Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant) raced to her second consecutive short track national championship title in Sun Valley, Idaho, on Sunday afternoon. Behind her, Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Trek) and Georgia Gould (Luna) battled for second throughout. Irmiger raced to the line in second place, gapping a tired Gould on the final lap.
"It was fun today. The course was fast," said Compton. "It was slick in places and there were a few power sections. It was good - I liked it a lot.
Compton put on a one-woman show at the front of the race, starting just after the first lap.
"I did a small attack and got a gap," said Compton. "I heard that Georgia and Heather were behind others, so I worked hard to open up that gap, so they'd have to chase. I kept on the gas because I wanted to win this race."
Compton stayed off the front for the duration of the race, gradually stretching her advantage. This victory was her third short track national title. The first two were in Mount Snow, Vermont in 2007 and in Granby, Colorado in 2010.
The short track course this year was much easier than last year with very little climbing. "There was a little hill, but it was so short and fast that it didn't hurt that much," said Compton. "The hardest part was the bumpy grass after the rock section - it was a power suck."
Up until the last lap, Irmiger and Gould comprised the first chase group. The pair worked together well as they fended off the group behind them.
"I lead Georgia for two laps and she pulled me for two laps," said Irmiger. "I was gaging how she was riding and I noticed that I was almost rubbing tires with her in a few sections and I was trying to decide where to make my move. I thought that if I could lead that whole last lap, I could hold onto it."
With one to go, Irmiger went to the front and drilled it. A tired Gould, after winning the cross country on Saturday, didn't have the legs to follow, but Irmiger wasn't sure of that at the time of her attack.
"I wasn't going to be surprised if it didn't work because she's Georgia, but when I looked back on the final pavement section, I saw I had 10 feet and I knew I had to not wipe out on that last corner," said Irmiger, who collected the silver medal.
"I was destroyed after yesterday," said Gould. "I didn't have whatever it is that you need in a short track to win."
"I thought maybe I'd be able to sit on Heather and come back around, but she put in a good effort and I had the kind of legs where you couldn't spin any gear. I hung in there as long as I could. I was trying to keep the pace high enough so that the others couldn't catch us. I only wanted to sprint one person and not six people."
Kathy Sherwin (No Tubes Women's Elite Team) raced to a fourth place spot, her best-ever national championship finish. "Just like yesterday, I was getting stronger and stronger. It was a good set up for my head. Coming into today's short track, I had my head screwed on right. It worked out. I made my way up after the start, and it was a course that suited me."
Teal Stetson Lee (Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory) put in her career best performance, too. The 25-year-old, who also races 'cross, may be the future of the elite women's category as she finished fifth for the final podium spot.
"It was dusty and like a road course in some sections, but it was great. I had good legs today because I didn't finish yesterday after having a bad crash. I bruised my knee, but it feels better on a bike today than walking."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Katherine Compton (RaboBank - Giant Off Road Team)||0:25:09|
|2||Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Trek)||0:00:28|
|3||Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team)||0:00:32|
|4||Katherine Sherwin (NoTubes Elite Womens Team)||0:00:45|
|5||Teal Stetson-Lee (Sweet Elite Rocky Mountain Chocolate Fac)||0:00:50|
|6||Erin Huck (Tokyo Joes)||0:00:56|
|7||Judy Freeman (Kenda / Felt Mountain Bike Team)||0:01:15|
|8||Lea Davison (Specialized Factory Racing)|
|9||Kelli Emmett (Giant Bicycles)||0:01:18|
|10||Zephanie Blasi (NoTubes Elite Women's Team)||0:01:34|
|14||Rebecca Gross (Velo Bella)||0:02:33|
|-2laps||Shannon Gibson (NoTubes Elite Women's Team)|
|-2laps||Sarah Kaufmann (Team Roaring Mouse)|
|-2laps||Erica Zaveta (BMC Mountain Bike Development Team)|
|-6laps||Chloe Forsman (BMC Mountain Bike Development Team)|
|DNS||Mary Mcconneloug (Kenda/Seven/NoTubes)|
|DNS||Krista Park (Cannondale/NoTubes)|
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