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Daily News Digest: Sagan returns to winning ways; CX nationals round up

by Neal Rogers

January 15, 2018

In today’s Daily News Digest: Sagan opens season with win at People’s Choice Classic; Spratt takes Santos Women’s Tour GC, Hosking wins final stage; Van der Poel, Van Aert defend respective national CX titles; Cant, Brand, Ferrand-Prevot take national CX titles; Hyde defends US national cyclocross title after duel with Powers; Compton holds off Noble to take 14th consecutive national CX title; 2018 Vuelta a España route details announced; Sky debutant Halvorsen out for TDU after fracture in People’s Choice crash; Kask unveils Utopia, its most aerodynamic road helmet.

Compton holds off Noble to take 14th consecutive national CX title

by Anne-Marije Rook

Despite the murmurs and the anticipation of a potential new champion in American cyclocross, Katie Compton (KFC Racing-Trek-Panache) won the 2018 US National Cyclocross Championship the same way she won the 13 previous years edition: solo.

To her credit, second place finisher Ellen Noble (Aspire Racing) — making her Elite championships debut — came closer to the 39-year-old than anyone has before, relentlessly reeling in the gap, second by second until crossing the line just seven seconds short.

Just 11 minutes into the race, Compton made her move. On the flats, she turned on that powerful engine of hers and did what she’s done so many times before: she motored away from Noble, who was unable to match her speed.

“I was concerned the whole time,” Compton said. “Ellen has been riding really strong. I know she wants to win really badly too. She’s young, she’s got a ton of energy and technically she’s good so yeah, I knew she was always there and I knew I had to ride smooth and I tried to make as few mistakes as possible. I knew she was there and I wasn’t easing up.

“I wasn’t feeling that awesome today, it was a hard course and Ellen was riding really strong so try so you had to work really hard through the first half of course and the second half of the course just to kinda keep it upright. And of course I bobbled on the last descent and Ellen was pretty close so I had to drill it to the finish. And I was trying to catch my breath as I was having an asthma attack so I was managing that and just trying to make it to the finish and not get caught.”

Click through to read the full race report.

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