Katie Compton talks Nationals, Worlds, her season so far and what’s to come for this eight-time national champion.
by Bart Hazen
Cyclocross Magazine: You recently took your eight consecutive National Championship. Are you satisfied with the outcome of the cyclocross season thus far?
Katie Compton: I’m not completely satisfied with the season so far. I’ve had some good results but not great. I’ve had more mechanicals this year, so that’s been frustrating. My racing has been OK, nothing special.
CXM: Let’s talk about the World Cyclocross Championships in Koksijde. It has always been one of your favorite races. What (and who) do you expect to be factors?
KC: I expect it to be a very hard course and race, that one is extremely difficult physically and technically so my biggest challenge will be riding the course as fast and as smoothly as I can, and I’ll see where that gets me. Marianne [Vos] and Daphny [van den Brand] will be the best riders to watch, of course.
CXM: You’ve been riding for the Rabobank Offroad team since the beginning of the season. How is it to ride and get full support from such an organized and big team?
KC: It’s been fine, a good learning experience.
CXM: Despite not riding exactly for the same Rabobank team, how do you have cooperation with Marianne Vos? You two didn’t ride that many races together this season.
KC: Marianne is too fast for me to keep up, so I don’t think team dynamics is really an issue right now. Hopefully next year I can answer that question.
CXM: How many different bikes do you use in one season (depending on the conditions)?
KC: I have cyclocross bike, MTB and road bikes and a track bike for racing and training when I’m at home. I usually pick the bike that works for whatever ride I’m doing that day.
CXM: This year you had a different approach, missing a few World Cups and riding fewer races in Europe. Why this approach?
KC: I thought I would change it up and travel less so I could come into Worlds feeling better and more rested. I still raced quite a few races in the US when I wasn’t in Europe.
CXM: 2012 is an Olympic Season. You want to participate for the USA in the MTB race at the Olympics in London. What will your preparation and schedule be like after the cyclocross season comes to an end?
KC: I plan on taking some down time, riding my MTB again and getting in some solid base training as I gear up for the first four World Cups.
CXM: Do you think that riding both a full MTB and cyclocross program like Katerina Nash, you and some others do is sustainable?
KC: I think it’s important to race more frequently through the whole year so you don’t forget how to put yourself into the pain cave and suffer. I can’t go six months without making a hard race effort because it then takes too long to get back to the point where I can bury myself for 90 minutes in a MTB race, or 40 minutes in a ’cross race. I like to race and stay fit, and I think it’s possible as long as there’s a balance of the two seasons and you take some rest at the right periods. Marianne seems to do just fine racing a really long road season then racing the ’cross bike in the winter.
CXM: And to be good in both disciplines, how do you manage that?
KC: The two complement each other – MTB works on skills, strength and suffering, and ’cross develops speed, fast accelerations and a different kind of suffering.
CXM: Recently we interviewed Kaitie Antonneau. She sees you as a role model, and you mentored her when she was still a Junior. Do you think she will be able to be your successor in the (near) future?
KC: I’d love to see that. I think Kaitie has a lot of potential and talent, and she knows how to work hard and suffer. That will make her a great bike racer. As long as she keeps progressing and enjoys the sport, I see a bright future for her. I would love to see her enjoy the success that I’ve had.
CXM: Any ideas on who will be able to challenge for the podium spots in the big races in a few years?
KC: I don’t know, there are some fast girls coming up, and I think the ones who are finishing just off the podium now will be there in a few years.
CXM: What are your long-term goals as a person and as a cyclist?
KC: I want to go into nursing when I am done being a bike racer, so that’s the plan once I’m done racing at the Elite level. I’ll always ride my bike and possibly race for fun because I enjoy it, but I don’t know what’s down the road that far. I’d like to do some Xterra events and maybe race triathlons so I can put my big swimmer shoulders to work.
CXM: What can you tell us about yourself that most people don’t know?
KC: I love Rottweilers more than any other breed of dog, and I wish we had a big piece of land to run a dog rescue center.
CXM: What do you think is necessary to promote women’s cycling?
KC: More money and media attention.
CXM: Final question. What’s your motto?
KC: I don’t have time for mottos.
CXM: Awesome. On that note, thank you and good luck tomorrow!
KC: Thank you!