American Katie Compton nailed her third win of the season Saturday at Poldercross, providing a boost of confidence ahead of Sunday's Superprestige Zonhoven. Compton finished 23 seconds ahead of Maud Kaptheijns and 1:03 ahead of Ellen Van Loy. World Champion Sanne Cant was fourth, 1:09 back, after complaining of illness last week and abandoning GP Mario De Clercq on Sunday.
Kaptheijns took the whole shot in the race and had a gap of 11 seconds over the first chase group, which included Van Loy, Loes Sels, Cant, Alicia Franck and Compton.
"It was Maud Kaptheijns who broke the race open early," Compton told Het Nieuwsblad after the race. "I knew that we should not give her too much freedom because otherwise we could quickly be riding for second place. Finally, I took the initiative to bridge the gap to Kaptheine. And that turned out to be a good move."
Compton dropped her fellow chasers and bridged to Kaptheijns, eventually catching her halfway through the 45-minute race. The duo had 20 seconds on Loy, with Cant trailing just behind. Compton immediately put the pressure on Kaptheijns and quickly distanced the Dutch rider, who fought back to start the final lap together with Compton.
Compton attacked again, dropping Kaptheijns and setting her own pace to the finish, while Loy chased alone and the trio Cant, Franck and Sels had to make up 51 seconds.
"When I caught her I felt powerful enough to attack," Compton said. "Kaptheijn cracked and I could ride my own pace right away."
"I'm actually surprised that it's going this well," Compton said of her season so far. "The course today was fun; it could be ridden really quickly. Hopefully, I'll have something left in the reserve tank for Sunday in Zonhoven."