A French win and USA's first elite CX medal
Compton silver is USA's best ever
World Cyclo-cross Championships, Hooglede-Gits, Belgium
The United States Cycling Team earned its first-ever elite cyclo-cross world championship medals Sunday as Katie Compton made her World Championship debut. As the former sighted pilot of a Paralympic gold medal-winning tandem team in 2004, the three-time National Champion declined previous invitations to the World Championships. Sunday's race was only the second international competition of her career after competing in last weekend's UCI World Cup.
"Last week I crashed more than once, but I learned a lot from watching the other girls," explained Compton of her final preparation. "I learned when to pass, when to be patient and how not to waste a lot of energy."
Because of her lack of international experience, Compton didn't have the luxury of a front-row start position, but quickly made up ground on the race leaders. "I've been working on my starts," Compton revealed. "I knew that I would get a poor start position here, so at home I've been starting at the back of races to practice moving up fast."
As the race unfolded, the American was situated in the main group tasked with chasing down pre-race favourite Hanka Kupfernagel of Germany. On the third lap, Compton and eventual race winner Maryline Salvetat of France took the initiative to close the gap to Kupfernagel, and after the German suffered a mechanical on the penultimate lap it became a three-woman race between Compton, Salvetat and her French team-mate Laurence Leboucher. With Compton at a numerical disadvantage, the French duo worked together to claim the win as Leboucher, riding second wheel behind her team-mate, allowed enough of a gap to open before the final finishing straight to prevent Compton from passing Salvetat.
At the line, Compton finished just one second off the pace of the winner and was pleased to earn the first elite women's medal in U.S. history.
"I was hoping for a top-10, maybe a top-five, but I had a good race and a great day," said Compton. "It's still a little hard to believe that I am up here but it definitely feels good, and it's great for the U.S.!"
Pre-race favourites, previous World Champion, Hanker Kupfernagel and defending Champion, Marianne Vos both finished in the top ten. Kupfernagel led into the final lap, but suffered a mechanical problem, whilst Vos never really challenged for the 2007 title.
Want to contact WomensCycling.net?
The WomensCycling.net email address is
To contact the webmaster, the address is :
Type this address into the "To" line of a new email message in your email programme.
The WomensCycling.net email address is displayed as a graphic in order to reduce the amount of 'spam' email received from programmes which 'crawl' the internet for sites with addresses displayed in text and then overwhelm that address with junk, or even forge the address in junk messages that they generate and send to others. Sorry for any inconvenience this approach causes you.
WomensCycling.net 2004, 2005, 2006 ©