element. CrossVegas has really become the classic of cyclocross. It’s great to win in front of so many enthusiastic people.”

Women’s results HERE.


Van Der Haar Sprints For The Win At CrossVegas

The raucous crowd at the Men’s Elite race at CrossVegas was treated to a show of tactics when top American and European stars traded blows. In the end, a youngster snatched the victory. Current under23 Cyclocross World Champion Lars van der Haar (Rabobank) took the win a very tight three-way sprint that came down to a photo-finish.

“I have a pretty strong sprint.. It was amazing, I could not see the line so I wasn’t sure I won.” said van der Haar a few minutes after crossing the line.

Christian Heule (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) took second and Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea), third.

The field shattered on the first lap with a lead group of 18 which was quickly whittled down to ten riders  after a strong attack by Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus).  Off the front were van der Haar and his teammate Bart Aernouts,  Heule and his teammates Tim Johnson and Jamey Driscoll, Peeters and his teammate Bart Wellens, Ryan Trebon (LTS/Felt), Todd Wells (Specialized), and Powers.

For the next laps, attacks and counter-attacks flew in a game of tactics with Trebon doing most of the chasing to close down any gap.

“The strong riders keep going even if some attacks are happening and  then you have the not that strong riders who lose a little gap and then they come back when the race becomes tactics at the front again. The thing is to see on which riders’ wheel you can stay and which rider you have to pick when it is fast.” Heule explained the tactical game.

Driscoll was the first rider to manage to escape, gaining ten seconds with three laps to go.  Seeing that both Johnson and Heule were blocking at the front, Wellens took a solo flyer to bridge up to and then drop Driscoll.

“It was a little bit gambling, it was waiting, waiting or going for the attack, and I choose the attack. I came with Driscoll and I thought with two we are stronger than alone but it was not good enough so I go alone with still three laps, it was long, half lap too long.”

Wellens soldiered on alone until he was caught on the final lap. A few more attacks from Powers, Trebon and Peeters were neutralized with the group reforming before the final corner.

“When I saw Wellens get caught I was pretty far behind. I saw Peeters go and I thought I could never win. When we went into the last turn I was with the front group again. I know that I can sprint really well. I decided to give it everything I have. At first I thought I would not even get on the podium but then I saw the first three slow down. I think they were pretty tired. I know I was pretty tired.” van der Haar concluded.

Men’s results HERE.

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