Pro Team Race Reports
Katerina sprints to bronze medal at Cross Worlds!
Bieles, Luxembourg (January 29th, 2017)
Representing Czech Republic, legendary Clif Pro athlete Katerina Nash captured the bronze medal at the World Championships in Bieles, Luxembourg, won by Belgian Sanne Cant.
Cant nipped seven-time world champion Marianne Vos from Netherlands in the icy thriller to take her first title and the white rainbow jersey.
All three teammates pushed the pace in or near the front throughout the race, staying smooth and upright on the slippery course.
Holding on to the elusive wheels of Vos and Cant throughout the last lap, Nash furiously out-sprinted Lucinda Brand for the bronze medal 21 seconds back, and Rochette followed at 36 seconds, and Lechner at 53 seconds.
This was Katerina's second UCI World Cyclocross Championship piece of hardware (she took the bronze at Sankt-Wendel in 2011).
Adding icing on Clif Pro's cake, 23-year old Canadian Maghalie Rochette had a breakthrough performance on the technical course after a tough start to secure fifth place.
Italian superstar Eva Lechner showed her form and confidence is back with her aggressive riding toward sixth place. Lechner is a fierce cyclocross racer, and earned the UCI world cup championship title in 2014 in the Czech Republic.
According to Velonews, who had the ride of the day?:
Chris: "Maghalie Rochette finishing fifth was an outstanding performance. Katerina Nash capturing yet another worlds medal cannot be overlooked either."
Kristen: "Katerina Nash was phenomenal, fighting her way back up to the lead group on multiple occasions. She probably put in some of the fastest lap times but also made some big mistakes that cost her the chance at the win. Also, Caroline Mani rode spectacularly after getting caught in the early pileup on lap number one. She fought back from second to last to 12th. Oh, and don’t forget Maghalie Rochette! Where the heck did that come from?!"
Spencer: "I liked how Amanda Miller hung in there to finish 13th after a really hard crash on the first lap. Maghalie Rochette’s fifth place was a total breakthrough."
Holding on to the elusive wheels of Vos and Cant throughout the last lap, Nash furiously out-sprinted Brand for the bronze medal 21 seconds back, and Rochette followed at 36 seconds, and Lechner at 53 seconds.
Rochette commented, “I had a horrible start, but I just kept paying attention to what was ahead and when there was a crash I was able to get around it and I was able to catch up to the front group. After that I just kept moving forward."
"I (then) had a clean race and didn’t really crash, so... I’m really happy! Personally, I thought the course was amazing; it was slippery but that was the same for everybody. You just had to keep clean and keep moving. We had similar conditions at nationals so I knew how to race it.”
Katerina told the press, “I came here to fight for a medal, and this has been a good season for me. I've been lucky enough to get good training and experience in the US.. with equal prize money, strong competitors, etc. It’s been a long year after cross country season. But I sat down after the (Rio) Olympics and crafted a plan.. to race a few good events in the US, then came over to Europe. Now I want to go home and ski!”
UCI Women’s Elite World Cyclocross Championships Results:
1. Sanne Cant (Belgium) in 43:06
2. Marianne Vos (Netherlands) at 0:01
3. Katerina Nash (Czech Republic) at 0:21
4. Lucinda Brand (Netherlands)
5. Maghalie Rochette (Canada) at 0:36
6. Eva Lechner (Italy) at 0:53
7. Christine Majerus (Luxembourg) at 1:21
8. Ellen Van Loy (Belgium) at 1:25
9. Nikki Brammeier (Great Britain) at 1:31
10. Kaitlin Antonneau (United States Of America) at 1:46.
After the event, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announced that Katerina and Simon Zahner (Switzerland) were elected to represent cyclo-cross on the UCI Athletes' Commission after a vote held in Bieles, Luxembourg. Nash and Zahner were chosen from a field of nine candidates- five men and four women - by athletes participating in the UCI Elite World Championships. Nash and Zahner obtained 38,6% and 33% of the votes respectively.
The Clif Pro Team celebrated slightly, and now plan to reconvene at their annual spring photo camp, held in sunny northern California.
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