Compton heads into short off-season after silver in cross Worlds
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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Compton heads into short off-season after silver in cross Worlds

by Bjorn Haake at 5:09 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross, World Championships
Active American has skiing on the program this week

katie comptonKatie Compton was all smiles during the press conference after she had won the silver medal in the cyclocross World Championships in Sankt Wendel, Germany. Afterwards she was consoled by a teammate, though, as she really wanted to win this time. After dominating the World Cup in the winter, Compton had high hopes to win the gold that had eluded her in 2007 (silver) and 2009 (bronze). The American will be trying again and, after a short off-season, races the mountain biking circuit.

A long winter drew to a close last weekend and on Wednesday, Compton flew back to Colorado. "We are going skiing on Friday, in the Rocky Mountains," Compton says. "I haven't skied in two years and I am sure I will be sore on Saturday!"

After her active rest in the ski resorts and back country, she will be going back to riding her bike. "I am excited to start the mountain biking season," she says. "I will be doing some fun mountain bike rides." There are multiple reasons for her to switch bikes. "I do mountain cross road track. I enjoy it all." She is also finally feeling like herself again. "I had so many health issues all year, now that I am finally feeling good I want ride my bike."

She does prefer the event that brought her another silver medal. "I never get tired of my cross bike. When I get tired of the mountain bike I go to my road bike." There is another reason she is doing the mountain bike season this summer: London 2012. "I want qualify for the Olympics. I am going to have to get some great results and race the whole circuit."

It won't affect her main discipline. "The cyclocross starts a little later, so there is a nice break between the mountain bike worlds and the cross season." She never gets tired of riding her bike, no matter which kind it is. "I like the speed part of it. I like the adrenaline rush - the start, the preparation." Even things like crashes don't worry her too much. "I like the highs and lows of racing."

One of the lows is that she has to look for a new team, since Planet Bike is pulling its sponsorship. "Bob Downs [owner of Planet Bike - ed.] has been awesome. Jonathan [Page] and I were lucky to have him. Bob is a big fan of the sport." It made it easier for Compton and Page over the last two seasons. "He has given us money to race, as well as support and security," Compton says.

Compton and her agent are currently negotiating with several teams. A decision will come within the next two weeks. "We have options, which is good. I like options."

Racing on a fast course

Compton has made the frustrating experience that the Worlds have mostly been on fast courses the last few years. In St. Wendel, she had no answer to the decisive attack of Marianne Vos. " I need a race with sand and mud. I have more power, she has more speed power," Compton says.

Speed power that could help Compton in the beginning of the races. "It's funny. When I started I thought 'not again'!" She was not sitting near the front as the riders left the track to hit the dirt. "I got the front group in the first lap, so I wasn't worried, especially because I had a bad start in every single race this season, except Zolder."

Compton took charge of the race from there. "When I caught the group I just wanted to keep the pace high." Her game plan had no place for too many competitors around her. "I was reducing it to three, four, maybe five of us. Well, I wasn't looking back." Bringing up the speed power argument again, the best chance for her to medal was to go on the attack. "I didn't want it to come to a sprint, so I was working for a gap."

Finally it was just Compton, Vos, and Katarina Nash left. The medals were decided, just the order hadn't been figured out yet. "When Marianne went - I think she went on the [first] hill. She had a bit of a gap and I couldn't follow. She definitely had better legs today. I was going as hard as I could, but she just had more speed today."



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