Last month Cyclocross Magazine spoke with Katie Compton (KFC Racing p/b Trek/Knight Composites), and she said the free live streaming of the IJsboerke Ladies Trofee / DVV Verzekeringen Trofee series in the U.S. by Trek Bicycles played a role in her decision to spend most of this season in Europe. Of course, to get face time, Compton would still have to race well enough to be at the front of the Euro-centric broadcasts.

On Sunday at the GP Mario de Clercq in Ronse, Belgium, Compton’s plan worked to a T when she got out to a fast start with Maud Kaptheijns (Crelan-Charles), who won last week at Superprestige Gieten. Now all she had to do was close the deal and make it work to a W.

Kaptheijns Starts Fast Again

The course at the GP Mario de Clercq is one of the European courses that helps cyclocross live up to the name “field riding.” The circuit is set on grassy hillside fields and features a number of steep rises, steep off-cambers and fast, swoopy sections. The biggest power section was a false flat along a narrow path; stay tuned for the Men’s report where this section played a bigger role.

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Compton and Kaptheijns quickly escaped the rest of the field, with Kaptheijns pushing the pace during the first lap. At the end of one round, they had already opened up a 12-second gap back to Annemarie Worst (ERA-Circus) and 16-second gap back to the British duo of Nikki Brammeier (Boels-Dolmans) and Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Racing).

Early in the second lap, it was clear Compton wanted to be out in front to take advantage of her technical skills. Twice she tried to get around Kaptheijns, but was unable to do so. The passes were ostensibly there, but perhaps after Compton’s rough go of it at Jingle Cross, perhaps she decided it was not worth it to risk an early end to the race.

Compton’s decision to bide her time paid off. She soon pulled around Kaptheijns to the front to ride her own pace. It paid off. After two laps, the duo’s lead was now 23 seconds. Brammeier and Worst were battling for third, while Wyman dropped off their pace by a good 15 seconds.

Compton Makes Her Move

The previous lap Compton saw she had an advantage in the technical sections early in the lap, and she used that knowledge to put pressure on her rival for the afternoon. She quickly opened up a gap early in the lap and then extended it to a 9-second lead with two laps to go.

The parcours at Ronse was not muddy, per se, but the off-cambers were slick enough that a clean ride through them was by no means a given. Compton extended her lead to nearly 20 seconds midway through the fourth lap, but Kaptheijns was still close enough to put pressure on her to push the pace while dialing in her lines.

Compton aced the test during her first race in Europe and was not challenged the remainder of the five-lap race. Her mission of letting U.S. fans watch her race during their Sunday breakfast was achieved.

Katie Compton won in Ronse on Sunday. photo: screen capture

Katie Compton won in Ronse on Sunday. photo: screen capture

Kaptheijns finished a strong second, 30 seconds ahead of third.

A Massive British Battle for Third

With Compton gone to victory, the exciting battle of the afternoon became the one for third. Nikki Brammeier continued her strong start to the season by riding away from Worst during the third lap to take solo control of third place with two to go. Behind her, Wyman caught up with Worst and then dispatched the young Dutch star.

Entering the last lap, Brammeier still had eight seconds on Wyman, and it looked like the British wordsmith might be caught in the dreaded close-but-no-cigar spot for the second straight week.

Wyman, however, had a little extra kick on Sunday. She closed the gap to Brammeier and then sprinted past her British rival on the steep run-up to take control of third place. Once there, she would not let it go. She dropped a small fist pump while crossing the finish to celebrate her second podium of the young season.

Note: Sanne Cant (Beobank-Corendon) left the race and took a DNF. She appeared to be suffering during the race and was holding her lower back after withdrawing. Stay tuned for more news about her condition.

Next Up in Europe

The next race in Cyclocross Magazine‘s European coverage will be the iconic Superprestige Zonhoven next Sunday. Tune in as always for a race report and coverage on Twitter (@cyclocross).

Women's Results - 2017 Hotondcross Ronse - IJsboerke Ladies Trofee

RankBIBLast NameFirst NameCountryAgeTime
536ARZUFFIAlice MariaITA2340:54
72DE BOERSophieNED2741:20
83VAN LOYEllenBEL3741:22
1024VAN DE STEENEKimBEL3141:29
2025VAN DER BURGEstherNED1944:42
2414VAN DEN HOEKBiancaNED4145:58
2512VAN ANROOIJLindyNED2146:24
2631VAN DE PUTTEKimBEL3346:47
2719DE HEIJMaaikeNED1947:19
3013PALMEva MariaBEL20@2Lap