Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant Offroad) wrapped up the Cincy3 Cyclo-cross Festival with a third straight victory at the UCI C1 Harbin Park p/b BioWheels & United Dairy Farmers in Ohio on Sunday. The US National Champion rode away from her nearest competitors during the opening laps and left second place to a sprint won by Meredith Miller (Cal Giant-Specialized) and Caroline Mani (SRAM) who placed third on the day.
“I'm really excited to have a great weekend, the racing was harder and everyone is riding faster this year so being able to win three in a row feels pretty good,” Compton told Cyclingnews. “I wouldn't say that I had a smooth ride, I made a few mistakes early in the race and struggled a bit at the beginning but was able to relax and ride smart and smooth by the end of the race. I didn’t have mechanicals but it was a day where taking a bike each lap probably would have been the way to go. I only took one change but I think my tires could have used a cleaning each lap.”
Organizers of the Cincy3 Cyclo-cross Festival offered a challenging finale to the three-day weekend of racing. The course included a set of barriers along with ample technical corners combined with several lengthy straightaways to the advantage of the most powerful and savvy riders. “The finale at Harbin Park featured lots of elevation change, three sand pits, ripping fast descents, and lots of fast turns,” said event promoter Mitch Graham. “When the course is wet, it is a solid grind all the way around.”
“The course was really hard and we only did four laps,” Miller told Cyclingnews. “The laps were long. Friday [Devou Park] and today were the harder of the three courses. But, today was really just a fight out there. It was a heavy course with a lot of ups and downs and technical sections that you had to be able to maneuver around.”
The challenging course resulted in major separations amongst the top group of contenders early into the Elite women’s 40-minute race. Compton gained a small lead ahead of chasing group with in the first two laps of the race. She used her strength on the pedals and top-notch technical skills to increased that lead during the following laps and to her third consecutive victory at the finish line.
“It's funny, I thought the first day was really hard too but today was right there with it,” Compton said. “It was all of it, the ground was sticky and soft and there was a hard sand pit right at the top of a longish hard climb so that made it difficult. The third day of racing is always the hardest so that added to a difficult course. It was also tricky to decide what tires and pressures to run today so that made challenging too.”
A battle for second place ensued between Compton’s chasers Miller and Mani. Although Miller was successful in gaining a few seconds on several occasions, Mani relentlessly worked her way back into contention. The pair entered the last lap together where Mani gained a small advantage exiting the sand pit. Miller managed to pull her back on the final up hill before the finishing straightaway and proved to be the faster of the two in a two-up sprint for second place.
“Mani, Butler, Antonneau and I were all together at first,” Miller said. “Mani and I pulled away on some of the hills. Coming into the last lap, through the uphill sand section I got off and ran and Mani rode it and came around me. She opened up a little bit of a gap through some technical parts. I started closing it down on the uphill, which was where I felt was the best chance for me to close the gap to her. I led through the technical sections before the finish and gave it everything I had up the hill to the finish line.”
Top ten performances on the day included Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com), Sue Butler (River City Bicycles) and Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team).
|1||Katherine Compton (USA) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team||0:37:19|
|2||Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant-Specialized||0:00:11|
|3||Caroline Mani (Fra) CC Etupes||0:00:14|
|4||Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld||0:00:39|
|5||Susan Butler (USA) River City Bicyles-Ridley||0:01:05|
|6||Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team||0:01:27|
|7||Chloe Forsman (USA) Race Club 11||0:02:42|
|8||Devon Gorry (USA) Rambuski Law||0:02:50|
|9||Coryn Rivera (USA) Marian University||0:02:51|
|10||Katherine Sherwin (USA) Stans's NoTubes Elite Cyclocross Team||0:03:51|
|11||Annajean Dallaire (USA) Racin' for Riley p/b Alderfer Bergen||0:04:09|
|12||Jennifer Gaertner (USA) Raleigh America||0:04:38|
|13||Meghan Korol (USA) Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross||0:05:02|
|14||Rebecca Blatt (USA) Team Kenda presented by Geargrinder||0:05:26|
|15||Linda Sone (USA) Cycle-Smart/Flanders||0:05:41|
|16||Katie Arnold (USA) Echelon Cycling Team||0:06:11|
|17||Jennifer Maxwell (USA) Van Dessel Factory Team||0:06:31|
|18||Erin Silliman (USA) Alan North America Cycling Team||0:06:53|
|19||Sarah Huang (USA) IS Corp||0:07:15|
|20||Shannon Gibson (USA) Stans's NoTubes Elite Cyclocross Team||0:07:50|
|21||Vanessa McCaffery (USA) Corning-NoTubes Race Team-Swan Cycles||-1lap|
|22||Bridget Donovan (USA) Trek Store Cincinnati-Seven Cycles Development Team|
|23||Elizabeth Cobb (USA) Bikereg.com|
|DNF||Ashley James (USA) KCCX Elite|
|DNS||Teal Stetson-Lee (USA) California Giant-Specialized|
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