Compton's Koksijde victory another step towards first World Cup title

The dominant win by Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) in the third World Cup round of the season was a big step towards clinching the overall title in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup. Compton leads the series with 170 points, 40 more than her nearest rivals Sanne van Paassen (Rabobank Women Team), Nikki Harris (Young Telenet-Fidea) and Helen Wyman (Kona) who are all tied with 130 points.

After flying in from the USA on Thursday, the US champion was still in the throes of jet-lag on Saturday for the World Cup round in Koksijde, Belgium. Despite the comfortable win Compton was spotted making some mistakes during her foray in the sand dunes and she referred to the jet lag as main reason. "It's still only five o'clock in the morning for me so I'm still asleep. I'm clumsy when I'm sleepy," Compton smiled.

During the next World Cup rounds Compton doesn't expect to have the same problem as she's staying in Europe. "We're staying in Europe until January. In between I'm doing a training camp in Majorca and after the World Cup round in Rome I'm heading back to the USA for nationals in Madison. If I need to come back for Hoogerheide (the final World Cup round on January 20) I will but If I can skip it I would like to."

There's a chance Compton might stay in the USA and the return to competition of world champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank Women) plays an important role in this. Vos' return to competition benefits Compton's ambitions for the World Cup in two ways. First, having missed the first three rounds due to the later start of her 'cross season Vos is too far behind to contend for the overall World Cup win, as earlier seasons have showed. Second, there's little chance for Compton's other rivals to earn maximum points on a given occasion.

With some good results in the next World Cup rounds Compton hopes to extend her lead even further, bringing it up to more than 60 points before the last World Cup round of the season in Hoogerheide, Netherlands. "I hope not to come back after nationals to race in Hoogerheide," Compton said. Logically, that would remove two lengthy flights from her schedule ahead of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky. The elite women's world championship will be contested on Sunday, February 3.

Recently, Compton cruised to two comfortable wins on the world championships course in Louisville. "I know the Louisville course. Most top riders were there except for Marianne Vos, Sanne van Paassen, Sanne Cant and Nikki Harris, I think. I like the mud and hope it'll be muddy for worlds. Louisville is going to be hard, regardless of the mud."

With Compton now based in Belgium, she has the following races scheduled for her European racing calendar: the World Cup rounds in Roubaix (Dec. 2), Namur (Dec. 23), Heusden-Zolder (Dec. 26), Rome (Jan. 6) and possibly Hoogerheide (Jan. 20) plus Soudal Scheldecross Antwerpen (Dec. 8), Vlaamse Druivenveldrit (Dec. 9) and perhaps Bpost Bank Trofee-Azencross (Dec. 28) and Superprestige Diegem (Dec. 30).

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