By Brecht Decaluwé in Pijnacker, The Netherlands
Katie Compton returned to the Pijnacker World Cup after a leg injury that forced her to pull out of the World Cup in Kalmthout, and only a snafu during a last lap bike change kept her from contesting for the win.
Despite lacking any points in the series, which earned her a start at the back of the bunch, Compton's characteristically strong start put her in the lead of the race within the first lap.
Compton quickly amassed a lead of twenty seconds on the chase group where Hanka Kupfernagel had just recovered from a poor start. The World Champion plowed away from the main chase group in search of leader Compton. The American stoutly defended every metre of her lead, but on the last lap a determined Kupfernagel caught up.
Halfway through the lap, Compton switched bikes in the pit, but the handlebars of the bike she was leaving behind got caught in the back wheel of her fresh bike. Kupfernagel exploited this misfortune, and the German rider powered away from her American rival in the mud of Pijnacker.
Compton was delighted with her performance in the second World Cup race of the season. "I've been injured so I'm really happy today. I had a couple of mishaps in the last laps because I missed the endurance," Compton said before congratulating Katerina Nash, the day's third placed finisher.
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