Posted by Editoress on 01/28/07
Cyclo-cross World Championships Hooglede-Gits, Belgium
Katie Compton of Colorado Springs, Colorado gave the United States its second silver medal in two days at the Cyclo-cross World Championships today in Hooglede-Gits, Belgium. After a poor start, Maryline Salvetat of France rode up to the lead group and then took the lead with a lap to go, to win the world title. Her team mate Laurence Leboucher hung on for third, while pre-race favourite Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany) faded to fifth after crashing at the halfway point while in the lead.
The warm and sunny conditions of the previous day disappeared overnight, and riders faced a grey day and a cold wind. This did not reduce the crowds, with tens of thousands pouring onto the circuit to cheer equally for any and all riders who managed to complete a difficult section successfully.
Kupfernagel got off to a strong start, using her power to carve out a lead of 6 seconds by the end of the first lap. Behind, Compton had quickly moved up from a poor starting position towards the back of the field, and was sitting fourth after the first lap, behind a pair of Dutch riders - last year's winner Marianne Vos, and Daphny van den Brand.
"I've been working on my starts" revealed Compton. "I knew that I would get a poor start position here, so at home I've been starting at the back of races to practice moving up fast."
Leboucher was just behind van den Brand, Vos and Compton, but Salvetat was working her way up through traffic, and took three laps to make it to the front group.
"I didn't fall" explained Salvetat, "but there was an Italian rider in the way at the start. I came back to the front slowly; there were many people in the way making little mistakes. With a lap and a half to go, I still thought that I had no chance."
By the start of the fourth lap Kupfernagel was comfortably in front, with a 15 second gap on van den Brand, Vos, Compton, Salvetat and Leboucher. Disaster struck when her wheel got stuck in a rut, taking her close to the spectators. "My brake lever became stuck in a spectator's jacket and that was it, I went down."
Kupfernagel remounted in time to join van den Brand at the front, but then crashed again when her wheel went into a hole, sending her sailing over the bars. Shaken, the German took a few seconds to collect herself, but the rest of the leaders didn't hang around.
The French duo set a strong pace through the sand section toward the end of the fourth lap, opening a gap on Compton, who had dropped the Dutch pair.
"I passed Laurence in the technical section before the main climb, and just stayed on the gas after that" said Compton. "I knew from watching the earlier races, that if I was in front here that I could hold it to the finish."
With Compton coming up, Salvetat attacked. Compton managed to catch Leboucher and then slowly began to close on Salvetat, but ran out of time, finishing less than 20 metres behind.
"I know Katie Compton by following results on the internet. I saw also that she races on the track, so I knew she must be fast in the sprint. She has beaten Lyne Bessette, so I realized that she must be strong, and I was a little afraid of her. So we (Salvetat and Leboucher) talked tactics and decided that we must lose Compton."
- Canada had only one rider in the race - Tara Ross, who finished 29th. Ross was happy with her ride, "I wanted to be consistent, not fall down. I had a very poor start, at the back, so I knew that it would be hard to move up. There was a crash in the first lap that took down the middle of the field. I was able to avoid that and get around it, and after that I was just passing people all race."
- The world championships were only Katie Compton's second international cyclo-cross race - after racing a World Cup last week. "Last week I crashed more than once, but I learned a lot from watching the other girls, which I was able to use here. I learned when to pass, when to be patient, how not to waste a lot of energy." Compton also recognized that she is the first american woman to win a medal at the cyclo-cross world championships: "I was hoping for top-10, maybe top-5, but I had a good race and a great day. It's still a little hard to believe that I am up here, but it definitely feels good, and is great for the U.S."
|1. Maryline Salvetat (France)||42:57.8|
|2. Katie Compton (United States Of America)||at 0:01.2|
|3. Laurence Leboucher (France)||0:09.0|
|4. Daphny Van Den Brand (Netherlands)||0:31.9|
|5. Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany)||0:41.8|
|6. Christelle Ferrier-Bruneau (France)||0:43.6|
|7. Marianne Vos (Netherlands)||1:12.4|
|8. Birgit Hollmann (Germany)||1:33.6|
|9. Helen Wyman (Great Britan)||2:26.3|
|10. Linda Van Rijen (Netherlands)||2:42.1|
|11. Rhonda Mazza (United States Of America)||2:49.5|
|12. Loes Sels (Belgium)||3:01.8|
|13. Susanne Juranek (Germany)||3:17.8|
|14. Reza Hormes-Ravenste (Netherlands)||3:27.8|
|15. Kerry Barnholt (United States Of America)||3:36.1|
|16. Nadia Triquet-Claude (France)||3:46.7|
|17. Stephanie Pohl (Germany)||3:56.0|
|18. Sanne Cant (Belgium)||4:11.0|
|19. Vania Rossi (Italy)||4:14.4|
|20. Loes Gunnewijk (Netherlands)||4:14.6|
|21. Rosa Maria Bravo Soba (Spain)||4:23.5|
|22. Milena Cavani (Italy)||4:36.9|
|23. Caroline Mani (France)||4:41.7|
|24. Gabriella Day (Great Britan)||4:43.6|
|25. Ayako Toyooka (Japan)||5:00.2|
|26. Veerle Ingels (Belgium)||5:09.4|
|27. Arenda Grimberg (Netherlands)||5:22.9|
|28. Claudia Seidel (Germany)||5:29.3|
|29. Tara Ross (Canada)||5:34.4|
|30. Rocio Gamonal Ferrera (Spain)||5:39.5|
|31. Alessandra Fatato (Italy)||5:57.7|
|32. Deidre Winfield (United States Of America)||6:08.4|
|33. Christine Vardaros (United States Of America)||6:16.0|
|34. Francesca Cucciniello (Italy)||6:32.4|
|35. Hilde Quintens (Belgium)||6:36.1|
|36. Daniela Bresciani (Italy)||6:46.8|
|37. Ruth Moll Marques (Spain)||6:50.8|
|38. Nicole Kampeter (Germany)||6:54.2|
|39. Katrien Pauwels (Belgium)||7:13.9|
|40. Mika Ogishima (Japan)||7:43.9|
|41. Michiko Shimura (Japan)||9:00.0|
|42. Ikumi Tajika (Japan)||10:06.7|
|43. Tatjana Kaliakina (Lithuania)||at 1 lap|
|44. Kristina Strachovic (Lithuania)||at 1 lap|
|DNF. Dorota Warczyk (Poland)|
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