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Compton dominates Jingle Cross Iowa City, van Aert doubles up

Pendrel 6th after 7th in CrossVegas

Katie Compton (USA) destroyed the field in Jingle Cross Iowa City, Saturday’s second round of the UCI Cyclocross World Cup. Canadian Catharine Pendrel finished one spot higher than Wednesday’s contest at Crossvegas. For the second time in four days, world champion Wout van Aerts had to come from behind to win the elite men’s race handily.

The second UCI World Cup event came only three days after the first in Las Vegas, where Sophie de Boer and van Aert took the wins. It was a hot, humid day in Iowa City.

In the women’s race, the World Cup winner for the past two years, Belgian Sanne Cant, was looking for a better result than CrossVegas’s 8th in the Iowan muck of Johnson County Fairground. The sun was out but Thursday’s storm made for a gooey 3.1-km course, even with changes made after Friday’s C2 events to give the elite racers more grass. Three climbs, including steep Mount Krumpit which demanded dismounting, awaited the competitors.

Right after the start gun came a mudpit. Cant came through in front. Everyone dismounted and carried in the off-camber section, with de Boer emerging in the lead. Lap 1 had yet another rider at the front after the sandpit, with local Amanda Miller on point. Miller, compatriot Katie Compton, Czech Katrina Nash, French champion Caroline Mani, Canadian Catharine Pendrel, de Boer and Cant formed a leading group midway through the lap. Compton and Nash led Pendrel over the first line.

Pendrel ran a little behind Mani, Compton and Nash for the first half of Lap 2. Soon after the four came together, the American and Czech left behind the Frenchwoman and Canadian. At the start of Lap 3 Nash’s derailleur wrecked and she had to jog her bike 100-metres to the pit.

Compton had a 16-second lead over Mani on Lap 3, with Pendrel further back. Kaitlin Antonneau and Nash joined Pendrel on the long climb. Pendrel then changed bikes.

With Compton running away with the race, the battle for podium position became the main action. Pendrel was eight-seconds behind Antonneau and Nash going into Lap 4. After Mount Krumpit, Antonneau had shed Nash and was closing in on Mani.

Mani staved off Antonneau for second, but Pendrel couldn’t keep fifth, submitting to American Ellen Noble. Sidney McGill was Canada’s second highest finisher at 26th. Compton, third in the Crossvegas sprint, takes over the World Cup lead from de Boer, with Pendrel 7th.

Wout Van Aert was racing with a broken big left toe suffered in a fall in CrossVegas. After the first mudpit and off-camber hike-a-bike section, there was a long, sinuous line of riders. Mount Krumpit didn’t make the selection either. Belgians Toon Aerts and Michael Vanthourenhout led over the line at the end of Lap 1.

Van Aert had a mechanical on Lap 2 even though he pitted at the start of the lap, but he got it sorted. Toon Aerts and Vanthourenhout kept leading the field. Lap 3 saw Quinten Hermans lead early in the circuit. Van Aert was still outside the top-15 as a group of eight kept clear at the business end of the race.

Hermans and Vanthourenhout took a 6-second gap at the end of Lap 3. On Lap 4 van Aert was very conspicuously moving through the pack. Vanthourenhout peeled away from Hermans, who got company in the form of van Aert and fellow Belgian Laurens Sweeck.

Sweeck passed Vanthourenhout at the start of Lap 5, and soon after van Aert was Sweeck’s closest pursuer. Sweeck’s lead was 7-seconds over Vanthourenhout and van Aert going into Lap 6.

As van Aert stalked Sweeck, Vanthourenhout lost third position to Kevin Pauwels. The world champion blew by Sweeck on Lap 6‘s big, grassy climb and lapped Canadian Trevor O’Donnell at the end of the circuit.

With two-laps to go van Aert had a 12-second gap, which gave him time for a bike change. Sweeck had to preserve his second place from Pauwels. Sweeck was 40-seconds behind the leader going into the final lap, with Pauwels looming.

Pauwels made the junction at the sandpit and then dispatched Sweeck on the long, grassy clamber. Van Aert had plenty of time to celebrate his second consecutive World Cup victory. Jeremy Martin was the top Canadian at 24th; he was 23rd in CrossVegas.

The next World Cup race is October 23 in Valkenburg, the Netherlands.

Jingle Cross Iowa City Elite Women
1) Katie Compton (USA/Trek) 37:08
2) Caroline Mani (France/Raleigh-Clement) +0:19
3) Kaitlin Antonneau (USA/Cannondale) +0:23
6) Catharine Pendrel (Canada/Clif Bar Pro Team) +1:23

Jingle Cross Iowa City Elite Men
1) Wout van Aert (Belgium/Crelan-Vastgoedservice) 1:02:48
2) Kevin Pauwels (Belgium/Marlux-Napoleon Games) +0:38
3) Laurens Sweeck (Belgium/Era Real Estate-Circus) +0:55
24) Jeremy Martin (Canada) +4:28