Endurance: Eva Bandman Park

Compton beaten at worlds, but not broken

February, 3, 2013
2/03/13
8:52
AM ET
ComptonKurt Hoy/VeloNews.com Katie Compton's silver medal in Louisville was her third runner-up finish at a world championship.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- It wasn't meant to be.

The rainbow jersey that has eluded American Katie Compton for so many years was again just out of reach Saturday at Eva Bandman Park.

For many reasons, this championship was Compton's best chance to win a world title.

ANALYSIS: Vos is boss | Nys is men's champ Video

Compton was coming off her best-ever season, winning three World Cup events and the series overall, a first for any American. She had a close familiarity with the Eva Bandman Park course, at a world championship that was held, for the first time ever, on North American soil. And Compton had the overwhelming support of a patriotic crowd desperately hoping for an American victory.

However, like so many women racing on roads, velodromes and cyclocross courses around the world, Compton came up against Dutch champion Marianne Vos, a 25-year-old phenom who seems capable of winning at will, particularly when it counts most.

The reigning Olympic and world road champion, who is revered by many as the Eddy Merckx of women's racing, recovered from a sub-par start to accelerate away from the rest of the women's elite field on the first of six laps.

Compton, who had an even worse start due to a dropped chain, was able to overtake every rider in her path, save one.

Vos crossed the line 94 seconds ahead of Compton -- light years in the world of international cyclocross -- to take her fifth straight world title. Compton took a frustrating third silver medal, her fourth podium appearance in seven years.

"I've had plenty of practice chasing on this year, coming back from mistakes," Compton said. "I did everything I could. Marianne had opened up a big gap, and I went into damage-control mode. And then the thought of not winning a medal at home was heartbreaking. There was no way that was going to happen."

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