Dutch champion Marianne Vos (WM3 Pro Cycling) won the very technical eighth round of the Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Fiuggi, Italy. Vos coped best with the slippery conditions in the Fonte dell’Anticolana park. The 29-year-old finished alone and well ahead of Katerina Nash (Clif Pro Team) and Sophie de Boer (Breepark). The latter did more than enough to secure the overall victory in the 2016-2017 Telenet UCI World Cup.
“I’m pleased to have won,” Vos said in the post-race flash interview with Telenet Play Sports . “I’m used to ice skating but this was something else. I used studs to stay upright, otherwise you’re sliding from one tree to the other. I managed to stay upright quite well.”
Even more than Vos, De Boer was all smiles after finishing the penultimate round of the World Cup. Due to the absence of Cant, she didn’t need a victory in Fiuggi to claim the overall win. A third place was more than enough. “I’m really happy. I’m also glad that I was able to finish on the podium. I thought it was exciting, riding on a tactical, difficult course. I had to get going during the opening lap but then it was alright,” De Boer told Telenet Play Sports.
A good start was all important in Fiuggi, to stay ahead of the trouble that would occur at the slippery paths between the pine trees. Ellen Van Loy (Young Telenet-Fidea) reached the forest in the lead position, ahead of local hero Eva Lechner (Clif Pro Team), Ellen Noble (Aspire Racing), De Boer and Vos. Once there, nearly all the riders slipped away at least once, except for Vos.
“During the first lap I needed a bike switch, straight after the start. I was a little held back due to a crash, but little later I had more space and was able to ride my own lines, find my own trajectory,” Vos said.
Just behind her, Alice Maria Arzuffi (Selle Italia-Guerciotti) was one of the biggest victims. She crashed hard on one of the steepest drops on the course. The young Italian rider was carried away on a stretcher. Once out of the forest, Vos and Lechner were leading the race. Van Loy, Nash and De Boer were the first chasers. After the opening lap the leading duo had a bonus of eleven seconds on Nash and Van Loy. De Boer was fifth at 15 seconds from the leaders.
Vos was alone in front early on in the second lap, when Lechner switched bikes. From there, Vos was in total control of the race. She rode splendid lines, balancing her bike when sliding over the mud and treacherous roots. In the background, Nash quickly moved into second place. Briefly, she seemed to keep Vos in sight.
“I always try,” Nash said. “I tried to be smooth. It’s so hard because you kind of want to put a lot of pressure on the pedals but you can’t. I kept reminding myself to slow down.”
Halfway through the race, Lechner dropped back towards Noble, De Boer and an impressive young Annemarie Worst. Lechner and Noble had a troubled third lap and faded back. With two laps to go, Vos was leading Nash by half a minute. De Boer and Worst were 10 seconds further back.
“Everybody crashed a lot. I managed to stay on my bike quite a lot and my runs were good. As a result, I moved into third place. On the straight sections I felt a lot of power,” De Boer said.
In the closing laps Vos and Nash remained flawless. In the battle for third place, De Boer tried hard to distance Worst but didn’t manage to create enough of a gap. Noble and Verdonschot were battling for sixth place. Noble wasn’t shy of taking risks in the slippery descent, often crashing as well. In the end, Verdonschot and Van Loy managed to ride away from her.
Vos completed the final laps at high speed and grabbed a second World Cup win in her short cyclo-cross season. Nash captured a fourth podium spot in Italy at forty seconds from Vos. De Boer was forced to work hard until the line to hold off Worst and get the final podium spot at a minute from the winner. Lechner was fifth ahead of Verdonschot, Van Loy and Noble. Chiara Teocchi (Bianchi-Countervail) was the second Italian rider of the day in ninth place, beating Nikola Noskova in a close sprint.
Next week, the final round of the World Cup is held in Hoogerheide, Netherlands. With one round left in the World Cup, De Boer is already certain of the overall victory. Due to the absence of Cant in Italy, De Boer extended her lead on Sunday. Next week, the winner in Hoogerheide takes 80 points while De Boer now holds a bonus of 93 points over Nash. Cant drops to third at 103 points. Van Loy remains in fourth place with 315 points. Noble wins a spot and is now fifth with 270 points. Vos won the two World Cup rounds she took part in and she’s now eighteenth with 160 points.
“It went well today, and the last few weeks. The role of top favourite at the world championships comes along with that, maybe that’s just nice,” Vos said.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Marianne Vos (Ned) WM3 Pro Cycling Team||0:41:26|
|2||Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team||0:00:40|
|3||Sophie De Boer (Ned)||0:00:59|
|4||Annemarie Worst (Ned)||0:01:00|
|5||Eva Lechner (Ita) Luna Pro Team||0:01:34|
|6||Laura Verdonschot (Bel)||0:01:45|
|7||Ellen Van Loy (Bel)||0:01:57|
|8||Ellen Noble (USA) Colavita/Bianchi||0:02:05|
|9||Chiara Teocchi (Ita)||0:02:17|
|10||Nikola Nosková (Cze)|
|11||Courtenay Mcfadden (USA)||0:02:30|
|12||Nikki Brammeier (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam||0:02:38|
|13||Marlene Petit (Fra)||0:02:40|
|14||Caroline Mani (Fra)||0:02:43|
|15||Manon Bakker (Ned)||0:02:48|
|16||Sara Casasola (Ita)||0:03:02|
|17||Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado (Ned)||0:03:28|
|18||Hélène Clauzel (Fra)||0:03:39|
|19||Maud Kaptheijns (Ned)||0:03:47|
|20||Rebecca Fahringer (USA)||0:03:48|
|21||Karen Verhestraeten (Bel)|
|22||Nadja Heigl (Aut)||0:03:49|
|23||Alicia Franck (Bel)||0:04:06|
|24||Loes Sels (Bel)||0:04:10|
|25||Francesca Baroni (Ita)||0:04:24|
|26||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)||0:04:31|
|27||Aida Nuño Palacio (Spa)||0:04:34|
|28||Alessia Bulleri (Ita) Aromitalia Vaiano||0:04:37|
|29||Elle Anderson (USA)||0:04:40|
|30||Jade Wiel (Fra)||0:04:48|
|31||Martina Kukulová (Cze)||0:05:07|
|32||Lucia Gonzalez (Spa) Lointek||0:05:14|
|33||Alicia Gonzalez (Spa) Lointek||0:05:17|
|34||Maina Galand (Fra)|
|35||Lise-Marie Henzelin (Swi)||0:05:25|
|36||Inge Van Der Heijden (Ned)||0:05:44|
|37||Nicole Fede (Ita)||0:06:11|
|38||Evita Muzic (Fra)||0:06:23|
|39||Tereza Medvedova (Svk) BePink Cogeas||0:06:58|
|40||Åsa-Maria Erlandsson (Swe)|
|41||Silvia Persico (Ita) Valcar PBM|
|42||Suzie Godart (Lux)|
|DNF||Yara Kastelijn (Ned) WM3 Pro Cycling|
|DNF||Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Lensworld-Kuota|