April 15, 2011 (Monterey, CA) – On a warm, dusty, cloudless day, the top female Pro MTB field battled through a very tight and fast course with US National Champion Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team setting a blazing pace, just a week before the first MTB World Cup of the season gets underway in South Africa.
Gould took the gate from the beginning and left the field behind with teammate Katerina Nash (Cze), Canada’s Emily Batty (Subaru-Trek), Katie Compton (USA) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team), and reigning Canadian champ and 2010 WCup overall winner, Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro team), in hot pursuit for the whole 20-minute + 2-lap race.
It was a lung burner as the first twisty came not 200 meters after the start with a deep gulch in the middle of the track leaving riders to choose lines on both banks, skirting rocks, high grass and the dry dirt giving little traction.
After Gould set the pace early it was up to the others to jockey and strategize how to best gain time on each other, and after the first 13 minutes, the attrition in the back of the field was evident as thirteen of the field of 28 were pulled after being lapped.
Effusive as always, Gould exclaimed: “The heat motivated me to get out in front and put the burners on so I could finish faster – it was still a really tough field and I’m happy with my form today.”
Batty, who raced smart as she maneuvered in and out of 2nd and third all race, waiting for the right moment to make her move on Nash. “Nash was smart, she made the same move on the tight corner taking the higher line that I made a few years ago to win this course, and this time she got past me; I feel fantastic and am ready for tomorrow,” said Batty.
As the pace was brutal and the heat set in quickly, the top seven riders lapped the last seven riders left on the course before Gould swept through at the finish without a threat all day.
Inside the last seven riders were two Canadians Mical Dyck (Pro City Racing) from Victoria, BC who was 10th and Brandi Hesiterman, BC (Pro Women’s Team) in 15th.
One fan nearby yelled happily to the finishers: “You ladies make us (USMC) Marines look like nancy boys, you rocked those nasty hills!”
Saturday riders can expect another hot day for the much longer Pro XCT race at 11:45 am PST.
1. Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team
2. Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team
3. Emily Batty (Can) Subaru-Trek
4. Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Pro Tream
5. Katie Compton (USA) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team
6. Lea Davison (USA) Specialized
7. Heather Irmiger (USA) Subaru-Trek
8. Chloe Forsman (USA) BMC Mountainbike Development Team -1lap
9. Kelli Emmett (USA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team -1lap
10. Mical Dyck (Can) Pro City Racing -1lap
11. Judy Freeman (USA) Kenda / Felt -1lap
12. Zephanie Blasi (USA) Notubes Elite -1lap
13. Kathy Sherwin (USA) Notubes Elite -1lap
14. Amy Dombroski (USA) Crankbrothers Race Club -1lap
15. Brandi Hesiterman (Can) Pulled
16. Amanda Carey (USA) Kenda/Felt Pulled
17. Sarah Kaufmann (USA) Elete Electrolytes Pulled
18. Pua Mata (USA) Pulled
19. Erica Zaveta (USA) BMC Mountainbike Development Team Pulled
20. Kelsy Bingham (USA) Team Jamis Pulled
21. Krista Park (USA) Notubes Elite Pulled
22. Shannon Gibson (USA) Notubes Elite Pulled
23. Sarah Maile (USA) Ventana Mountain Bikes Pulled
24. Nina Baum (USA) Notubes Elite Pulled
25. Carolyn Popovic (USA) Team CF Pulled
26. Kaila Hart (USA) Pulled
27. Cayley Brooks (USA) Trek Canada Pulled
28. Laura Winberry (USA) Pulled
29. Lydia Tanner (USA) Tokyo Joes DNF