Not a big surprise to anyone. On a course that she obviously enjoys, Katie Compton (Planet Bike) did it again. After one and half lap in the field, she just hit it on the paved straightaway on the backside to fly away to victory at the Java Johnny’s-Lionhearts International, day 2 of Cincinnati’s UCI3 International Cyclocross Festival.
Compton was smooth and she went around the twists and turns, enjoying the fans and smiling for the heckling. Her domination continues.
“Even if I have a comfortable lead, I still race. ” Compton said. “People like to see it. And they heckle me a little bit, ” she laughed, “but that’s fair enough, I like it.”
It was another hot one in Ohio, so hot that the riders stayed in the shade to get their final instructions before the race instead of after the call-ups, the mercury was hitting mid-80s. The first question of the day, was would the women get a feed lap? The new UCI rules state that feeding is not allowed the first two laps and the final two laps of a race. But after one a half lap, the lap counter came out and one lap of feeding was allowed.
The race for second was on. “Yeah you know, we’re all racing for second, it’s all good.” Sue Butler (Hudz-Subaru) smiled after the race.
Once again, Butler got the holeshot and set the pace for the first lap and a half. Lined up behind her were Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes), DeeDee Winfield (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes), Compton, Maureen Bruno-Roy (Bob’s Red Mill/Seven) and Kaitie Antonneau (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com). Compton moved up, almost sliding out once to second wheel before they made it to the pavement and then she went.
Butler thought about staying on Compton’s wheel for a second and gave chase with Van Gilder on her wheel. That created a separation, and a duel for second, for the rest of the race. Lap after lap, as they went around the twisty, turny course, over the barriers, around the sandpit, Van Gilder sat on, glued to the wheel in front of her while Butler tried to shake her by varying her speed and taking wide lines but to no avail. It exploded on the final lap with Van Gilder taking second ahead of Butler.
After an early bobble in the first lap which pushed her down to 14th, Bruno-Roy rallied and made her way up to lead the second chase group with Antonneau, Winfield, Arley Kemmerer (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes) and Ashley James (Team Kenda). After a disappointed race on Friday, Bruno-Roy kept the pressure on, reducing the group to three and then she went solo, trying to bridge up to the two in front of her. She never made it, tantalizingly close but dangling at about 8 seconds back. Bruno-Roy took fourth, Winfield fifth and Antonneau sixth.
UCI3 concludes with the big money day on Sunday where the top 5 women are equal prize money to the men with $2351 for the winner, $1176 for second and $846 for third.
Follow @podium_live for live updates during the race.
Katie Compton (Planet Bike/Stevens). “I almost slid out on the first lap, and I was like ‘oooh that’s a little hot’. I just came into it [first long switchback turn] a little bit too leaned over, off balance but I saved it so it was good. It would have sucked because everybody would have gotten washed out, I was on the inside. (laughs) ‘Sorry my bad’.”
What makes this course fun? “I love all the twists and turns and it’s ups and downs and banked turns, it’s challenging because it’s slick and technical at the turns, that and everybody is cheering on certain part of the course so you always have somebody to watch, it’s fun.”
About finding her rhythm. “I was good. It’s hard when I was initially on the first lap, sitting behind people, a lot of stop and go and that irritates me. I just want to get out and be smooth for the turns. The smoother you are the faster you go and take less energy. So I really focused on being smooth at the turns, accelerate at the right times, shifting at the right times. It all came together.”
Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes). “I think I’ve improved here after three years, I’ve gotten a lot better on the technical aspects and I’m happy with that. Yesterday was a disappointment but I think I really rallied today to come back, I’m happy with that. I was sorry it happened when it did because to me yesterday where I crashed was the hardest part of the course. It was right before the stairs so I had to get back on my bike, pedal to the stairs, get off, run up, and since it was so early in the race, I thought I’m never going to come around these people so I was happy with today but I felt a little tired when we got here but everyone else is in the same boat.”
About the battle with Butler. “I just stayed on her wheel. I’m going to race my strengths and right now, Sue is racing very strong, I didn’t want to put myself out there early and late, I’m going to ride for the podium. And you know what, Sue is going to ride to get rid of me. And she did and she couldn’t. I have to ride my strengths, it would be foolish to do anything less. I didn’t leave it to the sprint on the pavement, I’ll never take it to chance.”
About her attack on the final lap. “I went after the sand. As we remounted, I got to the tree first, she re-passed me going to the first steep run-off but I passed her on the inside and at the pool house I got back around her. We traded stuff there. I didn’t really care for the final corner and I also thought it was a pretty short distance, I’m not going to do that, I have a good sprint but anything can happen.”
Sue Butler (Hudz-Subaru). “She was on my wheel the whole race, I had a shadow. But it’s windy out there, it’s tactics. I came to almost a stop on that hill and she didn’t go around.”
About getting the holeshot. “I didn’t really try (laughs). I thought about it, these corners get hairy and there was a bobble. I didn’t want to be too far back, I wanted someone I could trust in front of me so I decided I’d just go set the pace and take it easy around the first lap, waiting for Katie to go by.”
About the Compton attack. “I tried to hold her wheel but I couldn’t. And then the rest I tried to attack Laura and get rid of her because I knew I couldn’t beat her in a sprint.”
About tactics to drop Van Gilder. “You can slam on your breaks going into the corner, what can you do? This course is so turny, there’s not a lot of space to make moves so I tried to get away on the hill several times but then you have to slow up for the corner and it’s really and kind of technical. I didn’t want to slip out either because then you lose more places. Just played conservatively, tomorrow is the big money day. So maybe this year I can do a 2-3-2 instead of a 2-2-3. We’ll see.”
Top 10 Results (Complete Results)
1. Katie Compton (Planet Bike/Seven)
2. Laura Van Gilder (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes)
3. Susan Butler (Hudz Subaru)
4. Maureen Bruno-Roy (Bob’s Red Mill/Seven)
5. Deidre Winfield (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes)
6. Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale prepared by Cyclocrossworld.com)
7. Kristin Gavin (Team CF-Elite)
8. Ashley James (Team Kenda)
9. Arley Kemmerer (C3 Athletes Serving Athletes)
10. Kari Studley (Team Group Health)