Thalita de Jong (RaboLiv) won the third round of the Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup round in Valkenburg, Netherlands on Sunday afternoon. The world champion gapped her rivals halfway through the penultimate lap and finished solo on the Cauberg. Sophie de Boer (Kalas-NNOF) was second ahead of Sanne Cant (IKO Enertherm-Beobank).
"I'm starting to gain belief in my cyclo-cross career. I'm really happy. It was a good battle with Sophie de Boer, always exchanging the lead position. She was clearly better on the technical sections," De Jong said.
De Boer was pleased to be the new World Cup leader. "That was my goal today although I'm a little sad that I was unable to win. Thalita was the best today. On the asphalt sections she had strong accelerations in the legs," De Boer said.
De Boer leads with 198 pionts, 25 more than Caroline Mani (Raleigh-Clément ProTeam). De Jong didn't participate in the two first World Cup rounds in the USA. Previous World Cup leader Katie Compton didn't race in Valkenburg, and dropped to fifth overall with 145 points.
After the first of five laps the group of 56 riders at the start was reduced to six leaders, featuring De Jong, De Boer, Cant and also Ellen Van Loy (Young Telenet-Fidea), Amanda Miller (Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling) and eventually also Lucinda Brand (RaboLiv Womencyclingteam).
French champion Caroline Mani missed her start. She was leading the chase in a group with Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Team), Pavla Havlikova (Kooperativa Ladies) and Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale-Cycrocrossworld.com). Nikki Brammeier (Boels-Dolmans) featured in the next chase group with Annemarie Worst, Alice Maria Arzuffi, Maud Kaptheijns and Elle Anderson a little further.
De Boer and De Jong were exchanging accelerations in front on the flanks of the Cauberg climb. De Jong increased the pace on the more rolling sections while De Boer did the same on the more technical sections.
The fast pace from De Jong and De Boer clearly hurt the others. Early on in the fourth lap Van Loy crashed away from the lead group after sliding away on an off-camber section. Halfway into the penultimate lap De Boer and De Jong were still in the company of Brand, Cant and Miller when reaching a steep run-up.
"At the top I lost my balance. By the time we reached the descent Thalita had a gap and I was unable to close it down again," De Boer said on Telenet Play Sports. It was a key moment in the race as also Cant and Miller were distanced. The latter then crashed in the final part of the course and was out of contention for the podium.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Thalita De Jong (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team||0:41:59|
|2||Sophie De Boer (Ned) Kalas-NNOF||0:00:26|
|3||Sanne Cant (Bel) IKO Enertherm-Beobank||0:00:35|
|4||Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team||0:00:46|
|5||Amanda Miller (USA) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling||0:01:00|
|6||Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:01:10|
|7||Caroline Mani (Fra) Raleigh Clement||0:01:16|
|8||Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale pb CyclocrossWorld.com||0:01:20|
|9||Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Lensworld-Zannata||0:01:22|
|10||Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Team||0:01:31|
|11||Maud Kaptheijns (Ned) Team Steylaerts||0:01:43|
|12||Annemarie Worst (Ned)||0:01:56|
|13||Elle Anderson (USA) Rally Cycling||0:02:01|
|14||Pavla Havlikova (Cze)||0:02:21|
|15||Rebecca Fahringer (USA) Amy D Foundation||0:02:31|
|16||Marlene Petit (Fra)||0:02:36|
|17||Jana Czeczinkarova (Cze) SRAM Mitas Trek|
|18||Nicole Koller (Swi)||0:02:38|
|19||Laura Verdonschot (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games||0:02:42|
|20||Alicia Franck (Bel)||0:03:09|
|21||Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam||0:03:12|
|22||Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado (Ned)||0:03:32|
|23||Jolien Verschueren (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:03:33|
|24||Helene Clauzel (Fra)||0:03:36|
|25||Evita Muzic (Fra)||0:03:53|
|26||Maelle Grossetete (Fra)||0:03:55|
|27||Aida Nuno Palacio (Spa)||0:03:58|
|28||Inge Van Der Heijden (Ned)||0:04:01|
|29||Sara Casasola (Ita)||0:04:05|
|30||Perrine Clauzel (Fra) BH-SR Suntour-KMC||0:04:08|
|31||Ffion James (GBr)||0:04:10|
|32||Anais Morichon (Fra)||0:04:16|
|33||Lucia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Lointek||0:04:20|
|34||Nadja Heigl (Aut)||0:04:23|
|35||Bianca Van Den Hoek (Ned)||0:04:25|
|36||Karen Verhestraeten (Bel) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling Team||0:04:37|
|37||Ellen Noble (USA) Aspire Racing||0:05:01|
|38||Martina Mikulaskova (Cze)||0:05:02|
|39||Alicia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Lointek||0:05:10|
|40||Francesca Baroni (Ita)||0:05:17|
|41||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)||0:05:28|
|42||Amira Mellor (GBr) NEXT Wyman/Kona||0:05:31|
|43||Lara Krahemann (Swi) JB Brunex Felt Team||0:05:41|
|44||Asa Maria Erlandsson (Swe)|
|45||Cyriane Muller (Fra)||0:05:43|
|46||Tereza Medvedova (Svk) Bepink||0:05:53|
|47||Elena Valentini (Ita) Vitalogic Astrokalb Radunion Nö||0:05:58|
|48||Tina Zueger (Swi)||0:06:17|
|49||Fabienne Schaus (Lux)||0:06:27|
|50||Nikola Bajgerova (Cze)||0:07:33|
|51||Christine Vardaros (USA)|
|52||Mara Schwager (Ger)|
|53||Zaloa Trevilla (Spa)|