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Compton crushes the competition on way to eighth 'cross national title

Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant Off-road Team) put on a world class 'cross racing clinic Sunday afternoon in Wisconsin's Badger Prairie Park, taking command of the elite women's championship not long after the gun went off and riding away to her eighth straight national title.

A second Katie, 20-year-old Kaitlin Antonneau (, who is coached and mentored by Compton, uncorked another remarkable ride in a breakthrough season to win both the silver medal in the elite championship as well as successfully defend her U23 title, run concurrently. Just shy of two minutes after Compton soloed to victory, Antonneau rolled across the finish line and shared a warm embrace with her coach.

Moments later earned a second medal as Nicole Duke captured bronze eighteen seconds after Antonneau, the best elite championship result ever for the 37-year-old Boulder, Colorado resident, in a spirited finale against Teal Stetson-Lee (California Giant-Specialized).

Another phenomenal young talent, 19-year-old Coryn Rivera (Exergy-Twenty12), rounded out the top five and claimed second in the U23 ranks.

"It feels really good. It feels good to be done but also have a good race," said Compton. "I don't think it’s really sunk in yet, but I'm pretty excited to have eight national championships in a row. I love wearing the stars-and-stripes and competing in Europe. I get a lot of respect for that."

Conventional wisdom suggested that a 'cross championship held near Madison, Wisconsin in January would be a frigid, snowy affair, but unseasonably warm weather created its own challenges as a slick sheen of mud coated the deep ruts carved into the parcours over five days of racing. While Compton was very much amenable to the warmer weather, the course put her considerable technical skills to the test.

"It was really tricky, because the course was changing and getting harder each lap," said Compton. "When I pre-rode it was a little more firm. When we started it was thawing a little bit and by the last lap it was alot muddier, and it was slippery mud on top of hard ground.

"I'm pretty happy it's not cold and snowy here, but I'm sure next year they'll make up for it with a blizzard or something where we'll need skis for the run-up."

Despite opening up a comfortable margin over her closest pursuers on her five-lap championship performance, Compton kept the pressure on through to the finish line.

"If you back off at all you make mistakes and you crash," said Compton. "I wanted to make sure I kept pushing and pushing on the hills."

It was a dream weekend for Antonneau, who had already won the Division I collegiate women's championship on Saturday and whose Marian University team clinched the overall Division I team title after the collegiate men competed earlier in the day on Sunday. Additionally, the Wisconsin native was urged on by the effusive cheering of numerous family members, friends and supporters lining the course.

"This past week I envisioned exactly what happened in my head and it was perfect," Antonneau told Cyclingnews. "I made a few mistakes, I crashed a couple of times, but I'm really happy with how it went. I'm proud of myself.

"It was so loud and that's what helped me so much. Everyone was cheering and it was amazing. The support was there, it was awesome, and over the top."

While Nicole Duke rode in second place behind Compton for the first two laps, Antonneau eventually made the juncture with her teammate and the pair enjoyed a spirited back-and-forth.

"We were riding together and pushing each other, going back and forth, for about half the race," said Antonneau. "She rode really strong today, too, and I'm happy that we were able to be on the podium together."

Antonneau pulled away from Duke for good, however, on the first climb of the penultimate lap and almost immediately Teal Stetson-Lee passed Duke on the same ascent, dropping her back to fourth...for now.

"The last time she passed me she was so strong," Duke said of Antonneau. "She gapped me so hard that I kind of sat up and raced my own race and that's when Teal came around.

"I stayed calm, raced my own race, and saw that she was kind of slowing down," Duke continued. "I knew that I had a better time through the technical sections. On the last lap I was patient and waited to pass her on a section I knew where I could gap her, and it worked."

Like Antonneau, Duke had plenty of partisan support throughout the race venue.

"There was so much noise and intensity in the crowd. It made it really exciting. Alot of my Boulder peers were here and they were out running up the hills with me which made it really cool and really special.

"It was a really dynamic course, it was fun and it was way, way better than I expected. These frozen ruts really made it interesting."

Steadily moving her way into medal contention, Teal Stetson-Lee eventually found herself in hot pursuit of the Antonneau-Duke duo.

"They were a tough match today," Stetson-Lea told Cyclingnews. "They both had great starts and they were up there gapping the field early on. I was chasing for the longest time. That was the majority of my race today."

Just as Antonneau dropped Duke for good on the penultimate lap, Stetson-Lee, too, passed Duke on the same climb and moved into third place.

"I finally just pushed super-hard on my second to last lap and I got up to Nicole and I passed her on the first super-steep hill. I felt strong and then when I came into my final lap I could feel my legs start to cramp up on the climbs so I knew I was running out of fuel.

"She was just super-smart," continued Stetson-Lea. "I went by her but she stayed with me and kept working her way back up. She caught me in the techie sections and she is a way-impressive rider in those sections, she's got those downhill skills."

Rounding out the top five was Coryn Rivera and nobody seemed more surprised than Rivera regarding her best performance in the elite 'cross ranks.

"I was hoping for a top-10, just to finish my 'cross season well, but I totally surprised myself. I'm pretty speechless," Rivera told Cyclingnews. Rivera had already finished second in Saturday's Division I collegiate women's race, one place behind winner and Marian University roommate Kaitlin Antonneau, and likewise shared in the squad's collegiate team title.

While Rivera's 'cross schedule was relatively light in advance of nationals, the quality of racing was substantially higher than in previous years which she believed made a difference.

"It was actually heavier than usual in the kind of races that I did. Before I would mostly do local races and maybe one USGP before nationals, but this year I did Louisville as well as Bend and I also did Jingle Cross so I had alot more depth of racing in me compared to the years before."

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katherine Compton (Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team)0:46:42
2Kaitlin Antonneau (Cyclocrossworld/Cannondale Cyclocrossworld)0:01:59
3Nicole Duke (Cyclocrossworld/Cannondale Cyclocrossworld)0:02:17
4Teal Stetson-Lee (California Giant Cycling)0:02:32
5Coryn Rivera (Exergy Twenty12/Exergy Twenty12)0:03:39
6Meredith Miller (California Giant Cycling/California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized)0:03:52
7Susan Butler (River City Bicycles/Ridley)0:03:53
8Maureen Bruno Roy (Bob's Red Mill pb Seven Cycles)0:03:57
9Laura Van Gilder (C3 p/b Mellow Mushroom Racing)0:05:01
10Arley Kemmerer (Charm City Cycling Llc)0:05:14
11Kelsy Bingham (Roosters/Bikers Edge)0:05:30
12Sally Annis (Crossresults.Com/Crossresults.Com P/B Jra Cycles)0:05:41
13Carolyn Popovic (Team Cf/Team Cf-Elite)0:05:53
14Andrea Smith (Minuteman Road Club/Ladies First)0:06:25
15Alice Pennington (Team S&M)0:06:43
16Rebecca Blatt (Team Kenda Presented By Geargrinder)0:06:45
17Crystal Anthony (Minuteman Road Club/Ladies First)0:07:05
18Lisa Curry (Gallatin Valley Bicycle Club/Gallatin Alpine Sports/Intrinsik Archite)0:07:21
19Samantha Schneider ( p/b Blue Bicycles)0:07:26
20Kari Studley (Team Redline)0:07:39
21Nicole Thiemann (Team Cf/Team Cf-Elite)0:07:42
22Stacey Barbossa (Elite Endurance Training Systems)0:07:47
23Serena Gordon (Silverado Gallery)0:08:05
24Rebecca Gross (Tough Girl Cycling)0:08:10
25Linda Sone (Cycle-Smart Inc.)0:08:43
26Kristin Weber (Boulder Cycle Sport)0:08:51
27Bethann Orton0:09:01
28Abby Strigel (Cyclocrossracing.Com)0:09:03
29Ellen Noble (Trek)0:09:13
30Emily Shields (Mock Orange Bikes/Smartstop / Mock Orange Bikes P/B Ridley)
31Shannon Gibson (Stan's Notubes Elite Women's Team)0:09:18
32Katherine Shields (Mock Orange Bikes/Smartstop / Mock Orange Bikes P/B Ridley)0:09:53
33Alyssa Severn (Cyclocrossracing.Com)0:09:59
34Kristine Church (Human Zoom Cycling/Human Zoom)0:10:11
35Allison Arensman (Fiets Maan Racing)0:10:30
36Alice Henriques (Zanconato Racing)0:10:39
-3lapsElle Anderson (Minuteman Road Club/Ladies First)
-3lapsLisa Hudson (Feedback Sports Racing)
-3lapsChristina Tamilio (Minuteman Road Club/Ladies First)
-3lapsBrittlee Bowman (Crossresults.Com/Crossresults.Com P/B Jra Cycles)
-3lapsCorey Coogan Cisek (Plan C p/b Stevens)
-3lapsEllen Sherrill (Bike Station Aptos)
-3lapsCorrie Osborne (Iscorp Cycling Team)
-3lapsMarne Smiley (Bob's Red Mill)
-3lapsKimberly Flynn (Ussc-Trek P/B Vantaggio)
-3lapsMolly Hurford (Colavita Racing Inc./Colavita Racing)
-3lapsMargell Abel (Tough Girl Cycling)
-3lapsMeghan Korol (Ocd Cycling/Bob'S Red Mill Cyclocross)
-3lapsElizabeth So (Team Tati)
-3lapsAnna Dingman
-3lapsBailey Semian (Mid-Atlantic Cycling Club)
-3lapsAmber Rydholm (Gs Boulder/Trek Store)
-3lapsHannah Finchamp (The Team /The Team - Socalcross)
-3lapsDana Shinn
-3lapsKaila Hart (No Tubes Elite Womens Racing)
-3lapsJennifer Nowlin (Peace Coffee Racing)
-3lapsVictoria Gates (Tenet Racing/J.A.M. Fund / Ncc)
-3lapsLaura Murray
-3lapsJeanne Fleck (Velo Duluth)
-3lapsCassandra Maximenko (Silver Bull/Target Training)
-3lapsMichelle Bishop (Cadence/Cannondale Women'S Racing Team)
-4lapsDorothy Wong (The Team /The Team - Socalcross)
-4lapsSierra Siebenlist (Indiebike.Com)
-4lapsLindsay Zucco (Team Bicycle Heaven)
-4lapsSarah Fredrickson (Bikereg.Com Cycling Club)
-4lapsMatilda Field
-4lapsShannon Greenhill (Peachtree Bikes)
-4lapsJulie Hunter
-4lapsKimberly Thomas (Fusion Cycling Team/Fusion It)
-4lapsPatricia Dowd (Coeur D 'Alene Velo Racers (Cdavr)/Team Rep)
-4lapsCatherine Hollibaugh (Team Nebo Ridge)
-4lapsCory Redmond (Black Sheep Cycles/Black Sheep Cartel)
DNSAmanda Carey (Kenda/Felt)
DNSJennifer Gaertner (Coeur D 'Alene Velo Racers (Cdavr))
DNSChristina Probert (The Team)
DNSNina Baum
DNSJennifer Herrell-Rhoades (Bicycles Of Tulsa)
DNSCristina Begy
DNSAntonia Leal (Planet Bike)
DNSNicole Alexander (Kitchi - Mi - Kana/Chocolay Ace Hardware Cycling Team)
DNSChristina Birch (Tenet Racing/J.A.M. Fund / Ncc)
DNSKatherine Sherwin (Stan's Notubes Elite Women's Team)
DNSAmy Dombroski (Crankbrothers Race Club)
DNFKatie Arnold (Echelon Cycling Team)
DNFSarah Huang (Exergy Twenty12/Exergy Twenty12)

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Based in the southeastern United States, Peter produces race coverage for all disciplines, edits news and writes features. The New Jersey native has 30 years of road racing and cyclo-cross experience, starting in the early 1980s as a Junior in the days of toe clips and leather hairnets. Over the years he's had the good fortune to race throughout the United States and has competed in national championships for both road and 'cross in the Junior and Masters categories. The passion for cycling started young, as before he switched to the road Peter's mission in life was catching big air on his BMX bike.

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