After a year where Katie Compton (KFC Racing p/b Trek/Knight Composites) was one of the two best women riders in the World and Kaitie Keough (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld) finished second in the World Cup overall, the Women’s Team USA cashed in on their season-long success at the 2018 World Championships.
Three U.S. riders finished in the top ten — Compton in second, Keough in sixth and Elle Anderson (Milwaukee – Alpha Motorhomes) in eighth. If you are into cyclocross trivia, it was the first time the U.S. had three riders in the top ten in one race at Worlds since Alison Dunlap, Ann Grande-Knapp and Carmen d’Aluisio accomplished the feat in 2002.
After the impressive showing at Worlds, USA Cycling has expanded its National Team program to welcome Keough and Anderson to its roster and elevated Compton to Gold status, which brings additional support. Keough and Anderson will be joining Compton, Stephen Hyde (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld), Emma White (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld) and Gage Hecht (Alpha Bicycle – Groove Subaru) on the recently launched national team.
Compton’s elevation to Gold status will allow her access to full travel funding for races during several blocks of European racing that are designated primarily around World Cups and the World Championships.
In a press release from USA Cycling, Compton commented on the honor. “It’s a special honor to be part of the USA Cycling National Team, and very helpful,” she said. “Going into a new season knowing I’ll have more support from USA Cycling to help me be a better cyclocross racer is a great feeling. Competing on the international level and getting results it not easy, so knowing I have a team of people from USA Cycling behind me to help get things accomplished is a nice stress relief.”
Gold and Silver status team members in Olympic sports also receive a stipend from the US Olympic Committee. There is no additional stipend for cyclocross team members.
Keough and Anderson will be supported at a lower level, receiving travel assistance for European racing as well as access to USA Cycling sport performance and coaching services. Anderson said, “To be named to the USA Cycling National Team is a huge opportunity for me. The ability to have the resources, support and guidance from this program year-round will help me develop as a cyclocross racer.”
Keough also commented on the honor in the USAC release. “I am excited and extremely honored to be named to the USA Cycling National Team. It is fantastic to be recognized for my achievements in this way. I now have clear access to great support and a great group of very experienced individuals. Being a member of USA Cycling’s new National Team program will be a huge advantage leading into next season. It’s motivating to know that we have that type of investment and belief behind us.”
Anderson has been living and racing full-time in Europe for several years now, Compton will be racing the World Cups and IJsboerke Ladies Trofee series in Europe again in 2018/19 and Keough raced all the World Cups in 2017/18, so the three women will undoubtedly benefit from the support during the coming cyclocross season.
For more information about the USA Cycling National Team program, visit usacycling.org or see this report from cxhairs.com, which was at the team launch.