There were no surprises in the last round of the World Cup as world champion Marianne Vos (Stichting Rabo Women Cycling Team) demolished the opposition in the drying mud of Hoogerheide in the Netherlands. Her Dutch compatriot Daphny van den Brand (AA Drink-Leontien.nl) held off US-based Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) and finished as runner-up, 1:28 down on Vos.
It was more than enough for Van den Brand to claim her fourth ever overall win in the World Cup in what is her final season as a pro rider. Vos concluded the World Cup in second place, 36 points behind. US champion Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant Offroad) finished third overall, 91 points in arrears.
“I’m very glad with the World Cup win,” Van den Brand said. “Today I had to ride my own race and avoid crashes and tire problems.” Caroline Mani (France) and Sophie de Boer (Telenet-Fidea) weren’t so lucky. The two went down hard in a massive crash at high speed right after the start. They received treatment on site for a long time before being brought away by ambulance. Mani complained of lower back pain while De Boer may have broken her wrist.
Now unbeaten in fifteen races, Vos is the overwhelming favorite for the world championships next week in Koksijde, Belgium.
“It’s good to head to the world championships with these sensations. My form is good but I already knew that before this race,” Vos said.
Vos rockets clear
During the first half of the first lap, it seemed as though Vos wouldn’t dominate as she had done in the last couple of races. British riders Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Team) and Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) led the pack early on, with Vos, Van den Brand, Nash, Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (France) and Compton following a short distance behind. A little later, Chainel and Nash took command. This acceleration cost the British women their spot up front. Heading into the final part of the course, Vos moved up to the front with Chainel on her wheel. At the steep run-up to the start-finish line, Chainel struggled, and Vos was clear.
“My plan was not to start flat out, but to look around and make no mistakes. That worked out for half a lap. I moved up because I made small mistakes because there’s not a lot of space and you can’t see where you ride,” Vos said. “I moved into the lead but right away I had a gap. Too bad because this wasn’t a course where it was easy to ride around on your own.”
When crossing the finish line after the first lap, Vos had ten seconds on the group containing Chainel, Van den Brand, Nash and Compton, while Harris was a short distance further back. During the second lap, Compton and Nash went well through the mud and they dropped Chainel and Van den Brand. Both Compton and Nash entered the pit area during that second lap, but while Compton switched bikes, Nash missed her crew.
“It was one of those moments. I had to get off the bike and touch the ground with both feet. It’s not the first time I make a mistake like that,” Nash said. Nash struggled to keep up with Compton and they crossed the line a short distance from each other, but half a minute down on Vos. Early on in the third lap, Compton got stuck in the mud, allowing Nash to bridge back up. A little later, Compton went down in a fast right-hand corner and Nash couldn’t avoid the US champion. “I lost a lot of time there and afterwards I struggled to get back into my rhythm. I had my weight wrong on the bike. It sucked for Katerina because she worked hard to be in front and I took her down,” Compton said.
Van den Brand gratefully used the crash to bridge up to the duo. None of the three women clearly dominated this group though Compton lost contact after a bike switch.
While Vos continued to show off a combination of technical skills and power, the battle for second place at more than a minute from the leader was most interesting. During the penultimate lap, Van den Brand and Nash were joined by Compton, but once again she lost contact after a bike switch. “I needed clean tires and the bike was getting heavy,” Compton said.
With only one lap remaining, she was dropped by Nash and Van den Brand for good. During that last lap Van den Brand took the initiative while Nash took herself out. “I tried to stay on her wheel but went into the barriers and that was it. She had a couple of meters and that was too much to close down,” Nash said.
While Vos threw her hands in the air, Van den Brand held off Nash and she was pleased with the outcome. “Second is better than third so I’m happy,” Van den Brand said. Almost two minutes after Vos, Compton rolled in as fourth place, which is her worst placing in a World Cup round this season. “It was an awful race from my side. It was hard in every way. It’s been an off-year maybe,” Compton said.
Chainel was fifth ahead of three British riders: Wyman, Harris and Annie Last, who debuted in the World Cup with a great eight place. Sanne Cant (Boxx Veldritacademie) and Pavla Havlikova (Telenet-Fidea) rounded out the top 10.
Mixed afternoon for American riders
Meredith Miller (California Giant Cycling) rode her third World Cup round of the season and managed her best result in eleventh place. “I got knocked off my bike in the first section, and then had to play a little bit of catch-up. It was just that one time at the start, having to waste some energy right away. It was a pretty smooth race for me, and I was happy about that. It was just a matter of needing better luck,” Miller said at the finish line.
Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com riders Nicole Duke and Kaitlin Antonneau finished eighteenth and twenty-second, at more than four minutes from Vos. Duke looked at the World Cup round as a warm-up for the world championships.
“I kept thinking, my body’s not ready for this yet. I needed a big warm up. I’m so glad I did this, because the way my body felt today, if I had gone into Worlds without this race, there’s just no way I’d have a good result,” Duke said. “It was really hard to get into the pedals today, I was having a huge problem with that.”
For Antonneau the race didn’t go too well. “Last week I felt like I consistently finished within the top 20 and now I tumble out of it. Last time the first race over here [Liévin] went better than the second one and it felt like that again. Hopefully next week goes better. We will check out the course again this week. Other than that I’ll try to recover,” Antonneau said.
Amy Dombroski (Crankbrother-The Race Club) hit the deck pretty hard in the start line crash. Along with fellow American rider Christine Vardaros (Baboco) she finished outside the top 30.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Marianne Vos (Ned) Stichting Rabo Women Cycling Team||0:39:14|
|2||Daphny Van Den Brand (Ned) AA Drink - Leontien.nl Cycling Team||0:01:28|
|3||Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team||0:01:35|
|4||Katherine Compton (USA) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team||0:01:53|
|5||Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (Fra)||0:02:06|
|6||Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Racing||0:02:24|
|7||Nikki Harris (GBr) Telenet - Fidea||0:02:36|
|8||Annie Last (GBr)||0:02:49|
|9||Sanne Cant (Bel) Boxx Veldritacademie||0:03:16|
|10||Pavla Havlikova (Cze) Telenet - Fidea||0:03:24|
|11||Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant Cycling||0:03:25|
|12||Jasmin Achermann (Swi)||0:03:33|
|13||Sabrina Schweizer (Ger)||0:03:47|
|14||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)||0:03:53|
|15||Julie Krasniak (Fra) Team Rapha Focus||0:03:56|
|16||Reza Hormes (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||0:04:03|
|17||Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) Brainwash Wielerploeg||0:04:09|
|18||Nicole Duke (USA) Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.com||0:04:35|
|19||Linda Van Rijen (Ned) Skil - Koga||0:04:40|
|20||Christine Majerus (Lux)||0:04:42|
|21||Arenda Grimberg (Ned)||0:04:52|
|22||Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.com||0:05:10|
|23||Gesa Bruchmann (Ger)||0:05:26|
|24||Valentina Scandolara (Ita) S.C. Michela Fanini Rox||0:05:32|
|25||Nancy Bober (Bel) Style & Concept||0:05:55|
|26||Lana Verberne (Ned)||0:05:58|
|27||Olga Wasiuk (Pol)|
|28||Nikoline Hansen (Den)||0:06:20|
|29||Andrea Smith (USA)||0:06:30|
|30||Kajsa Snihs (Swe)||0:06:34|
|31||Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita)||0:06:38|
|32||Hilde Quintens (Bel)||0:06:40|
|33||Sabrina Maurer (Swi)||0:06:56|
|34||Christine Vardaros (USA) Baboco Cycling Team||0:07:12|
|35||Sakiko Miyauchi (Jpn)||0:07:21|
|36||Asa Maria Erlandsson (Swe)||0:07:31|
|37||Kim Van De Steene (Bel)||0:07:35|
|38||Githa Michiels (Bel) Trek - Kmc Trade Team Vzw||0:07:39|
|39||Annefleur Kalvenhaar (Ned) Giant Dealerteams||0:07:40|
|40||Ayako Toyooka (Jpn)||0:07:44|
|41||Amy Dombroski (USA) Crankbrothers - The Race Club||0:08:09|
|42 (-1 lap)||Katrien Thijs (Bel)|
|43||Lise-Marie Henzelin (Swi)|
|44||Margriet Helena Kloppenburg (Den)|
|45 (-2 laps)||Madara Furmane (Lat)|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Daphny Van Den Brand (Ned) AA Drink - Leontien.nl Cycling Team||326||pts|
|2||Marianne Vos (Ned) Stichting Rabo Women Cycling Team||290|
|3||Katherine Compton (USA) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team||235|
|4||Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (Fra)||231|
|5||Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Racing||208|
|6||Sanne Cant (Bel) Boxx Veldritacademie||203|
|7||Sanne Van Paassen (Ned) Brainwash Wielerploeg||180|
|8||Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team||166|
|9||Pavla Havlikova (Cze) Telenet - Fidea||165|
|10||Nikki Harris (GBr) Telenet - Fidea||144|
|11||Sabrina Schweizer (Ger)||121|
|12||Sophie De Boer (Ned) Telenet - Fidea||116|
|13||Jasmin Achermann (Swi)||104|
|14||Caroline Mani (Fra)||103|
|15||Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) Brainwash Wielerploeg||102|
|16||Arenda Grimberg (Ned)||94|
|17||Linda Van Rijen (Ned) Skil - Koga||82|
|18||Gabriella Day (GBr)||79|
|19||Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.com||74|
|20||Amy Dombroski (USA) Crankbrothers - The Race Club||68|
|21||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)||63|
|22||Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger)||60|
|23||Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Lapierre International||59|
|24||Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant Cycling||55|
|25||Martina Mikulaskova (Cze)||55|
|26||Christine Majerus (Lux)||51|
|27||Julie Krasniak (Fra) Team Rapha Focus||50|
|28||Reza Hormes (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||49|
|29||Ellen Van Loy (Bel)||47|
|30||Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra)||44|
|31||Nicole Duke (USA) Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.com||44|
|32||Hilde Quintens (Bel)||35|
|33||Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob's Red Mill / Seven Cycles||34|
|34||Eva Lechner (Ita) Colnago Farbe Sudtirol||30|
|35||Nikoline Hansen (Den)||29|
|36||Annie Last (GBr)||26|
|37||Annefleur Kalvenhaar (Ned) Giant Dealerteams||20|
|38||Tessa Van Nieuwpoort (Ned)||17|
|39||Gesa Bruchmann (Ger)||16|
|40||Nicole De Bie - Leyten (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||14|
|41||Asa Maria Erlandsson (Swe)||12|
|42||Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita)||11|
|43||Kajsa Snihs (Swe)||11|
|44||Vania Rossi (Ita)||9|
|45||Christine Vardaros (USA) Baboco Cycling Team||9|
|46||Valentina Scandolara (Ita) S.C. Michela Fanini Rox||7|
|47||Lise-Marie Henzelin (Swi)||7|
|48||Nancy Bober (Bel) Style & Concept||6|
|49||Stéphanie Vaxillaire-Denuit (Fra)||6|
|50||Lana Verberne (Ned)||5|
|51||Olga Wasiuk (Pol)||4|
|52||Cynthia Huygens (Fra)||4|
|53||Katrien Thijs (Bel)||3|
|54||Andrea Smith (USA)||2|
|55||Katherine Sherwin (USA) Stan's No Tubes||2|
|56||Kim Van De Steene (Bel)||1|
|57||Martina Zwick (Ger)||1|
|58||Marlène Morel Petitgirard (Fra)||1|