by David Mable

There were no rabbits feet or broken mirrors that could slow a motivated Katie Compton (KFC Racing p/b Trek/Panache) on her quest for her 13th National Cyclocross title.

Katie Compton wins her lucky 13th Stars-and-Stripes jersey. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships., © D. Mable / Cyclocross Magazine

Katie Compton wins her lucky 13th Stars-and-Stripes jersey. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable / Cyclocross Magazine

With Georgia Gould taking the season off, Elle Anderson (Elle Anderson Racing) took it upon herself to give Compton a run for her money, and did so by running. On the first trip up the infamous Bonk Breaker Hill, Anderson took the low line, riding across the bottom before running to the top. Compton made sure she was at the front to avoid traffic, running up first, and riding across the top.

Katie Compton is leading up the Bonkbreaker Hill on the first lap. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Perker / Cyclocross Magazine

Katie Compton is leading up the Bonkbreaker Hill on the first lap. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Perker / Cyclocross Magazine

“I wanted to get a good start,” said Compton. “If you get stuck behind somebody on the run, and a gap opens up, it’s hard to close, and there were a couple girls who are better runners than I, so I figured if I’m in front they’ve got to go my pace anyway. There’s no gap to open up. And then just at the top I was struggling to get in my pedals a little bit but once I was in my pedals I was able to kind of accelerate. Elle took a good line. I think that was pretty smart on her part to take the bottom line at the start. Then we just got a gap and tried to maintain it.”

Elle Anderson started strong, carrying the lead halfway through the first lap. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable / Cyclocross Magazine

Elle Anderson started strong, carrying the lead halfway through the first lap. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable / Cyclocross Magazine

Anderson reached the top ahead of Compton and the pair pulled away from the rest. After creating a gap on the chasing field, Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld) was in third, followed closely by Crystal Anthony (Boulder Cycle Sport/YogaGlo) and Courtenay McFadden (American Classic/Zones). Further back was Amanda Miller, trying to pick her way to the front among the frozen ruts, skipping, slipping tires, and heavy traffic.

Amanda Miller had a solid race. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships. ©  Cyclocross Magazine

Amanda Miller had a solid race. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships. © Cyclocross Magazine

“I had a rough first lap,” said Miller. “I got caught behind a crash. I crashed right before the pit entrance, and I had to get up, make sure my bike was ok, and kept going. I fought back.”

Katie Antonneau accelerates carefully in hot pursuit of Amanda Miller late in the race. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships © D. Mable / Cyclocross Magazine

Katie Antonneau accelerates carefully in hot pursuit of Amanda Miller late in the race. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships © D. Mable / Cyclocross Magazine

Late in the first lap, Compton overcame Anderson and the rest of the race was as scripted, at least at the front. As she has done so many times before, Compton rode a smart race, putting on the power when she could, and using cautious finesse when the course called for it.

“I wanted to be as smooth as I could,” said Compton. “In a couple of sections I wanted to go faster but I also wanted to be careful and not crash. It’s a fine line between letting it go and not going to fast and going into a rut and crashing. So I tried to keep that in check and be smooth. I made a mistake coming into the last lap but I only lost maybe a few seconds so it wasn’t too bad.”

The final three, Elle Anderson, Katie Compton, and Kaitlin Antonneau, duke it out for the holeshot. © D. Mable / Cyclocross Magazine

The final three, Elle Anderson, Katie Compton, and Kaitlin Antonneau, duke it out for the holeshot. © D. Mable / Cyclocross Magazine

While Compton rode on ahead, the battle for the remaining spots on the podium was heating up. Anderson, with dirt scuffs on her face from a crash, faded into fourth, while Antonneau and Miller took over second and third place, trading places a couple of times throughout the race. Miller eventually got into second and hanging on, Antonneau took third.

Amanda Miller hops back on while chasing down Compton and Antonneau. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable / Cyclocross Magazine

Amanda Miller hops back on while chasing down Compton and Antonneau. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships. © D. Mable / Cyclocross Magazine

“There were some spots I wanted to go faster,” said Antonneau. “But I think I really couldn’t unless I wanted to crash. So at times it was a little hard to be patient, but I’m really happy with my ride.”

Katie Compton at full speed. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships. ©  Cyclocross Magazine

Katie Compton at full speed. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships. © Cyclocross Magazine

Upon reflecting on her 13 victories, as well as a couple of World Cup overall titles, Compton is hoping to encourage others to pick up their bikes and start riding.

“I hope I’m getting girls on bikes and women on bikes. It’s a great lifestyle choice,” said Compton. “it’s healthy, it’s fun, it’s a great environment, great people, so, the more people on bikes the better.”

Katie Compton charges the mini-flyover as the nearly-frozen Connecticut River flows slowly behind. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships © D. Mable / Cyclocross Magazine

Katie Compton charges the mini-flyover as the nearly-frozen Connecticut River flows slowly behind. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships © D. Mable / Cyclocross Magazine

Katie Compton raises her fist in victory. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships. ©  Cyclocross Magazine

Katie Compton raises her fist in victory. 2017 Cyclocross National Championships. © Cyclocross Magazine

Stay tuned for more 2017 Cyclocross Nationals coverage, including interviews, bike profiles, and more.

2017 CX National Championships Hartford Results - Elite Women

PlaceBibNameTeamTime
11Katherine COMPTONKFC Racing p/b Trek/Panache49:25:00
23Amanda MILLERBoulder Cycle Sport/ YogaGlo49:53:00
32Kaitlin ANTONNEAUCannondale Cyclocrossworld50:05:00
44Elle ANDERSONElle Anderson Racing42:36:00
56Courtenay MCFADDENAmerican Classic/Zones43:03:00
67Crystal ANTHONYBoulder Cycle Sport/ YogaGlo43:13:00
79Arley KEMMERERFearless Femme Racing44:36:00
85Rebecca FAHRINGERAmy D. Foundation44:50:00
98Sunny GILBERTVan Dessel Factory Team44:56:00
1012Melinda MCCUTCHEONDNA Cotton Sox45:37:00
1119Rebecca GROSS46:44:00
1215Julie WRIGHT46:51:00
1311Emily KACHOREKSquid Bikes47:05:00
1414Laura WINBERRYSpeedvagen Family Racing47:18:00
1520Danielle ARMANTenspeed Hero47:32:00
1637Gray PATTONFreddie Fu Cycling Team47:38:00
1710Kathryn CUMMINGJalapeno Cycling47:40:00
1816Samantha RUNNELSSquid Bikes47:50:00
1924Katherine NORTHCOTT47:58:00
2030Caitlin BERNSTEINVive la Tart48:09:00
2113Cassandra MAXIMENKOVan Dessel Factory Team48:14:00
2231Regina LEGGEGreen Line Velo48:18:00
2318Allison ARENSMANJ.A. King p/b BRC39:25:00
2422Emily SHIELDSHearts Racing Club39:52:00
2533Natalie TAPIASJAM Fund / NCC30:07:00
2621Kathleen HUFFJoes Garage30:10:00
2717Jennifer MALIKAmerican Classic Cyclocross Tea30:14:00
2828Campbell STEERS30:17:00
2936Erin FACCONEBack Bay Cycling Club30:19:00
3025Rachel RUBINOFearless Femme Racing30:21:00
3126Heidi WOOD333fab CX Factory Team30:29:00
3223Katherine SHIELDSHearts Racing Club31:34:00
3335Elizabeth WHITEBicycle Express31:50:00
3429Chelsea WEIDINGERMash SF32:21:00
3527BrittLee BOWMANHOUSE INDUSTRIES - WITHINGS - S32:33:00
3634Leslie LUPIENGreen Line Velo33:02:00
3732Rebecca LEWANDOWSKIRare Disease Cycling34:00:00
3839Nina BAUM23:13