ASHEVILLE, North Carolina—In a heated battle for the front of the race, Melissa Barker (Evol Elite Racing) overcame a late-race crash to take the win just ahead of Sally Annis (Pedal Power Team-MA) and Christina Gokey-Smith (Dallas Bike Works CX).
From the start, Barker, last year’s silver medalist, Annis and Gokey-Smith, who rode to fifth place in Austin, rode hip to hip changing positions but none letting any other have a gap of more than a few feet. Gokey-Smith led the race briefly as they blasted down the Kask flyover but by the end of the first circuit it was Barker in the lead with Annis and Gokey-Smith latched on.
Behind them Jennifer Nowlin (Power Fix CCX) chased alone in fourth and further back, last year’s winner, Kristin Weber (Boulder Cycle Sport/YogaGlo) sat in sixth, frustratingly close to the final podium spot behind Jane Burlew in fifth.
Half way into the race Weber looked to be closing in on Burlew, but slipped on the off camber heading to the top of the course before the barn and lost precious seconds.
At two to go it seemed like it was Annis’ race. Annis attacked Barker on the finishing straight and was looking strong. And later in the lap, Barker crashed, seemingly giving Annis a solid advantage.
That though was neutralized by Annis’ own fall at the bottom of a drop off just ahead of where Barker fell. While Barker nearly fell again later, she was able to recover and take charge of the race again, this time for good.
Barker stretched it out over the flyover descent and held off Annis at the finale. Gokey-Smith nearly closed in on the lead pair but had to settle for third this year.
2016 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships Women's 40-44 Full Results
|1||Melissa BARKER||Evol Elite Racing||37:25.|
|2||Sally ANNIS||Pedal Power Team-MA||37:27.|
|3||Christina GOKEY-SMITH||Dallas Bike Works CX||37:33.|
|4||Jennifer NOWLIN||Power Fix CX||39:00.|
|6||Kristin WEBER||Boulder Cycle Sport/ YogaGlo||39:35.|
|8||Paula BURKS||Peachtree Bikes||40:29.|
|9||Kristal BONI||Rapid Racing||40:59.|
|10||Monica LLOYD||Olympia Orthopaedic Associates||41:02.|
|11||Elli SIGMOND||Team Dayton Bicycling||41:47.|
|12||Lisa HUDSON||Feedback Sports Racing||41:52.|
|13||Jauron VETTER||State 9 Racing||42:16.|
|15||Leslie ROBINSON||Sunapee Racing Team||43:03.|
|16||Hollie MCGOVERN||CalNorte VC Switchbacks||43:11.|
|17||Angelina STEVENS||Happy Tooth Womens Racing||43:34.|
|19||Deb Sweeney WHITMORE||Greenlife-Organic Valley p/b Hi||44:01.|
|20||Abigail WALKER||Industry Nine Cycling Team p/b||44:18.|
|21||Laura WEBB||VeloFemme p/b Litzler||44:23.|
|22||Erin MASCELLI||SRAM Factory||45:01.|
|23||Tracy JONES MARTIN||Bayou City Racing||45:31.|
|24||Evie EDWARDS||SpokesWomen Syndicate Inc.||45:31.|
|26||Marina LEPIKHINA||Tough Girl Cycling||46:43.|
|27||Greta HAGGSTROM||Evolution Jr. Devo Team||47:00.|
|28||Katie MACARELLI||Feedback Sports Racing||47:07.|
|29||Jessica WHITON||xXx Racing||47:43.|
|30||Sherri NEVIUS||Evolution Jr. Devo Team||48:41.|
|32||Hope Ann SNYDER WALSH||Cycletherapy/Ride Fast Gear||49:26.|
|33||Angelia FICK||Arrow Racing||39:31.|
|34||Sabina OLENCHOCK||Lamprey Systems||40:28.|
|35||Erin CONNER||Team Sticky Fingers||41:34.|
|36||Trish ALBERT||Sorella Cycling p/b Hincapie Sp||28:52.|