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US Cyclo-cross Championships - CN

Kansas City, Missouri, USA, December 11-14, 2008

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Race 14 - December 14: Elite Women  

Complete live report

Live commentary by Steve Medcroft with reporting from Laura Weislo in Kansas City, Missouri

11:48 CST
Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the 2008 U.S. Cyclo-cross National Championships.

We're under an hour to go until the Elite Women's race where Katie Compton will attempt to tie Alison Dunlap's record of five national titles in a row with a win today at Tiffany Springs Park in Kansas City, Missouri.

After that, defending National Champion and 2008 US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross Champion Tim Johnson will face a full field of on-form contenders.

11:56 CST
The morning started relatively warm for a December day in the U.S. midwest but a front rolled over the venue about an hour ago and the temperatures dropped from 50-degrees Fahrenheit to 32 in a matter of minutes. And although the course is smooth and dry as the collegiate races wrap up, the forecast calls for drizzle and possible snow through the day so it is still uncertain exactly what challenges the Elite Women and Men will have to deal with in their shot for glory.

12:18 CST
The Elite women are getting their first call to staging although the full field will stall and try to keep warm because the wind is howling and the temperatures have now dropped into the high twenties.

The course is still dry at this moment and we've spotted favorites Georgia Gould and Katie Compton warming up on the course from the Cyclingnews blimp.

We caught up with U.S. women's sprinting powerhouse Laura Van Gilder briefly. She says she feels good about the course and her form and if it stays dry in Kansas City, a power rider like her could factor in the podium.

We also caught Rachel Lloyd on her way to the course. She says she caught a little bit of a cold after the Portland round of the USGP and spent some time in the last hour on a trainer before daring the conditions.

12:26 CST
It's ten minutes from the start and most of the women are gathered at staging (except Compton, who is still on course staying warm).

The course is very dry still and starts off with a 300-meter road sprint then quickly gets technical; featuring lots of twisting turns, plenty or short uphills and three dismountable sections (a run-up, an artificial barrier and a set of stairs to get over).

In earlier races this weekend, the decisive section has been a snaking M shaped configuration of repeating ups and downs on the side of hill. The choice whether to ride or run the section has proved critical in the selection of lead groups all weekend. It will be interesting to see how the head of the Elite races tackle the problem.

12:32 CST
The women are away. Rebecca Wellons leads followed by Katie Compton, Rachel Lloyd, and Georgia Gould. Laura Van Gilder is in sixth.

12:33 CST
Wellons drops off the front and Compton, with Gould on her wheel, takes over the front of the race. It's still very early going though and the field is one long line of women with no real separation by the leaders.

12:35 CST
The lead group of six are separating from the rest of the field as they enter the technical sections of the course. Rachel Lloyd, Laura Van Gilder, Marueen Bruno Roy, Amy Dombroski, Georgia Gould and Katie Compton make up the group with Compton on the front and pressing.

12:37 CST
The lead group has now split into three - Compton, Gould and Lloyd. The remainder of the lead group are five seconds back and there is a gap of fifteen seconds to the next riders. Looks like Compton is all business and wants to get away early. She'll have to be careful to not do all the work since Gould is sticking with her.

12:42 CST
The women have entered the second lap and Compton has broken free of Gould and Lloyd by ten seconds. Gould is alone in second as Lloyd starts to slip.

The remnants of the original six leaders are stretched between Compton and a chase group currently being led by Meredith Miller. Miller is a roadie competing in her first season of 'cross and is laughing at the moment as she passes a male fan in hot pants and a rainbow wig cheering her on.

12:47 CST
Into the pits on the second lap and Katie Compton is continuing to stretch her lead - 15 seconds now ahead of Georgia Gould. Compton looks relaxed and in control of her effort. Gould's face is showing signs of the effort. Gould has 15 seconds ahead of Lloyd. Van Gilder and Bruno-Roy are five or so seconds behind Lloyd.

12:53 CST
The women are on their third lap. Compton is sure in her lead and flowing with the course.

Despite the pain of the effort and the chilly and windy conditions, the women are being entertained by various both semi-naked and costumed and rowdy male fans.

And the constant ring of cowbells seems strangely more relevant since the race is being held in a field in the midwest.

12:54 CST
Moving in to the middle of the race, Compton has a safe 30-second advantage over Gould. Rachel Lloyd is only ten seconds off Gould. Maureen Bruno-Roy, Laura Van Gilder and Amy Dombroski are forty-five seconds behind.

12:58 CST
Compton has started lapping riders at the back of the field and seems unstoppable.

13:02 CST
The women are on their final lap. Compton is on her way to win number five and tying Alison Dunlap's national championship wins record.

Gould is still second on the course with about ten seconds over Rachel Lloyd. Amy Dombroski has clawed her way back onto the Bruno-Roy/Van Gilder group.

13:06 CST
Compton is on the back side of the course and working her way through lapped riders. Gould has got her head down, still pressing to keep Rachel Lloyd at bay. The trio behind (U23 champion Dombroski, 30-34 champion Bruno-Roy and road sprint star Laura Can Gilder) will likely be sprinting for fourth place.

13:08 CST
With a two-handed salute, Compton adds a fifth consecutive national championship to her 2008 World Silver medal.

13:11 CST
Gould holds on for second. Rachel Lloyd finishes third. Laura Van Gilder draws on hundreds of road victories to hold off her chase mates Amy Dombroski and Maureen Bruno-Roy for fourth through sixth respectively.

13:15 CST
As the last of the women round the course to get their result on the record, the men will head onto the course for a quick lap to get warm again. Stay tuned for all the action from the men's race.

Elite Women Results

1. Katie Compton (Spike Shooter)
2. Georgia Gould (Luna Women's MTB Team)
3. Rachel Lloyd (California Giant Berry Farms)
4. Laura Van Gilder (c3 Sollay)
5. Amy Dombroski (Vello Bella - Kona)
6. Maureen Bruno-Roy (MM Racing p/b Seven Cycles)