Vos wins Zolder World Cup

Brand, Cant round out podium

Marianne Vos (Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team) sprinted to a career seventh win in cold but sunny Heusden-Zolder (Belgium) on Boxing Day, at the seventh round of the Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup. Vos held off in-form Dutch champion Lucinda Brand (Team Sunweb) and world champion Sanne Cant (Corendon-Circus). Thanks to her third World Cup win of the season, Vos extends her lead in the World Cup standings over Cant from 41 to 56 points.

"The Zolder course suits me very well. I love to race here. A World Cup win is always great, especially when wearing this kit," Vos said in the post-race flash interview, referring to her World Cup leader's jersey.

The three protagonists escaped a large lead group at the end of a tactical race on the dry thus fast course up and around the Terlaemen car racing circuit. A few big names were missing out in front due to a big crash shortly after the start. Annemarie Worst (Steylaerts-777) - third in the World Cup standings - and mountain bike star Jolanda Neff (Trek Factory Racing CX) were included in the crash and had to start chasing at the very end of the big field with 87 starters. Neff lacked the speed to move back to the front while Worst showed that she was capable of a top result in Zolder, eventually finishing ninth and salvaging her World Cup position.

In front, Vos kicked off racing with a blisteringly fast start. Cant and her young teammate Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado (Corendon-Circus) were the first to bridge up towards the end of that opening lap. Early in the second of six laps, also Brand and Nikki Brammeier (Mudiiita) joined the front of the race. Halfway the race, also Maud Kaptheijns (Crelan-Charles), Loes Sels (Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice) and Katie Compton (KFC Racing) bridged up. That group quickly split up again when Brand upped the pace again.

Vos had a scare halfway the fourth lap when her chain dropped on a bumpy section of the course. She ended up getting back on her bike between a dropped Compton and chaser Eva Lechner. The pace in front wasn't very high and before the end of that lap, Vos made it back to the front. "I think I have to thank my compatriots for that," Vos said. "It was an annoying moment but I knew there was time enough to get back, and so I did."

A group of eight riders hit the final lap together, featuring Brammeier, Vos, Brand, Cant, Kaptheijns, Alvarado, Sels and young Inge van der Heijden (Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team). Brand and moved battled for the lead position ahead of the off-camber section halfway the course. "It was all or nothing at the end of the race. Lucinda made a nice move just before the descent but I knew I had to be ahead of her in the technical section. I had to dig very deep. It was great," Vos said.

Vos captured the lead and kept the pace high on and after every obstacle. She spotted that Brand lost a few metres and she never allowed her compatriot to close it back down. Brand did what she could on the long finishing straight but she had to bow for Vos; Cant didn't have the power to fight along in the final metres.

"It was a blistering fast course and the race was very tactical. There were many riders in front and I lost energy in the battle for positions. It all came down to the closing lap and I was barely able to keep up with Marianne and Lucinda; more wasn't possible," Cant told Sporza.

Alvarado won the battle for fourth place and moves into the lead of the World Cup standings in the Women Under 23 category. Kaptheijns was fifth, then Sels, Brammeier and Van der Heijden. As said, Worst finished ninth just behind the front group. Lechner closed out the top-10.

The next World Cup round will be contested next month in Pont-Chateau (France) on 2019, January 21.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Marianne Vos (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team0:48:50 
2Lucinda Brand (Ned) Team Sunweb0:00:01 
3Sanne Cant (Bel) Corendon - Circus0:00:06 
4Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado (Ned) Corendon - Circus0:00:15 
5Maud Kaptheijns (Ned) Crelan - Charles0:00:20 
6Loes Sels (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice0:00:22 
7Nikki Brammeier (GBr) Mudiita0:00:23 
8Inge Van Der Heijden (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team0:00:26 
9Annemarie Worst (Ned) Steylaerts -7770:00:32 
10Eva Lechner (Ita) Creafin Tüv Sud0:00:35 
11Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Steylaerts -7770:00:47 
12Denise Betsema (Ned) Marlux - Bingoal0:00:55 
13Katherine Compton (USA) Trek Collective0:00:56 
14Jana Czeczinkarova (Cze) Mitas Trek0:01:10 
15Fleur Nagengast (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions0:01:25 
16Ellen Noble (USA) Trek Factory Racing Cx0:01:28 
17Kaitlin Keough (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld0:01:32 
18Marion Norbert Riberolle (Fra)0:01:33 
19Laura Verdonschot (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal0:01:51 
20Nicole Koller (Swi) Moebel Maerki Mtb Pro Team  
21Lucia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Nesta Cx Team0:02:09 
22Shirin Van Anrooij (Ned)0:02:12 
23Nadja Heigl (Aut) Ktm Alchemist Racing Team0:02:14 
24Manon Bakker (Ned) Experza - Footlogix0:02:23 
25Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:02:26 
26Jolanda Neff (Swi) Trek Factory Racing Cx  
27Puck Pieterse (Ned)0:02:27 
28Jenn Jackson (Can)0:02:39 
29Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:02:53 
30Maghalie Rochette (Can)0:02:54 
31Pavla Havlikova (Cze)0:03:01 
32Bethany Crumpton (GBr) Storey Racing0:03:02 
33Francesca Baroni (Ita) Selle Italia - Guerciotti - Elite0:03:10 
34Sophie De Boer (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg0:03:14 
35Marthe Truyen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:03:18 
36Aida Nuno Palacio (Spa)0:03:30 
37Marlene Petit (Fra) Team Cross Safir Ganova0:03:35 
38Amandine Fouquenet (Fra)0:03:36 
39Kata Blanka Vas (Hun)0:03:39 
40Mari-Liis Mottus (Est)  
41Ruby West (Can)0:04:04 
42Juliette Labous (Fra) Team Sunweb  
43Courtenay McFadden (USA)0:04:05 
44Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)0:04:12 
45Harriet Harnden (GBr)0:04:17 
46Helen Wyman (GBr)0:04:25 
47Magdeleine Vallieres Mill (Can)0:04:27 
48Elisabeth Brandau (Ger)0:04:32 
49Zina Barhoumi (Swi)0:04:37 
50Lea Curinier (Fra)0:04:45 
51Rebecca Fahringer (USA)0:05:01 
52Sunny Gilbert (USA)0:05:07 
53Noemi Ruegg (Swi)  
54Ida Erngren (Swe)  
55Ida Jansson (Swe) Specialized Racing0:05:14 
56Elle Anderson (USA)0:05:19 
57Luisa Ibarrola Albizua (Spa) Delikia - Ginestar0:05:34 
58Karla Stepanova (Cze)0:05:47 
59Jinse Peeters (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice0:05:52 
60Stefanie Paul (Ger)0:05:59 
61Axelle Bellaert (Bel)0:06:01 
62Emily Wadsworth (GBr) Tp Racing0:06:15 
63Evita Muzic (Fra) Fdj Nouvelle - Aquitaine Futuroscope0:06:20 
64Paula Diaz Lopez (Spa)0:06:25 
65Maddie Wadsworth (GBr)0:06:27 
66Elizabeth Ungermanova (Cze)0:06:28 
67Magdalena Misonova (Cze)0:06:46 
68Irene Trabazo Bragado (Spa)0:06:56 
69Sandra Trevilla Samperio (Spa)0:07:24 
70Dana Gilligan (Can)0:07:27 
71Katlin Kukk (Est)0:07:38 
72Melissa Rouiller (Swi)0:07:56 
73Nikola Bajgerova (Cze) Team Dukla Praha Women0:08:14 
74Clea Seidel (Ger)  
75Katie Scott (GBr)  
76Katharina Julia Hinz (Ger)  
77Jennifer Malik (USA)  
78Maria Parajon Fuentes (Spa)  
79Julie Brouwers (Bel)  
80Sara Cueto Vega (Spa)  
81Laetitia Maus (Lux)  
82Lucie Cottier (Swi)  
83Sidney McGill (Can)  
84Ida Johansson (Swe)  
85Diana Steffenhagen (Ger)  
86Kiona Crabbe (Bel)  
DNFAnna Kay (GBr) Storey Racing  

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