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Sacramento ‘cross GP: Nash wins again; Haidet’s maiden victory

Two days of cyclocross racing in Sacramento, California wrapped up Sunday with seasoned veteran Katerina Nash winning the women’s race while up-and-comer Lance Haidet took his first UCI elite win.

Windy conditions at the West Sacramento Cyclocross Grand Prix provoked an early split in the women’s race with five riders going clear: Nash, Courtenay McFadden (American Classic/Zones), Amanda Naumann (SDG-Muscle Monster), Samantha Runnels (Squidbikes), and Clara Honsinger (Team S&M CX).

Nash attacked with less than two laps to race. McFadden followed but was dropped by the final lap, leaving the Czech to ride alone to victory. Naumann finished third behind McFadden.

“It was a super windy today so it’s nice to have a little bigger group going for the first part of the race,” said Nash. “I guess the goal is trying not to get away and have four people working together [to chase]. Luckily that didn’t happen and everybody was fighting the wind by themselves for the last few laps so it stayed consistent. It was fun and it was a really good weekend of racing.”

Similar to the women’s race, five riders went clear in the men’s race after the first two laps. Haidet, Anthony Clark (Squid Squad), Allen Krughoff (Krughoff Racing), Cody Kaiser (LangeTwins/Specialized), and Carl Decker (Giant Factory Off Road) formed the lead group.

Clark, winner of Saturday’s race in Sacramento, rode at the front of the group for most of the race. “Anthony [Clark] is really strong,” Krughoff said. “It’s actually a lot of work behind him because out of every corner you have to sprint to catch up to him. Catch-22 if you want to be behind Anthony and surge in the corners and get a draft or not.”

Haidet dropped Kaiser and Decker with an attack in the final two laps. Though he tried attacking again, the race came down to a three-man sprint, which the under-23 U.S. champion won by inches ahead of Krughoff. Clark was third.

“I’ve been on the [elite] podium twice including yesterday so it feels really good to break through and get that win,” said Haidet of his first elite victory.

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