Thirteen-time U.S. champion Katie Compton wins Pan-American cyclocross championships in Louisville with a convincing solo ride.

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (VN) — Thirteen-time U.S. national champion Katie Compton won the Pan-American cyclocross championships Sunday in Louisville with another convincing solo ride. As she did on Saturday in the US Cup-CX/Derby City, the KFC Racing-Trek-Panache rider dispatched’s Kaitie Keough midway through the race. Canadian Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Sas Macogep Aquisio) was third.

“It feels pretty good,” said Compton about her fourth continental champion title. “Just more riders, more competition. It always feels good to win. It’s important to me, so I’m happy.”

On the first lap, the eventual podium finishers formed a group with Compton leading the way. With gusty winds blowing and the course beginning to dry out, it was advantageous to sit in the draft on some sections.

“It was a lot tackier but the ruts were a little deeper than yesterday and softer and the ground was a lot bumpy,” said Courtenay McFadden (Pivot Cycles).

After two laps, Ferrier-Bruneau was dropped. Behind, Rebecca Fahringer (Stans NoTubes), McFadden, and Ellen Noble (Aspire Racing) sparred for fourth and fifth place.

Compton was keeping an eye on Ferrier-Bruneau, after racing with her in Europe over the years.

“She’s got some talent, and she works hard, and she’s a mom,” Compton said of the Canadian. “It’s awesome to see her out here getting a top-three in international competition.”

On the third lap, Keough bobbled on the course’s most difficult off-camber section. This gave Compton the advantage she needed to punch the accelerator.

“I made a bobble there,” Keough said, “If I wanted to win that one, I couldn’t make any mistakes.”

The U.S. champ extended her lead. Behind, Keough and Ferrier-Bruno rode their own races to finish second and third, respectively.

McFadden attacked Fahringer with a lap and a half to go after Noble had faded from the picture.

“I found if I just paced myself on the climbs and didn’t go too far into the red on that climb that you were able to punch it at the top of it,” McFadden said. “I think that in key making up space because I caught her on that long climb before the second pit and attacked.”

McFadden held on to take fourth. Fahringer was fifth.

“I know she climbs better than I do, she always has,” Compton added. “She’s also a good descender too. I’m a little faster there, so I kind of have to pick and chose.

Like Keough, Compton recognized that the mid-race off-camber section was key to her victory.

“She bobbled a section and I was able to accelerate,” Compton said. “And then there’s a downhill so I opened up the gap, and then I just have to maintain. It’s actually heavy grass with a headwind a lot of the way. It’s a hard power course”

Despite feeling a bit of regret over the mistake, Keough was pleased with her result.

“I’m proud of myself,” Keough added. “That’s the closest I’ve ever been when it’s just one-on-one like that with her. I think I could have been there I just didn’t ride a clean race.

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