World Cup Cyclocross: Compton wins fourth career Vlaamse Duinencross Koksijde
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Saturday, November 23, 2013

World Cup Cyclocross: Compton wins fourth career Vlaamse Duinencross Koksijde

by Kyle Moore at 9:22 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross, Race Reports and Results
 
American returns to Europe and goes unchallenged in the sand, topping Cant and Harris

Katie ComptonKatie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) returned to European cyclocross racing after nearly a month away, but she did not miss a beat, riding an early lead and a clean race, dominating her fourth career victory on the Koksijde sand. The World Cup leader opened an early lead over a chasing group of six, and by the time Belgian champion Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) had pulled away in a solo chase, Compton was already too far ahead on course.

Cant settled into a battle for second, which she won by 14 seconds over Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea). Perhaps the closest race of the day was the one for fourth place, as Sabrina Stultiens (Rabo Women) and Sophie De Boer (Telenet-Fidea) battled back and forth. Stultiens overcame a late mistake to top her countrywoman in the sprint to the line.

But for the second straight world cup event, Compton was in no need of a sprint. The American’s lead was nearly a minute with still more than a lap to race, and her final gap over Cant at the finish line was 1’09”. Compton had done some domestic racing in the United States between world cup rounds, but to be so good in Koksijde was not what she expected.

“I did surprise myself,” she told reporters at the finish. “I had a clean race. I wasn’t feeling spectacular, and I did a lot of running instead of riding, but that was good enough. I didn’t have too many mishaps. I was mainly struggling with the sun glare, and I was just trying to be smooth.

“The sand was hard. It was heavier, but it wasn’t that wet. It wasn’t necessarily that hard to ride through, but I was just lacking power, so I just ran it instead of riding it.
I got off to a good start. I got a gap and tried to maintain it. It just never felt comfortable, so I was just trying to keep the gap and keep riding well.”

Stultiens took the hole shot and kept the pressure up early, extending a little in the first sand section over Harris and Helen Wyman (Kona). Compton pedaled easily in fourth as all the top riders took the first half of the opening lap cleanly. Compton was a little better on the sandy down hills, taking a lead [that she wouldn’t give up] toward the end of the lap, as Wyman, Harris, De Boer, Stultiens, and Cant also came to the fore.

De Boer was at the front of the line of chasers who were tailing Compton, but the American world cup leader gradually started padding her advantage on lap two. Wyman took over toward the end of the lap, with help from Cant, as the chasers held together in a group of six. Behind, Pavla Havlikova (Young Telenet-Fidea) led the second group of chasers on the course.

After starting to pitch in to the chase, Cant pulled out a gap on De Boer and the rest. But Compton was determined to be the star of the show. A lap later, Compton had over a minute on some of the chasers as the pack behind her continued to spread out. Approaching the bell lap, Cant was still riding in second, but with a 45-second deficit to the American. Harris was third, but dropping back toward a minute behind Compton.

With the bell ringing, Cant rode across the line 56 seconds behind Compton, and the Belgian champion had also extended on Harris, who was at 1’12”. In the battle for fourth, Stultiens had a bit of an advantage on De Boer, at around 90 seconds back. Wyman struggled over in sixth, almost two minutes behind the world cup leader on course. Havlikova had pulled away from her group as well, seemingly secure in seventh place.

Harris didn’t seem content with just any podium place, as she sprinted through a sandy section in an attempt to chase down Cant. The Belgian had a bobble at the crest of a sandy hill, but she continued to hold off the British rider. Behind them, just as Stultiens had begun to open up on De Boer, the Rabobank rider got caught up in the sand and put her wheel in the barrier, allowing the Telenet-Fidea rider to come back, and all the way around.

With Compton having celebrated the win, Cant checked behind and relaxed over the line with plenty of room on Harris. Stultiens recovered enough to win the sprint over De Boer for fifth, as Wyman rounded out the top six.

World Cup Cyclocross – Koksijde – Elite Women’s Brief Results:

1, Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective)
2, Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) at 1’09
3, Nikki Harris (Young Telenet-Fidea) at 1’23”
4, Sabrina Stultiens (Rabo Women) at 1’56”
5, Sophie De Boer (Young Telenet-Fidea) at 1’56”
6, Helen Wyman (Kona) at 2’32”
7, Pavla Havlikova (Young Telenet-Fidea) at 2’42”
8, Martina Mikulaskova (TJ Stadion Louny) at 3’17”
9, Loes Sels (DNCS-Pro 2012) at 3’26”
10, Ellen Van Loy (DNCS-Pro 2012) at 3’41”

World Cup Standings after Round 3:

1, Katie Compton 170 points
2, Nikki Harris 140
3, Sanne Cant 111
4, Pavla Havlikova 103
5, Helen Wyman 90

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