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Compton earns world’s silver; France’s Salvetat wins rainbow jersey

Katie Compton gave the United States its second silver medal in two days at the World Cyclo-cross Championships today in Hooglede-Gits, Belgium, as France’s Maryline Salvetat overcame a rough start to battle her way to victory in the women’s race on Sunday. Salvetat’s teammate Laurence Laboucher hung on for third, while pre-race favorite Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany) faded to fifth after crashing at the halfway point while in the lead.

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Graham Watson and Rob Jones Photos Below

By Rob Jones, VeloNews.com

Salvetat knew she had a strong opponent in Compton.

Salvetat knew she had a strong opponent in Compton.

Photo: Graham Watson

Katie Compton gave the United States its second silver medal in two days at the World Cyclo-cross Championships today in Hooglede-Gits, Belgium, as France’s Maryline Salvetat overcame a rough start to battle her way to victory in the women’s race on Sunday.

Salvetat’s teammate Laurence Laboucher hung on for third, while pre-race favorite 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, windy day, typical winter weather in Belgium. 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 six-second lead by the end of the first lap. Behind, Compton had quickly moved up from a poor starting position near 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” said 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.”

By the second lap, Leboucher managed to close in just behind Van den Brand, Vos and Compton, but the day’s eventual winner was still mired in heavy traffic and Salvetat 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.”
FullResults

American Rhonda Mazza finishes in 11th

American Rhonda Mazza finishes in 11th

Photo: Graham Watson

By the start of the fourth lap Kupfernagel was comfortably in front, with a healthy 15-second gap on Van den Brand, Vos, Compton, Salvetat and Leboucher. But while Kupfernagel was demonstrating why she was the pre-race favorite, it was still a bike race and the unforeseen can ruin even the strongest rider’s chances. That’s exactly what occurred when the German’s wheel slipped into a rut, taking her close to the crowd.

“My brake lever became stuck in a spectator’s jacket,” she recalled, “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 lead group didn’t hang around to give the most dangerous rider in the race a chance to regain momentum.

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 just managed to drop 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 fast, Salvetat attacked. The American managed to catch Leboucher and then slowly began to close on Salvetat, but ran out of time, finishing less than 20 meters behind.

Compton, too, found it easier to run than fight the sand

Compton, too, found it easier to run than fight the sand

Photo: Rob Jones

“I know Katie Compton by following results on the Internet,” Salvetat said. “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 (Leboucher and I) talked tactics and decided that we must lose Compton.”

Race Notes
Sunday’s world championship race was 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.”

... but had her troubles, too.

… but had her troubles, too.

Photo: Rob Jones

2007 Cyclo-cross World Championships
Women
1. Maryline Salvetat (France), at 42:57.8
2. Katie Compton (United States Of America), at at 0:01.2
3. Laurence Leboucher (France), at 0:09.0
4. Daphny Van Den Brand (Netherlands), at 0:31.9
5. Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany), at 0:41.8
6. Christelle Ferrier-Bruneau (France), at 0:43.6
7. Marianne Vos (Netherlands), at 1:12.4
8. Birgit Hollmann (Germany), at 1:33.6
9. Helen Wyman (Great Britan), at 2:26.3
10. Linda Van Rijen (Netherlands), at 2:42.1
11. Rhonda Mazza (United States Of America), at 2:49.5

FullResults

Photo Gallery

Results

2007 Cyclo-cross World Championships
Women
1. Maryline Salvetat (France), at 42:57.8

2. Katie Compton (United States Of America), at at 0:01.2

3. Laurence Leboucher (France), at 0:09.0

4. Daphny Van Den Brand (Netherlands), at 0:31.9

5. Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany), at 0:41.8

6. Christelle Ferrier-Bruneau (France), at 0:43.6

7. Marianne Vos (Netherlands), at 1:12.4

8. Birgit Hollmann (Germany), at 1:33.6

9. Helen Wyman (Great Britan), at 2:26.3

10. Linda Van Rijen (Netherlands), at 2:42.1

11. Rhonda Mazza (United States Of America), at 2:49.5

12. Loes Sels (Belgium), at 3:01.8

13. Susanne Juranek (Germany), at 3:17.8

14. Reza Hormes-Ravenste (Netherlands), at 3:27.8

15. Kerry Barnholt (United States Of America), at 3:36.1

16. Nadia Triquet-Claude (France), at 3:46.7

17. Stephanie Pohl (Germany), at 3:56.0

18. Sanne Cant (Belgium), at 4:11.0

19. Vania Rossi (Italy), at 4:14.4

20. Loes Gunnewijk (Netherlands), at 4:14.6

21. Rosa Maria Bravo Soba (Spain), at 4:23.5

22. Milena Cavani (Italy), at 4:36.9

23. Caroline Mani (France), at 4:41.7

24. Gabriella Day (Great Britan), at 4:43.6

25. Ayako Toyooka (Japan), at 5:00.2

26. Veerle Ingels (Belgium), at 5:09.4

27. Arenda Grimberg (Netherlands), at 5:22.9

28. Claudia Seidel (Germany), at 5:29.3

29. Tara Ross (Canada), at 5:34.4

30. Rocio Gamonal Ferrera (Spain), at 5:39.5

31. Alessandra Fatato (Italy), at 5:57.7

32. Deidre Winfield (United States Of America), at 6:08.4

33. Christine Vardaros (United States Of America), at 6:16.0

34. Francesca Cucciniello (Italy), at 6:32.4

35. Hilde Quintens (Belgium), at 6:36.1

36. Daniela Bresciani (Italy), at 6:46.8

37. Ruth Moll Marques (Spain), at 6:50.8

38. Nicole Kampeter (Germany), at 6:54.2

39. Katrien Pauwels (Belgium), at 7:13.9

40. Mika Ogishima (Japan), at 7:43.9

41. Michiko Shimura (Japan), at 9:00.0

42. Ikumi Tajika (Japan), at 10:06.7

43. Tatjana Kaliakina (Lithuania), at 1 lap

44. Kristina Strachovic (Lithuania), at 1 lap

DNF Dorota Warczyk (Poland)