Katie Compton took the lead in the women’s World Cup after an exciting but muddy second round of the series. After being beaten in the sprint by Sanne van Paassen last week, the US-champion hit back in the mud of Plzen, Czech Republic.

During the first half of the race it didn’t seem like Compton would be in contention for even a podium result in the beer town. She suffered on the slippery course and with the cold weather conditions. During the first lap she was distanced by a lead group that featured Van Paassen and British riders Helen Wyman (Kona) and Nikki Harris. Compton rode in a chase group with Sanne Cant, Hanka Kupfernagel, Jasmin Achermann and fast starter Lucie Chainel-Lefevre.

During the second lap, the three leaders were caught back by all chasers, except for Chainel-Lefevre. Compton slowly starting moving up in the group and by the end of her super fast third lap, she rode into the lead with Wyman. Behind her, Van Paassen and Harris had blown up in an effort to keep up. Kupfernagel even overtook Van Paassen, putting her back to fifth place.

Soon it was clear that Wyman wouldn’t be able to keep up with Compton and though another wobble caused a late scare, Compton secured victory in Plzen. A hard-fighting Wyman claimed her best World Cup result in recent years, with second place at 15 seconds behind Compton. The sprint for third place was won by Harris, ahead of Van Paassen and Kupfernagel, half a minute from the winner.

Thanks to her win and the fourth place behind Van Paassen last week, Compton moves into the World Cup lead with 110 points, 10 more than Van Paassen. Wyman is third with 95 points.