American women excel in French round of the World Cup

Boom outsprints Nys for win

By Brecht Decaluwé and Sue George

American women occupied two of the top three podium spots at the awards ceremony for the fifth round of the cyclo-cross World Cup in Nommay, France, on Sunday after US cyclo-cross National Champion Katie Compton won the race by 19 seconds ahead of German Hanka Kupfernagel. Georgia Gould, a regular on the World Cup mountain bike circuit and the runner-up at last weekend's US cyclo-cross National Championships, finished in third place, just five seconds behind Kupfernagel.

"I was surprised to see that I recovered well from the jetlag. I just returned from the US where I defended my title," said Compton to "I didn't have sore legs after the long trip and the time change... luckily, because this was a very tough course. During the last lap, I managed to develop the small gap that I had on Hanka into a definitive gap. Two wins in a row in the World Cup, I'm so excited!" Compton won the last round of the women's World Cup in Koksijde, Belgium.

In drizzling conditions, Kupfernagel and Compton initially matched each other along with Helen Wyman, but then Compton and Kupfernagel escaped to build a lead together. In the end Compton was stronger. In the penultimate lap, Compton shook the World Champion from her wheel. Kupfernagel couldn't follow.

Two days after the Scheldecross in Antwerp, Kupfernagel was feeling fatigued. "Hanka was not really rested," said her companion and coach Mike Kluge to

Gould was racing her first cyclo-cross World Cup of the season. Early in the race, she was part of the first group of chasers, but on the third lap, she left them behind for a solo pursuit of the lead duo.

In the elite men's race, World Champion Lars Boom (Rabobank) seemed to be in total control in Nommay, France, where he held off cyclo-cross World Cup leader Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner) in a two-man sprint during a muddy sixth round of the UCI World Cup.

The two cyclo-cross aces had escaped from a ten-man leader's group during the seventh out of nine laps. During the last two laps, neither Nys nor Boom managed to get away alone while the two were put under pressure by a chasing Bart Wellens (Fidea Cycling Team). Eventually Boom led out the sprint, and despite a good effort from Belgian champion Nys, it was clear that Nys was no match for Boom.

"It was a tough race… a lot of mud. It was always power, pushing... pushing on the pedals. I was riding easy and could play a little with the other guys," said Boom after his win. "I was waiting for Sven [Nys] who was hiding a little. I knew we could head to the finish line together but I knew he wouldn't be able to beat me."

Nys secured himself an insurmountable lead in the World Cup overall rankings – in which Boom is out of contention. The Belgian champion would win the World Cup even if he were to collect no points in Zolder, Belgium, where the next World Cup round will be held next week on December 26.

Kupfernagel's second place helped her expand her World Cup overall lead. Daphny Van Den Brand and Compton are sitting in second and third in the overall standings.

See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the elite women's and elite men's cyclo-cross World Cup in Nommay, France, or check out this video interview of Georgia Gould from the USGP weekend in Portland, Oregon.

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