The third and last day of the Cincinnati3 Cyclocross Festival brought a challenge to all the riders, a tough course made even tougher by the spongy grass with some muddy spots after rains a few days early. But that’s not all, a long course with uphills, downhills and a tough sandpit traversed twice tested all the riders. Knowing this and knowing that Sunday’s race at Harbin Park was a C1, US Cyclocross Champion Katie Compton (Rabobank Giant) wasted to time to get the front and solo away to the win. Though she made a few early mistakes, Compton rode smoothly to sweep the Cincy3 weekend.
Behind her the battle raged. Once again, French Champion Caroline Mani took the holeshot and went to the front early on. Lined up behind her were Sue Butler (River City Bicycles), Meredith Miller (CalGiant), Compton, Kaitie Antonneau (Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com), Georgia Gould (Luna) and the rest of the field. But before the second time through the sandpit, Compton was at the front and setting a pace that shattered the field.
Shuffle and re-shuffle behind and two emerged to duke it out for the podium spots, Mani vs Miller. The two took turns setting the pace with Mani skilled at cornering and Miller possessing a big engine. With one lap to go, the gap to Compton was 15 seconds and Mani was at the front. But Miller put in a move with less than half a lap to go to get to the front, she wanted to lead into the off-camber section leading to the grassy uphill finish. Miller was counting on her engine to be able to hold off Mani and she was right. Miller took second and Mani a close third. Both riders collapsed for a few seconds after crossing the finish line.
Top 15 Results
1. Katie Compton (Rabobank Giant)
2. Meredith Miller (CalGiant)
3. Caroline Mani
4. Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale p/b cyclocrossworld.com)
5. Sue Butler (River City Bicycles)
6. Georgia Gould (Luna)
7. Chloe Forsman (Race Club 11)
8. Devon Gorry (Rambuski Law)
9. Coryn Rivera (Marian University)
10. Katherine Sherwin (Stan’s No Tubes)
11. Annajean Dallaire (Racing for Riley)
12. Jennifer Gaertner (Raleigh America)
13. Meghan Korol (Bob’s Red Mill)
14. Rebecca Blatt (Team Kenda)
15. Linda Sone (Cycle-smart.com/Flanders)