Carmine Small (Optum/Kelly Benefits) took the lead on the first climb as the ladies charged up the hill that lead to the top of the course. Although Nicole Duke (Raliegh/Clement) took the lead briefly it was Small who controlled the first lap until Georgia Gould (Luna) decided to make her move. Gould charged up to the bottom of the long stair section, and ran the stairs at full tilt. By the top of the stairs the gap had been established between Gould and a chasing Amanda Carey (Boise Volkswagen).
The chase group of Carey, Small, Amanda Miller (Optum/Kelly Benefits), Elle Anderson (LadiesFirst), and Pepper Harlton (Juventus), tried in vain to bring Gould back, but Gould was just to powerful, gaining nearly a minute on the group by the last lap. With Gould taking the win, Small won the battle for second with Elle Anderson taking third away from Amanda Carey at the line.
Ben Berden (Raliegh/Clement) remained on the attack after his win on Saturday at the Colorado Cross Classic, taking the lead up the hill on the first lap. By the time the group had come around to the backside of the course, Danny Summerhill (Chipotle Development) was at the front where he stayed for a couple of laps. But Berden and Tristan Schouten (Optum/Kelly Benefit) would not let him go, and a group of seven formed at the front with Mitch Hoke (Cliff Bar), Alex Candelario (Optum/Kelly Benefits), and teammates Driscoll and Trebon (Cannondale).
This group battled throughout the race, with the lead changing hands quite a few times. By the last couple of laps the group had been burned down to the two Cannondale riders Driscol and Trebon, and Summerhill. Summerhill attacked as he saw Driscoll come up on his wheel, but it didn’t stick, and the three came down to the line together, with Trebon taking the win in the sprint, leaving Summerhill in second and Driscoll in third.
Once again the Valmont Bike Park showed CX fans what a great venue the park is for top-level Cyclocross racing here in the US. It is the community effort and hundreds of volunteer hours that have enabled the park to become a reality. A big payoff will be the hosting of the US Cyclocross Nationals at Valmont Bike Park in 2014, so mark it on your calenders now!