Cyclocross World Cup: Compton overcomes Vos again to take victory in Rome
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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Cyclocross World Cup: Compton overcomes Vos again to take victory in Rome

by Ben Atkins at 9:29 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross, Race Reports and Results
US champion secures overall title with one race to go

katie comptonKatie Compton (Trek) took her fifth straight victory in the 2013/14 Cyclocross World Cup after grinding down World champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv/Giant) again on the Ippodromo delle Capanelle course on the outskirts of Rome, Italy. The two riders moved ahead of the rest in the first of four laps, then fought to distance one another for the rest of the contest.

Looking the stronger for most of the race, Compton eventually managed to crack Vos midway around the final lap and, once clear, managed to pull open a 24 second lead by the time she reached the finish.

Cheered on by her home crowd, Italian champion Evan Lechner (Colnago-Südtirol) took a popular third place, as she fought her way clear of Frenchwoman Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Rabobank-Liv/GIant) on the final lap.

Despite heaving rain falling on the night before the race, conditions on the racecourse circuit could be described as “good to firm.” Despite a top layer of wet mud, there were very few places that forced riders to dismount, and very few had to change their bikes during the race.

Ellen Van Loy (Telenet-Fidea) made the fastest start and, as she took the first corner in front, opened up a small gap over the rest as she hit the early grass sections. Compton was leading the pack not far behind the Belgian rider, however, and soon made contact, then British champion Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) and Vos moved up past the World Cup leader in the opening infield switchbacks.

Vos moved around Harris and led the chasers up to Van Loy’s wheel but, as the World champion and Compton latched on, the Belgian refused to release her grip on the lead. Harris managed to fight her way up to the front trio as they traversed the section of hard pack all-weather surface, while European champion Helen Wyman (Kona) was leading Ferrand Prevot not far behind; they too managed to close the gap before too long.

The next group onsisted of French champion Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (EC Stephanois), Lechner and young Dutchwoman Annefleur Kalvenhaar (Focus XC), but the rest of the field was apparently already out of the contest.

Suddenly Vos hit the front as they neared the end of the first lap, and tore herself free. Compton was soon on the World champion’s wheel, but the rest were now already scattered behind them.

Across the line, the two rivals were three seconds ahead of Van Loy, with Harris leading the rest of the group at eight seconds.

Compton and Vos took turns to lead and try to crack the other, and steadily opened up their advantage over Van Loy. Ferrand Prevot, Wyman and Lechner moved up ahead of Harris in the chase group behind, and began to close in on Van Loy. As the Belgian began to fade she was 27 seconds behind the two leaders, and only three ahead of Ferrand Prevot and Lechner.

Wyman was now leading the others, another ten seconds back.

Lechner soon closed the gap to Van Loy, and was followed across by Ferrand Prevot. Up ahead Compton managed to open up a small gap over Vos, but the World champion managed to fight her way back up again. The American continued to put pressure on the World champion for the remainder of the lap but, as they took the bell, they were still locked together at the start of the final lap.

Van Loy was now struggling with the pace set by her two companions, and was forced to watch Lechner and Ferrand Prevot pull away as they approached the line for the penultimate time. The two chasers were 54 seconds behind the leaders as they began the final lap.

Vos took an early corner around the inside and briefly opened up a gap over Compton herself, but the American soon pulled the World champion back and countered herself. Gradually, the US champion began to pull clear again, and there were four seconds between the two riders as they dismounted for the twisty hurdle section.

Now clear Compton continued to apply the pressure, and there was nothing Vos could do to prevent the gap from widening.

Lechner escaped from Ferrand Prevot midway around the lap but, up ahead, Compton was just an error or a mechanical problem away from victory. With her lead established, the American made no mistake over the final corners and had plenty of time to celebrate her fifth straight victory in the World Cup, and secured the overall title for the seocnd straight year.

Vos followed over 24 seconds later, while an ecstatic Lechner took third place after 1’10”.

1. Katie Compton (USA) TRek Cyclocross Collective
2. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant
3. Eva Lechner (Ita) Colnago-Südtirol
4. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Rabobank-Liv/Giant
5. Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm-BKCP
6. Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Racing
7. Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Telenet-Fidea
8. Sophie de Boer (Ned) KDL Cycling Team
9. Nikki Harris (GBr) Telenet-Fidea
10. Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (Fra) EC Stephanois

World Cup standings after six rounds
1. Katie Compton (USA) TRek Cyclocross Collective 350pts
2. Nikki Harris (GBr) Telenet-Fidea 249
3. Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm-BKCP 221
4. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant 210
5. Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Racing 164


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