By Ricoh Riott
ASHEVILLE, N.C.—Last year’s National Champion Katie Compton (Trek Factory Racing) took the Elite Women’s jersey again today, her 12th win in a row. Fort Collins, Colorado’s Georgia Gould (LUNA Pro Team) finished in second place with Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld) in third.
The race started with a whistle, with Courtenay McFadden (American Classic/Zones) nabbing the holeshot, half a bike-length ahead of an eager Compton. A sudden attack by Elle Anderson (SRAM/Strava) saw her steal the lead, taking the pack up the Kask Climb and returning towards the Bike Barn area. The off-camber, slick from overnight rain, claimed Anderson’s position as she slipped on a tricky corner and allowed Compton and Gould to move up.
A game of cat-and-mouse followed between the reigning National Champion and crowd favorite Gould, who was slightly ahead as they climbed Ingles Heckle Hill and cut single-file through the slippery right-hander leading back towards the Kask fly over. Antonneau watched from behind in third position as the dueling pair separated themselves from the field and waged their own battle over the subsequent three laps, swapping the lead occasionally, never more than a couple of seconds between them.
With a little over one lap to go, an opportunity arose for Compton in the Cane Creek Woods descent when a small mistake forced Gould off-line, forcing her to clip back in and correct herself. Compton seized the moment and gained a precious gap, maintaining the advantage through the ringing lap bell and around her final pass of the course.
Antonneau, who had held her position, gained on Gould as Compton won a few more seconds over the finale. Compton finished to a roaring crowd in 46:56, an advantage of 24 seconds from when Gould followed her over the line. Antonneau came in in third, 34 seconds down on the winner. Anderson and Rachel Lloyd (Cal Giant-Specialized) took the fourth and fifth steps on the podium, respectively.
In a post-race interview, Compton said, "It was hard, probably the hardest National Championships I've had. It feels really good to win." When asked about the silver medalist, Compton was quite gracious. "I'm never surprised to see [Gould] up there I know she's been riding strong. She's obviously been training. I just haven't seen her at races in a couple of months," said the Champion.
Gould reflected on the mistake that ended her battle with Compton in CXM’s post-race interview. “She was just able to, kinda, capitalize on that, and I just didn’t have the legs to close it back down again”
Photo gallery below the results.
2016 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships Elite Women Full Results
|1||Katherine COMPTON||Trek Factory Racing||46:56.|
|2||Georgia GOULD||LUNA Pro Team||47:18.|
|3||Kaitlin ANTONNEAU||Cannondale Cyclocrossworld||47:30.|
|5||Rachel LLOYD||California Giant Berry Farms/Sp||49:02.|
|6||Rebecca FAHRINGER||Amy D. Foundation||49:38.|
|7||Amanda NAUMAN||SDG - Muscle Monster||49:58.|
|8||Meredith MILLER||Noosa Pro Cyclocross||50:13.|
|9||Amanda MILLER||Boulder Cycle Sport/ YogaGlo||50:20.|
|10||Cassandra MAXIMENKO||Van Dessel Factory Team||50:24.|
|11||Jena GREASER||JAM Fund||50:34.|
|12||Courtenay MCFADDEN||American Classic/Zones||51:05.|
|13||Sunny GILBERT||Michelob Ultra - Big Shark Raci||51:27.|
|14||Caitlyn VESTAL||Feedback Sports Racing||51:28.|
|15||Crystal ANTHONY||Boulder Cycle Sport/ YogaGlo||51:49.|
|16||Arley KEMMERER||Level Eleven Racing pb PB2||52:25.|
|18||Kathryn CUMMING||Cyclocross Magazine Racing Team||52:54.|
|19||Nicole MERTZ||ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice||52:59.|
|21||Ally STACHER||Stans NoTubes Elite CX||53:05.|
|22||Emily KACHOREK||Squid Bikes||53:28.|
|23||BrittLee BOWMAN||HOUSE INDUSTRIES - WITHINGS - S||53:39.|
|24||Julie WRIGHT||Team Averica||54:04.|
|25||Laura WINBERRY||Speedvagen Family Racing||54:17.|
|27||Rachel RUBINO||Level Eleven Racing pb PB2||54:28.|
|28||Rebecca BLATT||Van Dessel Factory Team||54:28.|
|29||Danielle ARMAN||Tenspeed Hero||54:47.|
|30||Jennifer MALIK||Granville Brewing - Stanridge C||55:11.|
|31||Samantha RUNNELS||Team Super Awesome||55:33.|
|32||Kenda SUPER||Hagens Berman-Society Consultin||55:44.|
|33||Katherine SHIELDS||Kens Bike Shop||55:58.|
|34||Meghan KOROL||Team Handmade||56:00.|
|36||Emily SHIELDS||Kens Bike Shop||46:02.|
|37||Erin FACCONE||Team Averica||46:38.|
|38||Heidi WOOD||333fab CX Factory Team||46:50.|