Planet Bike's Katie Compton won her seventh consecutive title in the UCI elite women's USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championship race held on Sunday in Bend, Oregon. The crowds went wild as the world-class 'crosser orbited the mud-laden circuit with a commanding lead ahead of Georgia Gould (Luna Pro) in second and Meredith Miller (Cal Giant-Specialized).
"That was really fun," said Compton. "It was a hard effort and Georgia was riding strong so I knew it was going to be a hard day today. I just took one lap at a time and kept the pressure on and I'm really happy. I didn't start enjoying the race until the last run-up because if something happened I could still make it to the finish."
Compton won her first cyclo-cross national title in 2004 in Portland and went on to win in Providence in 2005 and 2006, Kansas City in 2007 and 2008 and Bend last year. When asked what the seventh title means to her career, Compton replied, "It's the national championships, I love winning and I'm glad that I got a seventh."
Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) took home her first title in the Under 23 category ahead of Coryn Rivera (Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY12), who placed second and defending champion Ashley James (Kenda) in third.
"This morning I rode hard but I wanted to conserve because I wanted to win this race," said Antonneau, who finished second in the collegiate women's race earlier the same day. "I rode within myself this morning and then left everything out there this afternoon. I'm so happy to win this because it was my goal all year."
Crowds go wild for Compton
The crowds thickened with the onset of the UCI elite women's field that hosted more than 100 competitors, including Compton, who is currently one of the top ranked cyclo-cross rider in the world. Those who joined Compton on the front row included Laura Van Gilder (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes), Sue Butler (Hudz-Subaru), Georgia Gould (Luna Pro), Meredith Miller (Cal Giant-Specialized), Sally Annis (North East Bicycle Club) and Andrea Smith (Minuteman Road Club).
Warmer weather and sunny skies greeted the women's race, which made for soup-like mud from the previous day's rain to dry, thicken and push back against the rider's every effort to pedal forward. Butler took the hole shot but was quickly passed by Gould, who gained an instant 15-second margin over her competitors, including Compton, who had trouble clipping into her pedals at the start.
"I always try to get a good start because the fewer people who are in front of you means the fewer people can mess you up," Gould explained. "I like to leave it all up to myself to make mistakes and take myself out. Katie caught up to me and kept attacking. She is riding really strong and I just couldn't... I tried really hard but sometimes you try really hard and you only get second place."
Compton pedaled flawlessly around the circuit and made contact with Gould before the start of the second lap. Gould grit her teeth to try and maintain contact with Compton but it was not enough. By the end of the second lap Compton widened her lead to nearly 15 seconds.
"It took me about half a lap to move through the traffic and then catch up to Georgia," said Compton, who took a bike change every lap. "I just wanted to keep going hard and put her under pressure. It was a hard and unforgiving course so I had to keep it clean and not make any mistakes. You can lose 20 seconds in one crash so I wanted to push it where I could, keep it clean and use the road sections to recover."
Compton did not take her lead for granted and continued to increase her margin to her competitors by as many seconds (and in some cases minutes) as possible. Gould maintained her position in a strong second place never letting up in her effort to close the gap to Compton.
"I never go in racing for second place, ever, in any race... I race to win," said Gould. "Yes, she is really strong and a technically good rider but I know that if I am having a good day and everything is coming together then I am capable of beating her. No one is unbeatable but you have to have a good day. She is focused on 'cross and focused on Worlds and she is tough to beat."
Miller spoils Hudz-Subaru's race for third
The race behind the two leaders heated up between the Hudz-Subaru teammates Nicole Duke, who rode most of the race in third place, Kathy Sherwin and Sue Butler. Other notable riders involved in the chase included Van Gilder, Smith, Annis, Barbara Howe (Ibis and the Danger Twins) and Amanda Carey, along with Under 23 racers Antonneau, Rivera and Ashley James (Kenda).
Miller was forced to play catch up after a crash on the first lap that set her back behind the first 15 riders. She slowly worked her way inside the top ten on the second lap and then into the top five on the third lap. With two laps to go she was rode narrowly off the back of the Hudz-Subaru trio. With one lap to go, she caught and passed Duke, Butler and Sherwin powering her way into a convincing third place position.
"It was a mad start," Miller said. "It was about staying calm and not worrying so much about what was going on in front of me and just focusing on my race. There were certain lines that everyone wanted but I just had to take my chances with other lines to try to pass people. I went hard when I could use my power to my advantage. Given the two women who finished in front of me I am happy. Of course I wanted to win but in my mind if I could finish in the top three then I would be happy."
Sherwin led the battle for fourth place over the fly over and up the lengthy staircase toward the finishing straightaway. An unfortunate crash took Duke out of contention however Butler hung on for fifth place.
"I was so happy that those were my teammates," Sherwin said. "We were all giving it everything we had. We were attacking and going out in front when it was our strength."
|1||Katherine Compton (Planet Bike)||0:43:48|
|2||Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team)||0:00:31|
|3||Meredith Miller (Cal Giant-Specialized)||0:03:19|
|4||Katherine Sherwin (Hudz-Subaru)||0:03:37|
|5||Susan Butler (Hudz-Subaru)||0:03:38|
|6||Nicole Duke (Hudz-Subaru)||0:03:51|
|7||Laura Van Gilder (C3 - Athletes Serving Athletes)||0:04:11|
|8||Barbara Howe (Ibis And The Danger Twins)||0:04:17|
|9||Amanda Carey (Kenda-Felt)||0:04:18|
|10||Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com)||0:04:33|
|11||Sally Annis (Northeast Bicycle Club)||0:04:43|
|12||Kerry Barnholt (Scott Ritchey)||0:04:53|
|13||Andrea Smith (Minuteman Road Club)||0:05:01|
|14||Alice Pennington (Veloforma)||0:05:07|
|15||Sara Bresnick (Crossresults.Com-Pedalpowercoaching.com)||0:05:17|
|16||Teal Stetson-Lee (California Giant-Specialized)||0:05:22|
|17||Amy Dombroski (Luna Pro Team)||0:05:29|
|18||Arley Kemmerer (Charm City Cycling Llc)||0:05:36|
|19||Ann D'Ambruoso (Ladies First)||0:05:44|
|20||Coryn Rivera (Peanut Butter & Co. Twenty12)||0:06:04|
|21||Maureen Bruno Roy (Bob's Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles)||0:06:11|
|22||Linnea Koons (Embrocation Cycling Journal)||0:06:18|
|23||Linda Sone (Minneapolis Bicycle Racing Club)||0:06:45|
|24||Nicole Thiemann (Team Cf-Mass/Team Cf-Elite)||0:06:53|
|25||Crystal Anthony (Minuteman Road Club)|
|26||Rebecca Blatt (Central Wheel Of Farmington Ct)||0:07:01|
|28||Lisa Curry (Gallatin Valley Bicycle Club/Ga)||0:07:22|
|29||Devon Haskell (Bike Station Aptos)|
|30||Emily Thurston (3Rd Rail Cycling Club/Missing L)||0:07:35|
|31||Ashley James (Team Kenda Presented By Geargrinder)||0:07:36|
|32||Shannon Gibson (Velo Bella)||0:07:49|
|33||Kristin Gavin (Team Cf-Mass/Team Cf-Elite)||0:07:57|
|43||Amy Frykman (Gallatin Valley Bicycle Club/Ga)||0:09:22|
|44||Katrina Baumsteiger (Team Rambuski Law)||0:09:28|
|45||Abby Watson (Embrocation Cycling Journal)|
|46||Rebecca Bjork (Boise Cycling Club)||0:09:32|
|47||Kimberly Flynn (Scenic City Velo)||0:09:33|
|50||Corey Coogan Cisek (Team Plan C)||0:09:37|
|51||Anissa Cobb (River City Racing- Ky)||0:09:40|
|53||Christina Tamilio (Ladies First Racing)||0:10:40|
|54||Stacey Barbossa (Montclair Cyclists)||-1lap|
|55||Tina Brubaker (Veloforma)||-2laps|
|56||Courtney Dimpel (Bike Station Aptos)|
|60||Erin Silliman (River City Women'S Racing/Fruit)|
|61||Beverly Chaney (Team Roaring Mouse)|
|62||Megan Chinburg (Veloforma)|
|63||Jessica Cutler (Seattle Super Squadra/Cucina Fr)|
|65||Kristine Church (Human Zoom Cycling/Human Zoom)|
|66||Allison Snooks (Minuteman Road Club/Ladies Firs)|
|68||Brenna Lopez-Otero (Bend Memorial Clinic Total Care)|
|69||Hollie Mcgovern (Sert/Sho-Air)|
|70||Julie Kuliecza (River City Women'S Racing/Fruit)|
|71||Evie Edwards (Spokeswomen Syndicate Inc./Perf)|
|72||Emily Shields (Carolina Masters)|
|73||Michele Bliss (Justin'S / Titus Mountain Bike)|
|74||Kristin Jo Markham (Team Kenda Presented By Geargri)|
|76||Kathy Sarvary (Blue Steel Cyclery)|
|77||Alexis Ryan (The Team /The Team Socalcross)|
|78||Katherine Shields (Carolina Masters)|
|79||Amanda Schaper (Sdg Factory Team)|
|80||Deb Sweeney Whitmore (Team Card Womens Cycling)|
|81||Maria Stewart (Team Pacific Velo)|
|84||Kendall Ryan (Vrc/Now-Ms Society)|
|85||Jennifer Herrell-Rhoades (Bicycles Of Tulsa)|
|86||Cara Applegate (Spokeswomen Syndicate Inc./Perf)|
|87||Rebecca Finley (Team Kenda Presented By Geargri)|
|88||Julie Robertson-Zivin (Lake Washington Velo/Hagens Ber)|
|89||Deirdre Garvey (American Cycling Association)|
|91||Elizabeth Lukowski (Capital Bicycle Racing Club/Nyc)|
|92||Dorothy Wong (The Team /The Team Socalcross)|
|93||Margaret Thompson (Team Hammer Nutrition)||-3laps|
|94||Penny Collins (Alto Velo Racing Club/Webcor/Al)||-4laps|
|95||Annette Padilla (Celo Pacific)|