One of our reporters on the ground, Paul Burgoine, caught up with race favorite Katie Compton yesterday after pre-ride. We talked to her at length earlier this week, but now, just hours before her race, we’re bringing you her impressions on the course and how she thinks the race will play out.
Cyclocross Magazine: Did you recover swiftly from your asthma attack last week in Nommay? And was there any reasons for the attack that you could identify?
Katie Compton: I think I’ve recovered as best that I can. My lungs are still a little tight but I’m recovered and as rested as I can be. Yeah, I have some food allergies and think I ate something the night before that triggered it and then the grass on race day was freshly cut and I have a grass allergy, so I think it was a combination of those things. That course was so hard too, there wasn’t anywhere to recovery from the start effort and that effected me too.
CXM: How is the course riding?
KC: The course is great, it’s faster than I thought it would be and not as wet and muddy. There are still some heavy mud sections but more of it is fast and pretty fun. I like the course.
CXM: There is a forecast for rain on Saturday, do you feel this will have a dramatic change on the conditions?
KC: It’s supposed to rain from midnight on and all day Saturday so I’m curious to see how the course changes. Right now it can handle the rain, since it’s fairly dry considering. I like the mud, so the rain doesn’t bother me. The fast course is pretty fun too.
CXM: What tires did you try out and what pressure were you running?
KC: I rode my mud tires, FMB Super Muds today. I think that is what I’ll run tomorrow as well. Today, I rode 21psi but not sure if that will change for tomorrow.
CXM: There seems to be a long starting straight which could assist a very fast starters and early gaps could form, does this suit you?
KC: I usually like a shorter starting straight, but it’s such a small part of the race I don’t think it’ll be too much of an issue. As long as I get a good start and hit my pedal, it’ll be OK. The section after you drop in from the pavement is always more tricky to have a good position through the mud. I don’t like long road sections but I have the speed and power to ride them well so it still suits me.
CXM: And lastly what do you expect from this race and course?
KC: I expect a really hard and fast race, it’s going to be fun and challenging from a power as well as from a tactical side. It’s a tricky course at times that requires focus and strength to ride the fast sections well and also power through the mud.