Katie Compton (Planet Bike) captured her sixth stars-and-stripes jersey at the US National Cyclo-Cross Championships held in Bend, Oregon on Sunday. She displayed exactly why she is the world's top ranked cyclo-cross rider when she soloed to victory nearly a minute ahead of runner-up Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry Farms) and an additional 10 seconds ahead of Amy Dombroski (Primus Mootry) in third place.
"All my titles are special and I always like winning," Compton told Cyclingnews. "Today was tough because the course was so technical and it was changing every lap. The lines were changing and the ice was thawing under the mud and the water. It was a tough course."
Compton is currently the highest ranked cyclo-cross female on the International Cycling Union's (UCI) cyclo-cross standings. She has a total of 1000 points and leads the strong duo from the Netherlands, second placed Daphny Van Den Brand, who has 842 points, and third placed Marianne Vos with 745.
Compton's stellar cyclo-cross season includes prestigious victories in UCI World Cups round one in Treviso, Italy and round two in Nommay, France along with wins in every race she started in the USA. Compton currently leads the World Cup, a first for any American.
"I took the same approach here as I have at the World Cups," Compton said. "With the travel and trying to get some training and recovery in it is pretty tough. Nationals are always harder because I'm never feeling as good as I usually am. I'm really happy to win today. I'm feeling good about the next World Cups, they are tough. My focus is on the World Championships."
US National Road Champion Meredith Miller acknowledged the end of a consistent and surprising cyclo-cross season that was originally intended as a fun way to cross train during the winter months. "I got everything I wanted out of this season and more," Miller said. "It's been a good season and taking a step up each race was great. It started out fun but I also had a lot of expectations for myself. This second place was a nice surprise and I'm ecstatic."
Ashley James (Kenda) won the U23 women's championship run concurrently with the elite event.
The battle for the silver medal
An enormous field of some 100 Elite and Under 23 women lined up to challenge the US National Cyclo-Cross Championships held in the Old Mill District of Bend, Oregon. The day broke with cold winter temperatures and heavy ice but by mid-day the high desert's sun melted the grounds into a hard-packed yet slippery mud circuit. Thousands of fans added to the excitement of the championship event, all lined around the circuit to cheer on their favorite riders.
"Oh my God, it was absolutely amazing," Miller said. "It's so much fun because the entire way around the course people were cheering us on. It didn't matter if you were the first rider or the last rider. Everyone was cheering for you and it made such a difference."
Compton left nothing to chance when she blasted into the holeshot onto the slick mud and headed a long line of renowned American talents. Riders fighting to stay as close to Compton as possible during the opening lap included Maureen Bruno Roy (MM Racing-Seven Cycles), Sue Butler (Cannondale-Monavie), Laura Van Gilder (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes) and Alison Dunlap (Team Luna).
Riders caught behind the mess on the turbulent first lap included Miller, Dombroski and Antonneau along with Kelli Emmett (Giant), Mary McConneloug (Kenda-Seven-Notubes), Andrea Smith (Minuteman Road Club) and Deidre Winfield (C3-Athletes Serving Athletes).
Compton opened a near 30-second margin by the end of lap three riding as smooth and technically sound as one would imagine coming from the top ranked rider in the world. She cleared the off-camber twists and turns with ease, powered up and over the steep run-up and applied pressure and speed to the circuit's lengthy straightaways.
"Amy was riding well and was staying really close for the first couple of laps," Compton said. "So, it was a good race. Once I got through the first lap or two, it was a really technical course, deceivingly technical. I slipped around quite a bit. I had a little slip on the stairs and after that everything came together."
The battle for second looked to be almost sewn up by Dombroski who was fighting to stay half a minute behind the solo leader. Former World Mountain Bike Champion Alison Dunlap maintained a third place position after an optimal start. She gritted her teeth to stay as close as possible to Dombroski.
"I wanted to have a better start than I had but that didn't happen," Dombroski said. "Right off the bat I was chasing. I moved up and kept her close but couldn't reel her in. I went down on the ice with three to go and Meredith ended up attacking me on the pavement. I panicked a bit and should have stayed more relaxed. The next lap I was all over the place and not riding the line that I should have been riding."
Miller used her undisputed strength and power to blind side both Dunlap and Dombroski. She caught and passed both riders respectively with three laps to go. Slick ice amongst the shaded sections of the course caused untimely crashes for both Dombroski and Dunlap who each hit the ground. Their misfortune allowed Miller an opportunity to gain an additional few seconds as they scrambled to pick themselves up.
"I was chasing Dunlap and Dombroski really hard," Miller said. "Dunlap went down in a corner and I passed her and then caught Amy. Then she went down in an icy section and I ended up passing her and was able to keep that pressure and gap on her."
The race continued behind the top three contenders. Dunlap rode in with a respectable fourth place followed by Van Gilder in fifth place.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Katherine Compton (Planet Bike)||0:41:12|
|2||Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry Farms/s)||0:00:56|
|3||Amy Dombroski (Schlamm P/b Primus Mootry/clem)||0:01:01|
|4||Alison Dunlap (Luna Pro Team)||0:01:56|
|5||Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom)||0:02:11|
|6||Andrea Smith (Minuteman Road Club)||0:02:13|
|7||Mary McConneloug (Kenda-seven-notubes)||0:02:29|
|8||Kelli Emmett (Giant Bicycles)||0:02:43|
|9||Maureen Bruno Roy (Mm Racing P/b Seven Cycles)||0:03:04|
|10||Susan Butler (Monavie-cannondale.com)||0:03:11|
|12||Kaitlin Antonneau (Planet Bike)||0:03:19|
|14||Linda Sone (Planet Bike)||0:03:53|
|15||Anna Barensfeld (Minutemand Road Club)||0:03:56|
|16||Kari Studley (Velo Bella)|
|17||Kristi Berg (Redline Bicycles)||0:04:12|
|18||Ann D'Ambruoso (Minuteman Road Club)||0:04:16|
|19||Arley Kemmerer (Hub Racing)||0:04:34|
|20||Sally Annis (Nebc/cycleloft/devonshire Dent)||0:04:42|
|21||Kathy Sherwin (Velo Bella - Ellsworth)||0:04:43|
|22||Kristin Wentworth (Planet Bike)||0:04:48|
|24||Kristin Gavin (Temple University)||0:04:53|
|26||Kris Walker (Church Of The Big Ring/realcyc)||0:05:27|
|27||Elizabeth Frye (Boone Velo)||0:05:31|
|29||Ashley James (Team Kenda)||0:05:45|
|30||Beth Lyndon-Griffith (Hagens Berman Cycling)||0:05:50|
|31||Coryn Rivera (Proman Hit Squad)||0:05:51|
|32||Nicole Thiemann (Pabst Blue Ribbon)||0:05:52|
|33||Emily Van Meter||0:05:53|
|34||Kristal Boni (Blue Sky Velo)||0:06:01|
|35||Crystal Anthony (Minuteman Road Club)||0:06:17|
|36||Abby Jenkins (Embrocation Cycling Journal)||0:06:19|
|38||Lisa Curry (Gallatin Alpine Sports/intrins)||0:06:29|
|39||Barbara Howe (Vanderkitten)||0:06:33|
|41||Kimberly Flynn (Vantaggio/ Specialized Scv)||0:06:43|
|42||Beverly Chaney (Team Roaring Mouse)||0:06:47|
|44||Tina Brubaker (The Vanilla Workshop-speedvage)||0:06:48|
|45||Elizabeth Marzolf (Hagens Berman Cycling Team)||0:07:00|
|46||Corey Coogan (Ridley Factory Team)||0:07:01|
|49||Katrina (Trina) Baumsteiger (Team Rambuski Law)||0:07:19|
|50||Katrina Dowidchuk (Team DRT/Deep Blue)||0:07:27|
|51||Mary "Evie" Boswell-Vilt (Inland/back To Dirt Racing)||0:07:28|
|52||Serena Bishop (Sunnyside Sports)|
|53||Laura Winberry (Campmor)||0:07:30|
|54||Amy Frykman (Team Delphine)||0:07:42|
|55||Kristine Church (Humanzoom/ Pabst Blue Ribbon)||0:07:50|
|56||Lauren Hall (Hudz-subaru)||0:08:11|
|57||Devon Haskell (Bh Usa)|
|58||Kendall Ryan (Socalcross)|
|59||Dayna Deuter (Church Of The Big Ring)|
|60||Michele Bliss (Chipotle-titus)|
|61||Deb Sweeney Whitmore (Bmw/bianchi)|
|62||Allison Snooks (Minuteman Road Club)|
|63||Becca Blay (Mafia Racing)|
|64||Emily Curry (Joe's Garage)|
|65||Rhonda Mazza (Unattached)|
|66||Megan Elliott (Black Mountain Bicycles)|
|67||Shannon Holden (Vanderkitten)|
|68||Veronica Vega (Sunnyside Sports)|
|69||Dorothy Wong (Team Cicle)|
|70||Jessica Cutler (Cucina Fresca)|
|72||Lee Smith (Team Group Health)|
|73||Christina Tamilio (Minuteman Road Club)|
|74||Margaret Thompson (Team Hammer Nutrition)|
|77||Emily Shields (Carolina Masters Cycling Club)|
|78||Emily Thurston (Team Vegan)|
|79||Katherine Shields (Carolina Masters Cycling)|
|80||Natalia Gardiol (Cambridge Bicycle / Igleheart)|
|81||Elizabeth Welliver (Vello Bella - Ellsworth)|
|82||Karen Oppenheimer (Bend Bike N Sport)|
|83||Sarah Lukas (Gear Grinder/hyundai)|
|84||Audrey Brown (Team S&m)|
|85||Arielle Filiberti (Dartmouth College)|
|86||Beth Mason (Verge Test Pilot)|
|87||Annette Padilla (Celo Pacific)|