Pro Team Race Reports
Georgia wins US National Champs! Teal Stetson Lee sixth at Short Track
Georgia Takes It!
US Cross Country National Championships (Sun Valley, ID July 7-8, 2012)
Saturday CROSS COUNTRY:
Relishing an uneventful race, Georgia Gould won her fourth US National cross-country title, the third consecutive. Luck was finally on her side this weekend, where even a honeybee passed on stinging her on that fateful final lap and instead set its sights on the runner up.
Newcomer LUNA Pro dynamo Teal Stetson Lee finished in 16th.
Like the past two world cup races, Gould spent more than half the race commanding the lead with a large gap. But unlike the past two races, Georgia did not experience any late race problems… mechanicals or bio-mechanicals, and went on to gloriously cross the line in first place.
Said Georgia to Cyclingnews, "It's special to win. It never gets old. Every time is special. The national championships - to be able to wear the US national champion's jersey all year - always makes me proud!"
Her nearest competitors, Lea Davison and Heather Irminger, knew Georgia would be one tough LUNA bar at this event. Gould was simply on a mission to win this one after:
1) Barely losing the World Cup in Mt St Anne because of last lap cramps, and
2) Barely losing the Windham World Cup because of a last lap flat.
Early in the race, Irmiger set a bold pace and quickly opened a 30 second gap, surprising the field. Georgia then caught her on the first climb and took over control of the front, focusing only on riding smoothly for five laps.
For the nation’s top racers, there was no shortage of long climbs and fun single-track downhills, the mountain thin air thickened by cheering fans and more cowbell.
After five blazing laps with no contenders in sight, Georgia proceeded to take her fourth career elite XC USA National Championship title.
The aforementioned honeybee quietly circled around the top of the last lap downhill, and apparently made a decision not to sting Georgia Gould. Instead, it set it sights on Lea Davison and flew into the front of her shirt, stinging her multiple times on her journey to the finish line. She finished second at 1:42, and ripped her shirt off to remove the exhausted bee.
Heather Irminger finished in third. Pua Mata beat former Olympian and national champion Mary McConneloug for the final two podium spots. Former LUNA Pro Chloe Woodruff hammered to her best national champs result with a fine sixth place.
1 Georgia Gould
2 Lea Davison
3 Heather Irmiger
4 Pua Mata
5 Mary McConneloug
16 Teal Stetson Lee
Sunday’s SHORT TRACK:
Georgia Gould battled again with Lea Davison during the Short Track event on Sunday. This time it was Davison who took the sweet victory, entertaining the crowds with a vicious sprint finish.
"We were all seesawing back and forth, but Georgia and I were pretty consistent and mostly at the front," said Davison to Cyclingnews. "Georgia led more, I maybe led for a lap and a half. We were working together for sure."
Other short track strongwomen were Mary McConeloug, Chloe Woodruff, Super-D-er Kelli Emmett, and awesomely, Teal Stetson Lee.
Gould said afterwards, "I let Lea pull a little, but I could see Mary was going to catch us and maybe Chloe and Kelli so I went to the front. I got a little impatient and figured that even if I did a lot of work; it'd be worth it to only deal with one person instead of four people. Chloe and Mary are both savvy racers and have won short track races before."
"Lea made a smart move and went at the right place," said Gould.
So it was Davison who held off the LUNA Pro in the final sprint for the win. Mary in third, Chloe in fourth, and Meredith Miller finished in fifth place. Teal Stetson Lee evidently felt better here, and crossed the line in 6th.
1 Lea Davison
2 Georgia Gould
3 Mary McConnoloug
4 Chloe Woodruff
5 Meredith Miller
6 Teal Stetson Lee
Race Note from team mechanic Chris Mathis: "In Idaho, Georgia chose to use the lightest weight and fastest tire Maxxis offers. The tire choice was the 29" Maxxis Aspen EXC Exception Series that anyone could buy straight off the shelf. This was clearly the best tire she could have used. We had a blast spending time with Teal as well. We are of the genuine opinion that she is a valuable and logical addition to the LUNA Pro Team."
Next up for our cross country Sheroes is Missoula Montana USPT.
Teal Stetson Lee navigates rocks
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