Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sea Otter Classic Women's Short Track Report, Results, and Photos

In the women's event all eyes were on the LUNA women's mountain bike team to continue their winning ways. LUNA has dominated women's mountain biking, especially Short Track and with the return of Katerina Nash the Short Track specialist it seemed today would be no different.

Indeed, a fast start saw the LUNA women's team send two riders to the front group, Georgia Gould and Catherine Pendrel. Today however, they weren’t on their own. Heather Irmiger (Subaru/Gary Fisher), Emily Batty (Trek), and Norwegian Lene Byberg (Specialized) were all in the lead group. These five riders would stay together throughout the entire race. All taking turns at the lead, all pushing the pace.

At about the halfway point Byberg put in an attack that saw her move solo into the lead. After one lap the chase group had closed the gap. The bunch regrouped and rode the next several laps wheel to wheel until Pendrel attacked with just three laps remaining.

In a move that seemed right out of the LUNA playbook, Pendrel quickly opened a gap to 10 seconds over the chasers. The pace was high behind the LUNA rider but she maintained her slim margin and it seemed she would stay clear to the finish.

The chasers weren’t about the throw in the towel. Byberg, Irmiger, and Batty picked up the pace on the final lap as Gould laid back unwilling to chase her teammate. The chase group got closer and when Pendrel was in sight just before the climb on the final lap Batty exploded.

She quickly closed the gap to the leader and immediately went on the attack. Moving around Pendrel and into the lead. She charged up the final climb and stayed on the gas all the way to the finish.

Byberg overtook Pendrel to finish in second; the LUNA rider Pendrel would come home in third. Irmiger stayed strong and finished in 4th followed by Georgia Gould.

1. Emily Batty (Trek)
2. Lene Byberg (Specialized)
3. Cathrine Pendrel (LUNA)
4. Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Gary Fisher)
5. Georgia Gould (Luna)
6. Kelli Emmett (Giant)
7. Willow Koerber (Subaru/Gary Fisher)
8. Katernia Nash (LUNA)
9. Melanie McQuaid (Sho-Air/Specialized)
10.Jenna Rinehart (Specialized)

Full Results Here

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