Lars Van Der Haar nabs tight win CrossVegas, Katerina Nash takes women’s race
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lars Van Der Haar nabs tight win CrossVegas, Katerina Nash takes women’s race

by Shane Stokes at 11:03 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross, Race Reports and Results
Big crowd watches exciting competition

Lars van der HaarWinning an extremely tight three way sprint, under 23 world cyclocross champion Lars van der Haar (Rabobank) triumphed in the Elite men’s race at Cross Vegas.

He beat Christian Heule (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld) and Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) in the gallop, faring best despite some confusion at the end. “I have a pretty strong sprint.. It was amazing, I could not see the line so I wasn’t sure I won,” he said afterwards.

As expected, the pace was furious from the start and a group of 18 riders moved clear of the rest. An attack by Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) further reduced this to ten riders, namely Powers himself, Van der Haar and Rabobank team-mate Bart Aernouts, Heule plus Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld companions Tim Johnson and Jamey Driscoll, Peeters and his own teammate Bart Wellens, plus Ryan Trebon (LTS/Felt) and Todd Wells (Specialized).

A melee of attacks then followed as the riders present tried to whittle things down. Heule explained afterwards how important it was to get things right, tactically. “The strong riders keep going even if some attacks are happening and then you have the not-so-strong riders who lose a little gap and then they come back when the race becomes tactical at the front again.”

He said there was a good tactic to follow. “The thing is to see on which riders' wheel you can stay and which rider you have to pick when it is fast.”

The stalemate was broken when Driscoll got clear with three laps to go and opened a decent ten second lead. Wellens jumped across, but admitted afterwards that he had made his move too soon. “It was a little bit of 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 went alone with still three laps, [but] it was long, half lap too long.”

Reeled in on the last lap, jumps by other riders were unsuccessful in staying clear. Van der Haar said that everything played out perfectly, suiting his characteristics.

“When I saw Wellens get caught I was pretty far behind. I saw Peeters go and I thought I could never win,” he said. “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,” he smiled.

Katerina Nash triumphs again in Elite women’s race

Taking another CrossVegas title, Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) broke clear with team-mate Georgia Gould in the early past of the women’s race, then went on to reach the finish twelve seconds clear of closest rival Amy Dombroski (Crankbrothers Race Club) and thirteen ahead of Kelli Emmett (Giant Bicycles).

Katerina Nash“Georgia and I were working together keeping the gap,” she said afterwards. “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.”

Dombroski hoped to win the race but said she lost out tactically. “The two Luna girls took off and I was kind of caught off the back of the chase group…I guess it was Georgia that went and I totally didn't see that.

“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.”

Aside from her , Emmett, Gould, and Meredith Miller (CalGiant/ Specialized) were also battling it out for the runner-up slot. Gould’s early effort took its toll and she faded to fifth, twenty seconds back, but Dombroski felt good until the end.

“I know that I'm strong in that hill,” she said. “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 fully happen. I didn't know how close she was, I was just going as hard as I could.”

Third-placed Emmett said afterwards that she was feeling very good but had thought that Dombroski wasn’t as strong as she tuned out to be. In the end, the latter proved to be better, but it was a close race.

For winner Nash, the whole thing was a big experience for her. “CrossVegas has really become the classic of cyclocross. It’s great to win in front of so many enthusiastic people,” she said.


Cross Vegas, Elite men:

1, Lars van der Haar (Rabobank-Giant) 59 mins 4 secs
2, Christian Heule (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld)
3, Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea)
4, Jeremy Powers (Team Rapha-Focus)
5, Ryan Trebon (LTS-Felt)
6, Bart Aernouts (Rabobank-Giant)
7, Timothy Johnson (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld) all same time
8, Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) at 19 secs
9, James Driscoll (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld) at 21 secs
10, Todd Wells (Specialized Racing) at 1 min 34 secs
11, Zach McDonald (Team Rapha-Focus) at 1 min 39 secs
12, Ben Berden (Stoemper)
13, Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain 1 min 52 secs
14, Jonathan Page (Planetbike-Blue) at 2 mins 3 secs
15, Aaron Schooler (Team H&R Block) at 2 mins 7 secs
16, Yannick Eckmann (Pearlizumi-Shimano-Focus) at 2 mins 17 secs
17, Alex Howes (Chipotle Development Team) at 2 mins 41 secs
18, Allen Krughoff (Boulder Cycle Sport)
19, Fabio Ursi (C.S.Esercito) at 2 mins 50 secs
20, Justin Lindine ('s Garage) at 2 mins 52 secs
21, Tim Van Nuffel (DCM-GB Vorselaar) at 3 mins 2 secs
22, Travis Livermon (SmartStop-Mock Orange Bikes p/b Ridley) at 3 mins 42 secs
23, Ryan Knapp (Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross) at 3 mins 46 secs
24, Mitchell Hoke (Team Clif Bar) at 3 mins 47 secs
25, Craig Richey (Renner Custom - Raleigh) at 3 mins 54 secs
26, Russell Stevenson (Raleigh) at 3 mins 58 secs
27, Bernard Van Ulden (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda) at 4 mins 10 secs
28, Sean Babcock (Kona) at 4 mins 27 secs
29, Cody Kaiser (California Giant-Specialized) at 4 mins 43 secs
30, Adam Myerson (SmartStop-Mock Orange Bikes p/b Ridley) at 4 mins 44 secs

Elite women:

1, Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) 37 mins 42 secs
2, Amy Dombroski (Crankbrothers Race Club) at 12 secs
3, Kelli Emmett (Giant Bicycles) at 13 secs
4, Meredith Miller (California Giant-Specialized) at 17 secs
5, Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) at 20 secs
6, Lea Davison (Specialized Racing) at 1 min 38 secs
7, Chloe Forsman (Momentum Endurance) at 1 min 45 secs
8, Pepper Harlton (Juventus Cycling Club) at 1 min 51 secs
9, Joyce Vanderbeken (Cycling Team Vermeeren) at 1 min 56 secs
10, Teal Stetson-Lee (California Giant-Specialized) at 1 min 59 secs
11, Andrea Smith (Ladiesfirst Racing) at 2 mins 1 secs
12, Nicole Duke (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld) at 2 mins 2 secs
13, Katheryn Mattis (Bikes To Rwanda) at 2 mins 8 secs
14, Rebecca Blatt (Team Kenda-Silverbull) at 2 mins 13 secs
15, Mical Dyck (Pro City Racing) at 2 mins 30 secs
16, Rebecca Gross (Velo Bella) at 2 mins 32 secs
17, Susan Butler (River City Bicyles-Ridley) at 2 mins 33 secs
18, Katherine Sherwin (Notubes Elite Cyclocross Team) at 3 mins 1 secs
19, Jennifer Gaertner (Raleigh America) at 3 mins 6 secs
20, Allison Mann (Rock n' Road Cyclery) at 3 mins 20 secs
21, Katy Curtis (Cyclemeisters) at 3 mins 33 secs
22, Kari Studley (Mercy Cycling) at 3 mins 36 secs
23, Caroline Mani (CC Etupes) at 3 mins 37 secs
24, Marne Smiley (Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross) at 4 mins 14 secs
25, Kelsy Bingham (Roosters-Bikers Edge) at 4 mins 24 secs
26, Emily Shields (SmartStop-Mock Orange Bikes p/b Ridley)
27, Meghan Korol (Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross) at 4 mins 27 secs
28, Linda Sone (Cycle-Smart)
29, Nina Baum () at 4 mins 28 secs
30, Katherine Shields (SmartStop-Mock Orange Bikes p/b Ridley) at 4 mins 31 secs



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