Katie Compton (Planet Bike) powered away to a short track win on Sunday afternoon at the US National Championships in Granby, Colorado. She finished ahead of yesterday's cross country winner Georgia Gould (Luna) and yesterday's runner-up Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Trek).
"That one hurt... a lot," said Compton after dominating the race.
She initially sat in on the first few laps, gauging her competition. Then Compton pushed the pace on lap three, and the elastic quickly snapped as she instantly opened a gap that did nothing but grow throughout the rest of the race.
"I wanted to get a couple of laps in and see how everyone was riding. It always starts fast and then the lull comes. I figured I'd wait until the lull and attack and see what happens," said Compton. "I was wanting to go faster up this hill part on the first couple of laps. I was sitting comfortably, so I decided to just go and I got a gap."
Compton measured her effort with the intention of riding fast enough to get a gap, but saving just enough in case she were to get caught.
Getting caught didn't prove to be an issue as instead, Compton caught and lapped everyone else except second, third and fourth places. Instead of pulling all lapped riders and leaving just four women on the course, officials left the top 10 riders, even those who were lapped, to race until the end.
Compton's victory gave her a second short track national title. She also won in 2008 in Mount Snow in a race that she said, resembled today's. The short, painful effort was a perfect match for Compton's proven talent as one of the best cyclo-cross races in the world.
"If that race had been an hour, it would have been different. But I can suffer and go hard for this amount of time," said Compton.
Gould wasn't caught off guard when Compton rode away to victory. "I wasn't surprised when Katie launched her attack. Was anyone surprised that Katie is fast and attacked? I just didn't have the legs to go with her.
"Katie always does that," added fifth place finisher Willow Koerber (Subaru-Trek).
The recently crowned cross country national champion Gould was feeling the effects of Saturday's gold-medal winning ride. "It was a hard weekend. I felt like I got run over by a truck after yesterday's effort. It was tough out there, but I did the best I could. My plan was to race my hardest and do the best I could. Sometimes the best you can do isn't enough to win."
Irmiger rode to third place ahead of Mary McConneloug (Kenda/Seven/NoTubes), who was pleased with her second podium placing of the weekend.
"You know it's going to end and that's the only thing that keeps me going," said McConneloug of short track racing. "I was having some stomach cramping issues and again, just like yesterday, I only had one speed."
Koerber, who was a the front initially, finished in fifth place.
"The reason I had a great start was because I wasn't going that hard," said Koerber. "Then they started going hard and I kept going the same pace."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team|
|1||Katherine Compton (Planet Bike / Stevens / Kenda)|
|2||Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team)|
|3||Heather Irmiger (Subaru/Trek)|
|4||Mary McConneloug (Kenda/Seven/NoTubes)|
|5||Willow Koerber (Subaru/Trek)|
|6||Judy Freeman (Kenda / Felt Mountain Bike Team)|
|7||Erin Huck (University of Colorado-Boulder)|
|8||Pua Sawicki (OkoleStuff.com)|
|9||Kelli Emmett (Giant Bicycles)|
|10||Amy Dombroski (Luna Pro Team)|
|11||Katherine Sherwin (Mafia Racing/Pabst/Felt)|
|12||Zephanie Blasi (Titus-NoTubes-Kenda-ICE)|
|14||Teal Stetson-Lee (Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory)|
|15||Nina Baum (Cannondale)|
|16||Joele Guynup (IRC/Everti Bicycles)|
|18||Shannon Gibson (Velo Bella)|
|19||Becca Blay (Mafia Racing)|
|20||Lydia Tanner (Tokyo Joes)|
|21||Lisa Curry (Gallatin Valley Bicycle Club/Gallatin Alpine Sports/Intrinsik Archite)|
|22||Erin Disterheft (Team Billys)|
|23||Meghan Korol (Mafia Racing)|
|24||Heather Szabo (Tokyo Joes)|
|25||Chloe Forsman (Tokyo Joe's)|
|26||Krista Park (Cannondale/Incycle.com)|
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