Pro Team Race Reports
Katerina Nash wins her first XC World Cup!

Mt St Anne, Canada (August 10, 2013)

Katerina Nash won her career first UCI world cup cross country in Mt St Anne, Canada, waiting for just the right moment in just the right place to attack the leaders. Catharine Pendrel came back strongly from a collarbone injury to finish in 8th place. Georgia Gould notched off a 15th and Teal Stetson Lee was 29th in her very first world cup. These great results have catapulted the LUNA Pro Team into the number one position in world cup rankings.

Katerina remarked later that she has been racing here for over 10 years, and knows every little rock, every root. This course is a technical rider’s playground, and Nash’s lifetime of ski and mountain bike racing paid off on every difficult downhill. Nash also just came off a big double win at the Downieville Classic, and this seemed to help her confidence.

Wearing rainbow stripes on white, Julie Bresett charged the field early on, building up to a 36 second lead halfway into the race. Behind her, Katerina had joined Eva Lechner, Tanja Zakelj and Maja Wloszcowska and the foursome began to work together into strong headwinds to reduce Bresset’s gap.

Choosing her Orbea Alma with 29” Shimano wheels, Katerina pushed the pace of the chase group, eventually sandwiching herself between two riders in white as she moved into second place. Meanwhile, LUNA Pro teammate Catharine steadily moved up into 9th place, after a conservative start.

In the fourth of six laps the four time Olympian whittled Bresset’s lead down to 12 seconds, stalking her from the switchback below on the biggest and most critical climb. Finally, the chasers caught Bresset, and Wloszczowska even passed to take the lead.

With a lap and a half to go, Katerina attacked perfectly on that same critical switchback climb, passing Wloszczowska in the slow lane like she was standing still. This psychological disadvantage caused Wloszcowska to make a crucial mistake to dab, giving up the race.

From here, Katerina simply hammered the last half lap, riding decidedly clean and aggressive lines to cross the tape for her first world cup win.

Katerina told Red Bull TV, “I’m 35 and I finally did it! I’m super excited, rode a good clean race and waited for last moment to get away. I’ve raced here so many times, I’ve touched every rock and root, and flatted on every possible section on this course. This was my first time racing the Alma 29er (hard tail), just trying new wheel sizes… I finally did it and that’s what matters. To celebrate my win? I’m not drinking after world cups anymore, but will break that rule tonight!!”

At the previous world cup, Nash took second on the Orbea Alma 26” wheeled hard tail, and before that was runner-up on a full suspension rig. One of the more adventurous athletes on the circuit, Katerina mentioned that she was just trying different bikes to figure out which would work best, and which best matched to the course.

Teal Stetson Lee rode well enjoying her career first world cup, but unfortunately got pulled from the race as per UCI rules to avoid interference with lapping race leaders.

Later Teal said, “I was mostly just thrilled to be a part of it all, especially for Katerina's first World Cup win. Mount St. Anne was my first World Cup with Luna and I loved the technical challenging course and I also had a blast to riding a World Cup with all of my teammates.”

“I started on the last row and was trapped in traffic for the first two laps then did my best to move up a few spots. I ended up getting pulled after five laps just in time to turn around and see Katerina pop out of the woods in the lead with a huge gap heading into the finish line. I was ecstatic!!!”

Mt St Anne is one of the classic world cup venues, with the extensive trail systems and storied theme parties that even loosen the lycra of the most dedicated endurance racers.

Final Results:
1 Katerina Nash 1:30:27
2 Maja Wloszczowska 0:17
3 Tanja Zakelj 0:24
4 Julie Bresset 0:48
5 Lea Davison 1:21
8 Catharine Pendrel 3:33
15 Georgia Gould 6:49
29 Teal Stetson Lee -1 lap

Now the Truckee, CA resident is sitting second overall in the world cup rankings, and even changed her plans so she can race the finals. Pendrel moves from 11th to eighth in the standings, tied with Emily Batty on points. The LUNA Pro Team has moved into the number one spot, in the world cup rankings.

Next up for the cross country pros (Gould, Nash, and Pendrel) is the World Championships in Pietermaritzburg, Africa on August 25th.

– by LUNA on 2013/08/12