Sanne Cant (Beobank-Corendon) showed American cyclocross fans the kind of grit and discomfort it takes to become a World Champion on Sunday with a convincing win at the Trek CXC World Cup in Waterloo, WI. After being sidelined by the heat on Friday Cant quickly acclimated to the 30 degree Celsius temperatures and found the right strategy to beat a strong contingent of North American riders.
"I had a lot of people around the course with water bottles, they kept throwing water at me, so I kept cool," Cant said about her quick turnabout from Friday. "It helped very much. I think the race on Friday also helped me; I know the feeling in the heat right now. Friday it was just too much, we aren't used to this in Belgium."
Temperatures climbed into the low 30s this week across the Midwest, wreaking havoc at the two World Cup cyclocross races being held in Iowa and Wisconsin. While the European contingent had come to expect warm temperatures due to CrossVegas, the traditional season opener in Las Vegas, most assumed that late summer racing in the U.S. would be cool and possibly wet. After spending a week in Iowa and Wisconsin many European riders and staff couldn’t stop asking if this was normal for September.
Unphased by Midwestern weather, Wisconsin Native Kaitlin Keough (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) jumped off the line and into the lead at the start of the race. She was shuffled back into the pack by Ellen Van Loy (Telenet Fidea Lions), who was tailed by a group led by Katie Compton (KFC Racing-Trek) and Ellen Noble (Aspire Racing.) Van Loy crashed the next lap enabling Compton and company to take over at the front.
Soon after hitting the front Compton suffered an asthma attack, and while she fell out of the front group the U.S. National Champion, and former overall World Cup winner, continued to battle on despite her discomfort.
With Compton out of the picture Cant took charge and used her technical skills to get a gap on the field as they crested the steep climb up Factory Hill.
"Not everybody could ride it, and I was at the front, and I went really strong, and after that, I was just before the finish, and I had a gap of maybe 10 seconds," Cant said. "I kept my speed up and just didn't go too fast so I could get my heart rate normal, at a speed I could go for half an hour then. It was enough to get the gap big."
Cant built a lead of almost 15 seconds over a chase group consisting of Keough, Noble, Van Loy, Katerina Nash (Clif Pro Cycling), Sophie De Boer (Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling Team) and Caroline Mani. While the group slowly ate into Cant’s lead, they could not make contact, and Cant won by 10 seconds. Keough rode in for second followed by Ellen Noble in third.
With two laps to go Keogh went to the front of the chase group and raised the tempo just enough stay in control and keep her competitors on the rivet.
"It was really hard out there, with the heat and everything," Keough said. "I think this course was harder than Jingle Cross in a way just because it was super technical and it was hard to be following. I think it was a lot easier if you were leading then you could ride your line. I had a really good start, but I was motivated to do that so I could pick my lines."
It was Ellen Nobles second Elite World Cup start and her first podium. The young American, who was mobbed by fans at her tent after the podium presentation, used the technical sections of the course to make up time since there were not many opportunities to pass, and a lot of time up for grabs on the technical sections.
"I felt really good with the pace Katie, and Sophie were setting," Noble said. "They know how to get to the front of the race a lot better than I do so I knew that they were really trustworthy with the pacing, so I just tried to follow that."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Sanne Cant (Bel) Beobank-Corendon||0:43:13|
|2||Kaitlin Keough (USA)||0:00:10|
|3||Ellen Noble (USA) Aspire Racing||0:00:16|
|4||Sophie De Boer (Ned)||0:00:18|
|5||Caroline Mani (Fra)||0:00:24|
|6||Katerina Nash (Cze)||0:00:30|
|7||Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:00:36|
|8||Emma White (USA)||0:00:44|
|9||Christel Ferrier Bruneau (Can)||0:00:49|
|10||Maud Kaptheijns (Ned) Crelan - Charles||0:00:53|
|11||Elle Anderson (USA)||0:00:56|
|12||Courtenay Mcfadden (USA)||0:01:00|
|13||Eva Lechner (Ita)||0:01:33|
|14||Crystal Anthony (USA)||0:01:44|
|15||Arley Kemmerer (USA)||0:01:57|
|16||Lucie Chainel (Fra) Team Chazal Canyon||0:02:03|
|17||Sofia Gomez Villafane (Arg)||0:02:06|
|18||Fleur Nagengast (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:02:08|
|19||Nikki Brammeier (GBr)||0:02:10|
|20||Maghalie Rochette (Can)||0:02:12|
|21||Alicia Franck (Bel) Marlux - Napoleon Games||0:02:14|
|22||Amanda Nauman (USA)||0:02:32|
|23||Annika Langvad (Den)||0:02:51|
|24||Ruby West (Can)|
|25||Helen Wyman (GBr)||0:03:00|
|26||Rebecca Fahringer (USA)||0:03:13|
|27||Loes Sels (Bel) Crelan - Charles||0:03:20|
|28||Emily Kachorek (USA)||0:03:25|
|29||Sunny Gilbert (USA)||0:03:33|
|30||Bethany Crumpton (GBr)||0:03:34|
|31||Rebecca Gross (USA)||0:04:01|
|32||Jennifer Malik (USA)||0:04:03|
|33||Hannah Finchamp (USA)||0:04:10|
|34||Natasha Elliott (Can) Garneau-Easton p/b Transitions Lifecare||0:04:14|
|35||Julie Wright (USA)||0:04:41|
|36||Cassandra Maximenko (USA)||0:04:52|
|37||Emma Swartz (USA)||0:05:08|
|38||Kim Hurst (NZl)||0:06:09|
|39||Siobhan Kelly (Can)||0:07:10|
|40||Anna Schappert (Can)||0:07:22|
|41||Maria Larkin (Irl)||0:07:41|
|42||Katherine Compton (USA)||0:08:51|
|43||Erica Leonard (Can)|
|44||Evelyne Ward (Can)|