by Phillip Beckman
It’s not often that pro cyclocross riders get to work on their tans between race days. Then again, it’s not often that pro ’cross racers get to collect their pay and UCI points in SoCal. Day 2 of CXLA was another day in paradise for those who elected to head southwest this weekend; a warm, dry, dusty and sometimes wildly gusty day at the famed Greek Theatre in Griffith Park. Sunday in the heart of the country’s second largest city was in many ways much like the day before. Some of the obstacles on this climb-heavy 2.5km course were moved, some were rearranged, traction was diminished, but it made little difference to the big winners.
The highly decorated Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) produced a Hollywood sequel by charging past early leaders Courtenay McFadden (GE Capital/American Classic), Amanda Miller (Boulder Cycle Sport/YogaGlo) and Nicole Duke (Marin Bikes/Spy) on the second of six laps and then riding into the sunset. Just like the day before, the four-time Olympian and World Cup winner built on her lead every time around to eventually win by 42 seconds. The rest of the Elite Women’s field was spread out all over the park, with McFadden holding on for second, Miller third at one minute, Duke fourth and local heroine Amanda Nauman (SDG/Bellwether/Krema Peanut Butter) rounding out the podium.
In the Men’s Elite event, Saturday winner Jamey Driscoll (Raleigh/Clement) appeared to be a box-office bust after completing the first lap in eighth place with a very uncomfortable look on his face. Adam Craig (Giant Factory Off-Road Team), meanwhile, sporting a stylish Tom Sellick-like ‘stache, looked ready to improve his previous day’s runner-up position by moving into the spotlight alone for for several laps. But Belgian transplant Ben Berden was having none of that, chasing down and then capturing Craig at the halfway mark.
Third at this point was—plot twist!—Driscoll. He had found his legs and with four to go and had clawed his way not only into the picture, but to the top of the credits. Like Nash, once at the fore he was smoothly and decisively gone. Unlike the day prior, this time Berden was able to turn the tables on Craig for second at 36 seconds. Craig’s teammate Carl Decker scored a podium in fourth, with Zach McDonald (Cyclocross Project 2015) completing the final scene.
Sunday’s Junior 17-18 UCI event had Bear Development Team’s Lance Haidet escaping breakaway partner Brennan Fix (Boo Bicycles/TrainingPeaks) on the last lap. Third went to Saturday’s winner, Liam Dunn (Clif Bar Development CX Team).
UCI Elite Women:
1. Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team)
2. Courtenay McFadden (GE Capital/American Classic)
3. Amanda Miller (Boulder Cycle Sport/YogaGlo)
4. Nicole Duke (Marin Bikes/Spy)
5. Amanda Nauman (SDG/Bellwether/Krema Peanut Butter)
6. Emily Kachorek (Squid)
7. Carolina Gomez Villafane (Vanderkitten CX)
8. Beth Ann Orton (Team S&M Sellwood Cycle Repair)
9. Lauren Rathbun (Raleigh/Clement)
10. Caroline Dezendorf (Marin Bikes)
UCI Elite Men:
1. James Driscoll (Raleigh/Clement)
2. Ben Berden (Raleigh/Clement)
3. Adam Craig (Giant Factory Off-Road Team)
4. Carl Decker (Giant Factory Off-Road Team)
5. Zach McDonald (Cyclocross Project 2015)
6. Michael van den Ham (Trek Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Home)
7. Cody Kaiser (LangeTwins/Specialized)
8. Shawn Milne (Boulder Cycle Sport/YogaGlo)
9. Craig Richey (Trek Red Truck Racing)
10. Kevin Bradford-Parrish (SET Coaching/Specialized)