ST. LOUIS,  MISSOURI – In race #2 of the Cross After Dark Series, Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) resumed her winning ways, just three days after her back-to-back USGP Sun Prairie wins, by soloing to an easy win in front of Nicole Duke (Raleigh – Clement) and Ashley James (Fuji – KCCX). In a small field of just 10 Elite Women, the top three women quickly separated themselves from the rest of the field with a fast first lap, and then in a massive display of power on lap two, Compton detonated the field, putting a whopping 22 seconds in to Duke, leaving her and the rest of the field to fight for second.  

Katie Compton in command and in the lead. ©Matt James

Katie Compton in command and in the lead. ©Matt James

Coming into the evening, all eyes were on the powerhouse Raleigh-Clement team, title sponsors of the event and boasting such talents as Nicole Duke and French National Champion Caroline Mani along with Belgian Ben Berden on the men’s side. The team would not disappoint, taking a Berden win in the men’s race and putting up a brave fight in the women’s race against the unstoppable Katie Compton.

Duke recovered later in the race, matching Compton’s speed in later laps but by then, the race all but decided. In the end, there was little pack racing, with the top four racers each separated from each other by nearly a minute. James stayed steady to hold third, while behind her, Rebecca Much (The Service Course | World Bicycle Relief) and Caroline Mani (Raleigh – Clement) battled for fourth, with Much winning that battle.

Surprisingly, since Duke, Much and Mani finished outside of the Cross After Dark Series points at CrossVegas, Compton ties Sanne van Paassen for the series lead and the leader’s jersey.  The series continues with the Lionheart International race on Saturday at the Cincy C3 Cyclocross Festival. Full results and lap times below the photo gallery.

With a course universally praised by competitors and a solid and growing fan base, the Gateway Cross Cup looks set to continue its growth and lock its position as a fixture of the ever growing domestic ’cross circuit.

Matt James contributed to this report.

Gateway Cross Cup 2012 Elite Women’s Photo Gallery:

2012 Gateway Cross Cup - Cross After Dark #2 - Elite Women's Results

PosBibNameTeamNatTimeLapsLap 1Lap 2Lap 3Lap 4Lap 5
141COMPTON KatherineTrek Cyclocross CollectiveUSA43:5858:54 (8:54)17:16 (8:23)26:07 (8:52)34:59 (8:52)43:58 (8:59)
250DUKE NicoleRaleigh-ClementUSA44:5058:51 (8:51)17:39 (8:48)27:06 (9:28)35:48 (8:43)44:50 (9:03)
347JAMES AshleyKCCX/FujiUSA45:3058:58 (8:58)17:50 (8:53)26:54 (9:05)36:05 (9:11)45:30 (9:25)
448MUCH RebeccaThe Service Course | World BicyUSA46:2359:12 (9:12)18:08 (8:57)27:32 (9:24)36:50 (9:19)46:23 (9:33)
551MANI CarolineRaleigh-ClementFRA46:3859:14 (9:14)18:32 (9:18)27:43 (9:12)37:18 (9:35)46:38 (9:21)
642SMILEY MarneBobs Red Mill RacingUSA46:4459:26 (9:26)18:42 (9:16)28:10 (9:28)37:31 (9:21)46:44 (9:14)
749OSBORNE CorrieTeam ExtremeUSA48:1259:11 (9:11)18:31 (9:21)28:06 (9:35)38:05 (10:00)48:12 (10:08)
845CASH CarriePedal the CauseUSA49:5059:59 (9:59)20:03 (10:05)29:52 (9:50)39:42 (9:50)49:50 (10:08)
952JOHNSON SuzanneMichelob Ultra Big SharkUSA-1 LAP410:41 (10:41)21:15 (10:35)32:01 (10:47)
1046HERRELL-RHOADES JenniferTrek Cyclocross CollectiveUSA-1 LAP410:41 (10:41)21:15 (10:35)32:01 (10:47)
DNS43DALLAIRE AnnajeanPappa Johns RacingUSA