According to the latest International Cycling Union (UCI) international rankings, American Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo./Spike Shooter) is ranked number one in the world while her efforts in world-class competition this season has the United States ranked second in the world behind the Netherlands.
After unprecedented success at the 2007 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in January in which U.S. athletes captured three silver medals, Americans continue to perform well in the early stages of the 2007-08 season.
In addition to scoring a second-place finish at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup opener in Kalmthout, Belgium on Oct. 21, Compton already has six victories to her credit this season in UCI-sanctioned events. With domestic victories at the Whitmore's Landscaping Super Cross Cups #1 and #2, the Java Johnny's Lionhearts' 'Cross, the Bio Wheels/United Dairy Farmers Cyclo-cross and the first two rounds of the U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross in Louisville, Kentucky last weekend, Compton's cumulative point total is 355 points. She currently leads the Netherlands' Daphny Van den Brand by 55 points in the women's rankings, 355-300.
In the women's international standings, the U.S. is ranked second as a nation with 502 points behind the Netherlands (630). Factored into that point total is Compton's 355 points as well as those of the next two ranked Americans - Kerry Barnholt (Boulder, Colo./Tokyo Joe's-Van Dessel), ranked 18th in the world, and Anna Milkowski (New Haven, Conn.), ranked 21st.
In the men's international rankings, Barry Wicks (Corvallis, Ore./Kona) is the top-ranked American in ninth with 190 points while compatriot Jonathan Page (Northfield, N.H./Sunweb-Projob) is just behind in tenth place with 176 points. Jeremy Powers (Niantic, Conn./ Cyclocrossworld.com) is the third-ranked American in 13th place as the trio has the United States ranked third in the world with 518 points behind Belgium (912) and the Czech Republic (656).
The United States' rise in the international cyclo-cross rankings can be attributed to two factors - both the United States' improved performance in major international competitions and the number of internationally-sanctioned events in the U.S. For the 2007-08 season, the U.S. boasts 37 UCI-sanctioned events plus the USA Cycling National Cyclo-cross Championships, giving American athletes 38 opportunities to score points - more than any other nation in the world including traditional Northern European cyclo-cross hotbeds like Belgium and the Netherlands.
© BikeRadar & USA Cycling 2007