Katie Compton wins her eight title in a row at the 2012 Cyclocross National Championships in Madison, Wisconsin. © Cyclocross Magazine

For full coverage, schedules and information on the 2012 Cyclocross National Championships at Badger Prairie County Park in Madison, Wisconsin, visit our 2012 Cyclocross National Championships homepage.

VERONA, WISCONSIN—It was 37 degrees and sunny as the Elite Women lined up to compete for the 2012 US National Championship. The freeze from the night before was beginning to thaw in those places where the sun could reach, making for a course like “Play-dough on top of ice,” as announcer Richard Fries said. A slight breeze flapped the tape as Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant) was called to the front of the line. Would she be able to seal an eighth national title?

Compton and Duke focus, while Antonneau and Butler adjust. 2012 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Women. © Cyclocross Magazine

Compton and Duke focus, while Antonneau and Butler adjust. 2012 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Women. © Cyclocross Magazine

On the start line, Compton was sandwiched between one of her main rivals, Nicole Duke (, and her protege and teammate, U23 racer Kaitlin Antonneau – an order that would prove prescient. Also on the front line was Meredith Miller (Cal-Giant Specialized) and Mo Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill). As the racers charged off the line, it was Meredith Miller taking the holeshot, with Compton right on her wheel.

Compton tries for eight in a row, with everyone else trying for their first title. 2012 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Women. © Cyclocross Magazine

Compton tries for eight in a row, with everyone else trying for their first title. 2012 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Women. © Cyclocross Magazine

Immediately, Compton fired up her afterburners, and within three turns had already established a six-second gap over the field. Chasing hard were Duke, Antonneau and Sue Butler. As the riders hit the first hill, a near-minute-long effort, Compton only expanded her lead. By the top of the hill, Compton had nearly 15 seconds, with Duke, Antonneau and Miller establishing the chase, with Butler, Bruno-Roy and Coryn Rivera (Exergy Twenty12) following behind.

Miller slipped, and severed her connection to the two Cannondale riders for half a lap, and she would spend her reserves trying to re-establish contact. Compton, however, was gone. By the end of the first lap, the World Championship’s silver medalist showed why she’s one of the best in the world, with 26 seconds over an absolutely flying Nicole Duke. Antonneau followed by a few seconds, having again shed Miller.

Compton hit the first hill with a massive lead. 2012 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Women. © Cyclocross Magazine

Compton hit the first hill with a massive lead. 2012 Cyclocross National Championships, Elite Women. © Cyclocross Magazine

With three to go and Compton off the front by 56 seconds, it became a battle of the teammates for the rest of the podium, with Duke and Antonneau dueling for second, and Miller and Teal Stetson Lee (Cal Giant) competing for fourth position. Right behind, Rivera showed why she’s the most-decorated cyclist, with a grand total of 41 titles under her belt, coming in sixth position with Sue Butler (River City Cycles).

Another bobble by Miller, however, tipped the hat to Stetson-Lee, as Miller slipped back a number of positions as she struggled with her bike. Stetson-Lee did not hesitate, either, as she cast her line on Duke and began to reel the Cannondale riders in, coming within 10 seconds of the duo with two laps to go.

The Elite Women fight for the best lines up the first hill.  © Cyclocross Magazine

The Elite Women fight for the best lines up the first hill. © Cyclocross Magazine

In the battle for fifth, Rivera, Butler, Miller and Bruno Roy began the penultimate lap bunched together. Ahead of them, Antonneau, who has had the season of her life this year with a 10th place World Cup finish, reached the climb and decided she was finished riding with Duke and began stomping away from her teammate just as Stetson-Lee brought Duke into her sites; halfway through the lap the California Giant rider overtook Duke and moved into third.

With one lap to go, Compton had nearly two minutes on Antonneau, who – barring a mechanical – had easily secured her U23 title and looked to be on the Elite podium as well. Sixteen seconds behind Antonneau, Stetson-Lee fought hard to maintain the slightest of gaps over Duke. Behind them, Rivera continued with her stellar ride and passed Meredith Miller, whose earlier crash seemed to continue giving her difficulty.

With first and second all but locked down, Duke decided that should have two riders in the top three, and attacked Stetson-Lee with a giant effort, pulling into third with her stellar descending skills and leaving Stetson-Lee behind. Duke showed remarkable tenacity in her pursuit and subsequent acceleration into third in the final half-lap.

At the line, Compton enjoyed her record eighth victory, with an emotional Antonneau following a few minutes behind. Duke held on to her gap over Stetson-Lee, with Rivera taking a strong fifth overall and silver in the U23. Duke rode in for third, immediately running to hug teammate Antonneau, saying, “I’m so proud of you!”

“It was going to be tricky, the course was changing,” said Compton. “When I pre-rode it was a little more frozen, and then for the start it was a little bit thawing, and by the last lap it was a lot muddier. It is slippery mud on top of hard ground still, so it’s tricky out there and getting harder each lap. This course is unrelenting. If you back off at all you make mistakes and you crash. I’m actually pretty happy it’s not cold and snowy here, but I’m sure next year they will make up for it with a blizzard or something!”

The newly-recrowned champion seemed just as excited about Antonneau’s ride as her own. “She’s a great girl, has a great head for bike racing. As long as she keeps having fun, she’ll be up here for a long time,” she said. “I’m hoping I’m retired by the time she starts beating me!”

“I’m a little emotional right now,” said Antonneau. “I’m happy and excited and glad that’s over. I was just so nervous last night and this morning. Once the gun went off I was fine but the nerves were starting to get to me. It was good riding with Nicole because we kept pushing each other. On the hills that’s where I think I got away. I was pretty good on the hills. I like that we were together for half the race. And she finished third, which is awesome.”

“It was actually really fun,” said Duke. “I was scared of the course because of all the climbing, but it was better than expected. I thought it was gonna hurt more than it did. This technical section here was challenging so I appreciated that. The downhills were awesome, and the battle with Teal was exciting. I definitely got aggressive there, and even though I was aggressive I can relax and recover there a bit, too, so in the battle with Teal I just used this last downhill to my advantage, and I knew I just had to get ahead of her there and get into this technical section and that’s what I did. It was a really dynamic course. It was fun and it was way, way better than I expected. There was so much noise and intensity in the crowd, it made it really exciting, and a lot of my Boulder peers are here, and they were out there running up the hills with me.”

“It was pretty painful,” said Stetson-Lee. “Those hills really started taking it out of me. That last lap I could feel my quads just cramping up on every time. I was just like ‘come on legs, come on, just hang in there’ but Nicole had little extra juice in her so she passed me in a perfect spot in the techy section and opened up that gap. The whole race, it was like I could see the two rabbits up the road from me. So it was kind of my carrot, and it kept pulling me up. But then I exhausted myself chasing them around. I didn’t have much in the tank on the final lap.”

Women's podium at the 2012 Cyclocross National Championship: 1) Compton, 2) Antonneau, 3) Duke, 4) Stetson-Lee, 5) Rivera. ©Tim Westmore

Women's podium at the 2012 Cyclocross National Championship: 1) Compton, 2) Antonneau, 3) Duke, 4) Stetson-Lee, 5) Rivera. ©Tim Westmore

Full results below photos and videos.

U23 Title Also Means Silver: Coach and Protege Share the Podium
The emotional connection stemming from the mentoring connection between Compton and Antonneau was clearly evident. Regarding Antonneau, Compton said, “I’m super proud of her. She’s a great person, great bike racer, with a lot of talent. She’s such a hard worker too. I’m really happy to see her develop and learn and grow, and become such a great bike racer at such an early age.”

When asked what it meant to be sharing the podium with her coach, Antonneau said with brimming eyes, “Everything. It’s unreal, and I’m really happy.”

Compton’s commitment to the emerging crop of Junior and U23 riders is deep. “I think we’ve got a good group [of women’s riders] coming up,” said Compton. “There’s always the growing pains that come from U23 to Elites, but if we can keep the women in the sport and make sure it’s fun, make sure the race is competitive, I think they’ll continue on and enjoy it.”

When asked what could be done to help raise the profile of women’s cyclocross racing, Compton said, “More media, more publicity and more money. That’s usually what improves bike racing in general … I think more women would get involved if there was more support. We’re working on it. It’s slow, but it’s changing and getting better every year.”

Junior racer Alisson Arensman (Fiets Maan Racing/Rutherford College, NC), who had a chance to mix it up with the Elite Women, agreed that more opportunities for young women in cyclocross will help. “Definitely put on more races, make them affordable, even just get Juniors, ages 11-14 on bikes having clinics and getting them interested in it,” said Arensman.

Kaitlin Antonneau grabs a clean bike from cyclocross guru Stu Thorne on her way to an Elite silver and an U23 gold..  © Cyclocross Magazine

Kaitlin Antonneau grabs a clean bike from cyclocross guru Stu Thorne on her way to an Elite silver and an U23 gold.. © Cyclocross Magazine

How much pressure did Antonneau place on herself coming into the race? “My goal was top five here, and as the season went on, up until last week my goal was to get second. I never told anyone that – it was just in my head. And I did it,” she said, laughing in amazement.

Antonneau will gear up for the last World Cup races in Europe, and is awaiting announcement of the team for Worlds. What goal does she have in her head for that? Only time will tell.

Photo Gallery:

Katie Compton Interview:
[youtube z2NNxHGQmv0 580 380]

Teal Stetson-Lee Interview:
[youtube qAMBfPU28xM 580 380]

Sue Butler Interview:
[youtube DkUZJQXuLaI 580 380]

Mark Legg-Compton Interview:
[youtube 1uC69rDZDWs 580 380]

Katie Compton’s Mom Interview:
[youtube 4kJe9Vg7wWQ 580 380]

See all of Cyclocross Magazine’s 2012 USA Cycling National Championships video interviews here!

Stay tuned for more photos and interviews

2012 USA Cycling National Championships Elite Women Results

Place NameCity, StateTime BibTeam
1Katherine COMPTON   Colorado Springs, CO46:42:00 Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team
2Kaitlin ANTONNEAU   Racine, WI48:41:00 Cyclocrossworld/Cannondale Cyclocrossworld
3Nicole DUKE   Boulder, CO48:59:00 Cyclocrossworld/Cannondale Cyclocrossworld
4Teal STETSON-LEE   Durango, CO49:14:00 10 California Giant Cycling
5Coryn RIVERA   Tustin, CA50:21:00 22 Exergy Twenty12/Exergy Twenty12
6Meredith MILLER   Bouler, CO50:34:00 California Giant Cycling/California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized
7Susan BUTLER   Portland, OR50:35:00 River City Bicycles/Ridley
8Maureen BRUNO ROY   Arlington, MA50:39:00 Bob's Red Mill pb Seven Cycles
9Laura VAN GILDER   Cresco, PA51:43:00 C3 p/b Mellow Mushroom Racing
10Arley KEMMERER   Saylorsburg, PA51:56:00 18 Charm City Cycling Llc
11Kelsy BINGHAM   Ogden, UT52:12:00 24 Roosters/Bikers Edge
12Sally ANNIS   Nashua, NH52:23:00 12 Crossresults.Com/Crossresults.Com P/B Jra Cycles
13Carolyn POPOVIC   East Norriton, PA52:35:00 19 Team Cf/Team Cf-Elite
14Andrea SMITH   Somerville, MA53:07:00 83 Minuteman Road Club/Ladies First
15Alice PENNINGTON   Portland, OR53:25:00 31 Team S&M
16Rebecca BLATT   Denver, CO53:27:00 30 Team Kenda Presented By Geargrinder
17Crystal ANTHONY   Beverly, MA53:47:00 14 Minuteman Road Club/Ladies First
18Lisa CURRY   Bozeman, MT54:03:00 59 Gallatin Valley Bicycle Club/Gallatin Alpine Sports/Intrinsik Archite
19Samantha SCHNEIDER   Milwaukee, WI54:08:00 41 p/b Blue Bicycles
20Kari STUDLEY   Bothell, WA54:21:00 44 Team Redline
21Nicole THIEMANN   Philadelphia, PA54:24:00 11 Team Cf/Team Cf-Elite
22Stacey BARBOSSA   Rutherford, NJ54:29:00 28 Elite Endurance Training Systems
23Serena GORDON   Bend, OR54:47:00 43 Silverado Gallery
24Rebecca GROSS   Lakewood, CO54:52:00 48 Tough Girl Cycling
25Linda SONE   Northfield, MN55:25:00 38 Cycle-Smart Inc.
26Kristin WEBER   Boulder, CO55:33:00 74 Boulder Cycle Sport
27BethAnn ORTON   Portland, OR55:43:00 62 
28Abby STRIGEL   Madison, WI55:45:00 85 Cyclocrossracing.Com
29Ellen NOBLE   Kennebunkport, ME55:55:00 78 Trek
30Emily SHIELDS   Salisbury, NC55:55:00 21 Mock Orange Bikes/Smartstop / Mock Orange Bikes P/B Ridley
31Shannon GIBSON   Durango, CO56:00:00 69 Stan's Notubes Elite Women's Team
32Katherine SHIELDS   Salisbury, NC56:35:00 29 Mock Orange Bikes/Smartstop / Mock Orange Bikes P/B Ridley
33Alyssa SEVERN   Madison, WI56:41:00 81 Cyclocrossracing.Com
34Kristine CHURCH   Philadelphia, PA56:53:00 47 Human Zoom Cycling/Human Zoom
35Allison ARENSMAN   Rutherford College, NC57:12:00 34 Fiets Maan Racing
36Alice HENRIQUES   Washington, DC57:21:00 35 Zanconato Racing
37Elle ANDERSON   Lebanon, NH@3Laps 20 Minuteman Road Club/Ladies First
38Lisa HUDSON   Golden, CO@3Laps 77 Feedback Sports Racing
39Christina TAMILIO   Newton, MA@3Laps 23 Minuteman Road Club/Ladies First
40BrittLee BOWMAN   New York, NY@3Laps 36 Crossresults.Com/Crossresults.Com P/B Jra Cycles
41Corey COOGAN CISEK   Minneapolis, MN@3Laps 42 Plan C p/b Stevens
42Ellen SHERRILL   South Lake Tahoe, CA@3Laps 93 Bike Station Aptos
43Corrie OSBORNE   Mequon, WI@3Laps 46 Iscorp Cycling Team
44Marne SMILEY   Chicago, IL@3Laps 26 Bob's Red Mill
45Kimberly FLYNN   Hixson, TN@3Laps 25 Ussc-Trek P/B Vantaggio
46Molly HURFORD   Hampton, NJ@3Laps 73 Colavita Racing Inc./Colavita Racing
47Margell ABEL   Boulder, CO@3Laps 61 Tough Girl Cycling
48Meghan KOROL   Asheville, NC@3Laps 15 Ocd Cycling/Bob'S Red Mill Cyclocross
49Elizabeth SO   Washington, DC@3Laps 27 Team Tati
50Anna DINGMAN   Bozeman, MT@3Laps 79 
51Bailey SEMIAN   Mertztown, PA@3Laps 56 Mid-Atlantic Cycling Club
52Amber RYDHOLM   Boulder, CO@3Laps 63 Gs Boulder/Trek Store
53Hannah FINCHAMP   Altadena, CA@3Laps 55 The Team /The Team - Socalcross
54Dana SHINN   Durango, CO@3Laps 58 
55Kaila HART   Durango, CO@3Laps 84 No Tubes Elite Womens Racing
56Jennifer NOWLIN   Plymouth, MN@3Laps 76 Peace Coffee Racing
57Victoria GATES   Fitchburg, MA@3Laps 75 Tenet Racing/J.A.M. Fund / Ncc
58Laura MURRAY   Baltimore, MD@3Laps 52 
59Jeanne FLECK   Proctor, MN@3Laps 53 Velo Duluth
60Cassandra MAXIMENKO   Naugatuck, CT@3Laps 39 Silver Bull/Target Training
61Michelle BISHOP   Bala Cynwyd, PA@3Laps 54 Cadence/Cannondale Women'S Racing Team
62Dorothy WONG   Altadena, CA@4Laps 45 The Team /The Team - Socalcross
63Sierra SIEBENLIST   Indianapolis, IN@4Laps 71 Indiebike.Com
64Lindsay ZUCCO   Elburn, IL@4Laps 57 Team Bicycle Heaven
65Sarah FREDRICKSON   Bloomington, IN@4Laps 51 Bikereg.Com Cycling Club
66Matilda FIELD   Durango, CO@4Laps 50 
67Shannon GREENHILL   Atlanta, GA@4Laps 86 Peachtree Bikes
68Julie HUNTER   Richmond, VA@4Laps 82 
69Kimberly THOMAS   Belmont, MI@4Laps 72 Fusion Cycling Team/Fusion It
70Patricia DOWD   Bozeman, MT@4Laps 68 Coeur D 'Alene Velo Racers (Cdavr)/Team Rep
71Catherine HOLLIBAUGH   Carmel, IN@4Laps 17 Team Nebo Ridge
72Cory REDMOND   Ballwin, MO@4Laps 87 Black Sheep Cycles/Black Sheep Cartel
DNSAmanda CAREY   Victor, ID16 Kenda/Felt
DNSJennifer GAERTNER   Coeur D Alene, ID37 Coeur D 'Alene Velo Racers (Cdavr)
DNSChristina PROBERT   Murrieta, CA40 The Team
DNSNina BAUM   Albuquerque, NM60 
DNSJennifer HERRELL-RHOADES   Kansas City, MO64 Bicycles Of Tulsa
DNSCristina BEGY   Boulder, CO65 
DNSAntonia LEAL   Waukesha, WI80 Planet Bike
DNSNicole ALEXANDER   Marquette, MI70 Kitchi - Mi - Kana/Chocolay Ace Hardware Cycling Team
DNSChristina BIRCH   Somerville, MA66 Tenet Racing/J.A.M. Fund / Ncc
DNSKatherine SHERWIN   Heber City, UT13 Stan's Notubes Elite Women's Team
DNSAmy DOMBROSKI   Boulder, COCrankbrothers Race Club
DNFKatie ARNOLD   Columbus, OH32 Echelon Cycling Team
DNFSarah HUANG   Kenosha, WI49 Exergy Twenty12/Exergy Twenty12

U23 Brief Results:
1. # 4 Kaitlin Antonneau, Cyclocrossworld/Cannondale Cyclocross, Racine, WI 48:51
2. #22 Coryn Rivera, Exergy Twenty12, Tustin, CA 50:21
3. #41 Samantha Schneider, UCI WPT: Tibco To The Top, Milwaukee, WI 54:08
4. #78 Ellen Noble, Trek, Kennebunkport, ME 55:55
5. #21 Emily Shields, Mock Orange Bikes/Smartstop, Salisbury, NC 55:55

Keep up to date on all of the action at 2012 Cyclocross Nationals on Cyclocross Magazine’s 2012 Cyclocross National Championships homepage.

2012 Nationals Women Elite Startlist

WomensElite/U23 Cat 1/2/3  
NameTeamCity, StateBib
Margell AbelBoulder, CO61
Nicole AlexanderKitchi - Mi - KanaMarquette, MI70
Elle AndersonMinuteman Road Club/Ladies FirstLebanon, NH20
Sally p/b JRA CyclesNashua, NH12
Crystal AnthonyBeverly, MA14
Kaitlin AntonneauCyclocrossworld/Cannondale CyclocrossworldRacine, WI4
Allison ArensmanFiets Maan RacingRutherford College, NC34
Katie ArnoldEchelon Cycling TeamColumbus, OH32
Stacey BarbossaElite Endurance Training SystemsRutherford, NJ28
Nina BaumAlbuquerque, NM60
Cristina BegyBoulder, CO65
Kelsy BinghamRoosters/Bikers EdgeOgden, UT24
Christina BirchTenet Racing/J.A.M. Fund / NCCSomerville, MA66
Michelle BishopCadence/Cannondale Women's Racing TeamBala Cynwyd, PA54
Rebecca BlattTeam Kenda presented by GeargrinderDenver, CO30
BrittLee p/b JRA CyclesNew York, NY36
Maureen Bruno RoyArlington, MA6
Susan ButlerPortland, OR8
Amanda CareyKenda/FeltVictor, ID16
Kristine ChurchHuman Zoom Cycling/Human ZoomPhiladelphia, PA47
Katherine ComptonRabobank-Giant Off Road TeamColorado Springs, CO1
Corey Coogan CisekMinneapolis, MN42
Lisa CurryGallatin Valley Bicycle Club/Gallatin Alpine Sports/Intrinsik ArchiteBozeman, MT59
Anna DingmanBozeman, MT79
Amy Dombroskicrankbrothers race clubBoulder, CO3
Patricia DowdCoeur d 'Alene Velo Racers (CDAVR)/Team REPBozeman, MT68
Nicole DukeCyclocrossworld/Cannondale CyclocrossworldBoulder, CO5
Matilda FieldDurango, CO50
Hannah FinchampThe TEAM /The TEAM - SoCalCrossAltadena, CA55
Kelly Fisher-GoodwinKCCX Fuji Elite Cyclocross Team p/b Challenge TiresLangley Afb, VA67
Jeanne FleckVelo DuluthProctor, MN53
Kimberly FlynnScenic City Velo/USSC-Trek p/b VantaggioHixson, TN25
Sarah Cycling ClubBloomington, IN51
Jennifer GaertnerCoeur d 'Alene Velo Racers (CDAVR)Coeur D Alene, ID33
Victoria GatesTenet Racing/J.A.M. Fund / NCCFitchburg, MA75
Shannon GibsonStan's NoTubes Elite Women's TeamDurango, CO69
Serena GordonBend, OR43
Rebecca GrossLakewood, CO48
Alice HenriquesZanconato RacingWashington, DC35
Jennifer Herrell-RhoadesBicycles of TulsaKansas City, MO64
Sarah HuangISCorp Cycling TeamKenosha, WI49
Lisa HudsonFeedback Sports RacingGolden, CO77
Julie HunterRichmond, VA82
Molly HurfordColavita Racing, Inc./Colavita RacingHampton, NJ73
Arley KemmererCharm City Cycling, LLCSaylorsburg, PA16
Meghan KorolAsheville, NC15
Antonia LealPlanet BikeWaukesha, WI80
Cassandra MaximenkoNaugatuck, CT39
Meredith MillerCalifornia Giant Cycling/California Giant Berry Farms/SpecializedBouler, CO2
Laura MurrayBaltimore, MD52
Ellen NobleKennebunkport, ME78
Jennifer NowlinPeace Coffee RacingPlymouth, MN76
BethAnn OrtonPortland, OR62
Corrie OsborneISCorp Cycling TeamMequon, WI46
Alice PenningtonPortland, OR31
Carolyn PopovicEast Norriton, PA19
Christina ProbertThe TEAMMurrieta, CA40
Coryn RiveraPeanut Butter & Co. TWENTY 12/Exergy TWENTY12Tustin, CA22
Amber RydholmGS Boulder/Trek StoreBoulder, CO63
Samantha SchneiderWest Allis, WI41
Bailey SemianMid-Atlantic Cycling ClubMertztown, PA56
Alyssa SevernCyclocrossracing.comMadison, WI81
Ellen SherrillBike Station AptosSouth Lake Tahoe, CA37
Katherine SherwinHeber City, UT13
Emily ShieldsMock Orange Bikes/SmartStop / Mock Orange Bikes p/b RidleySalisbury, NC21
Katherine ShieldsMock Orange Bikes/SmartStop / Mock Orange Bikes p/b RidleySalisbury, NC29
Dana ShinnDurango, CO58
Sierra SiebenlistINDIEBIKE.COMIndianapolis, IN71
Marne SmileyBob's Red MillChicago, IL26
Andrea SmithMinuteman Road Club/Ladies FirstSomerville, MA9
Elizabeth SoTeam TATIWashington, DC27
Linda SoneCycle-Smart, Inc.Northfield, MN38
Teal Stetson-LeeCalifornia Giant CyclingDurango, CO10
Kari StudleyTeam RedlineBothell, WA44
Christina TamilioMinuteman Road Club/Ladies FirstNewton, MA23
Nicole ThiemannTeam CF/Team CF-ElitePhiladelphia, PA11
Kimberly ThomasFusion Cycling Team/Fusion ITBelmont, MI72
Laura Van GilderMellow Mushroom Racing/Mellow Mushroom Pizza BakersCresco, PA7
Kristin WeberBoulder Cycle SportBoulder, CO74
Dorothy WongThe TEAM /The TEAM - SoCalCrossAltadena, CA45
Lindsay ZuccoTeam Bicycle HeavenElburn, IL57