Photo Cred: The always awesome CXMagazine.com! Seriously. They rock.
In a sparkling career that spans nearly two decades, Katie Compton’s palmares are unrivaled by any other American cyclocross racer in history. Compton has won the U.S. National Championships a jaw-dropping 14 years in a row, has sprinkled in dozens of world cup wins and podiums, and has finished on the podium at the cyclocross World Championships an incredible five times. On Saturday, in Limburg, Katie Compton is again taking a run at the one prize that has eluded her during her illustrious career: the rainbow stripe jersey of World Champion.
At 39, her form is as consistent and as lethal as ever. After holding off a late charge from Ellen Noble to take her 14th National Championship, Compton showed no signs of wear from flying back to Europe by winning the last World Cup of the season in Nommay. 2018 could finally be the year that Compton adds the jewel to her crown as the most successful cyclocross rider the US of A has ever known.
Compton brings a few red, white, and blue accomplices with her across the pond who also enter the race with higher ambitions than simply making up the numbers. Katie Keough, who finished second overall on the World Cup circuit this season, enters the race on Saturday as an excellent foil for Team USA. Ellen Noble, runner-up to Compton at Nationals, helps to form a trio that could threaten, or even swarm, the podium in Limburg. Elle Anderson, Courtenay McFadden, and Rebecca Fahringer will also hope to play a role in an edition of the World Championships that has never seen a more competitive or ambitious American team on display.
The Americans will be up against 9-time Belgian National Champion and current World Champion Sanne Cant. Cant, who also won the World Cup series in 2017-2018, had a rough end to the World Cup campaign in Nommay, finishing in 12th. But Cant thrives in the big races, and if the course is as muddy as expected on Saturday, Cant is expected to be at the front of affairs.
Pauline Ferrand-Perot, a former CX, Road, and MTB World Champion, is also showing signs of returning to her winning ways and should be taken as a serious threat. Ellen Van Loy, Lucinda Brand, and the always-dangerous Marianne Vos are also dark horses that will be watched on Saturday.
Keep an on the UCI Channel for live streaming Saturday morning. You’ll likely need to use Hola because the UCI doesn’t like to let Americans watch cycling and doesn’t let us stream from the U.S. Thanks, UCI.