October 7, 2007; Southampton, NY, USA: Don’t call Katie Compton a ‘Drama Queen’. The amiable U.S. National Champion quietly pulled into the Southampton Youth Services Center on Saturday looking relaxed and hanging out with her parents. Then she quietly stomped any drama out of the Elite UCI race to take the biggest slice of the richest prize purse ever offered for a women’s Cyclocross by a large margin. By the end of the first lap, Compton (Spike Shooter) had a 19 second lead. In the process, she had won $100 for being the first racer over the barriers on the first lap. The race, along with Bessette’s chain, blew apart on the third lap. Broken chains would turn out to be a recurring theme for the afternoon. When asked later if she knew that Bessette had broken her chain, Compton replied, “No, but I knew something was wrong because I can’t pull away from her that fast.” Compton eventually won by 2:30 over Bessette. Velo Bella’s Barbara Howe worked her way past racers throughout the race to place third.

If the women lacked for drama, the men’s race had enough theatrics to fill a Broadway theater. The start list included World Champion Erwin Vervecken (Fidea Assurance) and no fewer than three reigning National Champions: American Ryan Trebon (Kona/YourKey), Canadian Greg Reain (RWR/Colnago/Time) and German Malte Urban (Heinz von Heiden). Also present were a contingent of Belgian fans who had flown to New York just to watch the races. Despite the unseasonable heat, they proudly wore their bright red “Erwin Vervecken Supporters” jackets, prompting an immediate response from friends of American racer Robert Campos who made hand-written “Supporters of Robert Campos” signs from note paper and safety pinned them onto the backs of as many moving bodies as possible.

But the real drama was just beginning. The Americans, particularly Trebon, Wicks and Tim Johnson (Leer/Cannondale/ proved that they are more than ready for prime time as they gave the World Champ every thing he could handle. “I’ve raced five times before in the U.S., and this was the hardest,“ said Vervecken later. Asked if he was surprised at how competitive the Americans were, he answered, “Yeah! I knew from before when I came to America that the first day is the hardest, and my legs weren’t the best. But that was hard.”

The four, who were joined by Urban and Matt White (Fiordifrutta) during the first half, battled on a course that was not conducive to solo attacks, but nonetheless provided much entertainment for the fans and TV reporters in attendance. Trebon crashed on the lead up to the 20% hill on lap two, but was able to regain the leaders. Then with 5 laps to go, Trebon dropped his chain and everybody thought he was done, but he electrified the crowd with a blazing effort to rejoin his teammate Wicks and leader Vervecken with two laps to go. The two towering riders worked over the World Champion as they have so often done to domestic riders, before Trebon fell back on the last lap. “My legs were done from the two chases,” he said later. “I knew I wasn’t going to win, I just wanted to get up there and help Barry.” It was a one-on-one duel in the sun between Wicks and Vervecken for the final half lap. Wicks led through the woods and onto the long, paved road with Vervecken on his wheel. Wicks was still leading through the final, 45 degree corner onto the flat finishing straight. With only 40 meters to go, Vervecken made a daring move to the inside of Wicks through the final chicane and they roared up the finish road side-by-side with Vervecken taking the win by less than a bike length and Wicks, acknowledging later that he had gone too soon, slamming his handlebars in frustration.

After the race, the World Champion acknowledged the improvements in American Cyclocross racing. “One of the reasons I came here, not the main reason but one of the reasons, is that I’m part of the UCI Cyclocross Commission and they’re always talking about how to grow the sport in different places. When I raced here last time, I always won by 30-40 seconds.” But on this day, he won by less than a second in a race that had enough drama for two races.

Elite Men Results:

Pos Bib Name Firstname Nat Time
1 1 VERVECKEN Erwin BEL 1:00:11
2 5 WICKS Barry USA 0:00
3 2 TREBON Ryan USA 0:25
4 3 JOHNSON Timothy USA 0:38
5 7 POWERS Jeremy USA 1:39
6 4 URBAN Malte GER 2:12
7 8 WHITE Matt USA 2:28
8 6 REAIN Greg CAN 2:47
9 19 LEECH Ryan USA 3:13
10 9 TOULOUSE Mathieu CAN 3:13
11 15 WELLS Troy USA 3:43
12 12 DRISCOLL Jamey USA 3:52
13 16 SHRIVER Matt USA 3:59
14 23 JOHNSON Tyler USA 4:29
15 43 HAMBLIN Jonathan USA 4:29
16 11 BAKER Jonathan USA 5:18
17 21 SCHEMPF Weston USA 6:04
18 39 DONAHUE Alec USA 1L
19 17 KRAUS Matt USA 1L
20 20 NEYENS Dan USA 1L
21 25 DILLON Josh USA 1L
22 26 MARZOT Toby USA 1L
23 36 WOLFSON Kevin USA 1L
24 13 DOUGLAS Kyle CAN 1L
25 22 ST JOHN Derrick CAN 1L
26 33 WULFKUHLE Andrew USA 1L
27 37 BATTY Mark CAN 1L

Elite Women Results:

Pos Bib Name Firstname Nat Time
1 1 COMPTON Katie USA 0:40:07
2 2 BESSETTE Lyne CAN 2:30
3 19 HOWE Barbara USA 4:41
4 7 MILKOWSKI Anna USA 4:36
5 3 BRUNO-ROY Maureen USA 5:05
6 18 ELLIOTT Megan USA 5:34
7 6 WELLONS Rebecca USA 5:37
8 14 ELLIOTT Natasha CAN 5:49
9 8 SIN Amanda CAN 6:21
10 9 YOZELL Erica USA 6:44
12 16 TITUS HALL Marci USA 1L
13 11 ROTHFUSS Cris USA 1L
14 25 MAXWELL Jennifer USA 1L
15 15 FRASCONE Pauline USA 1L
16 26 KEMMERER Arley USA 1L
17 12 MERTENS Perri AUS 1L
18 5 SWARTZ Melanie USA 1L
19 10 WHITE Stephanie USA 1L
20 20 KENZER Alie USA 1L
21 24 BILODEAU Megan USA 1L
22 28 MUCH Rebecca USA 1L
24 27 STEBBINS Jennifer USA 1L
25 23 BAHNSON Brenda USA 1L
27 17 MASON Beth USA 1L

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Ken Getchell, Media Director: [email protected]; 610-397-1950