Anthony Clark and Katerina Nash won day one of the UCI C2-rated West Sacramento Cyclocross on Saturday.

Anthony Clark (Squid Squad) won a two-up sprint against U.S. under-23 national champion Lance Haidet (Donnelly Sports) to win day one of the UCI C2-rated West Sacramento Cyclocross on Saturday in California.

“I worked really hard all summer and I just wanted to show people that I belong at World Cups, I belong at these races and I belong at the front, and it feels really good, all this hard work,” said Clark, who was hampered by a broken hand last season. “I can go home and tell (my son) Gavin all the good news, it makes me very happy. Everyone we raced against is getting so good darn good, so it makes me really proud to maybe beat these guys.”

Men Top-10

The 56-rider field shattered early on in the race and a lead group of eight, which included Clark, Haidet, Allen Krughoff (Krughoff Racing), Cody Kaiser (LangeTwins/Specialized) and Mark McConnell (Hot Sauce Cycling) among others, soon had a gap on the rest of field.

Clark attacked on lap two and only Haidet was able to follow. The pair quickly worked to establish a gap to the others. Clark would do most of the driving on the front and would rarely even let Haidet lead.

Haidet led out the sprint but was not able to hold off a motivated Clark who took the win. Krughoff soloed in for third more than a minute behind the leading duo.

“I felt really good today, and I felt really strong and the course fit me really well,” Clark said. “I saw it breaking up and I said, you know ‘Ant it’s just time to go.’ I felt really good out of every corner, I didn’t make one mistake today and hopping the barriers was really key. I knew that me and Lance had it once we got a gap of Allen. Lance was sitting up a lot when he would go to the front so Allen would close so I would just drill it harder and harder.”

Haidet noticed Clark’s strength during the race. “Anthony was strong, he was just riding the front, never really asked me to come through. I came through once and he just seemed to want to go harder. I let him do it. It was good.”

Nash continues winning ways

Katerina Nash (Clif Pro Team) was able to escape with two laps to go to take the win. Photo: Peloton Sports

Katerina Nash (Clif Pro Team) continued her winning ways to start the season in West Sacramento on Saturday after having also captured wins at the UCI Cyclocross World Cup in Iowa City and Cross Vegas. Courtenay McFadden (American Classic/Zones) rode to second in only her fifth race back after having hip surgery earlier this year.

The 31-rider women’s field got off to a blistering start and by the end of the opening lap a 12-rider lead group had been established. However, one lap later the front group was down to four riders with Nash leading. She followed by McFadden, Amanda Nauman (SDG-Muscle Monster) and Samantha Runnels (Squidbikes).

With two laps to go, Nash put the power down and shattered the lead group. “It was getting to the point of the race where everybody is a little bit tired so you just have to try a little attack here, there and see if it sticks, see where it could stick for the next laps,” Nash said. “You have to keep trying. And then I was able to get a little gap and from that point on, I was able to pin to the very end, Courtney was close.”

McFadden gave chase solo to take second place, crossing the line 12-seconds behind Nash. Naumann won the battle for third place over Runnels.

“I think it’s good for me to not be scared of her,” McFadden said of racing with and against Nash. “She’s amazing and I think it’s just good to attack and know ‘hey you can attack somebody who is really a world class racer and rider.’ It’s fun and it helps me learn to race, aside from just sitting on her wheel. Attack her and see if I can drop anyone else that’s with us and play around with racing.”

Women full results

Men full results