De Jong brings cyclo-cross world title back to the Netherlands
Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (France) won the title in 2015 but she was not in attendance for this year’s championship race due to struggles with injury earlier in the season. Vos was the last Dutch winner of the women's cyclo-cross world title and held that prestige in 2006 and from 2009-2014.
De Jong’s victory was a surprise, even to herself, after she said she had a poor start from the second-row and then had a couple of mishaps in the opening laps. She was forced to play a game of catch-up and did so steadily until she reconnected with the front group. She made her winning attack on the last lap and took a solo win.
“After [messing up] my start I thought to myself ‘OK, this was it. Just try to make a nice race from it and get a decent result’,” De Jong said after the race.
Caroline Mani (France) finished with the silver medal, while pre-race favourite Sanne Cant (Belgium) sprinted for the bronze medal ahead of Sophie De Boer (Netherlands)
Cant emotional after bronze-medal performance at Worlds
Sanne Cant fought back tears of disappointment before stepping on the podium to receive her bronze medal at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships on Saturday. After a stellar season, the Belgian rider entered the race as the favourite to win the title but she struggled to stay with eventual champion Thalita De Jong on the last lap and ended up finishing in third.
Even though she was upset that she lost the championship race, she said she was much more disappointed at her loss last year, when she placed second to Pauline Ferrand-Prevot in a sprint finish.
"The disappointment last year was larger than now," Cant told the Sporza. "Thalita was simply better today."
"I never had the impression that I had the game under control. I was constantly fighting against myself and made mistakes. It was not like I had hoped.
"It's unfortunate. I have been working very hard for this World Championship and you grab two years in a row next to the rainbow jersey."
Cant can be proud of a strong season where she won the overall World Cup title along with three rounds in Koksijde, Heusden-Zolder and Lignieres-en-Berry. She also won four rounds of the Superprestige and four rounds of the Bpost Bank Trofee.
Richards makes history as first-ever U23 women's cyclo-cross world champion
Evie Richards went down in history on Saturday as the first-ever woman to win an under-23 cyclo-cross world title. The UCI introduced the under-23 women's category to the championship event for the first time this year. The 18-year-old British racer won the title solo ahead of Nikola Noskova (Czech Republic) and Maud Kaptheijns (Netherlands).
"I started quite far at the back," said Richards in a report on British Cycling's website. "I was third row so I didn't really know where I was to be honest. I didn't realise I was in first and I'm not a fan of riding in a group. I just wanted to make a break and just get away and see how long I could last. I lasted four laps!
"It feels amazing! This is my first cyclo-cross race abroad so to get a jersey for my first race is incredible and I wouldn't want it any other way."
Richards earned the silver medal last year at the 2015 cross-country mountain bike world championships.
Cervelo Bigla meet for three-week camp in Mallorca - Video
Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling are spending three weeks at a pre-season training camp in Mallorca from January 23 to February 14. The team unveiled their new kit, which shows off new title sponsor Cervelo, earlier in the week. They will spend the time in Mallorca getting used to their new equipment, planning the calendar ahead and training.
The riders in attendance are Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, Lotta Lepistö, Lisa Klein, Clara Koppenburg, Carmen Small, Joëlle Numainville, Nicole Hanselmann, Stephanie Pohl and Gabrielle Pilote Fortin. Watch the Voxwomen video below to see the riders training in their new kits.