by Philip Beckman
Pro cyclocross racing returned to Los Angeles this weekend, for the first time at the Greek Theater in Griffith Park. Day 1 of CXLA was conducted under blue skies and dry, short-sleeve conditions on a 2.5km course featuring considerable climbing and enough technical trickiness to keep even the most savvy bike handlers on their toes.
Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) wasted little time jumping to the fore of the 20-rider UCI Elite Women’s field and was never headed in the 45-minute foray. At the conclusion of her six laps, Nash had more than a minute on Amanda Miller (Boulder Cycle Sport/YogaGlo), who had gapped Courtenay McFadden (GE Capital/American Classic). Nicole Duke (Marin Bikes/Spy) and Emily Kachorek (Squid) rounded out the podium.
Jamie Driscoll (Raleigh/Clement) escaped a group of six that had formed at the front of the UCI Elite Men’s race around the halfway point of that hour-long event. Two laps later he was able to climb away to a solo lead on the course’s longest, hardest ascent. Adam Craig (Giant Factory Off-Road Team) and Ben Berden (Raleigh/Clement) got the better of Shawn Milne (Boulder Cycle Sport/YogaGlo) to form the final chase group. Craig dropped Berden on the final lap, but both were well behind Driscoll, who cruised in with a 20-second cushion. Milne held on for fourth, with Cody Kaiser (LangeTwins/Specialized) completing the top five.
Saturday at CXLA also included a UCI-point-scoring Junior 17-18 event, captured by Liam Dunn (Clif Bar Development CX Team). Brannan Fix was runner-up, followed by Eric Brunner.
UCI Elite Women:
1. Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team)
2. Amanda Miller (Boulder Cycle Sport/YogaGlo)
3. Courtenay McFadden (GE Capital/American Classic)
4. Nicole Duke (Marin Bikes/Spy)
5. Emily Kachorek (Squid)
6. Carolina Gomez Villafane (Vanderkitten CX)
7. Beth Ann Orton (Team S&M Sellwood Cycle Repair)
8. Amanda Nauman (SDG/Bellwether/Krema Peanut Butter)
9. Caroline Dezendorf (Marin Bikes)
10. Ellen Sherrill (RockLobster Cyclocross)
UCI Elite Men:
1. Jamie Driscoll (Raleigh/Clement)
2. Adam Craig (Giant Factory Off-Road Team)
3. Ben Berden (Raleigh/Clement)
4. Shawn Milne (Boulder Cycle Sport/YogaGlo)
6. Tobin Ortenblad (California Giant/Specialized)
7. Michael van den Ham (Trek Red Truck Racing)
8. Zach McDonald (Cyclocross Project 2015)
9. Carl Decker (Giant Factory Off-Road Team)
10. Craig Richey (Trek Red Truck Racing)