American champion dominates reader poll
Katie Compton achieved many great things in the second half of 2010 - her seventh consecutive US national cyclo-cross title, wins in all but one cyclo-cross race she started including four World Cups - Aigle, Koksijde, Kalmthout and Zolder, and the lead in both the UCI rankings and World Cup standings. She's been so dominant during the 2010-2011 season so far that it's hard to argue that she doesn't deserve the title of best female cyclo-cross rider, and our readers agreed.
"Wow! That is always a fun thing to win, especially since I am up against some stiff competition," Compton told Cyclingnews. "I'm honored to know I have so many cyclo-cross fans and supporters out there. Thanks to everyone who voted for me!"
Will the solid results so far translate into gaining that elusive world championship? Compton has been extremely selective about her race schedule this year in the hope of avoiding the devastating physical problems that ruined her start to 2010. Last January she pulled out of the Roubaix World Cup, did not start in Hoogerheide and failed to finish the Worlds in Tabor, all due to leg cramps – a problem she seems to have so far avoided this season.
Few have been able to match Compton's power, grace and tenacity on the 'cross circuit this season, but two of the sport's top names, Marianne Vos and Hanka Kupfernagel, are only now coming into form.
Vos, second in our reader poll, claimed 3083 votes to Compton's 5893 due to a relatively low profile on the 'cross circuit. The multi-talented 24-year-old reigning world champion delayed her start to the season in order to compete in the Melbourne Track World Cup, but quickly got back up to speed placing second in the Scheldecross and Kalmthout and Zolder World Cups before finally raising her arms in victory at the GVA Trofee Azencross.
The Dutch rider used a similar season plan before gaining her third rainbow jersey in early 2010, and remains a force to be reckoned with.
A surprising third in the poll, former US road champion Meredith Miller garnered 1203 votes despite having a bad luck season riddled with crashes and technical problems. However, her never-say-die attitude inspired our readers as did her three UCI victories. Miller is hoping to gain a spot on Team USA's world championships team.
German Hanka Kupfernagel topped Czech champion Katerina Nash for fourth, with Dutch champion Daphny van den Brand slotting in at sixth.
2010 Best cyclo-cross female
1 Katie Compton 5893 35.1%
2 Marianne Vos 3083 18.4%
3 Meredith Miller 1203 7.2%
4 Hanka Kupfernagel 1196 7.1%
5 Katerina Nash 1084 6.5%
6 Daphny van den Brand 948 5.6%
7 Laura Van Gilder 919 5.5%
8 Helen Wyman 745 4.4%
9 Eva Lechner 636 3.8%
10 Caroline Mani 498 3.0%
11 Sanne Cant 318 1.9%
12 Sanne van Paassen 264 1.6