Well wouldja look at that? Three American silver medals at the Cyclocross World Championsips – only the U23 Men (of course, the squad I actually know people on) failed to podium, or, for that matter, to even play a major role.
While I’m as pumped as the next Yank about these finishes, let’s just keep in mind that both Elite American medallists received a serious support ride from domestique Lady Luck. Sven Nys and Bert Wellens – running 1 and 2 on the UCI points list – neutralized each other two laps in. And on the women’s side, World Cup leader Hanka Kupfernagel dominated early but suffered from a mechanical, letting the race fall to pieces.
While Compton’s back-row start would seem to negate any benefit she gained from the misfortune of her competitors, her remarkable run through the field makes me wonder all the more what one of the best ‘cross racers in the world is doing not racing UCI ‘cross races 90% of the time, before showing up at big events to decimate the field. I have more faith in the integrity of pro athletes than most, but it isn’t hard to construct a much darker explanation than the one she provides.
Meanwhile, the UCI displayed uncharacteristic deftness in segueing into the road season, starting the Tour of Qatar on the same day as ‘cross worlds. Quick.Step got a much-needed morale boost, winning the relatively meaningless 6k Team Time Trial in Stage 1. Plan was to place Davide Vigano in the leader’s jersey, but he was perhaps a bit behind in his preparation, dropping off the pace in the final kilo, leaving early-season superstar Steven DeJongh to take yellow.
thoughts on “Slew of Seconds at 'Cross Worlds, Quick-Step Leads at Qatar”
Sounds an awful lot like you’re accusing Katie of doping. She pulled off two nationals in a row, starting from the back… and she’s pretty much crushed all but the very toughest of anyone she’s raced against all year. There’s nothing at all out of the norm for her performance at Worlds and for you to suggest that she’s not being honest is uncalled for.
You make a very valid point. And I think it’s important that I address it.
First of all, I’d never accuse any athlete of doping with anything short of rock solid evidence. Katie Compton has proven that she’s among the best in the world, tested clean all the way, and never had an allegation made against her. I respect that fully.
My aim was not to accuse her of doping, or even cast doubt on her performances, but to point out that people who come this sport convinced that it’s dirty aren’t going to think its any cleaner after looking at her prerace training plan.
Had I the talent and drive of a champion like Compton, I woud go out of my way to make my race prep as transparent as possible. I’ll admit it’s an unfair thing to expect, especially in sport as tough as cycling, but given the prevailing public atttude, it ought to warrant some consideration.
I have more faith in the integrity of pro athletes than most, but it isn’t hard to construct a much darker explanation than the one she provides.