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Compton prepares to defend World Cup lead in Nommay

Katie Compton (Planet Bike) is the #1 UCI ranked rider in the world

Katie Compton (Planet Bike) is the #1 UCI ranked rider in the world (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)

Katie Compton will toe the line in Nommay, France as the first American ever to wear the jersey of World Cup leader, but despite this honour, she is hopful the kit will be obscured by mud by the end of the race.

"It feels great to wear the World Cup leader's jersey. It willl be a privilege to be on the start line as the first America to wear that jersey. I hope to keep it for more than one race!" Compton told Cyclingnews on Friday.

"I think the conditions will have the greatest effect on what the course is like. I'm hoping for rain and/or snow so that it will be a tough, technical race. Fast races are fun, but muddy ones are better."

Compton dominated the first round of the series in Treviso last month, besting Dutchwoman Daphny Van Den Brand and France's Christel Ferrier-Bruneau with apparent ease. However, this weekend she will face the two rivals who relegated her to third at the World Championships last season, Marianne Vos and Hanka Kupfernagel.

After a late start in 'cross following a strong road season, World Champion Vos has already shown herself this season by winning the European Championships in Hoogstraten, Belgium last week. Kupfernagel, on the other hand, has yet to show her form, but Compton knows the German cannot be discounted.

"Hanka has only raced a local race, but she is always strong and I don't expect that to be different on Sunday. Vos is riding really well this year and as World Champ will want to put on a good show. She is a smart and fast racer so she will also be a tough one to beat.

"We can't forget about Daphny either, she is a strong technical rider and has the ability to win this weekend, too."

Compton undoubtedly has a mental advantage on her competition. She remains undefeated in any contest so far this season and is looking to continue her streak in Nommay.

It will be the first time the World Cup leader's jersey will appear in a race since last year's round in Tabor when Van Den Brand, winner of the series opener in Kalmthout, wore it before Kupfernagel took over for the remainder of the season. As the reigning World Champion, the German's rainbow bands took precedence.

Compton hopes to keep a hold on the leader's jersey for a bit longer. "If I can win this weekend, it'll give me a nice lead in the World Cup going into the next race."

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Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks.