LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (VN) — It was a rerun of the Katie Compton show on Sunday at the U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross in Louisville, with an identical podium to Saturday’s race.
“Today I was just riding to make sure I could attack certain sections of the course, thinking about the world championships and where I’d attack, where I need to recover and making sure I could ride the sand pit and push in certain sections,” Compton said in the press conference after the race.
“I was really trying to be smooth, getting the shifting down, the braking down, the lines down.”
Wyman loses advantage in the sand
British champion Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Team) took the holeshot on a rearranged, windswept Derby City Cup course at Eva Bandman Park, but the U.S. champ soon took over, pursued by Luna teammates Katerina Nash and Georgia Gould.
Compton and Nash both rode through the Clif Bar Sand Land on lap 1, which went the opposite direction than Saturday’s race, meaning the lead-in was uphill and far fewer riders were able to make it through cleanly. Wyman wasn’t able to ride it on the first lap, and the leaders pulled away, gaining eight seconds on Wyman by the end of the first lap.
Nash stuck with her Trek Cyclocross Collective rival for the first couple of laps, but after that it was a one-woman race. Compton had five seconds on Nash by the time they were through the Clif Bar Sand Land and her lead grew from there. When she rolled through the line with three to go, Compton’s lead had already grown to 30 seconds.
A chicken and cash fuels the battle for third
Meanwhile, Gould caught and passed Wyman, carrying a rubber chicken and $20 bill in her left hand. Nash already had a sizable lead on her teammate. “I definitely had a little bit better start today and my legs were feeling a little bit better,” said Gould after the race.
Behind them, Luna teammate Teal Stetson-Lee closed down about a 15-second gap to Rapha-Focus rider Gabby Day.
Day chased the lead four, about 15 seconds ahead of Stetson-Lee while Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) began to drop back.
Day and Stetson-Lee continued through the lap together. The Luna rider led through the Sand Land and bobbled, but rather than passing, Day got caught up and both dismounted and ran. The pair remained in tact as they passed the line with two to go.
Caroline Mani (Rapha-Focus) passed through the line with Julie Krasniak (Rapha-Focus), and Antonneau rode together with Day.
Ahead, Compton had a commanding lead, more than 20 seconds, with Gould a further dozen seconds down and Wyman just behind. Compton consistently posted lap times well below seven minutes, while Nash had three laps under seven minutes, Gould had two laps under and Wyman posted one lap sub-seven minutes.
Going into bell lap Compton had added another 10 seconds to her advantage over Nash, but she wasn’t slowing down.
When Stetson-Lee hit the first sand dune on the final lap, she dug her tire and did a complete endo, losing her advantage and would finish ninth.
The Trek rider kept powering around the course to victory, coming in at 40:30, punching both fists skyward at the line.
Nash followed for second, 1:04 down, while Gould held off Wyman for third, 1:28 down on Compton. Day rounded out the top five.
At the press conference, the wind had picked up and a strong gust blew over the bike podium, crashing the Trek and Orbeas onto the podium stage.