Marianne Vos wins in Zolder; Katie Compton extends World Cup lead

The world champion goes from the gun while Compton fights back from a poor start and a number of crashes

ZOLDER, Belgium (VN) — World champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank) scored her first victory of the 2012-13 cyclocross season on Wednesday in Zolder, finishing more than a minute up on World Cup leader Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective).

Compton, who won Sunday’s World Cup round in Namur, bounced back from a series of crashes to finish second at 1:10, just five seconds ahead of Belgian champion Sanne Cant (Veldritacademie Enertherm-BKCP).

“In Namur I didn’t feel too confident, I was searching for my own rhythm. The start was okay, but I had some troubles to stay in the front and I crashed a few times, and that doesn’t help the confidence, of course,” said Vos.

“And today I knew that the course suits me and knew I could use my speed here. Already from the beginning I had a good start and then I tried just to keep my own pace and keep it to the finish.

“If Katie finds her rhythm, it’s really hard for me to keep up with her. That’s why I was so happy today to find my own rhythm from the start and keep Katie back a little bit. But I think Katie is the favorite for worlds.”

Compton, meanwhile, said she “just didn’t have a good race.”

“I got a bad start and then was stuck in traffic, because there’s not anywhere to pass anyone until it opens up halfway through. So I was probably mid-pack at that point, and then I crashed in that first downhill,” she said. “Then I did the same thing on the next drop. So I just tried to do my best, and thought, ‘Well, it’s a soft landing and I’m pretty good at tucking and rolling.’ It was just frustrating.”

The U.S. ‘cross champ now leads the World Cup series with 340 points. Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) sits second with 235 while European champion Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Team) is third with 216.

Compton said finishing second “definitely helps” toward her goal of winning the World Cup overall, then added: “But I just didn’t have a good race. So I’m frustrated. Yeah, it’s a good result, but to beat Marianne, you can’t ride like a . …”

Editor’s note: Dan Seaton contributed to this report.