Katerian Nash dominated the competition at the Mercer Cup USGP © Tom Olesnevich

Katerian Nash dominated the competition at the Mercer Cup USGP © Tom Olesnevich

by Jason Elhardt

(West Windsor, NJ)- Katerina Nash (Luna Chix) proved to be too much for the competition today in the third stop of the US Grand Prix of Cyclocross series in Mercer County, New Jersey.  Like Tropical storm Ida that left mud and slick conditions up and down the Atlantic coast, Nash devastated the competition today with a solo win over teammate Georgia Gould.  Current U.S. Road Champion, Meredith Miller (California Giant/Specialized) was the surprise of the day finishing a well-deserved third.

While Nash’s victory extended her lead in the USGP series, it may also have been a glimpse of what’s to come when Nash returns to her Native Czech Republic in January for the UCI World Championships.

From the gun, it was Canadian National Champion Alison Sydor (Maxxis/Rocky Monuntain) who stormed off the second row to take the hole-shot with Amy Dombroski (Shlamm/Primus Mootry) second and Nash starting in third. But, with fleeting grip and mud collecting on the bikes, momentum and handling were sure to play a hand early on in the race.  As others bobbled and missed, Nash quickly made her move and never looked back.

After the first run section, Nash already had a ten second lead.  Sydor came next followed by Natasha Elliott (Garneau Club/Chaussure Ogilvy), Maureen Bruno Roy (MM Racing/Seven Cycles) and Alison Dunlap (Luna Chix).  But Gould and Miller were on the move.  By the end of the first lap, Nash was on her own, nearly 50 seconds ahead of Gould, Miller and Dunlap.

Nash continued rocking the bike through sections that most chose to run, extending her lead through each section of the course.  Miller continued to power her way to within reach of Gould but the technical riding was clearly to Gould’s advantage and by the half way point, Gould was clear of Miller and focused on limiting her losses.  Back in fourth, Alison Dunlap continued to pressure Miller from behind.

Further back, Kelli Emmett (Giant) and Bruno Roy were trading jabs and swapping places until a late, last lap effort put Bruno Roy into the fifth spot for good with Emmett settling for sixth.  Amy Dombrowski (Richard Sachs-RGM Watches-Radix), Deidre Winfield (Athletes Serving Athletes), Sue Butler (Monavie-Cannondale) and Alison Sydor finished out the top ten.

The racing continues tomorrow in round six of the USGP series where Nash will hope to continue her winning ways under what promises to be improving weather and course conditions.

Photo Gallery:


1KaterinaNashLuna Pro Team
2GeorgiaGouldLUNA Pro Team
3MeredithMillerCalifornia Giant/Specialized
4AlisonDunlapLUNA Pro Team
5MaureenBruno RoyMM Racing p/b Seven Cycles
6KelliEmmettGiant Bicycles
7AmyDombroskiRichard Sachs-RGM Watches-Radix
8DeidreWinfieldC3 – Athletes Serving Athletes
10AlisonSydorTeam Maxxis-Rocky Mountain
11LauraVan GilderC3 Sollay
12LindaSonePlanet Bike
13KariStudleyVelo Bella
14KaitlinAntonneauPlanet Bike
16AndreaSmithMinuteman Road Club
17KristinGavinPabst Blue Ribbon
18AnnaMilkowskiBikeReg.com / Joe’s Garage / IF
19KristinWentworthPlanet Bike
21LinneaKoonsOctober Factory Racing
23NicoleThiemannPabst Blue Ribbon
24LauriWebberSecret Henry’s Team
25JenniferMaxwellATAC Sportswear p/b Bike Rack DC
26ArleyKemmererHub Racing
27KristineChurchHuman Zoom/ Pabst Blue Ribbon
28BethMasonVerge Sport – Test Pilot
29AmyBreylaC3 – Athletes Serving Athletes
30ElizabethSheldonT.E.A.M. Fuji
31AnnD’AmbruosoMinuteman Road Club