Daphny van den Brand (AA Drink/Leontien.nl) won a great duel with world champion Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit) in Koksijde, Belgium, during the third round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup. It was the first cyclo-cross race of the season for Vos. US national champion Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant - Offroad Team) didn't recover from a poor start, but she did shake off Sanne van Paassen (Brainwash) in the battle for third place. Katerina Nash (Luna) didn't take the start in Koksijde, and with her win Van den Brand assumed the role of new leader of the World Cup standings.
"I knew that I was good," Van den Brand said. "I'm happy Marianne was here. She's technically good as well, but you also need power and luck."
During the first lap, Van den Brand and Vos distanced the rest of the field. Among those chasers were Sanne Cant (Boxx), Van Paassen and Compton, who missed her start. Sophie de Boer (Telenet-Fidea) was standing behind Compton and didn't know what happened. "She didn't move when the lights turned green. I thought by myself that it wouldn't turn greener than this," De Boer told Cyclingnews.
"They said one minute and right after that, they started the race," said Compton. "I missed my pedal in the start and got stuck behind people. I'm a little frustrated. I didn't have it today. The sand is unforgiving if you're not good."
Lucie Chainel-Lefevre and Helen Wyman (Kona) struggled to keep up with the best a little further back.
Lap after lap, Vos and Van den Brand gained ground on the chasers including Compton and Van Paassen together as a duo with Cant a lone chaser in fifth position. Halfway through the race, Vos gapped Van den Brand, but the experienced eventual winner bounced back to the front.
"If I'm good, I make less mistakes and on this course, mistakes cost a lot of energy. When you're alone up front, you can make your own tracks which makes it easier," Vos said.
One lap later, the roles were reversed as Van den Brand gapped Vos when the latter made a mistake in the sand. "I went for it and managed to hold it until the finish," Van den Brand said. "The sand was harder than yesterday. It's very hard to make a track. Not a lot of the women make it through the sand on the bike whereas the men ride more in the tracks and that's a pity for us."
Compton and Van Paassen weren't exactly co-operating and exchanged accelerations as they chased the leaders. Eventually Compton managed to shake off Van Paassen during the penultimate lap, and she finished at half a minute down from winner Van den Brand.
Van Paassen was content with her fourth place. "Daphny always has the advantage on these courses. The women ahead of me are technically better and then that's what you get," Van Paassen said. When asked whether she or Compton was often changing the pace, Van Paassen was clear. "Compton was yo-yo-ing. She's not technical, but just very strong," Van Paassen told Cyclingnews.
"I'm technically good, but not today. Of course, Sanne rode great lines, but I got stuck behind her too sometimes," Compton said. Today's result contrasted with last year, when Compton won by two minutes. "I was definitely tired, and the course was the hardest it ever was. In the second half of the race, I started finding the lines," Compton said. Her penultimate lap time was the fastest of the pack.
Wyman was sixth behind Cant at almost two minutes from Van den Brand. The British champion was spotted running down a dune whereas most others were riding down the hill. "I'm a fast runner and I noticed during training that I was faster than some men. I had a really good start which is so important on this one. Usually I die during lap 3 and that's what I did, but I didn't die too hard. In the end, I could ride away from the group I was in," Wyman told Cyclingnews.
Compatriot Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) finished right behind Wyman in seventh place. One minute later, compatriot Gabriella Day pulled off a great achievement by cracking the top-10.
Caroline Mani raced a large part of the season in the USA and was back in Europe to test her legs in a World Cup for the first time this season. The French rider was fuming after crossing the line. "It's been a bad experience. The French federation seems to try and block rather than helping us. I'm wearing this French jersey, but I don't feel French at all right now," Mani told Cyclingnews. "My race? Sand is another discipline. This isn't cyclo-cross but cyclo-beach. My chances for the world championships are slim."
American participants Amy Dombroski (Crankbrothers Race Club) and young debutant Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) were 17th and 18th. "I'm happy with this," Antonneau said. "The level is faster and harder, and it's a different style of racing. I rode as smoothly as possible," Antonneau said.
Van den Brand leads the World Cup with 150 points with Van Paassen trailing by 15 points. Compton and Nash share third place with 105 points. Wyman is sixth (91 points), Dombroski and Harris share 10th place with 62 points. Vos debutes in the rankings in 15 place with 50 points.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Daphny Van Den Brand (Ned) AA Drink - Leontien.Nl Cycling Team||0:43:13|
|2||Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit||0:00:13|
|3||Katherine Compton (USA) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team||0:00:31|
|4||Sanne Van Paassen (Ned) Brainwash Wielerploeg||0:01:07|
|5||Sanne Cant (Bel) Boxx Veldritacademie||0:01:34|
|6||Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Racing||0:01:44|
|7||Nikki Harris (GBr) Telenet - Fidea||0:01:57|
|8||Sophie De Boer (Ned) Telenet - Fidea||0:02:06|
|9||Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (Fra)||0:02:31|
|10||Gabriella Day (GBr)||0:02:48|
|11||Pavla Havlikova (Cze) Telenet - Fidea||0:03:00|
|12||Caroline Mani (Fra)||0:03:17|
|13||Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) Brainwash Wielerploeg||0:03:31|
|14||Sabrina Schweizer (Ger) Focus Mig Team||0:03:46|
|15||Jasmin Achermann (Swi)||0:03:59|
|16||Arenda Grimberg (Ned)||0:04:33|
|17||Amy Dombroski (USA) Crankbrothers - The Race Club||0:04:43|
|18||Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.Com||0:04:55|
|19||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)||0:05:01|
|20||Reza Hormes (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||0:05:04|
|21||Kajsa Snihs (Swe)||0:05:05|
|22||Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra) Gauss||0:06:30|
|23||Gesa Bruchmann (Ger)||0:06:37|
|24||Nicole De Bie - Leyten (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||0:06:49|
|25||Ellen Van Loy (Bel)||0:06:54|
|26||Martina Mikulaskova (Cze)||0:06:59|
|27||Hilde Quintens (Bel)||0:07:15|
|28||Asa Maria Erlandsson (Swe)||0:07:23|
|29||Christine Vardaros (USA) Baboco Cycling Team||0:07:32|
|30||Marlène Morel Petitgirard (Fra)|
|31||Nikoline Hansen (Den)||0:07:36|
|32||Tessa Van Nieuwpoort (Ned)||0:07:50|
|-1lap||Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita)|
|-1lap||Sabrina Maurer (Swi)|
|-1lap||Katrien Thijs (Bel)|
|-1lap||Kim Van De Steene (Bel)|
|-1lap||Vania Rossi (Ita)|
|-2laps||Stéphanie Vaxillaire-Denuit (Fra)|
|-2laps||Margriet Helena Kloppenburg (Den)|
|-2laps||Shana Maes (Bel)|
|-2laps||Hannah Payton (GBr)|
|-2laps||Madara Furmane (Lat)|
|-2laps||Lelde Ardave (Lat)|
|-2laps||Amélie Morel Petitgirard (Fra)|
|DNF||Linda Van Rijen (Ned) Skil - Koga|
|DNS||Vicki Thomas (Can)|
World Cup standings after three rounds
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Daphny Van Den Brand (Ned) AA Drink - Leontien.Nl Cycling Team||150||pts|
|2||Sanne Van Paassen (Ned) Brainwash Wielerploeg||135|
|3||Katherine Compton (USA) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team||105|
|4||Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team||105|
|5||Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (Fra)||92|
|6||Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Racing||91|
|7||Pavla Havlikova (Cze) Telenet - Fidea||81|
|8||Sanne Cant (Bel) Boxx Veldritacademie||79|
|9||Sabrina Schweizer (Ger) Focus Mig Team||67|
|10||Amy Dombroski (USA) Crankbrothers - The Race Club||62|
|11||Nikki Harris (GBr) Telenet - Fidea||62|
|12||Sophie De Boer (Ned) Telenet - Fidea||58|
|13||Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) Brainwash Wielerploeg||52|
|14||Arenda Grimberg (Ned)||51|
|15||Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit||50|
|16||Gabriella Day (GBr)||50|
|17||Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant Cycling||35|
|18||Martina Mikulaskova (Cze)||33|
|19||Nicole Duke (USA) Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.Com||31|
|20||Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger)||30|
|21||Jasmin Achermann (Swi)||30|
|22||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)||27|
|23||Linda Van Rijen (Ned) Skil - Koga||24|
|24||Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob's Red Mill / Seven Cycles||24|
|25||Ellen Van Loy (Bel)||24|
|26||Caroline Mani (Fra)||19|
|27||Reza Hormes (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||15|
|28||Tessa Van Nieuwpoort (Ned)||15|
|29||Nikoline Hansen (Den)||14|
|30||Nicole De Bie - Leyten (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||14|
|31||Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.Com||13|
|32||Julie Krasniak (Fra) Team Rapha Focus||13|
|33||Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita)||11|
|34||Kajsa Snihs (Swe)||10|
|35||Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra) Gauss||9|
|36||Gesa Bruchmann (Ger)||8|
|37||Hilde Quintens (Bel)||8|
|38||Annefleur Kalvenhaar (Ned) Giant Dealerteams||4|
|39||Asa Maria Erlandsson (Swe)||3|
|40||Christine Vardaros (USA) Baboco Cycling Team||2|
|41||Katherine Sherwin (USA) Stan's No Tubes||2|
|42||Marlène Morel Petitgirard (Fra)||1|
|43||Vania Rossi (Ita)||1|