Cyclocross World Cup: Katie Compton survives final lap scare to win in Tábor
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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Cyclocross World Cup: Katie Compton survives final lap scare to win in Tábor

by Ben Atkins at 8:40 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross, Race Reports and Results
 
Technical issue sees chasers close in but US champion holds on

katie comptonKatie Compton (Trek) survived a final lap scare in the second round of the 2013/14 cyclocross World Cup, in Tábor, Czech Republic, to take what was more dominant a victory than the final result would show. On the fast, grassy course, the US champion powered her way clear of the rest of the field on the third of five laps, and managed to build a short, but decisive lead over the chase.

British champion Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) was leading teammate and Czech champion Pavla Havlikova behind Compton, with an apparent technical issue for the US champion midway around the last lap allowing them to edge closer.

Despite having led her teammate around almost the entire race, Harris was able to easily outsprint the Czech rider at the finish, just six seconds behind Compton, but Havlikova was able to take a popular podium in her home World Cup.

“I like [the Czech courses] a lot,” said Compton afterwards. “It actually reminds me of US racing; the courses are similar, the terrain is similar. It was hard today, and it was hot too, so I definitely showed it out there.

“I attacked a little early, but I definitely was feeling it.”

“I think in the downhill I was getting a little bit of time, and then I was definitely trying to keep the pressure on in the uphills. I just had to stay on the pedals the whole time, and not let up. It was hard.”

Having taken second place in the first round, in Valkenberg, Netherlands, the previous weekend Compon’s victory moved her into the World Cup lead, with World champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv/Giant) absent.

“I want to win overall again,” Compton confirmed. “I want to have a strong World championships too. I definitely like being consistent, and being on the being on the podium a lot. I want to try to win as many races - or get on the podium - as I can.”

The race was run in warm weather, under sunny skies, with most riders taking the start in short sleeves.

Ellen Van Loy (DNCS-Pro 2012) was first away from the start, but Harris took the bunch out onto the grass and began to pull away from the others on the early undulating sections. The British champion managed to get just one or two seconds ahead, however, before Wyman led the pack up to her compatriot’s wheel at the foot of the staircase.

Once up though, Harris tried to pull away again, but Van Loy, and then Belgian champion Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP), chased her down just after the course’s two hurdles. Harris was determined to crack those lined up behind her, however, and continued to drive the pace around the rest of the lap and there were just six riders in the front group as she led over the line.

Compton accelerated around Harris as they began the second lap, and led the front group around the first grassy corners. Behind the US champion were Harris, Havlikova, Cant, Van Loy and Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Faren-Kuota) in her last ever World Cup race.

European champion Helen Wyman (Kona) was chasing alone, a few seconds back, just ahead of a group containing Gabby Durrin (Rapha-Focus), Lucie Chainel Lefevre (BH-SR Suntour-KMC) and Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com).

A bike change for Compton saw Harris take the lead again, but the US champion moved ahead once again and increased the pace further. Only Harris, Havlikova and Cant were able to follow this time, but the US champion soon began to pull away. Cant then had trouble staying with the two Telenet-Fidea riders, and the Belgian champion drifted backwards.

With three laps to go Compton was four seconds ahead of Harris and Havlikova, with Cant now at seven seconds and Van Loy at 13. Harris clawed her way back up to Compton at the foot of the stairs, with her teammate still tucked in behind her, but Compton kicked again soon afterwards, and was seven seconds clear as she headed into the penultimate lap.

Cant and Van Looy were still chasing separately, but Meredith Miller (California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized) was now up to sixth place, and heading for a best-ever World Cup result, with Ferrier Bruneau just behind her.

Harris was still fighting to drag her teammate across to Compton, but the defending World Cup was holding her advantage this time. The British champion doggedly stuck to her task, with her teammate still tucked in behind her, but Compton’s lead was up to ten seconds as she took the bell.

Just before the steps, however, Compton looked down at her bike, apparently spotting some kind of problem, and was forced to continue running for several paces after reaching the top. Harris was able to shut the gap down to just a few seconds, as Compton remounted, but the US champion rode past the pits with her problem apparently now fixed.

The two Telenet-Fidea riders were edging closer over the hurdles, but Compton was still managing to hold them off. The American still looked to be having a small problem with her bike, however, while Harris was now on a charge.

Into the infield switchbacks Harris had almost got Compton in sight, with Compton seeming to be pedalling a bigger gear than the British rider. Havlikova was the one to be struggling now though, with her teammate’s wheel tough to hold on to as they chased down Compton.

It was all too late though, as Compton sat up to celebrate her victory, as Harris continued her sprint to take second place just six seconds back, with Havlikova just behind her.

Ferrier-Bruneau just managed to come around Cant in the sprint for fourth place, just beating the Belgian champion in a photo finish.

Result Elite Women
1. Katie Compton (USA) Trek Cyclocross Collective
2. Nikki Harris (GBr) Telenet-Fidea
3. Pavla Havlikova (Cze) Telenet-Fidea
4. Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra) Faren-Kuota
5. Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm-BKCP
6. Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized
7. Ellen Van Loy (Bel) DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team
8. Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (Fra) BH-SR Suntour-KMC
9. Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com
10. Sophie de Boer (Ned) Telenet-Fidea

World Cup standings after round two
1. Katie Compton (USA) Trek Cyclocross Collective 110pts
2. Nikki Harris (GBr) Telenet-Fidea 95
3. Pavla Havlikova (Cze) Telenet-Fidea 75
4. Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra) Faren-Kuota 75
5. Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm-BKCP 61

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