After a thrilling race, Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) threw her wheel just ahead of Katherine Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) to win the muddy third round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Milton Keynes. Home rider Nikki Harris (Young Telenet-Fidea) was third at half a minute off the two top guns.
Pre-race World Cup leader Sophie de Boer (Kalas-NNOF) had a troubled ride on the slippery course and finished 16th.
European and Belgian champion Cant took over the World Cup leader's jersey, holding a 16 points lead over Pan-American and US champion Compton.
"This was a perfect course for me," 24-year-old Cant said about the technical course in Campbell Park. "I'm super happy that I'll be wearing the World Cup jersey on home soil in the next round. I'm looking forward to it. It will not be easy to keep the jersey until the end."
Straight from the start, Cant led the debates in Milton Keynes, putting the pressure on her rivals on the technical course with several slippery off-camber sections. Her compatriot Ellen Van Loy (Young Telenet-Fidea) rode excellent lines and joined Cant in front. Compton struggled to get grip halfway the opening lap, briefly slipping outside the top 10.
Meanwhile, local favourites Harris and British champion Helen Wyman (Kona Factory team) both featured in the top five, making the crowds go crazy.
During the second of five laps 38-year-old Compton surged forward while Van Loy lost ground. By the end of the lap, Cant and Compton led the race with a gap of 10 seconds over Harris, Wyman and Van Loy. Young Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale) was riding in fifth place a little further back.
Both Cant and Compton exchanged accelerations but none of them caused major damage. In the background, Harris distanced her rivals. When hitting the final lap Harris was 20 seconds down on the leaders, working her way towards a great podium result. Also in the final lap the duo in front failed to gap each other until they reached the stairs, shortly before the finishing straight.
"I managed to hang on to Katie. In the final lap, I failed to clip into my pedal, needing to kick off the mud first. By then, Katie had a 10 metres gap on me but I noticed she struggled to accelerate. It was all or nothing," Cant said.
Indeed, Compton failed to take profit from the gap and on the line she was pipped by Cant despite throwing herself to the line. "It kind of sucked when I crossed the line but I gave all I had. It was such a hard race. We definitely pushed each other," Compton said.
The next round of the World Cup is held in Namur on December 21.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm-BKCP||0:45:26|
|2||Katherine Compton (USA) Trek Factory Racing|
|3||Nikki Harris (GBr) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:00:32|
|4||Ellen Van Loy (Bel) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:00:40|
|5||Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (Fra)||0:00:49|
|6||Caroline Mani (Fra) Raleigh-Clement||0:00:53|
|7||Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld||0:01:01|
|8||Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Racing||0:01:09|
|9||Rachel Lloyd (USA) Specialized-California Giant||0:01:22|
|10||Martina Mikulaskova (Cze)||0:01:37|
|11||Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team||0:01:53|
|12||Meredith Miller (USA) Noosa||0:02:15|
|13||Aida Nuno Palacio (Spa) Lointek||0:02:32|
|14||Pavla Havlikova (Cze) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:02:42|
|15||Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team||0:02:48|
|16||Sophie De Boer (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team||0:02:56|
|17||Crystal Anthony (USA) Optum||0:03:18|
|18||Githa Michiels (Bel) Trek-Kmc Trade Team||0:03:29|
|19||Gabriella Durrin (GBr) Neon Velo||0:03:54|
|20||Reza Hormes (Ned)||0:04:17|
|21||Sanne Van Paassen (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team||0:04:39|
|22||Lise-Marie Henzelin (Swi)||0:04:47|
|23||Laura Perry (Fra)||0:05:01|
|24||Bianca Van Den Hoek (Ned)||0:05:06|
|25||Maghalie Rochette (Can) Luna Pro Team||0:05:11|
|26||Amira Mellor (GBr)||0:05:29|
|27||Laura Verdonschot (Bel)||0:05:32|
|28||Adela Carter (GBr)||0:05:48|
|29||Lizzy Witlox (Ned)||0:06:07|
|30||Mercedes Pacios Pujado (Spa)||0:06:13|
|31||Hannah Payton (GBr)||0:06:30|
|32||Ffion James (GBr)||0:06:33|
|33||Karen Verhestraeten (Bel)||0:06:52|
|34||Loes Sels (Bel)||0:07:05|
|35||Katrien Thijs (Bel)||0:07:18|
|36||Asa Maria Erlandsson (Swe)||0:08:31|
|37||Christine Vardaros (USA)||0:09:03|
|38||Annabel Simpson (GBr)|