Full 2016 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championship coverage can be found right here.

The age group race reports are brought to you in part by Verge Sport.

#CXNats race reports from Wed-Saturday are brought to you in part by Verge Sport.

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.

Melissa Barker fought a great battle to win the Masters Women 40-44 race, 2016 Cyclocross National Championships. © Cyclocross Magazine

Melissa Barker fought a great battle to win the Masters Women 40-44 race, 2016 Cyclocross National Championships. © Cyclocross Magazine

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

1Melissa BARKEREvol Elite Racing37:25.
2Sally ANNISPedal Power Team-MA37:27.
3Christina GOKEY-SMITHDallas Bike Works CX37:33.
4Jennifer NOWLINPower Fix CX39:00.
5Jane BURLEW39:07.
6Kristin WEBERBoulder Cycle Sport/ YogaGlo39:35.
7Joanne GROGANNEXT-BMB40:01.
8Paula BURKSPeachtree Bikes40:29.
9Kristal BONIRapid Racing40:59.
10Monica LLOYDOlympia Orthopaedic Associates41:02.
11Elli SIGMONDTeam Dayton Bicycling41:47.
12Lisa HUDSONFeedback Sports Racing41:52.
13Jauron VETTERState 9 Racing42:16.
14Shannon GREENHILL42:32.
15Leslie ROBINSONSunapee Racing Team43:03.
16Hollie MCGOVERNCalNorte VC Switchbacks43:11.
17Angelina STEVENSHappy Tooth Womens Racing43:34.
18Kimberly FLYNN43:38.
19Deb Sweeney WHITMOREGreenlife-Organic Valley p/b Hi44:01.
20Abigail WALKERIndustry Nine Cycling Team p/b44:18.
21Laura WEBBVeloFemme p/b Litzler44:23.
22Erin MASCELLISRAM Factory45:01.
23Tracy JONES MARTINBayou City Racing45:31.
24Evie EDWARDSSpokesWomen Syndicate Inc.45:31.
25Lina DZEKCIORIUS45:33.
26Marina LEPIKHINATough Girl Cycling46:43.
27Greta HAGGSTROMEvolution Jr. Devo Team47:00.
28Katie MACARELLIFeedback Sports Racing47:07.
29Jessica WHITONxXx Racing47:43.
30Sherri NEVIUSEvolution Jr. Devo Team48:41.
31Tammy WILSON49:12.
32Hope Ann SNYDER WALSHCycletherapy/Ride Fast Gear49:26.
33Angelia FICKArrow Racing39:31.
34Sabina OLENCHOCKLamprey Systems40:28.
35Erin CONNERTeam Sticky Fingers41:34.
36Trish ALBERTSorella Cycling p/b Hincapie Sp28:52.

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