By Laura Weislo
Americans Katie Compton and Georgia Gould accomplished something no other riders from that country have done in cyclo-cross: they stood side by side on the podium of a World Cup last week in Nommay, France. For Compton, it was the sixth trip to the podium: her third on the top step along with three second place finishes. But for Gould, the race was her first 'cross World Cup, so taking third was a bit of a surprise.
"I had a great time last weekend and was proud to be part of a strong showing of American women at the Nommay World Cup," Gould told Cyclingnews.
Gould has raced plenty of mountain bike World Cups, but has always ended her 'cross season with the US championships in December, and was facing unknown competition in Nommay. "I didn't really know what to expect going into the race – I had never raced against any of the European women so I didn't know how I would stack up, but I was confident that my training and racing this year had prepared me well."
"I liked the course- it was hard, with very little time to rest or recover. The start of the race was a little sketchy – after a long paved start, the course made a 180 degree turn into a set of stairs, which made for a little bit of craziness on the first lap. I was patient, and things thinned out soon enough."
Gould made her way into a chasing group of five behind Compton and World Champion Hanka Kupfernagel, and then on the third lap found herself alone in third. "I chose to run a section that the other women were trying to ride, and I was able to get a gap on that group. From then on, I just put my head down and tried to stretch the gap out more."
Even more encouraging was the small gap to Kupfernagel that was left at the finish – just five seconds. "About halfway through the last lap I could see Hanka, and I could tell she was struggling. I was reeling her in slowly, but I ran out of time, and ended up finishing just a few seconds behind her! I am very excited to have such a great race and I'm really looking forward to Friday's race in Zolder!"