6-time and reigning US National Champion Katie Compton (Planet Bike/Stevens) continued to dominate the US cross scene on day 2 of Planet Bike Cup, the first of four weekends of the Greenware US Gran Prix of Cyclocross. Once again, on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Sun Prairie WI, she escaped solo to claim back-to-back victories, and solidify her hold of the leader’s jersey. But Compton had made it known that she will only race two of the four weekends, so the overall series is up for grabs and points are extremely important for the other riders. Even more so because last year’s winner Katerina Nash (Luna) is not focusing on the series this year.
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After a slow start yesterday, Georgia Gould (Luna) came out all barrels firing, passing Andrea Smith (Ladies First Racing) who took the holeshot. Gould’s goal was simple, to string out the field which she accomplished with four then three riders making the selection. Behind Gould were Compton and Sue Butler (Hudz Subaru) who followed her lines for the next few laps. Then on the runup Compton just hit it, a bit later than her typical MO at less than five laps to go, but the results were the same, the multi-time champion was off the front flying solo. The acceleration left Gould and Butler chasing independently, the podium steps decided at that point but Butler never gave up the chase and was awarded the SRAM Most Aggressive prize after the race.
The battle for fourth place was raging in the group further back which included Meredith Miller (CalGiant/Specialized), Sally Annis (crossresults.com), Amy Dombroski (Luna), Kathy Sherwin (HUDZ-Subaru) and 20-year old Ashley James (Kenda). Shuffling and re-shuffling reduced the numbers down to three with two laps to go, Miller, Sherwin and Annis. The trio charged to the finish line together with Sherwin taking fourth.
On her first race with the Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com team, after two collegiate national track titles on Saturday, Kaitlin Antonneau finished twelfth in the 23-rider field. It will be fun to watch her development, especially as the 18-year old is being mentored by Compton.
The series continues on October 23 & 24th in Louisville, KY with the Derby City Cup.
Katie Compton (Planet Bike/Stevens). “My legs got heavier every lap and that run up, I think every lap I was leaning more and more on the bike, just trying to scoop up with that. And the second to last lap, I mis-stepped and jumped back on the bike wrong. I lost a few seconds there and just trying to keep it smooth and not mess up and lose it right before the finish. ”
About suffering today. “There’s a lot more pedaling today than there was yesterday. I have to say that I really liked yesterday because I could really make it up in the turns. You can fake it a little bit more in the turns, you can’t really fake power when you have to pedal through so many straightaways, so I liked yesterday better.”
About her knee injury. “The knee as fine today and every day is better than the last so I can’t really use that as an excuse anymore.”
Georgia Gould (Luna). “Yesterday the course was really fun but today felt a little bit better so I actually was having fun and suffering, not just suffering like I was yesterday. I think they did a great job, a little few changes, they made the course faster, a little bit different kind of course than yesterday. I had fun.”
About different types of courses. “I think that’s the fun thing about racing cyclocross, you have to be good on all different kind of races, different kind of courses and try to win whatever the courses may be like.”
About her fast start. “I got stuck yesterday. It’s hard when the straightaways aren’t very long and everybody going hard at the start. There’s a lot of people that can go faster a little bit at a time. Yesterday I wasn’t right at the front, and it just gets strung out and then you have to make up more time. I just wanted to go to the front early and set a pace where it would strung out a little earlier and not have too much traffic to deal with.”
Sue Butler (HUDZ-Subaru). “Last year I had some issues with asthma and it was a hard year. Before the race, Georgia came up to me and said ‘Sue don’t start off so fast then you can do better in the end’. And I said ‘okay Georgia’. So I sat on her wheel for the first couple of laps and then eventually it strung out but we had a nice gap on the rest of the ladies so it was nice to be able to hold on for third.”
Is USGP a goal? “Yes, I have not been on the podium since ’08 in Portland, it has been very nice to join the elite ranks of the USGP podium again.”
Elite Women Top Ten
1. Katie Compton (Planet Bike/Stevens)
2. Georgia Gould (Luna)
3. Sue Butler (HUDZ Subaru)
4. Kathy Sherwin (HUDZ Subaru)
5. Meredith Miller (California Giant Berries/ Specialized)
6. Sally Annis (crossresults.com)
7. Ashley James (Team Kenda)
8. Amy Dombroski (Luna)
9. Teal Stetson-Lee (California Giant Berries/ Specialized)
10. Maureen Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill / Seven)