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Compton, Summerhill winners in Pikes Peak Velo Campus Cross
Riders battled not only each other Saturday in the Pikes Peak Velo Campus Cross at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, but the heat and lack of breeze as well.
Katie Compton beat Amy Dumbroski by 2 minutes to win the women’s race.
Compton, of Colorado Springs, can add the win to her impressive list of accolades, which include eight national championships in a row, as well as silver and bronze medals in the world championships.
“Today was a training race. It’s hard for me to go hard and work on my technical skills when I’m not in a race situation,” she said.
Compton opened a huge lead early and hung on despite friend and rival Dumbroski giving chase. “I attacked going into a quarter of the hill and I think I put the gas on her, and tried to stay smooth and consistent and make her chase.”
Winners would earn $150, but “racers do this because they are dedicated to their craft,” said Jeff Thomas of Pikes Peak Velo, a local cycling team.
More than 200 cyclists competed at the all-day event. Part of the proceeds from registration were dedicated to Kids on Bikes, a local group that aims to provide bicycles to children who desire them.
Sixteen men and six women in the open division raced the two-mile obstacle course that featured a dried-up, sandy riverbed, and an extremely narrow and uneven path where one mistake could send riders toppling to the ground.
“Today was really fun. It’s a little bit long and more spread out then some cross races, but there are some fun sand sections that are fast and technical” Compton said.
If the riders did not fall there they had to deal with two stations in they had to dismount and leap over logs, wooden boards and truck tires.
“There is nothing constant about it, one minute you’re flying downhill and the next minute you’re grinding up a 26 percent hill. That’s probably what makes this sport the hardest, the constant variables.” said Danny Summerhill, the men’s winner. “I had no strategy apart from keeping it (the bike) upright.”
Summerhill won in 58 minutes, 35 seconds, while Ben Burden came in second in 59:06. Gage Hecht, the youngest male competitor at age 15 finished 12th.