Katie Compton won her second consecutive race this weekend at the Planet Bike Cup, round two of the US Grand prix of Cyclo-cross series. The US National Champion once again muscled her way into a solo victory ahead of Luna Pro mountain bike talents Katerina Nash and Georgia Gould.
"I'll be going over to Europe for the first world cup in Italy next week," said Compton who outlined her upcoming schedule. "I'll come back for the few cross races in Cincinnati before going back over for the next batch of world cups. Then the world championships and of course nationals."
Compton increased her lead in the USPG standings having won the two back-to-back opening rounds. However, her aim of contesting the UCI World Cup series beginning in October means that she won't contest the remaining six rounds of the USGP.
Nash tries plan B
Some 30 women lined up under sunny but windy conditions to take on round two of the Planet Bike Cup held at the Firemens Angell Park in Madison, Wisconsin. Slight course variations made for fast-paced racing but that did not change the outcome of the podium as compared to the previous day's event.
"The wind made it harder but when you're riding around by yourself it's not that much harder," said Gould. "I mean it's pretty windy where I live so it's kind of like my training partner came with me to the bike race today."
Sue Butler (Monavie-Cannondale) nabbed the hole-shot onto the grass and made it to the first set of barriers in the lead. Compton waited patiently to maneuver through the field and once at the front she applied the kind of speed that only Nash could respond to.
Unlike the previous day where Nash took the back seat to Compton's pace setting, the pint-sized mountain biker pushed her way to the front in a bid to play offense. Lap after lap, Compton and Nash dueled for the leading position and though Nash was eventually forced to concede, it was not for lack of trying.
"You can always plan but reality is a little different," said Nash. "I wanted to try a little different racing than the last races where I was sitting on Katie's wheel and then suddenly the wheel was gone. I tried a different strategy but it didn't seem to work. Katie proved that she was the strongest rider this week. I was glad to see Katie racing in the US and to see how fast she can go. We will duke it out next time again."
Compton built a 20-second advantage over Nash by the end of lap four. Barring mechanicals or crashes, Compton was on her way to victory followed by Nash in second place with a sizable lead ahead of her teammate Gould. The race was on for fourth place between Butler and Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain). In the end it was Butler who out paced her companion in a two-up sprint to the line.
"No one was working together and I was pulling Alison around the course," Butler said. "I knew she was going to get by me so I tried to stay ahead of her. My pedal came out but I still managed to finish in the sprint ahead of her. I scared myself a little bit there."
Alison Dunlap joined her Luna Pro teammates on the podium as the day's most aggressive rider. Following a slower start, the former world mountain bike champion gradually maneuvered her way through the field to regain a top six placing.
"I felt like a biker racer today so I'm really psyched," said Dunlap, who is recovering for a recent illness that followed her debut return at Star Crossed and Rad Racing last weekend. "It's still really hard and I have some work to do."
|1||Katie Compton (USA) Planet Bike|
|2||Katerina Nash (Cze) LUNA|
|3||Georgia Gould (USA) LUNA|
|4||Sue Butler (USA) Monavie-Cannondale|
|5||Alison Sydor (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain|
|6||Alison Dunlap (USA) LUNA|
|7||Amy Dombrowski (USA) Richard Sachs|
|8||Deirdre Winfield (USA) C3 Athletes Serving Athletes|
|9||Kristin Wentworth (USA) Planet Bike|
|10||Devon Haskell (USA) Velo Belo|