Kaitie Keough (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) took her first ever cyclo-cross World Cup win at Jinglecross, Iowa City. The American dominated the field after attacking on lap two to take the win in front of home crowds.
After a fierce battle over the remaining podium positions, it was Evie Richards (Trek Fafctory Racing) who took second, 31 seconds down. Marianne Vos (Waowdeals Pro Cycling) put in a late surge to ovehaul Sophie De Boer (Breepark-Rapha) for third, 37 seconds behind Keough.
twenty-six-year-old Keough, who finished runner-up in both US races last year, eventually finishing second in the World Cup ranking, jumped away from the field on lap two of the four-lap race. She chased down Vos and breezed past before going about building an insurmountable lead.
Further back, Vos, De Boer and Richards would fight for the rest of the race over the remaining podium spots, with Richards going clear on the last lap after chasing the Dutch pair down. Vos had looked super strong early on, but faded late in the race before salvaging third with a late dash.
After the race, Keough spoke of how she was recovering from illness in Waterloo, and talked of how prevailing in these difficult conditions gave her confidence going forward.
"I was coming off a cold and I was just trying to recover from that," she said. "I'm finally feeling better now. I know this is where I'm capable of riding and I'm glad to be there this weekend.
"I just rode smooth and tried to focus the entire time, and I didn't really make any mistakes out there today so I'm really proud of how I rode. I felt pretty good on the first lap and just rode my own race, found myself at the front and kept going.
"I'm really confident [to race the rest of the World Cup in Europe], and these were European conditions today so I'm super-confident and excited for the rest of the season."
Vos remains at the head of the World Cup standings after the two American rounds, with 145 points. Richards is second on 130, while Kateřina Nash (Clif Pro Team) is third on 113, one point ahead of Keough.
How it happened
Italian champion Eva Lechner (Clif Pro Team) was up front at the start, pulling out a gap almost immediately, with Waterloo World Cup winner Vos leading the chase. It was a hectic opening lap with several riders hitting the deck, but lead and chase groups would soon form.
Vos led the way at the end of lap one, with a small chase group of Lechner, Richards, Keough, and De Boer five seconds down. Katie Compton (KFC Racing) and world champion Sanne Cant (Iko-Beobank) lay a few seconds further back.
On lap two it was new bikes all around in the horrifically muddy conditions. After the pit stops, Keough and De Boer emerged as the main chase group, but Keough powered on to pass the seven-time 'cross world champion Vos midway through the lap.
Heading onto the penultimate lap of the race, Keough enjoyed a ten-second advantage over De Boer, who had passed Vos after she crashed late on lap two. Vos was 12 seconds down, while Richards and Compton had work to do, 25 seconds back.
Keough held her lead impressively, with neither Vos nor De Boer able to eat into the American's advantage. Meanwhile, U23 British national champion Richards was hunting down Vos for third place.
Starting the fourth and final lap of the race, Keough led De Boer by 23 seconds and Vos by 28, with Richards 32 seconds down. The chasers converged on the final lap to make it a three-way race for second place, with Vos having trouble on the downhill run midway through the lap.
Up front, Keough was impervious, only building her lead as the metres ticked down. Some 40 seconds back, Richards and De Boer fought over track position as Vos dropped further back.
As Keough crossed the line in triumph, there would be a comeback for Vos, with the Dutchwoman turning on the afterburners in the run to the line to salvage a third place ahead of De Boer.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Kaitlin Keough (USA)||0:40:55|
|2||Evie Richards (GBr)||0:00:31|
|3||Marianne Vos (Ned)||0:00:37|
|4||Sophie De Boer (Ned)||0:00:40|
|5||Sanne Cant (Bel)||0:00:53|
|6||Eva Lechner (Ita)|
|7||Katerina Nash (Cze)||0:01:18|
|8||Caroline Mani (Fra)||0:01:38|
|9||Maghalie Rochette (Can)||0:01:42|
|10||Loes Sels (Bel)||0:01:54|
|11||Ellen Van Loy (Bel)||0:02:06|
|12||Ellen Noble (USA)||0:02:16|
|13||Helen Wyman (GBr)||0:02:28|
|14||Elle Anderson (USA)||0:02:49|
|15||Katherine Compton (USA)||0:03:06|
|16||Emma Swartz (USA)||0:03:34|
|17||Fleur Nagengast (Ned)||0:03:51|
|18||Sunny Gilbert (USA)||0:03:57|
|19||Clara Honsinger (USA)||0:04:01|
|20||Inge Van Der Heijden (Ned)||0:04:03|
|21||Rebecca Fahringer (USA)||0:04:12|
|22||Katie Clouse (USA)||0:04:17|
|23||Geerte Hoeke (Ned)||0:04:22|
|24||Jennifer Malik (USA)||0:04:46|
|25||Sofia Gomez Villafane (Arg)||0:04:52|
|26||Axelle Bellaert (Bel)||0:05:00|
|27||Lily Williams (USA)||0:05:02|
|28||Natalie Redmond (Aus)||0:05:20|
|29||Crystal Anthony (USA)||0:05:21|
|30||Manon Bakker (Ned)||0:05:50|
|31||Arley Kemmerer (USA)||0:06:06|
|32||Cassandra Maximenko (USA)||0:06:27|
|33||Alicia Franck (Bel)||0:06:43|
|34||Amanda Nauman (USA)||0:07:28|
|35||Samantha Runnels (USA)||0:07:32|
|36||Dana Gilligan (Can)||0:08:01|
|37||Kim Hurst (NZl)||0:09:16|
|38||Siobhan Kelly (Can)||0:09:57|
|39||Anna Schappert (Can)||0:10:35|
|40||Fiona Morris (Aus)|
|DNS||Maud Kaptheijns (Ned)|
|DNS||Courtenay Mcfadden (USA)|