Marianne Vos out-powered the rest of the field during the cyclo-cross world championships in Koksijde, Belgium. Almost forty seconds later Daphny van den Brand (The Netherlands) won the sprint for second place ahead of local favorite Sanne Cant (Belgium). At 24, Vos overtakes Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany) as record holder with five ‘cross world titles.
“It was not my goal to overtake her but five titles is fantastic,” Vos said.
On the technical course Vos clearly struggled to get through the sand stretches but that didn’t keep her from quickly earning a comfortable lead. Vos built up a lead of a minute and plowed her way through the sand to a well-deserved win.
“Technically it wasn’t good today. I wouldn’t deserve getting a dune named after me like the Elite Men’s winner will enjoy. Getting a mud section or a stretch of pavement named after me would be more correct,” Vos said.
Two women missed their start at 11am and they were Vos and Katherine Compton (USA). While Vos quickly recovered Compton didn’t and a little later she was caught up in a crash.
“I missed my first pedal stroke at the start and that raised the adrenaline to the top. If I had the opportunity I would take the initiative and ride my own race. I quickly had a gap but I realized that it would be a long forty minutes,” Vos said.
Unlike Vos the US champion struggled to get in the rhythm on the Koksijde course. After the first lap she rode outside the top-15 at nearly a minute from Vos. “I missed my pedal and couldn’t find it. Then I crashed in the first right hand turn before the pit. From there I got stuck in traffic but I’ve never given up. It’s hard to get back. I kind of saw this coming,” Compton said.
While Vos comfortably led the race ahead of Van den Brand another Dutch rider, Sanne van Paassen, was under pressure from Cant who made progress and brought along Katerina Nash (Czech Republic) and Sophie de Boer (The Netherlands).
Early on in the third lap a group with Compton, Jasmin Achermann (Switzerland) and Nikki Harris (UK) bridged up with Cant, De Boer,
Van Paassen and Nash. Right at the first sand stretches Cant blasted away and in no time Van den Brand was caught. Van Paassen and Compton then bridged up, creating a first chase group at 34 seconds from Vos with Cant, Compton, Van Paassen and Van den Brand. Further back a head-first dive from Helen Wyman (UK) in the sand caused a scare but the British champion continued her race.
During the penultimate lap Vos extended her lead to one minute while behind her Compton struggled to keep up with the three other chasers. Nevertheless none of them wanted to work on the long start-finishing straight and Compton quickly closed down the gap of 10 seconds.
In the final lap Vos made no mistakes and clearly was in delight, emotionally celebrating her fifth world title when she crossed the finish line. In the chase group a battle unfolded in which Cant, Van den Brand and Van Paassen exchanged attacks.
Compton followed at a short distance but never managed to overtake any of the three other women. In the final sections Van Paassen lost ground too but she was enormously happy with her fourth place. “I’ve been struggling with my health for two months and arrived here without competition. Despite that I simply manage to finish fourth and wonder why I was worrying that much. It makes me emotional,” she told Cyclingnews.
In front of her Cant sneaked ahead of Van den Brand and she turned into the finishing straight as leader. Cant didn’t have a sprint left in her legs though and Van den Brand easily captured second place in her last world championships race.
“That grass section ahead of the finish is quite tough so Cant probably had sore legs. I had enough power left and noticed that Sanne didn’t have her hands in the drops. It’s my first silver medal and with such a good Marianne I can’t be disappointed. I started real fast, maybe a little bit too fast because I never felt good,” Van den Brand said.
When crossing the finish line Cant threw her hands in the air, clearly not disappointed with her loss in the sprint. “I still have a hard time to believe this. I felt really well and apparently in the sand I was among the best. To me it didn’t matter what medal I would take. In every category the Belgians expected, except in the Women’s category and then I pull off this,” Cant said.
British rider Harris rode a great race and finished sixth at one minute from Vos. Wyman placed thirteenth.
Further back American riders Nicole Duke and Meredith Miller cracked the top-20, Amy Dombroski (USA) was 23rd while Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) disappointed with her 26th place. “It’s been a long season and it wasn’t good today. I improved my result from last year though so that’s positive,” Antonneau told Cyclingnews.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Marianne Vos (Netherlands)||0:41:04|
|2||Daphny Van Den Brand (Netherlands)||0:00:37|
|3||Sanne Cant (Belgium)||0:00:38|
|4||Sanne Van Paassen (Netherlands)||0:00:49|
|5||Katherine Compton (United States Of America)||0:00:53|
|6||Nikki Harris (Great Britain)||0:01:03|
|7||Sophie De Boer (Netherlands)||0:01:05|
|8||Katerina Nash (Czech Republic)||0:01:11|
|9||Jasmin Achermann (Switzerland)||0:01:12|
|10||Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (France)||0:01:54|
|11||Pavla Havlikova (Czech Republic)||0:02:43|
|12||Sabrina Stultiens (Netherlands)|
|13||Helen Wyman (Great Britain)||0:02:45|
|14||Christine Majerus (Luxembourg)||0:02:46|
|15||Linda Van Rijen (Netherlands)||0:02:52|
|16||Arenda Grimberg (Netherlands)||0:03:01|
|17||Gesa Bruchmann (Germany)||0:03:30|
|18||Caroline Mani (France)||0:03:36|
|19||Nicole Duke (United States Of America)||0:03:40|
|20||Meredith Miller (United States Of America)||0:03:54|
|21||Olga Wasiuk (Poland)||0:04:52|
|22||Martina Mikulaskova (Czech Republic)||0:05:04|
|23||Amy Dombroski (United States Of America)||0:05:21|
|24||Joyce Vanderbeken (Belgium)||0:05:34|
|25||Kajsa Snihs (Sweden)||0:05:39|
|26||Kaitlin Antonneau (United States Of America)||0:05:41|
|27||Rocio Gamonal Ferrera (Spain)||0:05:43|
|28||Sabrina Maurer (Switzerland)||0:05:56|
|29||Nikoline Hansen (Denmark)||0:06:19|
|30||Asa Erlandsson (Sweden)||0:06:34|
|31||Alice Maria Arzuffi (Italy)||0:06:55|
|-1lap||Ayako Toyooka (Japan)|
|-1lap||Sakiko Miyauchi (Japan)|
|-1lap||Lise-Marie Henzelin (Switzerland)|
|-2laps||Genevieve Whitson (New Zealand)|
|-2laps||Madara Furmane (Latvia)|