Katie Compton (Planet Bike) rode away to a solo victory in front of a sponsor-filled audience at the Planet Bike Cup, round one of the US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross series held in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin on Saturday. The US national champion finished the race with a sizable lead on Luna Pro teammates Georgia Gould in second and Amy Dombroski in third.
“My knee didn’t hurt today,’ said Compton who tore a bursa on her kneecap several weeks ago. “I wasn’t feeling good but I know how to suffer and my knee didn’t hurt. I noticed that I was getting gaps on the turns and I just kept on top of that until the elastic band broke. Once I got a gap I just kept going with it.”
Compton’s victory earned her the early lead of the USGP series. However, she will not be attending all of the rounds and admitted that she is less interested in winning the series title and more interested in capturing the World title this season.
“I’m not going to do so much travel this year and I’m going to stay Stateside a little bit,” Compton said. “I’m still going to hit some World Cups and make sure I have enough UCI points for a good start at Worlds. I’m going to get some good training in, rest well and win some good races instead of just hoping for a podium at the start.”
A heavy-hitting front row rolled to the starting line that included defending champion Compton, despite her lingering knee injury keeping her from racing CrossVegas on Wednesday night. But after keeping a close eye on the injury Compton decided that it was healed enough to give the Planet Bike Cup a try.
“I was right on the edge of having the pain subside and I didn’t want to rush it,” Compton said. “It is such a long season and I want to do well at Worlds this year. I figured that I would wait and see how I felt this weekend. I was still on the fence about it but last night it felt good walking up and down the stairs so I thought it was a good sign to start today.”
Luna ladies round out the podium
Sue Butler (Hudz-Subaru) opened the first lap out front and set the pace for a long line of competitors behind. Compton assumed second wheel followed by Amy Dombroski (Luna Pro), Sally Annis (North East Bicycle Club) and Andrea Smith (LadiesFirst Racing).
Georgia Gould (Luna Pro) got off to a slower than usual start and wrestled her way through the group. She headed the second large group that included former US road champion Meredith Miller and pro mountain biker Teal Stetson-Lee (Cal Giant-Specialized) and Maureen Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill-Seven Cycles).
By the end of the second lap, Compton was riding away from her lead group companions through the technical turns. One lap later, Gould and Dombroski worked together in a two-up chase to try and reduce the time margin to Compton before it was too big to control. Gould eventually gained time on her teammate and rode in for second place.
“I was seven riders back when Katie attacked and I had to make my way through some riders,” Gould said. “I had a slow start and didn’t have the punch to move up and I was just riding my own pace. It would have been more ideal if I could have gotten it together a little earlier.
“Obviously you want to try to close down the gap and for a little bit we were,” she said. “The time was kind of staying the same and Amy kind of dropped off a little bit so I was just riding around by myself.”
Roughly 10 seconds behind Miller caught up to Butler and the pair worked to keep Gould and Dombroski in sight. Miller gained a small lead on the last lap securing fourth place ahead of Butler in fifth. Smith rolled in for sixth place.
Stetson-Lee earned herself the Most Aggressive rider award for her impressive leap from last place to seventh during the women’s 45-minute ‘cross race.
“I had my first Elite race in CrossVegas,” said 24-year-old Stetson-Lee. “I have no ranking so today I started on the last row. There were three rows and then I was by myself on the fourth row. My strong point was probably the technical parts because of my mountain bike background so with all the U-turns and stuff I found some good lines and was able to move up fast.”
|1||Katherine Compton (USA) Planet Bike-Stevens Bikes||0:37:13|
|2||Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team||0:00:24|
|3||Amy Dombroski (USA) Luna Pro Team||0:00:44|
|4||Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant-Specialized||0:00:53|
|5||Susan Butler (USA) Hudz-Subaru||0:01:10|
|6||Andrea Smith (USA) LadiesFirst Racing||0:01:28|
|7||Teal Stetson-Lee (USA) California Giant-Specialized||0:01:39|
|8||Katherine Sherwin (USA) Hudz-Subaru||0:01:40|
|9||Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob's Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles||0:01:48|
|10||Ashley James (USA) Team Kenda||0:01:50|
|11||Sally Annis (USA) crossresults.com p/b JRA Cycles||0:01:51|
|12||Devon Haskell (USA) Bike Station Aptos||0:03:00|
|13||Robin Williams (USA) Mercy-Specialized||0:03:18|
|14||Carrie Cash Wootten (USA) Team Vera Bradley Foundation||0:03:24|
|15||Linda Sone (USA) Planet Bike||0:03:25|
|16||Holly Klug (USA) Pony Shoop||0:03:28|
|17||Kimberly Flynn (USA) Grace Law-Trek p/b Vantaggio||0:03:38|
|18||Anne Schwartz (USA) Flying Rhino Cycling Club||0:03:53|
|19||Meghan Korol (USA)||0:04:00|
|20||Nicole Borem (USA) DRT Racing||0:05:31|
|21||Corey Coogan Cisek (USA) Team Plan C||0:05:42|
|22||Emma Bast (USA) Team Plan C||0:05:49|