There. It needed to be said.
Katie Compton is having perhaps the best season of any American, ever. Seriously. The Trek Cyclocross Collective rider has now won three cyclocross World Cup races and is building a solid lead for the World Cup overall. While there’s an awful lot of bike racing left in Europe this season, Compton has put herself into a position to win the series, and maybe even a rainbow jersey.
But Compton’s start came as the sighted member of a Paralympic tandem duo with Karissa Whitsell. In 2004, Karissa and Katie won every event they entered at the Paralympic Games and also set a world record in the 3km pursuit. It wasn’t until after those games that Compton decided to go focus on cyclocross.
She entered 2012 with twelve World Cup wins, making her the most successful American in cyclocross, man or woman, in history. But for Compton, the measure of success was never about just showing up and being competitive. Since her 2007 podium, the first ever by an American, winning has been the expectation week in and week out. This season, her wins against the best in the world have reiterated her place as not just an American star but an international rider with World Champion-caliber skills.
The next World Cup is December 23rd, and Compton can give herself a huge mathematical edge over second place Sanne Van Passen, who is already 50 points behind. While the overall win would be huge, Compton will be looking to take the rainbow jersey, as well as win her 13th US Cyclocross National Championship.