World Champion Marianne Vos (DSB Bank) held off Dutch compatriot Daphny van den Brand (ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida) in the sprint at the Jaarmarktcross in Niel, Belgium. Colorado-based Katie Compton (Planet Bike) crashed out of this group during the last lap and finished third. All three outclassed the competition in a race that had been organized right before the elite men's race to celebrate women's day.
Runner-up Van den Brand thanked the organization for their efforts with a word on the podium. She had been most aggressive during the last lap, trying to shake off Compton and Vos, but in the final sprint, Vos had most left.
"It was the first time I raced here. It was dry but still quite tough and very bumpy. It's nice to win here, especially after a tight race that showed how we matched each other," Vos said to Cyclingnews.
"Daphny was going hard early on in the last lap and then Katie went down. I rode two meters behind her and narrowly got past her. Daphny had a gap of about 10 meters and for a long time, that gap remained the same. Actually I only came back on Van den Brand's wheel just before hitting the road towards the finish.
"I could recover a little and when I spotted the finish, it was easier to bite through the pain in my legs," Vos explained the last lap to Cyclingnews.
Early in the race, Vos created the first selection with a powerful first lap. She ended up riding in the lead together with Van den Brand. Before the end of the first lap, local rider Sanne Cant (A.D.S. Selle Italia Guerciotti) bridged up to the front, too. A little later, Compton found her way up.
Soon after, Cant dropped back and ended up riding alone in fourth place for most of the race. The three remaining leaders shared the work in front, and soon it was clear that one of them would win the race.
"From the penultimate lap on, we rode more tactically in the group," Compton said to Cyclingnews. One lap later, the three were still together but when crossing the line, Van den Brand launched an attack. Compton marked her, but after some quick corners, the American crashed as she entered a meadow.
"I got into the wrong track, causing me to slide out and before I could correct it, I was down on the ground. I tried to come back, but the gap wasn't getting any smaller and the finish was coming closer way too quickly," Compton explained how she lost her chances of winning.
Vos had a hard time regaining Van den Brand after Compton's crash. The latter explained that she had nothing left for the sprint after this attack. "When Katie missed her corner, I went flat out. I had a gap on Vos, but it wasn't enough," said Van den Brand. "I didn't have any power left to sprint."
Behind the three protagonists, Cant was joined in the last lap by Dutchwoman Saskia Elemans (Team Flexpoint), but the young Belgian managed to recover and eventually dropped Elemans and finish solo in fourth place. "I didn't really blow my engine during that first lap, but once alone, it was hard to work your way through this course," Cant said to Cyclingnews.
The next women's cyclo-cross contest is schedule for next weekend in Asper-Gavere.
|1||Marianne Vos (Ned) DSB Bank||0:38:20|
|2||Daphny van den Brand (Ned) ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida|
|3||Katherine Compton (USA) Planet Bike||0:00:12|
|4||Sanne Cant (Bel) A.D.S. Selle Italia Guerciotti||0:00:25|
|5||Saskia Elemans (Ned) Team Flexpoint||0:00:40|
|6||Sophie De Boer (Ned)||0:01:57|
|7||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel) J&G Cycling Team||0:02:06|
|8||Nikki Harris (GBr) Sprinters Malderen||0:02:11|
|9||Gabriella Day (GBr)||0:03:00|
|10||Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn (Ned) ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida||0:03:26|
|11||Sabrina Stultiens (Ned)||0:03:39|
|12||Nancy Bober (Bel) Casa Verde Race Factory|
|13||Veerle Ingels (Bel) AVB - Cycling Team||0:04:49|
|14||Christine Vardaros (USA)||0:05:01|
|15||Cynthia Huygens (Fra) UV Fourmisienne||0:05:10|
|16||Céline Wittek (Fra) CV Lievinois||0:05:55|
|17||Karen Verhestraeten (Bel)|
|18||Vicki Thomas (Can) Ottawa Cross||0:06:03|
|19 -1 lap||Nicolle De Bie-Leyten (Bel) AVB - Cycling Team|
|20||Ilse Vandekinderen (Bel) Casa Verde Race Factory|
|21||Kim Van Renterghem (Bel) Wsc Hand In Hand Baal|
|23||Marijke De Pauw|