The Elite women's start, with holeshot winner Crystal Anthony. © Mike Albright

The Elite women’s, with holeshot winner Crystal Anthony. © Mike Albright

Boulder, CO  — There were no surprises at the sharp end of the Elite Women’s national title today, as Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) continued the streak that has seen her win every national title since 2004, establishing an early gap and time-trialing her way around the dry, windy Boulder course to take her tenth consecutive title. Only slightly less expected was silver medalist Elle Anderson (Cal-Giant), who has stormed onto the Elite cyclocross scene and proved this is where she belongs, clinging to Compton for the first half of lap one before conceding to the World Cup champion and working to consolidate her second place.

The battle of the day belonged to the third step, as Meredith Miller (Cal-Giant) slowly hunted down Crystal Anthony (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), making contact halfway through the final lap and setting up for an exciting finish. Miller opened a bike length on Anthony moments before the finishing stretch, and held off Anthony’s charge to take bronze. Georgia Gould (Luna) overcame a slow start to round out the top five, followed by Rachel Lloyd (Cal-Giant) and then Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld), who again claimed the U23 win.

“It feels pretty good,” Compton said. “It was hard today with everyone talking about number ten. It was a little more pressure. It builds every year. It was amazing, everyone was so loud and cheering. It was pretty special, that last lap, I took some time to take it all in and appreciate it.”

“It was a great day out there,” said Elle Anderson. “I’m really excited to be out here. It was an honor to ride with Katie and give it my best shot. I was out front, and Katie came steamrolling by me. Kudos to her, because I could not hold her wheel. This is only my third championships I’ve ever ridden, so it’s really special to have come this far.”

Compton makes in 10 National Championships in a row. © Mike Albright

Compton makes in 10 National Championships in a row. © Mike Albright

“Oh my god,” said Miller. “Let me just say that A, [Anthony] made me fight like hell for that, and B if it were not for this crowd cheering for me I never would have been able to do that. They helped me dig even deeper. I heard my name all around, which was so amazing. Going up the stairs was deafening.”

Compton takes her 10th win. © Brian Nelson

Compton takes her 10th win. © Brian Nelson

A Miss, A Surge, and a Surprise
At the gun, Compton – not known for fast starts – missed her pedal, shaking her head as the rest of the first row swarmed past her, with Anthony taking the holeshot ahead of Nicole Duke (Marin Bikes/SPY). Within moments, however, Compton was at the front and looked ready to follow the familiar script. “Of course I missed my pedal on the start,” she said, “but I slotted in. Once I changed bikes I just settled in and raced.”

In only her third national showing, a blitzing Elle Anderson, however, hoped to write a new chapter as she overtook Compton and drilled the pace, quickly opening a gap that only Compton, Duke and Anthony could follow.

Then it was two, as Anderson shed Duke and Anthony while briefly capitalizing on a pit by Compton, who later said she felt her front wheel had a slow leak.

And Then There Was One
Halfway through the first lap, Compton took the reigns from Anderson and surged ahead. It was the last any of the other races saw of the World Cup champion. “I think accelerating and being smooth in turns was key,” she said. “I just attacked on the backside of the course and got a bit of a gap. I wanted to just be smooth and time trial it. This course takes a lot of focus to not make mistakes. This is one of the most challenging courses we’ve had that wasn’t weather related. It was fun in a different way.”

Anderson did what she could to hang onto Compton’s wheel, maximizing the gap back to Duke, Anthony, and Chloe Woodruff (Crankbrothers Race Club), before conceding the win to Compton and working to consolidate the second podium spot. “The start was good,” she said. “A little chaotic. But I made it out of there and really tried to get to the front knowing I had to be there to see how it played out. Katie put in a really good attack on the backside of the course and I tried to catch her wheel but with this thin air and her power, I couldn’t catch her wheel.”

The Fight for the Podium
As the battle went on for the remaining podium spots, Kaitlin Antonneau began to work her way up the field, distancing herself from her main U23 rivals, Emma White and Ellen Noble. Further behind, Georgia Gould began to warm up her diesel after getting caught behind Compton’s missed pedal. Gould, who started in the second row just behind Compton, was also caught out by Compton’s pedal miss. “I was joking around,” she said. “I lined up right behind Katie and was like, ‘Katie, have a good start.’ And she’s like, ‘I don’t know, I’m 50-50 these days.’ And then she missed her pedal. I was like, ‘Come on!’ It was funny. I didn’t want to be too crazy in this first corner. There was some sketchiness in the first straight so I was back in about 20th.”

From there, Gould spent the race working her way up the field, ultimately overtaking Antonneau and then battling Rachel Lloyd to claim fifth. “I’m happy with it!” Gould said of landing the final podium spot. “I didn’t know what to expect. Actually, I did know what to expect: a really hard-ass race. I wish I could have been up there at the start more. Once the gaps go, you close a gap and you have to recover.”

“I was battling with Rachael [Lloyd] at the end,” she continued. “I attacked her on the stairs. I knew I could use them to get a little bit of a gap, and then I was like, OK, murder yourself until the end of the lap. And I did. Overall I’m happy. It was a solid ride.”

“I’m a little disappointed,” said Lloyd. “I thought I had top five in me. I just didn’t have it in me today. It just felt like there was nothing in my legs.”

Ahead of the two, however, was the fight for third. Crystal Anthony, after shedding Nicole Duke early on, had been alone in third until the final lap, when Meredith Miller, propelled by the crowds, fought her way back. The two battled into the final turns, but when Miller accelerated over a berm just prior to the finishing straight, Anthony found herself lacking the gas to follow. “I was in third for 95% of the race and really wanted to hang onto that,” Anthony said. “But I feel like I rode the best I could and Meredith Miller just rode a really good race.”

“I got the holeshot and I was happy about that,” she continued. “I didn’t want to go crazy the first lap because of the altitude, and so I settled into third and just started riding consistently from there. When Meredith caught me, I just tried to stay on her wheel but I couldn’t get around her at the end.”

Full results below the photo galleries. Read about Jeremy Powers’ second National Championship in our 2014 Cyclocross National Championships Men’s Report.

Elite Women 2014 USA Cyclocross Nationals Gallery by Brian Nelson

Elite Women 2014 USA Cyclocross Nationals Gallery by Steve Anderson

Elite Women 2014 USA Cyclocross Nationals Gallery by Mike Albright

Elite Women Full Results 2014 US Cyclocross Nationals

11COMPTONKatherineTrek Cyclocross Collective
24ANDERSONElleCalifornia Giant Cycling
33MILLERMeredithCalifornia Giant Cycling
45ANTHONYCrystalTeam Optum p/b Kelly Benefit St
616LLOYDRachelCalifornia Giant Cycling
72ANTONNEAU *KaitlinCannondale pb Cyclocrossworld
87DUKENicoleMarin Bikes/SPY
915WOODRUFFChloeCrankbrothers Race Club
108BRUNO ROYMaureenBob's Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles
116KEMMERERArleyCharm City Cycling LLC
12115NOBLE *EllenTrek Cyclocross Collective
1332NAUMANAmandaSDG Felt
1418GILBERTSunnyMichelob Ultra - Big Shark Raci
1643FINCHAMP *HannahTeam LUNA Chix
1748BARKERMelissaGS Boulder/Organic India
1837FREEMANJudyCrankbrothers Race Club
1917CUTLERJessicaMarket Street Cycling Club
2019ARENSMAN *AllisonBob's Red Mill Cyclocross
2112THIEMANNNicoleTeam CF
2339WHITE *ElizabethUniversity of Vermont
2460LEPIKHINA *KseniaTrail Master Coaching
2530GROSSRebeccaDonnelly Sports
2622HUNTERJuliePhaup St. Journal
2846HOGANKarenTeam Kappius
2995GOKEY-SMITHChristinaColonel's /Sho-Air
3044WEBERKristinBoulder Cycle Sport
3150VESTALCaitlynFeedback Sports Racing
3226BLATTRebeccaVan Dessel Factory Team
3349RATHBUN *LaurelTWENTY16 Pro Cycling
3447BONIKristalRapid Racing
3570HUDSONLisaFeedback Sports Racing
3621BIRCHChristinaTenet Racing
3785MOORECatherineSquadra Di Servitori
3828SWARTZ *EmmaBrazen Dropouts
3913ORTONBeth AnnTeam S&M
40109SHERRILLEllenBicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobst
4133NORTHCOTTKatherineNess Team New England
4386CATLIN *KellyNorthStar Development
4440CUMMINGKathrynTeam Yacht Club
4554PETERSONKristenEvol Elite Racing
4642MELENAKatieBicycle Blue Book/HRS/Rock Lobs
4714ZAVETAEricaTeam Redline
4865POWLISONKateEvol Elite Racing
4963ABELMargellNatural Grocers Cycling Team
5056FAHRINGERRebeccaJam Fund/NCC
5153SANSOMECarol JeaneGrand Performance Cyclocross Te
5255D'AMATOJessicaEvol Elite Racing
5327SHIELDS *EmilyMock Orange Bikes
54102SKARDAAlexisColorado Mesa University
5557MARSHALLBrianneTough Girl Cycling
5634BOWMANBrittLeeConnecticut Yankee BC
5767DUNNEmmaFeedback Sports Racing
5871STURMSarahBear Development Team
5962BECKHeidiTwin Six
60118BAUMNinaStan's NoTubes P/b Proferrin
6194BRANDTNicoleVelo Club LaGrange
6229KOROLMeghanAsheville Cyclocross
6380ZINNEmilyNaked Women's Racing
6535WOODRINGMackenzieFoundry Cycles
6687ARENDkristieBoulder Running Company Cycling
6731COOGAN CISEKCoreyThe Fix Studio
6872VETTERJauronBlue Steel Cyclery
6975YATESTracyTough Girl Cycling
7051NOWLINJenniferThe Fix Studio
7184BLISSMicheleTeam Small Batch
7261SEIB *
7352SOElizabethTeam TATI
7438AMBJORNCooperTeam Hungry
7597MELCHER *MadelaineThe TEAM
7683BARCHECKElizabethTeam Small Batch
7759GATES *VictoriaTenet Racing
7864STEENVictoriaTeam Six One Four
7969TIMMLeslieLadies' First
81105DEHORNEY *TizianaGet Out! New Mexico
8277PHILLIPSEmilyLadies' First
83106DONOHUE *Erin
8478SEVERNAlyssaTeam Yacht Club
8590BEAMCristienneTough Girl Cycling
8658GREEN *MackenzieNorthStar Development
8874CHURCHKristinePeanut Butter & Co. Human Zoom
8981ADAMKOVICSSusanNaked Women's Racing
9041HURFORDMollyColavita Racing Inc.
9179MILTON *AnnaLadies' First
9276MASCELLIErinSRAM Factory
9399SAMAVictoriaAdventures Edge
9496OLEWINSKILuciRockstart Games/Signature Cycle
9573THOMPSONStephanieWD Racing / NYC Velo
9698MELCHER *McKenzieThe TEAM
9766KNIGHTLindsayHeritage Race Club
98113DITTMER *ArianaCOMototion Sports
9992NUFFERKimberlyBoulder Orthopedics
100114HARDEMANMissySquadra Di Servitori
101117MEADMarianGS Boulder/Organic India
10288BERNSTEINJessicaBoulder Running Company Cycling
103104KOBZABethanyPortland Bicycle Studio
104108POMEROYLornaGS Boulder/Organic India
10693GARVEYDeirdreHigh Peaks Masters
107101KRANTZ *Nathalie
10836SHIELDS *KatherineMock Orange Bikes
DNF9MCFADDENCourtenayBicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobst
DNF11WHITE *EmmaCyclocrossworld
DNF45DYGERT *ChloeMidwest Development Cycling Inc
DNS20CAREYAmandaStan's No Tubes
DNS107HERRELL-RHOADESJenniferMidwest Cycling Community NE
DNS112WALKERMelanie StarrGPM Sport

For all the best Cyclocross Nationals 2014 coverage, including bike profiles, race reports, results and video interviews, check out our 2014 Cyclocross National Championship Page here.