Katie Compton (Trek Cyclo-cross Collective) secured her second win in two days at Sunday's Boulder Cup despite skills she described as "a little off".
A fall in the downhill corner that led up to the wide stairs at Valmont Bike Park almost threatened her lead in lap one. But it didn't. Compton steadily increased her advantage and held onto it even as she fell again - this time face first - on the same stairs in the last lap. Chloe Woodruff (Crankbrothers Race Club) gained an early position behind Compton and rode solo into a second place finish. Nicole Duke (Marin/Spy) started swiftly then lost ground to the Crankbrothers rider and a fluid chase group consisting of Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized), Crystal Anthony (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), and Kaitie Antonneau (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld.com).
Like Saturday, bib number one was reserved for the late Amy Dombroski. Wearer of bib number two, Compton, got the holeshot as the riders sped onto a loose dry circuit at Valmont. A dismount by Duke on a steep ascent slowed those trailing her and added seconds to Compton's lead.
Several slippery turns threatened riders with landing kit side down in the dirt and bumpy descents colored knuckles white and turned arms into shock absorbers. The first casualty was Elle Anderson (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized) who went down hard in a set of turns less than half-way through the first lap and then abandoned the race.
Duke forfeited her second on course to Woodruff, who moved up on a climb at the beginning of the second lap. After acknowledging the bike handling skills of her competitors on Sunday, Woodruff suggested her mountain biking background could have helped her advance from a start near the back of the grid.
"You're just looking for any lines you can," Woodruff said. "And maybe that's where being a mountain biker helps, because I'm a lot more comfortable off the track. I was taking some crazy lines, just to get up there."
Antonneau anchored third position from the whistle but swapped it for Miller's fourth more than once as the race continued in its second half. Anthony completed the top five going into the final laps. Behind her Courtenay McFadden (Cycling Northwest) and Raleigh-Clement's Caroline Mani chased and Duke raced on alone.
Miller went down but kept it together to the end to finish third. Anthony took fourth and Antonneau wound up fifth on the line.
Compton sealed her first place, she said, by never letting up on a course she said "keeps you on your toes" and tested multiple cyclo-cross technical skills.
"I was trying to maintain that lead off the front and I know Chloe [Woodruff] is strong, so you never know if she is going to come back," the national champion said after the race as she sprayed water over the blood trickling down her shins. "So I just wanted to push it, and work on the technical part, try to attack the turns and just get back into the rhythm of ‘cross."
Woodruff said she felt great about her second place result. "It was really special to race out here today and I think all weekend we've all been thinking about Amy [Dombroski]," she said. "So it means a lot to be out here. It's a special race." At 26 years old, Woodruff's age matches Dombroski's. The two raced in national competitions together.
Valmont will host the 2014 cyclo-cross national championships and Compton thinks that course will be challenging. "You've got the climbing, the power, the technical part," she said. "If it's muddy or snowy it will be a completely different race, so I'm curious to see how it works out in January."
|1||Katie Compton (USA) Trek Cyclocross Collective||0:43:19|
|2||Chloe Woodruff (USA) Crankbrothers Race Club||0:01:00|
|3||Meredith Miller (USA) Cal Giant Berry Farms-Specialized||0:01:16|
|4||Crystal Anthony (USA) Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies||0:01:17|
|5||Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld.com||0:01:19|
|6||Caroline Mani (Fra) Raleigh-Clement||0:02:07|
|7||Courtenay McFadden (USA) Bicycle Blue Book-HRS-Rock Lobster||0:02:26|
|8||Nicole Duke (USA) Marin-Spy||0:02:46|
|9||Jessica Cutler (USA) Bikesport NW-Jamis||0:03:12|
|10||Judy Freeman (USA) Crankbrothers Race Club||0:03:24|
|11||Amanda Carey (USA) Stan's NoTubes Elite||0:03:47|
|12||Sofia Gomez Villafane (Arg) Fort Lewis College||0:03:54|
|13||Sunny Gilbert (USA) Michelob Ultra-Big Shark||0:04:00|
|14||Emily Kachorek (USA) #Ghetomoto||0:04:06|
|15||Rebecca Gross (USA) Raleigh-Clement||0:04:23|
|16||Rebecca Blatt (USA) Van Dessel||0:04:27|
|17||Amanda Nauman (USA) SDG-Felt||0:04:44|
|18||Ellen Sherrill (USA) Bicycle Bluebook-HRS-Rock Lobster||0:04:47|
|19||Kristin Weber (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport||0:04:52|
|20||Caitlyn Vestal (USA) Feedback Sports Racing||0:05:02|
|21||Jessica D'Amato (USA) Evol Elite Racing||0:05:16|
|22||Melissa Barker (USA) GS Boulder-Organic India-Studio One Dental||0:05:29|
|23||Kate Powlison (USA) Evol Elite Racing||0:05:47|
|24||Lisa Hudson (USA) Feedback Sports Racing||0:05:51|
|25||Corey Coogan Cisek (USA) The Fix Studio||0:06:00|
|26||Nina Baum (USA) Stan's NoTubes Elite Women's MTB Team||0:06:34|
|27||Katie Jay Melena (USA) Bicycle Blue Book-HRS-Rock Lobster||0:06:37|
|28||Anna Dingman (USA) Real Wheels||0:06:51|
|29||Laurel Rathbun (USA) Exergy TWENTY16||0:07:13|
|30||Lydia Tanner (USA) People for Bikes||0:07:49|
|31||Sarah Sturm (USA) Real Wheels|
|32||Karen Jarchow (USA) LOV Bikes-OSMO Nutrition|
|33||Kristal Boni (USA) RapidRacing|
|34||Karen Brocket (USA) Jetcycling|
|35||Shannon Gibson (USA) NoTubes Elite CX|
|36||Beth Ann Orton (USA) Team S&M|
|37||Lindsay Lorenz (USA) Slimen und Grossen|