Student a quick study in cyclocross success
Two days, two podium results.
For 19-year-old college sophomore Kaitie Antonneau, it was a breakthrough weekend of racing against world-class competition at the Derby City Cup in Louisville, Ky.
If cyclocross is going to keep growing in the United States, the sport needs rising stars who inspire and entertain fans. And Antonneau did just that in Louisville, the third stop of the 2011 Exergy US Gran Prix of Cyclocross presented by Greenware, the nation’s leading cyclocross series.
On Saturday, the Wisconsin native used a powerful surge to finish third in the elite women’s race behind Katie Compton and Katerina Nash.
The next day, Antonneau – who rides a Cannondale with Zipp 303 CX wheels, Service Course SL bars, stem and seatpost, SRAM RED and Avid Shorty Ultimate brakes – played her tactics just right to lead out and win the sprint for second ahead of Nash. Compton took a solo victory.
“She’s just a smart rider. She’s training really well. She’s got a lot of determination and just some natural talent,” Stu Thorne, director of the Cannondale prepared by Cyclocrossworld.com team, said of Antonneau. “It’s a very positive thing for the team right now.”
Antonneau, indeed, is a versatile athlete who relies on Zipp wheels. For cyclocross, she counts on the durable 303CX. As part of Exergy TWENTY12 team on the road, she rides the 404 Firecrest. She also uses Zipp wheels for collegiate road and track racing at Indianapolis’ Marian University, where she is studying exercise science.
She admits it takes some effort to sharpen cyclocross skills after the road and track seasons. But she credits speed and sprint work from the velodrome with helping her perform better in the dirt and mud.
Her racing varies, but Zipp remains one constant. “I don’t need to worry about changing anything or getting used to anything. It’s just all year-round; I’m always on Zipp.”