Elite Women: Compton Celebrates Birthday with a Win
Standing on the podium at a World Cup race, flying halfway around the world and driving 20 hours would be enough for most people to call it a week, but not Katie Compton (KFC Racing p/b Trek/Panache). On her birthday today, no less, she decided to celebrate in style, taking the win at the last C1 race of the ProCX calendar in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, Ruts N Guts.
Compton would lead this race wire to wire, starting with the holeshot. “I felt good today. I was surprised that I felt well with all the (recent) travel. I got a good start. And the course was just super fun. There wasn’t one section that I didn’t like. I just kept riding around; I just enjoyed it and took advantage.”
“It’s pretty great (in Broken Arrow). I haven’t been in Oklahoma since I was a junior racing on the road, I think. It’s a great venue,” said Compton, who turned 38 years of age today. “I like it so far. I hope they can keep growing this event. It’s a great setup.”
With the field following Compton’s wheel, it was the uphill, dual sand pit with a 180-turnaround that would decimate the field. The leader of the Elite Women’s Pro CX standings was the only one who could ride it. Rebecca Fahringer (Amy D Foundation) was the first one behind the National Champion, but the damage had already been done. Compton would win by over one minute.
“Lately I haven’t had too many days where I just feel ‘good’, where the bike is riding well, I’m riding well and all my skills feel pretty good,” added Compton. “I’ve got the power. I could breathe OK today. So, I just went fast, because it felt good. I said ‘why not’.”
Fahringer would lead the chasers for the rest of the day and finish second. “I just wanted to race today,” Fahringer said. “The past couple of races I’ve done, I haven’t really been myself; I’ve been kind of flat. And then earlier this season I was fighting to survive. I want to start racing like I want to win, fighting tooth and nail. I know that I have the capability to be up front, so that is just what I had in my mind. We were really racing (today).”
Katie Antonneau (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com) and Sunny Gilbert (Van Dessel) were not far behind, taking their shots, but Fahringer would not budge of the front. Gilbert, with her best ride of the year, had dismissed Antonneau at one point earlier in the race and was riding third, but seven laps was just one lap too many. Antonneau caught Gilbert and was able to pull herself up to Fahringer.
Antonneau’s work paid off as she grabbed second over Fahringer while Gilbert just missed the podium in fourth. Crystal Anthony (Maxxis-Shimano Pro Cyclocross) finished a respectable fifth on the day.
Elite Men: Ortenblad Takes It Down to the Wire
After securing back-to-back wins at CXLA in mid-November, Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz CX Team) didn’t let the Thanksgiving break slow him down. He took his first C1 win at Ruts N’ Guts in Broken Arrow, Okla. on Saturday.
“It was pretty gnarly (sprint finish). I would have liked to have won it with a little gap, because it was down to the wire,” said Ortenblad. “A win’s a win, I’ll take it. It’s a C1, that’s big points, big everything for me. It’s the biggest elite win yet for me.”
Racing was very tight in the beginning at Chisolm Trail South Park for the Elite Men. A pack of 13 riders made separation on the second lap of the 10-lap race. Much of the evening saw Danny Summerhill (Maxis-Shimano) on the front, several times opening it up to more than 20 seconds. For the first half, Jeremy Powers (Aspire Racing) lead the chasers, but a bike change on the fifth lap saw him drop off the podium and down to seventh.
Late in the race, a small group was able to break the strangle hold and get away. James Driscoll (Raleigh Clement) started the escape followed by Ortenblad and Michael Van Den Ham (Garneau-Easton). Those three made it stick, then set their sights on Summerhill.
“It was pretty compact. Everyone was together and eventually had a couple of surges, which whittled it down,” said Ortenblad, who came into the weekend sitting second overall in the Elite Men’s Pro CX standings. “And maybe two to go, Jamey Driscoll went up there and started winding it up as well. There were just four of us on the last lap. It was Summerhill, Michael (van den Ham), myself and Driscoll. Summerhill and Michael went into the sand first, and I totally blew it. So I had a little gap to close back to them. I thought maybe I had blown the race right there. I was able to maneuver the last couple of corners and get back to the front. There was a lot of contact between the three of us, but that’s racing.”
With one to go they crossed the line four abreast and traded shot all through the final lap. It came down to the last 90-degree turn before the finish line. Driscoll had lost the wheel and faded just a bit but Ortenblad, Summerhill and Van Den Ham hit it three-wide.
After a day’s worth of rain, the three slid to the barriers and sprinted to the line. Ortenblad nipped Summerhill at the line, with van den Ham tucked in behind for third. Driscoll finished a strong forth and Travis Livermore (Maxis-Shimano) was fifth.
Summerhill has been off the bike for three weeks, so was not disappointed with a podium finish.
“I am happy to have raced the way that I did today; because never in a million years would I have expected to actually be leading today. But it is a bitter pill to swallow coming into the finish the way that I did. I haven’t won a race this year, plenty of podiums. A C1 win would of course be nice. I can’t complain too much, a podium is always fun. That was really close racing at the finish.”
Now in its seventh year, Ruts N’ Guts offers 32 categorized cyclocross races over two days for elite athletes and amateurs.
“I certainly didn’t expect the rain. It ended up being a really fast course. Really technical, lots of tricky little ditches,” added van den Ham. “We started out with a big group. It just blew apart because I had too many guys to ride around at the same time on this course. At some point in time, Powers pitted when Danny was off the front, and I took the opportunity then to hit the front and try to chase them back. It seemed like that blew the race apart a little bit. It was just the four of us the last couple of laps.”
“On the far pavement stretch before the flyover, I did my attack there. I led over the flyover and actually led to the second last corner. There were a couple of moments when I thought I had it, but Tobin used his road racing skills and came in the inside and knocked me off the outside. It is my first C1 podium. Obviously I would have loved to get the win. But it’s all experience. I’ll take this.”
Ortenblad looks forward to a second day of racing in Oklahoma on Sunday for the C2 event. “The course is really cool. It was kind of different than what we have done all year. It’s not too wide open, kind of technical, kind of punchy. It was fun, and good conditions too.”
Stay tuned for more great race action on Day 2 of the 2016 Ruts ‘N Guts.
2016 Ruts N Guts Day 1 Results - Elite Women
|1||2||KATHERINE COMPTON||KFC racing p/b||47:58.7|
|2||3||KAITLIN ANTONNEAU||Cannondale/Cyclocros 07:09||47:58.7|
|3||5||REBECCA FAHRINGER||Amy D Foundation||48:58.3|
|4||7||SUNNY GILBERT||Michelob Ultra/Big||49:04.2|
|5||6||CRYSTAL ANTHONY||maxxis-shimano pro||49:36.4|
|6||1||AMANDA NAUMAN||SDG - Muscle Monster 07:12||49:36.4|
|7||4||AMANDA MILLER||Boulder Cycle||50:11.3|
|9||9||SAMANTHA RUNNELS||Ridebiker p/b Sho-Air||53:04.8|
|10||13||CHRISTA GHENT||Evol Elite Racing||53:16.4|
|11||10||CATHERINE MOORE||Trek CXC||53:20.8|
|12||12||LAUREN STEPHENS||Speedy Ace Training||54:35.7|
|13||20||FIONA DOUGHERTY||Bicycle World||46:59.5|
|14||22||PAYTEN MANESS||Renewed Cyclocross||47:50.9|
|15||21||SARAH GINSBACH||Topo Designs Cycling||39:55.3|
|16||11||ASHLEY ZOERNER||Alpha Bicycle||39:58.6|
2016 Ruts N Guts Day 1 Results - Elite Men
|3||9||MICHAEL VAN DEN HAM||1:02:07|
|12||4||KERRY WERNER JR.||1:03:31|