Compton solos to victory in Colorado Cross Classic

In a replay of last year's dominance, Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) gained an early advantage and held it to win the Colorado Cross Classic on Saturday. As Compton stretched her lead it appeared second place would come from the chase group of Nicole Duke (Marin/Spy), Crystal Anthony (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), and Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized). But Chloe Woodruff (Crankbrothers Race Club) hustled from the back of the start grid to fifth position on course, chipped away at the distance between herself and the chasers, and claimed a surprising second. Providence Cyclo-cross Festival winner Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) was absent.

The women's race began soon after a citizen's lap in honor of recently deceased Amy Dombroski. In a gesture to reinforce the well-liked racer's continued presence in the cycling community, bib number one was assigned to Dombroski.

Raleigh-Clement's Caroline Mani captured the holeshot with Compton, Duke, Anthony, and Miller right behind. Miller's new teammate Elle Anderson slipped a chain in the start grid and began her race toward the back of the field.

Compton attacked quickly. "There were so many corners I had to be in the front early," she said. The national champion lost a handful of places when she crashed in one of the first turns but re-established her position as the clear leader by the start of the second lap.

As Duke, Anthony, and Miller chased, Miller attempted to sneak by Duke on a corner and then in lap four passed the Marin/Spy rider in the sandpit. But as she tried to carry her speed, Miller crashed on a tight corner and lost some time.

In the final lap, Woodruff's consistent stalking paid off and she moved to next wheel after Compton. Saying she's a mountain biker, Woodruff attributed her result to focusing on her own race. "I was never far from that group of three up ahead," she said. "I was having fun out there. Just trying to ride my bike fast and make one lap better than the next."

Duke attacked in the final lap, passing Anthony. But she couldn't hold off the Optum rider who finished in third ahead of her. Miller completed the top five.

Anthony said she came to the race a little concerned about racing at altitude and carefully monitored her limit. "There were a couple of times when I backed off a little bit," she said, "but I felt good, had good legs. Chloe just was really strong at the end."

Post-race, Anderson seemed content with seventh place. "I was feeling pretty good…It's just as fun wherever you are in the field. It was not a bad day considering." Anderson, who's racing age is 26, brought with her a string of recent wins.

Duke recognized the course's many corners suited her but felt they suited others as well, citing the younger crop of riders who are adding strength to the women's field. "These girls have gotten a lot stronger, and it's not just strength in their pedaling power," Duke explained. "It's also in their technical skills and I've noticed that riding behind a lot of these young riders."

Compton's gotten stronger as well as she's recovered from a summer of illness and injury. "I'm happy to win," she said after claiming her first of the season. "I had a pretty good day and technically I felt pretty good. I'm just happy to get back to my old self and win a race."

When asked if the memory of Amy had been with her as she rode, Compton replied, "I'm thinking about the lines, the effort. But when you're suffering, you're working hard, yes, she's always there. It's one of those things where I'm going to appreciate every day of it. Even though it hurts, I'm still here, I'm still enjoying it."

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katherine Compton (USA) Trek Cyclocross Collective0:39:55
2Chloe Woodruff (USA) Crankbrothers0:00:38
3Crystal Anthony (USA) Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies0:00:41
4Nicole Duke (USA) Marin/Spy0:00:43
5Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant Berry/Specialized0:01:24
6Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld0:01:38
7Elle Anderson (USA) California Giant Berry/Specialized0:02:04
8Judy Freeman (USA)0:02:05
9Caroline Mani (Fra)0:02:15
10Courtenay Mcfadden (USA)0:02:18
11Sunny Gilbert (USA)0:02:21
12Jessica Cutler (USA)0:02:49
13Emily Kachorek (USA)0:02:53
14Beth Ann Orton (USA)0:02:59
15Amanda Carey (USA)0:03:02
16Rebecca Gross (USA) Tough Girl0:03:11
17Caitlyn Vestal (USA) Feedback Sports Racing0:03:15
18Ellen Sherrill (USA)0:03:20
19Kristin Weber (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport0:03:43
20Rebecca Blatt (USA) Van Dessel0:03:49
21Melissa Barker (USA) GS Boulder - Studio One Dental - Organic India0:03:52
22Anna Dingman (USA)0:04:00
23Sofia Gomez Villafane (Arg)0:04:03
24Laurel Rathbun (USA) ExergyTWENTY120:04:07
25Jessica D'amato (USA) Evol Foods0:04:13
26Katie Melena (USA)0:04:16
27Amanda Nauman (USA)0:04:24
28Kate Powlison (USA) Evol Foods0:04:26
29Nina Baum (USA)0:04:42
30Kristal Boni (USA) Rapid Racing0:04:44
31Lisa Hudson (USA) Feedback Sports Racing0:05:14
32Corey Coogan Cisek (USA)0:05:38
33Shannon Gibson (USA)0:06:17
34Karen Brocket (USA)0:06:29
35Sarah Sturm (USA)0:07:02
36Heather Fischer (USA)0:07:04
37Lindsay Lorenz (USA)0:08:07
38Ivie Crawford (USA)0:08:23

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