OVERIJSE, Belgium (VN) — Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) won her 15th race of the season on Sunday at the Druivencross at Overijse.
Conditions were wet and cold, with temperatures just a few degrees above freezing, and the course — redesigned to make it even tougher than it already was — was sloppy after Friday’s snow melted.
Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) led early in the first lap, but soon Compton was off the front, with the usual suspects in pursuit, and despite sliding out once on a slippery descent, she held her advantage to the line. Harris took the runner-up spot at 20 seconds back with Sanne Cant (BKCP) third at 1:15.
“I loved it today, it was fun,” said Compton. “You just had to keep the bike upright and just carry as much speed as you could. But it was tough. It’s a hard climbing course, and where you can sit and power the bike it’s super slippery and everywhere else it’s heavy. The homestretch is a headwind, the mud was really cold.”
The Druivencross is one of those races “where you just have to pedal. It’s really about how fast you can time trial, and race tactics don’t really even come into it,” Compton added. “But Nikki rode well — she was there and she was strong almost the whole time, so I just had to find the sections where I could power and increase the gap where I could and then try to carry the speed on the downhills.”
Amy Dombroski (Telenet-Fidea), who rode to fifth place, said she wasn’t at her best in Overijse.
“It was just really slippery, so the focus had to be spot on,” she said. “There were a few times where I just lost my focus for a second and totally lost my line, fell off my bike. I felt a bit tired, not quite with it today. Yesterday’s race was good, and I was hoping to better that, but the double days — I’ve only done one other weekend with double days, and that was pretty rubbish the second day.
“I used to be better on the second day, but the courses are so hard and so heavy here, the competition is so difficult, the weather. … Here it’s just hard all the time.”
Editor’s note: Dan Seaton contributed to this report.