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FORT COLLINS, Colo. (VN)_ Katie Compton (Planet Bike) turned the tables on Katerina Nash (Luna) on Sunday, riding away in her usual fashion to win day 2 of the New Belgium Cup in Colorado.
Nash’s teammate, U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross leader Georgia Gould, looked strong early on, passing Compton cleanly on the technical descents that sent riders sliding on Saturday. Compton saw Gould’s fast lines and adjusted on the second lap.
“Actually that was good, because I knew that was faster,” she said of Gould riding the inside line on the slick corner exiting the flyover. “So, the next lap and every lap after that I took the inside, quicker line.”
Compton was under pressure in the opening laps, but a hard effort on a 300-foot, two-track climb dispatched Nash and Gould faded after tripping over a barrier.
“I knew Katerina and Georgia were right behind me and I tried to attack on the hills,” said Compton. “We were all under pressure.”
After falling, Gould was slow to remount ahead of a critical section of tight corners.
“I got up and that’s where Katerina caught and passed me,” she said. “It took me a minute to get my stuff together.”
Once alone on the front, Compton honed in on maintaining a steady, smooth tempo and staying off the ground.
“I tried to just stay within myself and keep some gas in the tank in case Katerina caught me or I made a mistake,” she said.
The gutsy Nash, who won Saturday’s opener in a nail-biter with Compton, kept the U.S. national champion within striking distance until just near the end of the penultimate lap, when Compton suddenly added five seconds to what had been a 10-second advantage.
“I wasn’t as strong as Katie today and that’s the bottom line,” Nash said after the race.
Despite a last-lap front flat on the grinding climb to the pits early in the circuit, Gould held on to finish a distant third.
“Of course I’m disappointed I didn’t have whatever it took to win the race, but I really tried my best and that’s all you can do,” said Gould, who retained her series overall lead. “It’s still disappointing, but at least I’m not thinking I should have tried harder.”
Compton was pleased with her performance after a disappointing second-place finish on Saturday.
“I definitely hurt worse yesterday,” said Compton. “Today was cleaner. I didn’t make as many mistakes as I did yesterday.
“Today I had my A game. Yesterday was not my A game. A-minus, maybe.”
Nash said she was caught off guard when Compton made her big move.
“I wasn’t all that fast in the beginning, and when Katie went I just didn’t catch it. I could kind of keep up with her along the course but I lost that major break in the beginning,” she said.
Series leader Gould said she wished she had been faster, but did what she could.
“I was riding technically so much better than yesterday. But I just didn’t have the legs today,” she said.
Meredith Miller (Cal Giant-Specialized) attacked Amy Dombroski (Luna) on the final climb before the finish, 600 meters out, and made it fourth and fifth for their hometown fans.
“We were trading off pulls and I thought that maybe I could get her in the last couple of power sections,” said Miller, who was pleased to avoid an early crash like the one that took her out of contention Saturday. “I was surprised when I looked back when I hit the pavement section and there was a gap.”
Compton, a gifted technical rider and one of the top women’s racers in the world, was generous in her praise of the Fort Collins course.
“I think this is the best course I’ve seen in the U.S. in a long time and the best crowd,” she said.
1. Katherine Compton (USA), Planet Bike, in 39:08
2. Katerina Nash (CZE), in 39:23
3. Georgia Gould (USA), Luna Pro Team, in 40:23
4. Meredith Miller (USA), in 41:52
5. Amy Dombroski (USA), Luna Pro Team, in 42:04
6. Nicole Duke (USA), Hudz-Vista Subaru, in 42:45
7. Maureen Bruno Roy (USA), in 42:54
8. Katherine Sherwin (USA), Hudz-Vista Subaru, in 42:58
9. Amanda Miller (USA), Hudz-Subaru Cycling Team, in 42:58
10. Alice Pennington (USA), S&M, in 43:05
11. Laura Van Gilder (USA), C3 Athletes Serving Athletes, in 43:28
12. Amanda Carey (USA), Kenda/Felt, in 43:30
13. Kaitlin Antonneau (USA), Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com, in 43:58
14. Barbara Howe (USA), Ibis And The Danger Twins, in 44:18
15. Lisa Curry (USA), Gas/Intrinsik, in 44:49
16. Pepper Harlton (CAN), Juventus Cycling Club, in 44:51
17. Lisa Strong (USA), Hudz- Subaru, in 46:01
18. Kristal Boni (USA), Blue Sky Velo, in 46:19
19. Megan Taylor (USA), Comotion Sports, in 46:23
20. Corey Coogan Cisek (USA), Team Plan C Pb Stevens, in 47:05
21. Lisa Hudson (USA), Feedback Sports, at 1 Lap
22. Becca Blay (USA), at 1 Lap
23. Nina Baum (USA), Cannondale, at 1 Lap
24. Carrie Cash Wootten (USA), Team Vera Bradley Foundation, at 1 Lap
25. Lauri Webber (USA), Secret Henry’s Team, at 1 Lap
26. Kristine Church (USA), Human Zoom/ Pabst Blue Ribbon, at 1 Lap
27. Shannon Gibson (USA), Ellsworth- Notubes, at 1 Lap
28. Katy Curtis (CAN), Cyclemeisters/Bow Cycle, at 1 Lap
29. Lora Heckman (USA), at 1 Lap
30. Kate Scheider (USA), Mafia Racing, at 1 Lap
31. Amanda Schaper (USA), Sdg Factory Team, at 2 Laps
32. Catherine Johnson (USA), Rocky Mounts/ Izze, at 2 Laps
33. Lynn Bush (USA), Tough Girl/Scott, at 2 Laps
34. Deirdre Garvey (USA), Louisville Cyclery, at 3 Laps
Editor’s Note: Brian Holcombe is a reporter with VeloNews. He covers all things racing in the U.S. and has been accused of attacking too much on the VN lunch ride.