As the 2015 Elite Women's World Cyclocross Championship is practically open for the taking by a large number of racers, the folks here at Cyclocross Magazine won't be making any hard-and-fast predictions, but we will be highlighting ten favorites as well as some outside contenders. With the weather now verging on the likelihood of snow the day before the Elite Races, the fast course of Tabor will also provide a few areas that will likely cause some spills, especially if the notorious Czech ice comes into play.
Also, don't miss our Elite Men's Preview of Tabor.
The Favorites: Katie Compton
11-time United States Champion has always been a great hope for the World win. This year, she didn’t take the overall World Cup classification, but she rode to a respectable three podium finish and took third overall. Like Vos, a power course with a touch of technical hazards suits her, although she’s at home on a rough, tough course as well.
She stood on the Worlds podium first in 2007, and is responsible for all four American medals the Elite Women have taken home from Worlds, last standing on the podium with her second place finish in Louisville behind Vos. Last year, she was caught up in a heartbreaking tangle at Hoogerheide, keeping her well off the podium at Worlds.
It’s worth noting that the last time she came to Tabor for the World Championship race, she needed to pull out after the first lap due to aggravating a persistent leg cramp. Also, the weather can be fickle on her asthma as the cold can trigger an attack as we saw in her final lap at Hoogerheide. On the other hand, thawing temperatures can spread dust mites in the air and make it all the worse. If the weather can find the right balance, Compton might kick it into her next gear and surprise the naysayers of last weekend.
We have also recently finished a profile on her current bike that won at the 2015 Cyclocross National Championship, although she will likely run on cantilevers unless Tabor provides the same sticky mud that Austin provided.