Compton claims 14th US cyclo-cross title in Reno

Katie Compton (KFC Racing-Trek) claimed a record 14th title at the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships in Reno, Nevada on Sunday. Despite dealing with some fatigue, the 39-year-old dominated the elite women's race, soloing to her victory ahead of world-ranked rivals Ellen Noble (Aspire) and Kaitlin Keough (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld).

"I wasn't feeling that awesome today," Compton said to race commentators in a post-race interview. "It was a hard course and Ellen was riding really strong. I had to work hard through the first half of the course and then kind of kept it upright in the second half. I bobbled on the last descent, and Ellen was pretty close, so I had to drill it to the finish.

"I was also trying to catch my breath, trying not to have an asthma attack, and managing the finish, the excitement and not getting caught."

The race was held at the Rancho San Rafael Park on a 3.4km course that had a powerful first half and a technical second half, all-in-all suiting powerful riders. It had sections of off-camber descent, a sandpit, run-up, railroad-tie stairs and a set of barriers.

The front-row calls included Compton, Keough and Noble along with Courtenay McFadden (Washington State Bicycle Association), Rebecca Fahringer (Amy D. Foundation), Crystal Anthony, Sunny Gilbert (Van Dessel Factory Team) and Arley Kemmerer (Fearless Femme).

Noble, ranked 15th in the world, did not disappoint crowds, showing off her strong technical skills by riding the Belgian stairs on course. That is where she took the early lead of the women's race, creating a small gap on everyone but Compton, who sat tightly and comfortably on her wheel.

Compton, wearing her Pan-American champion kit, powered to the front through the first half of the first lap, found an open line and built a slight lead. Noble took back her lead on the run-up, and the pair stayed together through the off-camber descent.

"Ellen had a really good start and she is riding really strong," Compton said. "I made a few mistakes, fishtailed my back end and had to remember to slowdown."

Keough, currently ranked second in the world, had a notably slower start. She fought to close a gap of roughly 10 to 15 seconds on the first lap but remained in third place with no one else around her.

Compton has spent most of her season overseas, is ranked fifth in the world and won the DVV Trofee series. She proved her dominant form, pulling away from Noble on the second lap. Compton smoothly handed the technical sections and powered through the straighter runs. She rode that much faster than her rivals through the off-camber sections and sandpit.

Compton had a small bobble in the last lap on the off-camber descent but rolled over the line with a comfortable victory. Noble, with a fast last lap, raced in for second place. Keough, who struggled on course, finished further back in third.

"I was concerned the whole time [about Ellen Noble]," Compton said. "She has been riding really strong and has had some really good races. I know she wants to win, she is young and has a ton of energy, and technically she's good. She was always there. I had to be smooth and make as few mistakes as possible. I wasn't easing up."

Compton has never won the elite women's cyclo-cross world title and didn't want to speculate on whether this was her year. "I'm looking forward to going back to Belgium and doing the final preparation for the Worlds. But honestly, I've had tons of good seasons and bad world championships. It could go either way."

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katherine Compton (USA) Trek Cyclocross Collective0:49:51
2Ellen Noble (USA) Aspire0:00:07
3Kaitlin Keough (USA) Cannondale Cyclocrossworld0:01:40
4Courtenay Mcfadden (USA)0:03:17
5Amanda Nauman (USA) SDG-Muscle Monster0:03:34
6Rebecca Fahringer (USA) Amy D. Foundation0:03:43
7Samantha Runnels (USA)0:03:51
8Lily Williams (USA) The Pony Shop0:04:52
9Rebecca Gross (USA)0:05:01
10Caitlin Bernstein (USA) Vive La Tarte0:05:22
11Arley Kemmerer (USA) Fearless Femme Racing0:05:38
12Sarah Sturm (USA) Ska Zia0:05:47
13Caroline Nolan (USA)0:05:54
14Beth Ann Orton (USA)0:05:59
15Jennifer Malik (USA) American Classic Pro Cyclocross0:06:02
16Raylyn Nuss (USA) Maplewood Bicycle St. Louis0:06:10
17Crystal Anthony (USA) Maxxis-Shimano Pro Cyclocross0:06:22
18Cassandra Maximenko (USA) Van Dessel Factory Team0:06:33
19Emily Kachorek (USA)0:06:36
20Sunny Gilbert (USA) Van Dessel Factory Team0:06:46
21Teal Stetson-Lee (USA) Kynd Cannabis0:07:01
22Erica Zaveta (USA) Garneau-Easton p/b Transitions0:07:21
23Kristen Legan (USA) EVOL DevoElite Racing0:07:22
24Emily Shields (USA) Hearts Racing Club0:07:26
25Christa Ghent (USA) Amy D. Foundation0:08:00
26Rachel Rubino (USA)0:08:27
@1LapRegina Legge (USA) Trek Cyclocross CollectiveRow 26 - Cell 2
@1LapLaura Winberry (USA) Speedvagen RacingRow 27 - Cell 2
@1LapAnne Usher (USA)Row 28 - Cell 2
@2LapsAnna Megale (USA) Team UpCycleRow 29 - Cell 2
@2LapsAllison Arensman (USA) JA KingRow 30 - Cell 2
@2LapsErin Faccone (USA) B2C2 Cycling ClubRow 31 - Cell 2
@2LapsGabriella Sterne (USA) Vanderkitten CX VKCXRow 32 - Cell 2
@2LapsLeslie Lupien (USA) B2C2 Cycling ClubRow 33 - Cell 2
@3LapsLeslie Ethridge (USA) Topo Designs Cycling ClubRow 34 - Cell 2
DNFHeidi Franz (USA) UCI WPT: Rally CyclingRow 35 - Cell 2
DNFCampbell Steers (USA) Rock LobsterRow 36 - Cell 2
DNSDani Arman (USA) Tenspeed HeroRow 37 - Cell 2
DNSKatherine Shields (USA) Hearts Racing ClubRow 38 - Cell 2

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