After finishing on a distant sixth place in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup round of sandy Koksijde last week, Sanne van Paassen (Rabobank Women Cycling Team) removed any doubts about how she was riding by putting in a solid performance during the fourth round of the World Cup in Roubaix, France on Sunday. Despite leading most of the race, Van Paassen eventually fell just short of the win at the vélodrome after Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) made a late race comeback.
"I lost out on the victory, but I feel like I won second place," Van Paassen said. "Of course it's my ambition to win, but I'm also happy with second place."
The usually competitive rider seemed to be more than pleased with her podium place. While talking about her race in Roubaix, she thought back on her miserable race in the dunes of Koksijde, one week earlier. After finishing that race, the 24-year-old left the finish area as soon as possible, avoiding the awaiting media.
"Last weekend, I had problems with my pedals," she said. "I was so angry, but in the sand that doesn't help you. Not being able to clip in the pedal makes it impossible to keep up. It was a disappointing race."
"Afterwards I started having doubts. Finishing sixth was far below par and after a while you no longer know what it was. Was it just a mechanical issue or also physical? Would I still be able to get on the podium? Today I showed myself that I can still do it. The fast course was my thing, too."
After the third round of the World Cup in Koksijde, the Dutch rider shared second place in the World Cup standings with British riders Helen Wyman (Kona) and Nikki Harris (Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team). By finishing as runner-up behind overall leader Compton in Roubaix today, Van Paassen kept hold of her second place in the standings.