Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) and Jamie Driscoll (Raleigh-Clement) each claimed solo victories at the first day of CXLA in Los Angeles, the only UCI-level cyclocross weekend in California this season.
Pro ‘cross action kicked off Saturday at the Greek Theater in Griffith Park, a new venue for CXLA. Classic California blue skies and dry, short-sleeve conditions greeted the racers as they took on a 2.5km course featuring considerable climbing and enough technical trickiness to keep even the most savvy bike handlers on their toes.
Nash wasted little time jumping to the front of the 20-rider UCI elite women’s field and was never caught in the 45-minute race. At the finish, the Czech Olympian had more than a minute lead over 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 in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Driscoll escaped a lead group of six that 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) 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-categorized Junior 17-18 event, won by Liam Dunn (Clif Bar Development CX Team). Brannan Fix was runner-up, followed by Eric Brunner.