Mud? A Tim Johnson course, right? © Peter Wayne

Lots of mud...made for Tim Johnson, right? © Peter Wayne

The blizzard cleared and the sun and blue skies emerged for the Blue Sky Cup in Longmont Colorado. With 18 inches of snow on the ground and above-freezing temperatures, Mother Nature created the perfect recipe for sloppy conditions that put a premium on bike handling.

Seeing the course conditions, most gamblers would have put money on Tim Johnson (Cannondale/ and Katie Compton (Planet Bike), and if they did, they were either smart or lucky. Both riders showcased their power and finesse in the slop, and stretched out early gaps into big leads extending well over a minute, and in Compton’s case, more than two minutes.

Behind Compton, the women’s field was blown apart, with Georgia Gould (Luna) chasing Compton but losing ground with every lap. The race for third was closer, but Gould’s teammate Dunlap continued her rise up the ranks, holding off her younger competitors in Amy Dombroski, Meredith Miller (Cal Giant Berry) and Kelli Emmett (Giant). It became a race of who made fewer mistakes, and Miller was the best of the rest, outlasting Emmett for fourth.

Compton never planned to have such a fast start, and husband Mark Legg-Compton said she was planning on sitting in for a couple laps, in part because her debilitating leg cramping problem reared its ugly head before the race.

Winning never gets old for Compton. This medal will go next to her childhood medals from Trexlertown. © Peter Wayne

Undefeated this season, but enjoying each one. © Peter Wayne

“I was hoping Georgia and Alison would give more of a fight in the first two laps, but it’s cross racing and sometimes you’re fighting the course more than anything,” the five-time National Champion explained.

So she took the gap she was given, extended it to twenty-five seconds by the end of lap one, and never looked back. “You never know when something goes wrong, flat tire or mechanical. I just wanted to gave a good race, stay smooth, work on the technical part with the mud and bike changes,” Compton explained.

Dunlap conceded that there was no use in staying with Compton. “Katie just disappeared down the mud…I couldn’t go any faster and I just watched her go away,” Dunlap revealed. But, still, despite basically admitting that overtaking Compton and defending exclusive record of six National Championship in Bend will be difficult,  she was happy. “I’m pretty psyched to be on the podium.”

In the men’s race, it was yet another podium sweep for Cannondale/, but Troy Wells (Clif Bar), mountain biker Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Gary Fisher / Subaru) and Adam Craig (Giant) all were in contention to break up the sweep. But Horgan-Kobelski suffered a late mechanical and dropped back, and Craig left it too late as he surged past riders but would only make it up to fourth. Troy Wells benefited from JHK’s misfortune, to take fifth.

So the race for the second was left to Powers and Driscoll, and it was Powers that slid through the mess to take home second. “I thought I was first because I didn’t see the guy that was in first all day,” Powers joked. “This time I could do some work, James didn’t have to pull me around the whole race [unlike last week], so that was good.”

Perhaps the ride of the day was by Classic Cycle’s Zach McDonald, as the reigning Junior National Champ took a break from beating up his elders in Seattle to beat all but eight other riders in the Elite Men’s race. McDonald was happy with his result, gaining more UCI points. “The course was sweet, the mud was nice, I took a bit of a digger…but it was a lot of fun,” McDonald explained.

Check back soon for photos. Full results below.

Kevin Bracy Knight contributed to this report

Photo Gallery:

Video Highlights (courtesy of CyclingDirt)

Women’s race:

Men’s race:

Full Results:

Elite Men
1JOHNSON, TimothyCannondale/CycloCros307:02.0
2POWERS, JeremyCannondale/CycloCros107:54.0
3DRISCOLL, JamesCannondale/CycloCros207:54.0
4CRAIG, AdamGiant MTB Team2108:15.0
5WELLS, TroyClifBar1009:47.0
6ANTHONY, JesseJamis Bikes809:49.0
8HORGAN-KOBELSKI, JeremySubaru/Gary Fisher7410:46.0
9MC DONALD ZachStevens/Classic Cycl5311:29.0
10DWIGHT, BrandonBoulder Cycle Sport2311:36.0
11PARBO JoachimCCV Leopard Cycles1712:02.0
12SCHOOLER, AaronTeam H&R Block-Kona1112:03.0
13WEBBER, PeteBoulder Cycle Sport2212:10.0
15PACOCHA, mattHudz-Subaru4213:01.0
16DECKER, CarlGiant MTB Team1513:51.0
17IDDINGS, RyanLapierre USA1614:14.0
18TONKIN, ErikKona/FSA6614:32.0
19KAPPIUS, BradyTeam Clif Bar4715:39.0
20PAXSON, SpencerTeam S&M Young Guns54At 1 Lap
21KRUGHOFF, AllenTeam Rio Grande63At 1 Lap
22SNYDER, AdamTeam Jamis68At 2 Laps
23HOKE, mitchellCliff Bar Developmen43At 2 Laps
24WHITE, BradHudz-Subaru48At 2 Laps
25ALLEN, TimSports Garage57At 2 Laps
26BERRY, JoshuaSmith Optics70At 3 Laps
27COLE, BradHudz/Subaru61At 3 Laps
28BARKER, AndrewCLIF Bar Development60At 4 Laps
29FERGUSON, JeremyCalifornia Giant/Spe29At 4 Laps
30BOUPLON, AaronRocky Mounts / Izze36At 4 Laps
31GUESS, MartinRocky Mountain Bicyc69At 4 Laps
32MULLERVY, ConordCLIF BAR developmen50At 4 Laps
33HEITHECKER, Troy37At 4 Laps
34HURST, ChrisTeam Wheel and Sproc64At 5 Laps
35MELIS, ChadOskar Blues Brewery/45At 5 Laps
36CARES, ColinClif Bar Development58At 5 Laps
37COYLE, ChuckSubaru/Vista Auto Gr62At 5 Laps
39FINSTERWALD, RussellTeam ClifBar51At 5 Laps
40FRIEDBERG, Mikemafia28At 5 Laps
41STEINBERG, BrentWolverine Sports Clu65At 5 Laps
42KOLES, JanMafia Racing72At 5 Laps
43SALSKOV, johnBicycle Haus Racing67At 5 Laps
44MATHENY, DanielMafia/Westside73At 5 Laps
45STATMAN, KatrielPioneer Racing34At 5 Laps
46STEVENSON, russellFirst Rate Mortgage13At 5 Laps
47LLEWELLYN, AndrewTexas Roadhouse46At 6 Laps
48TADDEUCCI, JoeNatural Grocers pb X25At 6 Laps
49NENNINGER, GeoffreyUnattached55At 6 Laps
50FOUNDS, Darian40At 6 Laps
51VONBOKEL, LoganKCCX/ Verge35At 6 Laps
52WELLS ChadHudz-Subaru Cyclocrs75At 7 Laps
53LOUDERMILK, DerekHorizon Organic p/b27At 7 Laps
54SONORA, RobertDurango Wheel Club71At 7 Laps
55MILLER, LaneLouisville Cyclery26At 7 Laps
DNSKABUSH, GeoffMaxxis/Rocky Mountai7
DNSJACQUES-MAYNES, AndyBissell Pro Cycling9
DNSSIEGLE, JasonBike Religion24
DNSCURRY, JohnGAS/Intrinsik31
DNSSHRIVER, MattRocky Mountain Choco32
DNSBERRY, GrantRocky Mtn Choc Facto52
DNFJONES, ChristopherTeam Champion System5
DNFFRATTINI, DavideTeam Fuji6
DNFRICHEY, CraigBlue Competition Cyc12
DNFPOWLISON, SpencerMafia Racing30
DNFCARRINGTON, TaylorTeam Lanterne Rouge33
DNFCOX, CodyClif Bar Development39
DNFSCHMALZ, josephKCCX/Verge41
DNFHARSHMAN, ShawnKonig Racing pb Hars44
DNFMULLERVY, KevinCLIF BAR Development49
DNFGIORDANO, JesseNob Hill Velo56
DNFBAKER, JonathanHudz-Subaru Cyclocro59
Elite Women
1COMPTON, KatherinePlanet Bike10137:00.0
2GOULD, GeorgiaLuna Chix10239:07.0
3DUNLAP, AlisonLuna Chix10440:29.0
4MILLER MeredithCal Giant Strawberry10841:03.0
5EMMETT, KelliGiant Bicycles10641:36.0
6DOMBROSKI, AmyWebcor Builders10342:08.0
7IRMIGER, HeatherSubaru/Gary Fisher12642:19.0
8HOWE, BarbaraVanderkitten10542:54.0
9POWERS, AlisonTeam Fuji10743:12.0
10MATLOCK STRONG, LisaNatural Grocers p/b116“@1Lap”
11BUSH, LynnTough Girl / SCOTT115“@1Lap”
12MAILE, SarahVentana Mountain Bik118“@1Lap”
13SEEHAFER, KoriTeam Type 1120“@1Lap”
14BONI, KristalBlue Sky Velo113“@1Lap”
15HECKMAN, LoraPeloton Cycles – Spe114“@1Lap”
16HANNON, kathleenFreewheel/Hunter Cyc119“@1Lap”
17BEGY, CristinaGates/Spot /Dales117“@1Lap”
18COSTANTINI, LaurenBlue Sky Velo112“@1Lap”
19LONG, melanieMafia Racing123“@2Laps”
20HALL, LaurenHudz-Subaru121“@2Laps”
21PRIETO, SusanBlue Sky Velo124“@2Laps”
22MILLER IliannaMafia Racing128“@2Laps”
23JOHNSON, CatherineRocky Mounts/ Izze122“@2Laps”
24MUCH RebeccaWebcor Builders127“@2Laps”
DNSCURRY, LisaGAS/Intrinsik110
DNSSCHEIDER, KateMafia Racing111
DNSSHERWIN, KathyVelo Bella – Ellswor125