Deja vu all over again. Picking up where she left last year, Katie Compton (Planet Bike) solo’ed to win the opener of the Greenware US Gran Prix of Cyclocross, day one of the Planet Bike Cup in Sun Prairie, WI. Following her injury at the Mountain Bike World Championships and her decision to skip CrossVegas, her start today was up in the air. But she felt good in the morning and decided to go for it.
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What was different from last year, is that Compton waited two laps before hitting on the gas, testing to see if her left knee was okay.
Showing the same fast opening speed as in Vegas, Sue Butler (Hudz-Subaru) shot out to grab the holeshot Behind her lined up were Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing), Compton, Sally Annis (SEBC), Amy Dombroski and Georgia Gould (Luna) and Meredith Miller (CalGiant) with gaps opening up in the 22-rider field on the first lap.
Butler kept applying the pressure at the front with Compton now in second wheel while Dombroski was moving up in the field. But feeling good, Compton made her way to the front and kept on going with only Dombroski able to stick on her wheel for a short time. After Compton powered away, Dombroski was joined by her teammate Gould in the chase but Gould would continue on alone when Dombroski faltered on one of the many turns.
That’s the way it would stay for the final two laps, with Compton taking the win followed by Gould and Dombroski. After a slow start, Miller won the battle for 4th place ahead of Butler and Smith. Teal Stetson-Lee (CalGiant) finished 7th, after starting very last for which she was awarded the SRAM Most Aggressive Rider award.
Racing continues on Sunday with day 2 of the Planet Bike Cup, where more sun and fast racing is on the menu on a slightly modified course. Once again, follow @podium_live for live updates during the race.
Katie Compton (Planet Bike), winner. “Sue [Butler] has a great start. I was expecting her to get the holeshot to be honest. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to feel at the start so I wanted to get off to a good start but not kill myself and slide towards the front and just wait.”
Feeling good? “My knee wasn’t hurting, I won’t say that I was in a good category but I know how to suffer category and my knee didn’t hurt.” (laughs)
About her powering away. “I noticed I was getting a little bit of gaps on the turns, on the second or third lap, so I just stayed on top of it and just waiting for the rubber band. So keep the pace steady enough and once I got the gap, I just kept going with it, mainly because at this point if I crash or have a flat, I’m going that time pretty fast and it’s going to be hard to get back.”
Georgia Gould (Luna), second. “Obviously you want to try and close it down, for a little bit I was and then it was staying the same. Amy dropped off a little bit, just riding around by myself.”
About her start. “It was an okay start, I just didn’t have the punch to move up. I was riding my own pace and everyone else happened to be riding the same pace at the beginning and then people started dropping off. Definitely it would have been more ideal if I could of gotten it together a little bit earlier.”
About her cross season. “I’m really excited. I was much fresher from my mountain bike season that I have been in the last couple of years. Not quite as fried by the end of the season. I have a good idea of what my goals are, not trying to do too much, so I’m feeling pretty comfortable. I’m doing the whole US season, all the USGPs, maybe another race here or there but really focusing on that series. I think that it’s the best series out there, the most professional. They’re doing equal prize money for the top 3 and they have been for years now and a leader, and I’m really happy to support that. It’s important for me to support people that are the front-runners in that. ”
Amy Dombroski (Luna), third. “Katie decided to go a little bit faster and I couldn’t hold on, that’s about it.”
Satisfied with your ride today? “I was happy with how it went. It was nice having Katie there to follow her lines. I actually lost her down on those corners there, I couldn’t quite find the perfect speed to go through, sometimes I was going too slow, sometimes I was going too fast and then having to grad the brakes. I’ve got to work on that.”
Why not being able to find the perfect speed? “I don’t know what it was. Once the gun goes off I tend to get a little more fidgety. There’s a race in Colorado and there’s this one section that I was bunny hopping in training but I could not do it in the race for the life of me, I crashed every time (laughs) so just got to chill out a little bit.”
Top 10 Elite Women (Complete Results)
1. Katie Compton (Planet Bike / Stevens)
2. Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team)
3. Amy Dombroski (Luna Pro Team)
4. Meredith Miller (California Giant / Specialized)
5. Sue Butler (HUDZ Subaru)
6. Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing)
7. Teal Stetson-Lee (California Giant / Specialized)
8. Kathy Sherwin (HUDZ Subaru)
9. Maureen Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill)
10. Ashley James (KENDA)