Facing a slippery course with heavy, steep climbs on Jingle Cross’s famous “Mount Krumpit,” Kaitie Keough won her first World Cup race Saturday. The Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld rider came home ahead of Evie Richards (Trek) and Marianne Vos (WaowDeals), who were second and third, respectively.
“I just rode smooth and tried to focus the entire time,” Keough said. “I didn’t make any mistakes so I was really proud of how I rode.”
The first lap was pandemonium, thanks to very muddy conditions. A crash split the field on the start straightaway. Several notable riders had bobbles on the first lap.
By the time the group came around after the first of four circuits, Vos had a slight lead. Italian champion Eva Lechner (Clif Bar) had drifted back to a chase group of four after getting the holeshot and leading the race early on.
Keough and Sophie de Boer (Rapha) rode clear to chase Vos and soon joined the former world champion.
“I felt pretty good the first lap and just rode my own race and found myself at the front,” Keough added.
Heading into the third lap, Keough made a move and got a slight lead on Vos and de Boer.
After an off-day at the first World Cup in Wisconsin the weekend prior, the young American was on a terrific day, avoiding mistakes and growing her lead.
“I was coming off of a cold and I was trying to recover from that I’m finally feeling better now,” Keough said. “I know this is what I’m capable of.”
On the final lap, Richards rejoined Vos and de Boer. The trio battled for third place.
Coming on strong in the last half of the final lap, Richards had the edge in terms of bike handling and she took silver ahead of Vos.
“These were European conditions today,” said Keough, who is looking forward to the next World Cup in Bern, Switzerland on September 21.