Last week 7News told you about the issues which almost caused the Women’s Cross Country not to take place. Well, the Cycling Association, with the advice of their attorneys, decided that they would move forward with it, and only 4 riders participated.
2 of them were the elite riders, Shalini Zabaneh and defending Cross Country Champion Kaya Catouse. Zabaneh was looking to provide payback to Cattouse who defeated her at a sprint last year. And she delivered in a major way; we’re talking about a 22 minutes gap between Zabaneh and Cattouse.
News was out there, and we spoke to both of them about the race, and massive blowout. Here’s what they told us.
Shalini Zabaneh - Winner, 2013 Women’s Cross Country Classic
"It feels good to be the champion again. It definitely worked in improving in the hills and that's where the plan was to execute so I as praying for a head-win today so I knew once I had the gap I would have been able to maintain and be able not catch me."
"What differently did you do this time than in the last race where miss Cattouse won that sprint."
"I improved on my climbing - that's my strength. I worked on it and focused on it hard and trained hard so that was the difference."
"From since when have you been preparing? Do you ever take a break?"
"No - no breaks."
Kaya Cattouse - 2nd Place, 2013 Women’s Cross Country
"When I was there chasing quite hard and everytime the time keeper came the time was still increasing so I said to myself so I said to myself why chase this hard and the time is just going so I decided to wait. I believe - I won't say I gave up because in no time in this race did I give up but I realized the gap was too big to close alone, it was even too big to close with help."
"What's the next step for you?"
"Well hopefully the association has the national road champion races and time trial so that's the next race on the calendar."
"I know you said hopefully. Is that a jab at the issue that they almost didn't have this one?"
"Definitely they need to get together and work together because we put in a lot of work and money into training and discouraging that we can't get along so I hope we come together, it's about the atheltes."
"I don't know if we will have Road Championship in June but depending on that we will change up the training schedule."
"We also saw that it almost never happened - this race. Tell us what that would have meant for you and the other athletes who have trained very hard and spent so much in financing to keep in a healthy position?"
"Well let's just say we're glad it did happen."
Third Place was Kirah Eiley, and rounding out the finish was Marinette Flowers.