Sunday’s 2017 Pan-American Championships in Louisville marked the fourth edition of the cyclocross championships for the Americas. The previous three editions were held in Cincinnati, so this year’s even marked the first time it was held in Louisville. The weekend’s races took place at Joe Creason Park, which will host the December 2018 U.S. Cyclocross National Championships, allowing riders to get a first look at the venue that will host the first December Nationals since Bend in 2010.
Although a young event, the Pan-American Championships have quickly taken on big importance for cyclocross racers across the Americas. For many, it is a can’t-miss weekend to compete against many of the best riders outside of Europe.
One needs to look no further than Katie Compton (KFC Racing p/b Trek/Knight Composites) to understand the importance of the event. Compton has won all three editions of the event and headed into Sunday’s race looking to make it four in a row.
After the U.S. World Cups, Compton headed to Europe and has been racing the IJsboerke Ladies Trofee series and other “bucket list” races in the motherland of cyclocross.
Compton raced at Koppenbergcross on Wednesday, boarded a plane and flew to Louisville for the weekend. After winning’s Saturday’s race at the Derby City Cup and turning in a dominant performance again on Sunday, Compton again boarded a plane and headed back to Europe for this weekend’s racing.
Her quick trip to Louisville was perhaps borne out of a desire to win all the jerseys or grab some Kentucky bourbon for the rest of her European campaign, but the most likely explanation is it was a nod to the importance of the event and the honor that comes with wearing the Continental Champion’s jersey for another year. Compton made the trip and she was rewarded for the effort.
Cyclocross Magazine‘s Brandon Grant spoke with Compton on Sunday night after her Pan-American Championship. She goes into what it took to win the race and her thoughts on how the course changed from Saturday to Sunday. Spoiler alert, despite not raining it was still a tough, tough course.
Stay tuned for more coverage from the Derby City Cup and the Pan-American Championships.