Compton crushes at Badger Prairie

By Patrick O’Grady

Defending champion Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant) exploded away from the women’s field on the first lap of Sunday’s U.S. cyclo-cross championship in Wisconsin, soloing to her eighth consecutive national title in commanding fashion.

• Streaming video of the men’s race: 1 p.m. MST

Meredith Miller (California Giant-Specialized) led the bunch off the starting grid and into the softening 2-mile course at Badger Prairie State Park. But Compton wasn’t interested in seeing anyone else at the front of the national-championship race — she lit it up and quickly set about building her advantage.

At mid-lap Compton already had 11 seconds over Miller and Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com teammates Nicole Duke and Kaitlin Antonneau. Then Miller laid it down and the two Cannondale riders got away from her.

But they were already 19 seconds down on Compton, and as the defending champ hit the line to begin her second lap she was 26 seconds ahead of Duke, who briefly found herself chasing alone after Antonneau hit the deck and snapped the derailleur off her main bike.

Midway through lap two Compton had extended her advantage to nearly 40 seconds after a bike swap gave her a machine with a little more air in the tires.

With three laps to go Compton was still drilling it, focused on padding her lead. Antonneau had rejoined Duke and the two were chasing at nearly a minute down, with Teal Stetson-Lee (Cal Giant) following in fourth.

Stetson-Lee closed in on Antonneau and Duke, but Compton was out of reach. She hit the line with two to go with 1:30 over the Cannondale chase, and a further 10 seconds over Stetson-Lee.

Antonneau gapped her teammate, taking command of second place, and Stetson-Lee slipped past Duke into third. Ahead, Compton rode into the bell lap, hit the pit for a fresh bike and quickly got back to business. Antonneau followed at 1:42 back, with Stetson-Lee and Duke two minutes down, separated by just a couple of bike lengths.

With first and second long gone the battle on the final lap was for the final step on the podium. Duke won that fight, accelerating away from the Cal Giant rider on the backside of the course.

But the jersey went to Compton, who was already giving an interview before Antonneau hit the line for second.

“It felt really good,” she said. “It was hard out there — a lot of mud. It was fun, though. I really enjoyed it.”

And as usual, Compton had praise for her protégée, Antonneau.

“I’m super excited the way she’s riding,” said Compton. “As long as she keeps enjoying bike racing she’ll be here.”

• Next up: The elite men’s race.

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One Response to “Compton crushes at Badger Prairie”

  1. James Says:

    Really difficult to listen to this commentary from USA Cycling. “Going to the whip!!” “That was the ultimate selection!!” (said at least twice so far..at different times). “This report brought you by …” “Up, down or they aren’t going to take a bike!!!”

    Ugh….I think I might just go for a ride instead.

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