Cyclocross superstars Katerina Nash (Luna Pro) and Danny Summerhill (Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin U23) continued to demonstrate their depth of talent by backing up their stellar 2009 cyclocross results with impressive rides on the road this past weekend.
Even though summer only technically kicked off a couple of days ago, we’re already midway through the “summer” race season, aka the cyclocross off-season. That’s good news on two fronts: we can begin counting the days until we toe the line for our first attempt at a holeshot, and top ’crossers are continuing to light up the leader boards, both in Europe and domestically in their lesser pursuits, such as road and mountain bike racing. Nash, Summerhill and Jonathan Baker (Groove Subaru) were among the big result-getters in North America this past weekend.
On Saturday, Nash showed that her good winter fitness remains on track as she attacked the field late in the Tour de Nez’s final stage, a hilly circuit race at the Northstar at Tahoe ski resort in Truckee, California. Nash joined overall race leader Megan Guarnier (Team Tibco) and stage two winner Jane Holcomb in the decisive breakaway before pulling away for the solo victory in the final lap of her hometown race.
Also of note, Master Mens 35+ US national champion Jonathan Baker put together consistently good rides throughout the Tour de Nez, including a victory in the opening prologue, to take the overall omnium victory.
On Sunday, Nash continued her impressive road escapades with a similar story in the Nevada City Classic. After getting into another mid-race breakaway with Guarnier, Nash, whose climbing prowess proved the difference, followed the previous day’s script and attacked in the last lap to solo in for the win.
Nash, whose primary focus is typically the mountain bike, showed what she’s capable of on a ‘cross course last year when she honed in on a run at the World Championship title. Although she just missed a podium spot in Tabor, she was one of the top racers all season long in the US scene, took the Czech national title and capped off her season with an impressive World Cup win in Roubaix.
On the East Coast – of Canada, that is – U23 US national cyclocross champion Danny Summerhill got into the decisive breakaway of Stage 1 with eventual stage winner Rafael Serrano Fernandez (Heraklio-Murcia), among others, before eventually fading back to the peloton. By the time he’d fallen off of the Spaniard’s pace, Summerhill was able to rack up consistent King of the Mountain points during the stage and slot into third place in that competition.
After claiming sixth in the group gallop to the finish of Stage 2, Summerhill went back to work on the KOM title. He nabbed a couple of points on Stage 3, but it was courtesy of a long breakaway on Stage 5, in which he won all three of the KOM sprints that he was able to take command of that competition – a margin he maintained through the end of the stage race.