Compton, Walsleben in doubt for 'cross World Championships

US champ, former U23 world champ not tip-top for Sunday

Until two weeks ago, she was arguably the USA's best chance for a medal at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships this weekend, but with leg cramps still plaguing her and nearly two weeks off the bike, Katie Compton may not even be able to finish Sunday's elite women's race.

Compton was the UCI rankings and World Cup leader after her most successful season to date until the Roubaix World Cup when she failed to start after the cramps surfaced. It is a problem she's struggled with in recent years, and her husband Mark Legg said it usually takes two to three weeks to clear up.

“Katie still hasn't been able to ride a bike,” Legg said. “Tomorrow we're going to get everything ready and wait until the last minute to get her on a bike at the start.”

The body language from Legg made it clear that Compton fans shouldn't have high hopes of the US-champions repeating or besting last year's performance at the world championships when she grabbed a bronze medal.

Walsleben possibly not starting

About a month ago Christophe Roodhooft, manager of the BKCP-Powerplus team from defending cyclo-cross world champion Niels Albert, said that his German champion Philipp Walsleben would be his joker for the end of the season. The start of the season of the Men Under-23 world champion was spoiled by a virus that kept him from training and racing until mid-October.

Walsleben made his debut in the Elite Men's category this season and soon it was clear that he wouldn't leave his mark on his inaugural season like his team-mate Albert did last year by winning the world championships in his first year.

Still, two weeks before the world championships in Tábor, Walsleben claimed his best World Cup result of the season in Roubaix with a fourteenth place and he had high hopes of a strong performance in the Czech Republic.

Since then he has been out again due to illness and on Saturday afternoon Cyclingnews ran into the 22-year-old German during the Men Under-23 race.

“It's not decided yet whether I will race tomorrow or not. I still have to talk with my manager [Christophe Roodhooft) but he's busy nowadays with Niels [Albert] and the riders who're racing now. It's not 100% certain yet but I don't think it makes sense for me to race tomorrow because I would have to quit the race shortly afterwards anyway.

"I prefer not to destroy my form by not starting and then maybe I can still show something in the remaining races of the season. It's not an easy call to make and riders are not always using their brains to make these decisions,” Walsleben explained.

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