Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team) soloed to another resounding victory on the second day of racing at the Exergy US Gran Prix of Cyclocross's Derby City Cup. Just as she had done the previous day, the UCI's top-ranked 'cross rider in the world rode away from her rivals early in the five-lap contest at Louisville, Kentucky's Eva Bandman Park and put on a clinic on how to tackle all of the challenges, be it sand, technical sectors in the woods, or the relentless wind.
The weekend's race venue will host the 2013 cyclo-cross world championships and Compton was impressed with the parcours.
"The course has been really good, two different courses both days," said Compton. "Both were really fun, technical and really fast. Being in Louisville has been great - the people have been awesome, the city's fun and I'm really excited for 2013 world championships."
The battle for second place, however, went down to the wire as a four-rider chase group emerged in pursuit of Compton. Reigning US U23 champion Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com), third on the previous day in her first USGP podium finish, rounded out her best-ever weekend of elite racing as she outsprinted Czech champion Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) for second place, as the pair separated themselves from Meredith Miller (California Giant-Specialized) and Nicole Duke (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) on the final lap.
"I wanted to get onto the pavement first, so I tried really hard to get into that last section first," said Antonneau. "When I got onto the pavement I just sprinted as fast as I could.
"I was dangling off the back of them for a while, but then I finally caught them in a sand section with two [laps] to go. I went to the front going past the pit the last time, Katerina and I went back and forth a couple of times, and in that last section I went to the front again."
Nash, who has led the Exergy USGP series from the start, was pleased with another podium finish.
"We had a super-stong group going, but of course we couldn't hang with Katie today," said Nash. "I tried a little bit, but I wasn't able to hang on so the three other riders came up to me and we took turns [setting the pace].
"On the last lap I just had to go for it, and I certainly tried. I put up a good fight with 'little Katie' (Kaitlin Antonneau) and she was just stronger to the line. I'm excited about my third place, she made me work for it."
With two rounds of the Exergy USGP series remaining in Bend, Oregon, Nash has accumulated 264 points and holds a commanding lead over Compton, with 190 points. Miller holds third overall with 150 points.
Compton escapes early, but who'll join her on the podium?
While ominous clouds threatened to douse the course with rain, the weather remained rain-free for the 2:15pm start of the women's race. As the 56 rider-strong field barreled down the paved section, Meredith Miller (California Giant-Specialized) took the hole shot, seemingly surprising herself with the rapid beginning to her race.
Meredith held her position at the head of affairs through to a difficult sand section about half way through the lap, when she momentarily came to grief, while Compton shot around to gain an early advantage.
"I knew yesterday that I needed a good start, but knowing and doing are two different things," Miller told Cyclingnews. "Luckily today I was able to have a good start. I didn't necessarily want to be on the front so I didn't go off too hard, but Katie came around me after I flubbed it up in the sand."
The sand pit in question had a slightly different line from the previous day, which both increased the length plus featured deeper sand to test the riders.
"Sand pits are tough and it's so easy to make mistakes," said Compton. "Since I was following someone in I made sure I had an out in case something happened and I needed that out. I was able to get around and pedal through. I think that's where I got a little gap and kind of stayed on and made them chase."
Nash, Duke and Miller were able to re-join Compton in the lead, but the seven-time US champion proved difficult to follow no matter what the terrain. Nash was the only rider to keep pace with Compton, but the Czech champion succumbed on the second lap as Compton proved too much.
Nash continued to press onwards on her own, but was joined by the end of the third lap by Miller and Duke. Like the previous day, Antonneau tenaciously pursued the first chase group on her own, but this time she made the junction and put herself in a position to vie for second place on the fourth of five laps.
While Compton started her final lap comfortably in the lead, cat-and-mouse tactics ensued initially among the four chasers. Nash and Antonneau, however, upped the tempo which led to Duke losing contact. With Antonneau driving the pace into the woods Miller was the next to succumb, as she momentarily bobbled while making a tight right-hand turn around a tree.
"The four of us were just watching each other, waiting," said Miller. "I unfortunately waited too long and didn't get in the right position where I wanted to be coming through the last section. I tried to come around the inside on one of the tight turns, got cut off and put a foot down."
Compton again had plenty of time to celebrate her solo victory, but she immediately turned around after crossing the finish line to witness Antonneau, who Compton coaches, outsprint Nash for second.
Race note: French champion Caroline Mani (CC Etupes) was competing in the United States for the final time this season, but her weekend hardly went as intended. Mani was in contention for second place against Nash on Saturday during the final lap, but a crash knocked her off the podium, resulting in a fourth place finish. Racing with an injured wrist on Sunday, Mani crashed early on the second lap while in the mix near the front and retired from the race.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Katie Compton (USA) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team||0:44:44|
|2||Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale Cyclocrossworld||0:00:11|
|3||Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team|
|4||Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant Berry/Specialized||0:00:19|
|5||Nicole Duke (USA) Cannondale Cyclocrossworld||0:00:22|
|6||Chloe Forsman (USA) Race Club 11||0:00:53|
|7||Laura Van Gilder (USA) C3 Athletes Serving Athletes||0:01:05|
|8||Susan Butler (USA) River City Bicyles-Ridley||0:01:12|
|9||Teal Stetson-Lee (USA) California Giant-Specialized||0:01:23|
|10||Mical Dyck (Can) Pro City Racing||0:01:38|
|11||Coryn Rivera (USA) Marian University||0:01:44|
|12||Andrea Smith (USA) LadiesFirst Racing||0:01:45|
|13||Alice Pennington (USA) Team S&M||0:01:52|
|14||Pepper Harlton (Can) Juventus Cycling Club||0:01:57|
|15||Amanda Carey (USA)||0:02:03|
|16||Katherine Sherwin (USA) Stan's NoTubes Elite Cyclocross Team||0:02:10|
|17||Kelsy Bingham (USA) Roosters/Bikers Edge||0:02:21|
|18||Nicole Thiemann (USA) Team CF-Elite||0:02:27|
|19||Crystal Anthony (USA) LadiesFirst Racing||0:02:47|
|20||Devon Gorry (USA) Rambuski Law||0:02:55|
|21||Julie Krasniak (Fra)||0:03:08|
|22||Rebecca Blatt (USA) Team Kenda presented by Geargrinder||0:03:21|
|23||Kari Studley (USA) Team Redline||0:03:35|
|24||Rebecca Gross (USA) Tough Girls||0:03:41|
|25||Sarah Maile (USA) Ventana Mountain Bikes||0:03:43|
|26||Meghan Korol (USA) Bob'S Red Mill Cx||0:04:02|
|27||Kimberly Flynn (USA) USSC-Trek p/b Vantaggio||0:04:09|
|28||Jenni Gaertner (USA) Raleigh America||0:04:20|
|29||Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team||0:04:30|
|30||Sarah Stewart (Can)||0:04:37|
|31||Emily Thurston (USA) Stevens||0:04:43|
|32||Marne Smiley (USA) Bob's Red Mill pb Seven Cycles||0:04:48|
|33||Sunny Gilbert (USA) Michelob Ultra - Big Shark Racing||0:04:58|
|34||Linda Sone (USA) Cycle-Smart/Flanders||0:05:11|
|35||Sarah Huang (USA) IS Corp||0:05:26|
|36||Courtney Dimpel (USA) Team Rambuski Law||0:06:03|
|37||Kelly Paterson (USA) Wolverine/Acfstores.Com||0:06:17|
|38||Corrie Osborne (USA) ISCorp||0:06:26|
|39||Anna Dingman (USA) Cycleution||0:06:27|
|40||Paula Burks (USA) US Stove / Vanatggio fitness||0:07:08|
|41||Corey Coogan-Cisek (USA) Team Plan C p/b Stevens||0:07:21|
|42||Katrina Baumsteiger (USA)||0:07:25|
|43||Lynn Bush (USA) Tough Girl-Scott||0:07:57|
|44||Shannon Gibson (USA) Stan's NoTubes Elite Cyclocross Team||0:08:09|
|45||Bridget Donovan (USA) Trek Store Cincinnati/Seven Cyc||0:08:10|
|46||Elizabeth Cobb (USA) Bikereg.com||0:09:10|
|47 (-2 laps)||Kelly Benjamin (USA) KCCX-Fuji Elite p/b Challenge Tires|
|48 (-3 laps)||Patricia Dowd (USA) Team REP-I Cowbell CX|
|DNF||Caroline Mani (Fra) BH-SuntourVienne Futuroscope|
|DNF||Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob's Red Mill pb Seven Cycles|
|DNF||Melanie Long (USA) Tough Girl-Scott|
|DNS||Ashley James (USA) KCCX Elite|
|DNS||Annajean Dallaire (USA) Racin' for Riley p/b Alderfer Bergen|
|DNS||Katie Arnold (USA) Echelon Cycling Team|