Another good start for Sue Butler (River City Bicycles) at day two of the Cincinnati3 Cyclocross Festival. She took over the lead on the first lap, setting a fast pace and putting the hurt on the field causing the first separation. After eventual winner Katie Compton (Rabobank Giant) powered away with three laps to go, Butler was battling for the second spot on the podium with French Champion Caroline Mani. Ultimately, Butler took third.
“I felt a lot better than yesterday. I think the travel from the west coast to here, on the first day the legs were heavy and then the course was heavy, it was really steep climbing and my back was just ‘aaarrgh’.” said Butler after the race. “But today, I was riding really smooth, really calm, cornering well. I’ve been working on it a lot, Caroline puts a clinic on every time I follow her, so it’s nice to be able to follow someone so smooth, just learn and get better on these faster corners. It felt good, I feel a lot better.”
“I felt that was really dumb,” she said about going to the front early on. “‘oh I’m going to go into the wind now’ but I didn’t know what was going on, the pace felt like it was going down a little and I didn’t know what was happening behind me. It turned out okay, I’d rather be safe than sorry, I heard a few people go down behind us and if you’re behind that. You’re screwed. I’d rather work a little harder on the front and just be safe.”
Once she was in the front group, Butler along with all the others were waiting for Compton to make her move. “I knew that Katie was going to come around eventually and when I heard someone saying that she was coming, I was just getting ready to get on her wheel, I think Caroline got her wheel and I got on Caroline’s wheel, in third you get yo-yoed a little bit and you have to work a little bit harder.”
And then once again, she battled with Mani. “It’s the typical fight with Frenchie and have Frenchie get me at the end.” laughed Butler. “She just got in front of me and like I said you yo-yo a little bit, she corners faster and I just don’t have the acceleration to get back on her and she got a little gap and I just couldn’t close it. But I’m satisfied.”
Butler is hoping to have another good ride and put the hurt once again on the field on the third and final day at Harbin Park. “Tomorrow I hope to do it again. I love tomorrow’s course, it’s really a fun course and I hope there’s a little bit of mud left on it.”