Cyclocross legend Katie Compton, the first American to win the Cyclocross World Cup overall title, is back at it in Waterloo this weekend. We caught up with her once again to learn what got her into cross and to snag her number one tip for newbies looking to join the sport.

What got you into cross?
Friends got me into racing while I was in college. I grew up racing my bike but friends encouraged me to try cross thinking I would be good at it. Luckily I listened to them, tried it and loved it. Been racing cross pretty much since then. That was in 1999.

Why should people try Cyclocross?
It’s a fun and social way to stay in shape through the winter. There’s variety in the training and racing with weather conditions and terrain as well as being able to add some running into your plan.

#1 tip for Cyclocross newbies?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Get to your first race early so you can easily register and see the course without stressing. Find some friends to help you through the process and inquire about any cross practices in your area. Don’t worry about your bike and equipment until you want to commit to racing or really like riding on gravel roads or trails.

Best hand-up you’ve ever received?
Money…always money!

Favorite place to race?
That’s a tough one. I love racing in the US for the fun and ease of it, but my favorite CX course is probably Koksijde in Belgium. It’s the classic sand dune course on the beach.

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