Compton looks pleased as punch with another WOrld Cup win cementing her series lead at Koksijde. © Thoams van Bracht

Compton looked pleased as punch with another World Cup win cementing her series lead at Koksijde. © Thoams van Bracht

HEUSDEN-ZOLDER, BELGIUM – It’s Christmas week, and for the Belgians, that doesn’t just mean toys and Santa Claus—it means a horde of racers spend the week racing on some of the most challenging courses that Belgium has to offer. And for the American crowd, it means quite a few racers from the U.S. are in attendance as well.

Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) took another win today, soloing to victory 18 seconds ahead of Marianne Vos (Rabobank), who spent time away from ’cross early in the season for a minor back surgery. With an exact repeat of what happened in Namur on Sunday and Worlds a month away, the question is: can Compton take the win in Hoogerheide?

Compton came back from a characteristic slow start to overtake World Champion and Belgian champion Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) in the third lap, putting the pressure on Vos to respond.

From the start Vos had accelerated away from the field, followed closely behind by Cant and within the first few minutes, the pair had created a gap of 17 second over the chasers. Compton, meanwhile, was making her way up from around 11th position. By the beginning of lap three, however, Compton had moved into third place and was closing in. Once she closed the gap, Compton took a momentary rest before attacking on the far side of the course.

On the next section of tarmac Vos came around Cant to close in, but the pace put her into the red. Just as in Namur, Vos unzipped her jersey to cool off just as she began to redline, loosing contact with the series leader.

Compton kept the pressure on through the end to hold off the World Champion with Cant holding on for third, 55 seconds behind the leader. Further behind, Nikki Harris (Young Telenet-Fidea), Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (Bj-Sr Suntour-KMC) and Sabrina Stultiens (Rabobank) battled it out to finish in that order, with Harris making her move in the woods toward the end of the race.

Kaitie Antonneau was the first American woman after Compton, taking 14th. Behind her, Arley Kemmerer took 19th and Crystal Anthony finished in 20th with Meredith Miller right behind, and Nicole Duke in 24th. Elle Anderson was 29th and Courtenay McFadden was 30th. Farther back was Mo Bruno Roy in 38th,  and Caroline Mani in 46th (technically not American but since she resides in the US most of the year, we’re counting her!).

World Cup #5 Heusden-Zolder Elite Women’s Photo Gallery:

Heusen-Zolder World Cup Results Elite Women 2013

1Katherine COMPTONUSA3538:42:00200200
2Marianne VOSNED2639:02:00160160
3Sanne CANTBEL2339:39:00140140
4Nikki HARRISGBR2740:11:00120120
5Lucie CHAINEL-LEFEVREFRA3040:13:00110110
6Sabrina STULTIENSNED2040:20:00100100
7Ellen VAN LOYBEL3340:39:009090
8Sophie DE BOERNED2340:56:008080
9Annefleur KALVENHAARNED1940:56:007070
10Helen WYMANGBR3241:07:006060
11Eva LECHNERITA2841:09:005858
12Loes SELSBEL2841:14:005656
13Pavla HAVLIKOVACZE3041:19:005454
14Kaitlin ANTONNEAUUSA2141:34:005252
15Gabriella DURRINGBR2941:49:005050
16Hanka KUPFERNAGELGER3941:59:004848
17Yara KASTELIJNNED1642:03:004646
18Christine MAJERUSLUX2642:07:004444
19Arley KEMMERERUSA2942:13:004242
20Crystal ANTHONYUSA3342:20:004040
21Meredith MILLERUSA4042:23:003939
22Martina MIKULASKOVACZE2042:30:003838
23Thalita DE JONGNED2042:33:003737
24Nicole DUKEUSA3942:35:003636
25Githa MICHIELSBEL3042:44:003535
26Alice Maria ARZUFFIITA1942:48:003434
27Laura VERDONSCHOTBEL1742:56:003333
28Reza HORMESNED4643:07:003232
29Elle ANDERSONUSA2543:24:003131
30Courtenay MCFADDENUSA2843:25:003030
31Elisabeth BRANDAUGER2843:33:002929
32Marlne MOREL PETITGIRARDFRA2543:43:002828
33Monique VAN DE REENED2543:53:002727
34Nikola NOSKOVACZE1643:54:002626
35Agnes NAUMANNGER2743:55:002525
36Margriet Helena KLOPPENBURGDEN2543:57:002424
37Jolien VERSCHUERENBEL2344:01:002323
38Maureen BRUNO ROYUSA3844:04:001515
39Karen VERHESTRAETENBEL2244:06:002121
40Katrien THIJSBEL2844:10:002020
41Jessica LAMBRACHTGER1844:13:001919
42Asa Maria ERLANDSSONSWE3944:28:001818
43Ayako TOYOOKAJPN3344:32:001717
44Esmee OOSTERMANNED1744:45:001616
46Caroline MANIFRA2646:59:001414
47Liv-Susanne BACHMANNGER341313
48Jelena ERICSRB171212
49Lise-Marie HENZELINSUI221111
50Suzie GODARTLUX511010