Lap after lap, prime after prime, Megan Guarnier dominated 90 percent of Sunday's Women's Pro 1/2/3 race at the 50th annual Nevada City Classic.
But when it came down to crunch time, the Team Tibco cyclist - fresh off claiming the overall title at the Tour de Nez at Northstar at Tahoe Saturday - could not hold off a Nevada County resident rider who trains on the terrain surrounding her Truckee home.
Luna Pro team rider Katerina Nash came on strong to take the Nevada City crown in her second ride at Nevada City, following up on her victory in the final stage of the Tour de Nez, which earned Nash second place overall.
"I really enjoy Nevada City," she said. "I've come here for the (Victorian) Christmas festival, too.
"This is one of the most attended races I'll do this year and I think the town embraces the race very well."
Nash, originally from the Czech Republic, is a three-time Olympian and a national cyclocross champion. She also has earned podium spots in world cup mountain bike racing, which is her top priority these days.
The 30-year-old Nash plans to be back at the Downieville Classic July 9-11, where she won the cross country pro women's race in 2009.
"I had a little break from the mountain bike calendar, so I've been doing some road racing," Nash said. "I'll probably go pre-riding Downieville in the next couple of weeks. I'm excited to get back on my mountain bike."
In its first race since being christened as the "Charlie Allert Category 3" pro race, for the man who organized the first Nevada City Classic 50 years, ago, the Cat 3 competition got off to a start with a bit local flavor.
Nevada City's own Nate Byrom led the first lap, drawing a large ovation as he crossed the Broad Street start/finish line. Byrom went on to finish seventh overall.
Scot Ferguson of the Reno Wheelman won the race, dominating the field to the point there was little question who was going to claim the title. Whole Athlete's Carl Hesselein was second, while Joe Dickerson, riding unattached, was third.
Dan Martin of the Safeway/Bicycles Plus team pulled away from the field late and didn't look back at winning the Masters race in its first year of being named for Jim Rogers, a beloved local cyclist killed earlier this year when he was struck by a car while riding his bicycle.
Martin had some help from teammate Jeff Angermann, who finished fifth in the 35-and-over race. Mattew Ream of Kinetic Cycles was second and Morgan Stanley's Christopher Phipps finished third.
In the 45-and-over division, a pair of the Echelon Gran Fondo team members took first and second place. Cale Reeder finished first with teammate Michael Pugh second. Gerald Roberts of Team Bicycles Plus finished third.
Lawrence Nolan from Team Specialized finished fourth, while Nevada City's Sierra Express Racing Team's Craig Lindberg took fifth place in the division.
Eamon Lucas said is well aware of the long history of the Nevada City Classic, despite being just 17 years old. And the member of Team Specialized's developmental program was pleased to join the impressive list of winners here as he sped away with the Ron Miller Junior Grand Prix title.
"It just feels awesome to be part of it," said Lucas, who hails from Pacific Grove. "I'm glad that I can say I've won one of the races here now.
"Last year I finished eighth, so top 10 is a good result. But I came back and had a goal this year, and I nailed it. It was just a great race with great racing and great teamwork."
Ben Gabardi of Herring Gas Cycling was second in the 17-18 division, while Andrew Ramage of Southern California Velo was third.
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