Miller sprinting to her victory as team owner. © LasalaImages.com

Miller sprinting to her victory as team owner. © LasalaImages.com

LAS VEGAS – Soon after the Wheelers and Dealers bicycle industry races came to a close at CLIF Bar CrossVegas, the women lined up beneath a large orange moon that looked like a much better representation for the fall days ahead than the day’s heat.

At the start, Gabby Durrin (Neon Velo) and Katie Compton (Trek Factory Racing) shot off the start line, with Durrin narrowly leading the large field as the women headed out to the rest of the course. Soon after, the riders squeezed single-file through the course, creating a long, serpentine pattern as they navigated the tight turns and chicanes.

Many of the well-known riders formed a group within a half-lap, with Wyman moving forward to ride with Compton and Durrin and joined by the likes of Elle Anderson (KDL Cycling (but in a Vanderkitten kit) and Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) at the front.

Helen Wyman led early but then suffered a mechanical and pulled out. © LasalaImages.com

Helen Wyman led early but then suffered a mechanical and pulled out. © LasalaImages.com

Halfway through the first lap,Wyman took the lead and attempted to create a gap. Within several minutes, though, Compton and Nash took over at the front and Wyman dropped far back in the lead group, possibly having spent too much too soon.

The leaders began shedding riders within the second lap until only Nash, Meredith Miller (Noosa), Compton, and Canadian National Champion, Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team), remained.

Pendrel took a spill on the short pavement descent section; she was alright and hoped back on her bike, but the mistake clearly cost her a chance at the win. “I felt super comfortable in the beginning,” she told us after the race, “and then I got in a crash even though I stayed near the back of the front pack. I had to do a lot of chasing to get back in the group. Then I slipped out on that paved corner, and that was it.”

Katerina Nash (Luna) leads Katie Compton (Trek Factory Racing) © MikeAlbright.com

Katerina Nash (Luna) leads Katie Compton (Trek Factory Racing) © MikeAlbright.com

Nash, Miller and Compton fought close with each other for the last half lap. Miller made a move although she went into the last turn in third, almost crashed with Compton, corrected, and beat Nash in the sprint to beat the defending champion at CrossVegas.

Compton led up the final rise but got outkicked by Miller and Nash. © Cyclocross Magazine

Compton led up the final rise but got outkicked by Miller and Nash. © Cyclocross Magazine

“I kept thinking in my head, I need to be first out of the course’s twisty stuff and into the sprint. Last year, in my smaller group, I went into the corner ahead and was able to beat the others for fourth. This year, I was third going into the corner, and I kept thinking ‘Crap, crap, crap.’ Then I came around Katie at one point and almost took myself out. Luckily I stayed upright, and luckily I didn’t take her out either. I’m glad I got to regain my composure and finish for the sprint.”

Meredith Miller is all smiles with her first win as a team owner and married woman. © Cyclocross Magazine

Meredith Miller is all smiles with her first win as a team owner and married woman. © Cyclocross Magazine

“If anybody told me that I would win tonight, I would have told them ‘no way, in your dreams.’ I told the marketing director after I won this past week that a local race and CrossVegas are two very different things [presumably to lower expectations]. But now I didn’t have to say that! It is pretty awesome.”

“The course has a great flow to it, but the grass is like Velcro, and demands a lot of power. Thankfully for me, that’s the kind of rider I am.”

Compton, Nash and Miller all took turns at the front. © Cyclocross Magazine

Compton, Nash and Miller all took turns at the front. © Cyclocross Magazine

Nash, who took second, admitted she would have liked to have made a few adjustments, including approaching the finish on Compton’s right instead of left, but she enjoyed the overall playing out of the race. Then, with her tongue firmly in her cheek, she said: “I’m glad the race came down to a sprint rather than me riding away for a win, I really did it for the fans.”

Katie Compton, who trailed Nash for third, liked this course much better than when she last raced it years ago. “The race is still very tactical,” she added. “I wish the sandpit was longer, but the course is still hard. I’m glad to be on the podium, and it was a good day even though it was hard.”

“We all took turns at the front,” she continued, “but the minute you attacked, you instantly regretted it since you felt like you were going backwards. No one could get away, so we kept the pace up to keep the group small and waited until the end to see how things would play out. The last few turns were all about blocking and making passes: it was an exciting day for us.”

Full results below photo gallery. See also the CrossVegas 2014 Men’s report and results.

2014 CrossVegas Women’s Race Photo Gallery:

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2014 CrossVegas Elite Women's Cyclocross Race Results

PlaceBibLAST FirstTeamCountryTime 
112MILLER MeredithNoosaUSA40:01
277NASH KaterinaLuna Pro TeamCZE40:01
37COMPTON KatherineTrek Factory RacingUSA40:01
410PENDREL CatharineLuna Pro TeamCAN40:23
532GOULD GeorgiaLuna Pro TeamUSA40:37
625LLOYD RachelCalifornia Giant CyclingUSA40:50
718MANI CarolineRaleigh ClementFRA40:57
838NAUMAN AmandaSdg-Bellwether Pb Krema PeanutUSA41:03
926ZAVETA EricaAmy D RacingUSA41:08
1023MAXIMENKO CassandraRare Vos / Vandessel / Power BaUSA41:14
1113DURRIN GabriellaNeon Velo Cycling TeamGBR41:15
1216ROCHETTE MaghalieLuna Pro TeamCAN41:25
139MCFADDEN CourtenayGecapital/American ClassicUSA41:37
1433EMMETT KelliGiant Factory Off Road TeamUSA41:48
1522ANDERSON ElleKDL CyclingUSA41:54
1647STETSON-LEE TealLuna Pro TeamUSA41:56
1721JACOBS LisaRapha-FocusAUS42:09
1820ANTHONY CrystalOptum P/B Kelly BenefitUSA42:17
1927CUTLER JessicaFcs|Cycling: P/B Zngine + Mr.USA42:25
208KEMMERER ArleyPb2 Pro CyclingUSA42:35
2114DYCK MicalStan's No TubesCAN43:02
2243BAUM NinaStan's No TubesUSA43:06
2330KACHOREK EmilySquidUSA43:08
2439G?MEZ CarolinaVanderkitten CxARG43:50
2561ZOLTON AndiNemesis RacingUSA44:16
2650WEBER KristinBoulder Cycle SportUSA44:26
2736LEE DianeGBR44:30
2862GOMEZ VILLAFANE SofiaFt Lewis CyclingUSA44:45
293ORTON Beth AnnTeam S&M/Sellwood Cycle RepairUSA45:00
3037GROSS RebeccaVanderkitten CxUSA45:16
3149BRANDT NicoleMichelob Ultra - La Grange +21USA45:22
3265ARNOLD KatieFirst Internet Bank Cycling TeaUSA45:43
3341BARCLAY VickiStan's No TubesGBR45:52
3415GODART SuzieTeam Differdange-LoschLUX46:04
3548DOBROZSI RachelRed Zone EliteUSA46:08
3657WOOD Heidi333Fab Cx Factory TeamUSA46:14
3744HUDSON LisaFeedbackUSA46:20
3867HOGAN KarenTeam KappiusUSA47:08
3953BARCHECK LizTeam Small BatchUSA47:08
4040SANTOS KatherineRed Zone EliteUSA47:18
4160KHARE MichelleDartmouthUSA47:19
4256GREEN MackenzieRed Zone EliteUSA47:32
4329HUNTER JulieSeavs/Haymarket Pb Van DesselUSA47:55
4463KONCZ NatalieNemesis RacingUSA48:07
4534KOROL MeghanDon Walker Cycles RacingUSA48:29
4658NORDHEM JenniferHudson Furniture/Cycling CrossUSA@1Lap
4751FERRO ShaneRockstar Games/Signature CyclesUSA@1Lap
4846CHANG KellyVoler/Hrs/Stevens Creek Bmw/RocUSA@1Lap
4954KERNICH GemmaFocus Bikes Australia/Port AdelAUS@2Lap
5055COOPER StaceUSA@2Lap
5164LUKAS SarahQuantum Mesa CyclesUSA@4Lap
DNF42WYMAN HelenKonaGBR
DNF31STACHER AllyAllys BarUSA
DNF66BLANDFORD JennaVo2USA
DNS59BRADLEY AmyAUS