Last week cycle-cross riders from all over the world descended on Asheville, North Carolina\u2019s iconic Biltmore Estate for the annual\u00a0USA Cycling\u2019s Cyclo-Cross National Championships.\r\n\r\nCold weather and muddy conditions only seemed to infuse racers with energy as\u00a0Katie Compton and Jeremy Powers successfully defended their women\u2019s and men\u2019s national elite titles.\r\n\r\nCompton, who hails from Colorado Springs, Colorado and represented Trek Factory Racing, tore through the finals in 46 minutes and 56 seconds, just ahead of Georgia Gould of Fort Collins.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nGould, who raced for the LUNA Pro Team, finished the multi-lap race in 47:18.\r\n\r\nThird-place went to Kaitlin Antonneau (47:30) of Racine, Wisconsin. Antonneau raced for Cannondale Cyclocross World.\r\n\r\nFor much of the five-lap race, Compton, Gould and Antonneau battled it out, but \u00a0toward the end, Compton\u2019s reserve energy kicked in to propelled her across the line in first place.\r\n\r\nJeremy Powers of Easthampton, Massachusetts, finished the slightly longer Men\u2019s Elite race with a time of 56:45, just 10 seconds ahead of fellow Easthampton resident Stephen Hyde.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThis was Powers\u2019 fourth national title in the past six years. Hyde and Powers, had challenged each other much of the way. Later, with Hyde not quite on his wheel, Powers only needed to avoid costly falls to place first.\r\n\r\n"No doubt, this is one of the most hotly contested nationals that I've won,\u201d Powers told Cycling News after the race. "This one is special because it was really talked about, Stephen and I have been going head to head and doing good battles all year."\r\n\r\nCompetition began January 5, and came to close Sunday January 10. Recent rains added extra challenges to climbs descents and turns, but riders adjusted and persisted. Just before the finals, Elite men and women took advantage of a practice slot on the course, to help them fine-tune their plans.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nOther January 10 class winners included Ellen Noble\u00a0(Kennebunkport, Maine\/JAM Fund-NCC-Vittoria), who defended her 2015 women\u2019s age 17-22 crown in 44:09. Tobin Ortenblad in the men\u2019s Pro\/Cat 1\/2\/3 19-22 (53:19). Gage Hecht\u00a0(Parker, Colo.\/Alpha Bicycle Co.-Vista Subaru) repeated as the junior men\u2019s 17-18 with a 39:23 run, while\u00a0Katie Clouse\u00a0(Park City, Utah\/Alpha Bicycle Co.-Vista Subaru) won the junior women\u2019s 15-16 championship in 36:34.\r\n\r\nIn the Under 23 women\u2019s race,\u00a0Hanna Arensman\u00a0(Rutherford College, N.C.\/TWENTY16 Pro Cycling) clocked the top time junior 17-18 time of 47:20 to take the division win. Katie Clouse of Park City, UT, took the women\u2019s junior 15-16 title in 36:34, riding for Vita Subaru. In the women\u2019s 1\/2\/3 Junior 17-18 category, Hanna Arensman (Rutherford College, NC) riding for TWENTY 16 Pro Cycling won in 47:20.