Leg cramps cost Katie Compton World Cup, could affect Worlds
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Monday, January 18, 2010

Leg cramps cost Katie Compton World Cup, could affect Worlds

by Ben Atkins at 4:29 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Cyclocross

Having won the World Cup race in Roubaix last season, in almost identically muddy conditions, Katie Compton (Planet Bike) was a surprise non-starter in Sunday’s race. Instead of racing to a win in the conditions she loves the US champion was forced to sit and watch Czech champion Katerina Nash (Luna) take the victory and – more painfully – see Dutch champion Daphny Van Den Brand (ZZPR.nl) take the World Cup lead.

“Yeah, it’s a tough way to lose the World Cup,” she said to VeloNation after seeing Daphny Van Den Brand pull on the jersey that Compton has held since winning the Treviso race back in October. Van Den Brand now has 285 points, World Champion Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit) 265, and Compton sits in third with 260.

There had been rumours that a crash while training on the course the day before had caused her to pull out, but Compton confirmed that it was a recurring problem that has affected previous seasons.

“No, it’s leg cramps,” she confirmed. “When it gets so that you can’t turn the pedals with any sort of power you have to give up.”

The course at Roubaix was – characteristically – almost entirely consisting of heavy mud, not ideal for someone who is robbed of her power. “Ironically, I really like the conditions,” she said. “For me the more mud the better.”

She denied that the conditions would have affected her chances though. “Even if it was a really fast course I still wouldn’t be able to do anything,” she said.

This latest attack of cramps came on suddenly during the week as Compton was preparing for Sunday’s race, just as her form was approaching its peak. “Four days ago I was really flying,” she said.

With Van Den Brand in the leaders jersey, Compton now seems resigned to have lost any chance of taking it back with just one round – this coming weekend in Hoogerheide, Netherlands – remaining.

“The World Cup is over now,” she shrugged. “Obviously I’ll see what I can do but it’s pretty much over.”

In order for Compton to regain the lead she must win in Hoogerheide and hope that Van Den Brand finishes no better than fifth. This is unlikely as the Dutch champion’s fourth place in Roubaix matched her worst result of the World Cup this year.

While the World Cup appears to be heading to one of two Dutchwomen though, Compton still remains hopeful that she can recover in time for the World Championships in Tabor, Czech Republic on January 31st; although some previous attacks of cramps have lasted several weeks.

“I hope so,” she said, “we’ll just have to see how it goes.”

As the leader of both the World Cup and the UCI rankings until the weekend’s race, Compton arguably would have had her best chance yet of taking the World title – after taking silver in 2007 and bronze last year. She would have been the first US rider to take either of those prizes, but it looks likely that all have been robbed from her at the eleventh hour.

“Yeah, it’s a tough break,” she agreed.


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