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Compton storms to Louisville win

Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant-Off-Road Team) left no doubt that she's the number one-ranked rider in the world as she dismantled a strong women's field on the first of two days at the Exergy US Gran Prix of Cyclocross Derby City Cup in Louisville, Kentucky.

Exergy USGP series leader Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) took a hard-fought second place finish, holding off the charge of 19-year-old Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale p/b, the reigning US U23 champion who uncorked her best result of the season.

French champion Caroline Mani (CC Etupes), who had been battling with Nash for second place through to the five-lap race's endgame, crashed on the last lap and ultimately finished in fourth. Upon crossing the finish line Mani quickly came to a halt along the retaining fence, in obvious pain from what appeared to be an injured wrist.

While Nicole Duke (Cannondale p/b rocketed off the start line to grab the hole-shot as the field made a sweeping left-hand turn onto grass from the paved start/finish straight, it was Mani who soon took over the pace-making on the opening lap.

After negotiating the flyover and looping around into the wooded section for the first of two sections each lap, Mani led a five-rider selection through a tricky up-and-over sand sector. With the French champion were Compton, Laura Van Gilder (C3 p/b Mellow Mushroom), Duke and Nash.

While Compton initially thought the race would stay together until much later in the contest, nonetheless when presented with an opportunity to shed her rivals the seven-time US champion accelerated away from the lead group early on the second lap.

"I wanted to kind of wait a little but, but I had good legs and felt pretty good," Compton told Cyclingnews. "I noticed after the end of the first lap that there was a little gap between riders. I think Katerina [Nash] was sitting on third or fourth wheel, and I had a little gap so I figured I'd accelerate and make her chase.

"It wasn't planned to get a gap that quickly but I thought I'd just keep on it and keep going hard."

Nash tried to answer Compton's attack, but the effects of bad luck plus an off day were too much to overcome.

"I could see Katie attacking and I came around but I remounted a little too late on the flyover and I broke my seat," Nash told Cyclingnews. "I had to get in the pits right away and change my bike. Completely my fault, the timing wasn't that bad because the pits were right there, but it happened right when Katie took off.

"I had a tough one today," said Nash. "I was fighting myself a lot. I got a little sick yesterday so I'm very pleased to finish second place today, I wasn't a contender for first.

Compton was flawless through the sand sections, the technical sections in the woods, and unleashed voluminous watts of power on the straightaways which she parlayed into a 20-second advantage over her closest chasers at the end of lap two, Mani and Nash.

"It was fast today and the ground was pretty rough so it helps to put it in a bigger gear and pedal harder over all the bumps, and just push on the quick ups and downs," said Compton. "It was really fun, today - a great course and super-fast. The sand sections were just hard enough, I really enjoyed it."

Following close behind were Antonneau and Van Gilder, trailing Nash and Mani by nine seconds.

Nash, Mani and a surging Antonneau battle for podium spots

While Compton steadily pulled away from her rivals, the contest for the remaining podium positions became hotly contested. Nash and Mani, the Czech and French national champions, continued to look for weaknesses to exploit in each other on the fast, Eva Bandman Park parcours, all the while being very conscious of Antonneau's relentless pursuit, as the talented young rider had dispatched of Van Gilder and chased on her own.

"It's nice to have someone to ride with like Carolina [Mani], she was really strong today so we took turns out on the windy course. There were some corners where it (the wind) just hit you, so it was good to partner up with somebody. Considering the wind, it was impressive that Katie got out there and rode by herself the whole time."

After three laps Antonneau trailed Nash and Mani by 13 seconds, entering the final lap she had trimmed it to a tantalizing six seconds.

There was plenty of opportunity for Nash and Mani to gauge the distance to their pursuer on the twisting circuit, and after about 1/3 of the final lap Antonneau had failed to close any further.

Disaster soon struck for Mani, however, as she crashed while on Nash's wheel. The Czech champion never looked back and managed to add a few more seconds of cushion between her and the now third-placed Antonneau.

"It kind of worked out for me in the end but Kaitlin was coming, she was catching up, and I was glad we were done when we were done," said Nash.

"I made a few mistakes on the first lap that separated me from the lead group," Antonneau told Cyclingnews. "I kept chasing, except I kept making mistakes, I think because it was so fast and I was on the whole time.

"I kind of got my act together around the middle of the second lap and I just kept picking people off, pushing and chasing as hard as I could."

Compton, meanwhile, had ample time to celebrate her victory on the home straight with Nash following 30 seconds later.

"I just wanted to make sure I didn't make any mistakes because you can lose quite a bit of time with a crash," said Compton. "I just didn't want to mis-shift, or make any errors on the tight, technical sections.

"The wind was tough because I think it picked up as the race went on," continued Compton. "Maybe I just got tired [laughs], but it definitely felt a little harder on the last lap. Every place we had a headwind it was really bumpy grass, too. I just wanted a smooth race. I pushed hard and hopefully saved a little for tomorrow."

Compton, who coaches Antonneau, was beaming as she high-fived the Cannondale p/b rider soon after she crossed the finish line in third place, the young rider's best result of the season.

"I'm so excited," said Antonneau. "Having Worlds here in 2013 makes it extra-motivating."

Overall, Nash holds a commanding lead in the Exergy USGP series with 230 points earned from three victories and two second-place finishes. The Czech champion leads Compton by 90 points, with Mani a close third just two points shy of Compton.

Nash's Luna Pro Team teammate Georgia Gould holds fourth with 132 points while Meredith Miller (California Giant-Specialized) rounds out the top five with 120 points.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katie Compton (USA) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team0:45:11
2Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team0:00:31
3Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale Cyclocrossworld0:00:41
4Caroline Mani (Fra) CC Etupes0:01:05
5Chloe Forsman (USA) Crankbrothers0:01:19
6Laura Van Gilder (USA) C3 Athletes Serving Athletes0:01:20
7Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant Berry/Specialized0:01:34
8Nicole Duke (USA) Cannondale Cyclocrossworld0:01:45
9Mical Dyck (Can) Pro City Racing0:02:14
10Andrea Smith (USA) LadiesFirst Racing0:02:20
11Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team0:02:25
12Susan Butler (USA) River City Bicyles-Ridley0:02:29
13Pepper Harlton (Can) Juventus Cycling Club0:02:35
14Katherine Sherwin (USA) Stan's NoTubes Elite Cyclocross Team0:02:59
15Amanda Carey (USA) Kenda/Felt
16Coryn Rivera (USA) Marian University0:03:04
17Nicole Thiemann (USA) Team CF-Elite0:03:13
18Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob's Red Mill pb Seven Cycles0:03:23
19Crystal Anthony (USA) LadiesFirst Racing0:03:30
20Devon Gorry (USA) Rambuski Law0:03:42
21Teal Stetson-Lee (USA) California Giant-Specialized0:03:45
22Julie Krasniak (Fra) Rapha-Focus0:03:52
23Alice Pennington (USA) Team S&M0:03:55
24Kelsy Bingham (USA) Roosters/Bikers Edge0:04:33
25Sarah Maile (USA) Ventana Mountain Bikes0:04:59
26Rebecca Gross (USA) Tough Girls0:05:05
27Rebecca Blatt (USA) Team Kenda presented by Geargrinder0:05:18
28Annajean Dallaire (USA) Racin' for Riley p/b Alderfer Bergen0:05:29
29Emily Thurston (USA) Stevens0:05:44
30Jennifer Maxwell (USA) Vandessel Factory Team Pb Sterke Meiden0:05:48
31Kari Studley (USA) Team Redline0:05:53
32Kimberly Flynn (USA) USSC-Trek p/b Vantaggio0:05:56
33Sarah Stewart (Can)0:06:00
34Jenni Gaertner (USA) Raleigh America0:06:25
35Linda Sone (USA) Cycle-Smart/Flanders0:06:33
36Katie Arnold (USA) Echelon Cycling Team0:06:42
37Sarah Huang (USA) IS Corp
38Corrie Osborne (USA) ISCorp0:06:50
39Sunny Gilbert (USA) Michelob Ultra - Big Shark Racing0:07:14
40Ashley James (USA) KCCX Elite0:07:26
41Melanie Long (USA) Tough Girl-Scott0:07:36
42Kelly Benjamin (USA) KCCX-Fuji Elite p/b Challenge Tires0:07:57
43Katrina Baumsteiger (USA)0:08:01
44Kelly Paterson (USA) Wolverine/ACFStores.com0:08:04
45Corey Coogan-Cisek (USA) Team Plan C p/b Stevens0:08:12
46Marne Smiley (USA) Bob's Red Mill pb Seven Cycles0:08:41
47Kathryn Roszko (USA) Cycling Club0:08:47
48Shannon Gibson (USA) Stan's NoTubes Elite Cyclocross Team0:08:58
49Lynn Bush (USA) Tough Girl-Scott0:09:22
50Paula Burks (USA) US Stove / Vanatggio fitness0:09:39
51Anna Dingman (USA) Cycleution0:09:49
52Elizabeth Cobb (USA) Bikereg.com0:11:10
53 (-1 lap)Patricia Dowd (USA) Team REP-I COWBELL CX
DNFMeghan Korol (USA) Bob'S Red Mill Cx
DNFCourtney Dimpel (USA) Team Rambuski Law

Exergy USGP series standings after five rounds
1Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team230pts
2Katherine Compton (USA) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team140
3Caroline Mani (Fra) CC Etupes138
4Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team132
5Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant-Specialized120
6Nicole Duke (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld111
7Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld98
8Susan Butler (USA) River City Bicyles-Ridley82
9Chloe Forsman (USA) Crankbrothers74
10Mical Dyck (Can) Pro City Racing70
11Katherine Sherwin (USA) Stans's NoTubes Elite Cyclocross Team61
12Pepper Harlton (Can) Juventus Cycling Club43
13Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob's Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles42
14Teal Stetson-Lee (USA) California Giant-Specialized41
15Kelsy Bingham (USA) Roosters-Bikers Edge35
16Emily Batty (Can) Subaru-Trek25
17Laura Van Gilder (USA) C3 p/b Mellow Mushroom23
18Alice Pennington (USA) Team S&M20
19Andrea Smith (USA) LadiesFirst Racing12
20Devon Gorry (USA) Rambuski Law11
21Linda Sone (USA) Cycle-Smart/Flanders11
22Rebecca Gross (USA) Tough Girls10
23Kari Studley (USA) Team Redline10
24Meghan Korol (USA) Bob's Red Mill Cyclocross8
25Sunny Gilbert (USA) Michelob Ultra - Big Shark Racing8
26Ashley James (USA) KCCX Elite8
27Annajean Dallaire (USA) Racin' for Riley p/b Alderfer Bergen8
28Amanda Carey (USA) Kenda-Felt6
29Heather Irmiger (USA)6
30Coryn Rivera (USA) Marian University5
31Nicole Thiemann (USA) Team CF4
32Jennifer Gaertner (USA) Raleigh America3
33Crystal Anthony (USA) LadiesFirst Racing2
34Lisa Hudson (USA) Feedback Sports2
35Jeanne Fleck (USA) Velo Duluth - Twin Ports Cyclery2
36Katy Curtis (Can) Cyclemeisters2
37Sarah Maile (USA) Ventana Mountain Bikes1
38Sage Wilderman (USA)1

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Based in the southeastern United States, Peter produces race coverage for all disciplines, edits news and writes features. The New Jersey native has 30 years of road racing and cyclo-cross experience, starting in the early 1980s as a Junior in the days of toe clips and leather hairnets. Over the years he's had the good fortune to race throughout the United States and has competed in national championships for both road and 'cross in the Junior and Masters categories. The passion for cycling started young, as before he switched to the road Peter's mission in life was catching big air on his BMX bike.

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