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Julie, Nicole, Meredith and Katie…
Two weeks ago in Boulder, Colorado the Women's categories were just as hotly contested as the men, especially since they have to work a little harder for their prize money (the second day's cash for the ladies was boosted by the days wine sales, but only for the ladies.) These races in Boulder (Colorado Classic & the Boulder Cup) were also the entrance onto the US Racing scene for our lady in the candystriped Team Rapha-FOCUS kit — Julie Krasniak. Julie had the chance to meet and match her competition a week earlier in the Czech Republic at the World Cup in Tabor.
However, this was to be her first weekend of racing on US soil. And while this will be Julie's first official cyclocross racing season she had her chance in both the Czech Republic and the Republic of Colorado to go up against some of the best Women's racing in the world. She had a rough day the first day and crashed hard when the course tape blew out and hooked her handlebars. The second day she put up a fierce fight with the women of Cyclocross for a close 5th behind Meredith Miller. Take a look at a few of her contemporaries as she battles the Women's fields this year.
JULIE KRASNIAK (KrasniakJulie)
With a solid background in both Road and Mountain Biking (or as they say in France "VTT!") Julie has both the engine as well as the skills to tackle any course out there. Her relatively late start to the season will give her a rested edge at the days get shorter and shorter. However, when we say "late start" it should be noted that her representation at the Road World Championships was the main reason that she did not get out her Rapha-FOCUS Mares cyclocross bike. Look for good things as she continues to refine her skills and work her way to the front of the Women's field.
NICOLE DUKE (NicoleDukeNow)
Nicole's background in Downhill racing has taught her what it is like to deal with pain. Pain from broken bones (she came back from a broken pelvis one season) to an early season hand injury that has left her with severely swollen knuckles that barely shift and brake when necessary. All of this is would prepare her to deal with that other familiar pain, the 45 minute kind that comes with racing cyclocross. This is her first year with a big support deal racing with the Cannondale presented by Cyclocross World Team and she has already called it out on Twitter that she has chosen Julie Krasniak as her #CXclash nemesis, so look for the friendly sparks to fly between these two as the season progresses and they meet up once again in Louisville, Kentucky for the Derby City Cup USGP next weekend.
MEREDITH MILLER (MMCyclist)
Speaking of competitors — Meredith Miller of Specialized Cal Giant is one of the best. Not only does she race on the road as well, but she has traveled the world doing just that, racing her bicycle. "Hometown Hero" status should be given to Meredith (and Nicole too) for coming out to hash it out at the Boulder Cup on Sunday. She had a slow start, but used her fitness to pick her way back to the front of the field in about two or three laps, along the way picking up our gal Krasniak. The two of them made quick work of Portland's own Sue Butler and went into the final straightaway neck and neck. Which is where Miller unleashed the full fury of her sprint to finish 4th on the day. From there she moved on to the 3 days of racing in Cincinnati this past weekend taking 2nd to Katie Compton on two of the three days.
KATIE COMPTON (Katiefncompton)
Now here's one to watch out for. And by watch out I mean Watch Out! Compton made quick work of the Women's field (after Nicole Duke's inspiring first lap that lead spectators around the course to comment "is this going to be the day??") Her style is more power than anything else and power through the Boulder Cup is what she did. Katie already has more than enough wins under her belt to last herself a lifetime of Cyclocross, but she still does not have the WC stripes, so this will be an interesting year to watch her put her stamp on every race that she enters. She left her mark in Cincinnati by pulling the hat trick and taking all three.
This weekend the USGP's will be broadcast live on CyclingDirt.org so tune in there at 2:15 and 3:30 EST to watch the Elite Women and Men of Cyclocross do battle each day this weekend. And while you are over on CyclingDirt check out Julie's video interviews from Colt at the end of each day in Boulder and then in the ever popular Who's Number 1? as she makes her entry onto the hottest Cross list in racing.
- Last week was a great one for Rapha Condor JLT, all the action and images now up on the team site: http://t.co/ftBejPnnCJ
- RT @alainrumpf: Well done @mike_cuming and @raphacondorjlt winner of #TdK2013 under the scrutiny of latest drone… http://t.co/gv81uP9mHP
- In their attempt to cross the US in 24 days, @michaeltabtabai & Andrew Hudon will ‘Leave It On The Road’. → http://t.co/Per6QsCAtt
- We are delighted to announce the opening of a one-month, pop-up @RaphaCycleClub in Tokyo this summer from 22/6–21/7 → http://t.co/Jrc0EKZ9ky
- Huge congratulations to @raphacondorjlt’s @mike_cuming for winning the @TourdeKorea2013 and to @tomsoutham for best DS. #TdK2013
- @danfromnam in Corsica — outtake from our 2013 Spring/Summer shoot #corsica #beningstagram http://t.co/03A7pT9mtj
- Winner Winner Chicken Dinner ! The most important jersey of #TdK2013 hot off the press. http://t.co/Pflx0eUfdv”
- What a day... The boys keep Mike Cuming in yellow, after having to chase all day. Great performance by all.
- Just rehearsing the whole of Pacino's speech from Any Given Sunday to recite to the boys...
- UK: Thanks to all who came to to tonight’s Rapha Étape Evening in London with @CyclefitUK — one of our biggest turnouts yet.