Cyclo-cross world champion Sanne Cant (IKO Enertherm-Beobank) won a muddy fifth round of the Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Zeven, Germany. British rider Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Team) finished in second place at 12 seconds, while US champion Katie Compton (KFC Racing) was third at 23 seconds. With her third World Cup win, Cant strengthens her lead over Kaitlin Keough (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) who crashed early on and finished eleventh in Germany.
"I was having a good time on this course. I felt quite good," Cant said in the post-race flash interview. The fast course from last year morphed into a slog in the mud during this edition. "I tried to do my own thing on this course without looking too much what the others did. One had to juggle between running and riding the mud. I noticed that the others rode much longer while I felt quite comfortable when running. Apparently, my choice turned out not to be too bad."
Cant took a smooth start in Zeven, whereas some of her biggest rivals were facing major problems. Last year's World Cup winner and mud specialist Sophie de Boer (Breepark.nl) and Kaitlin Keough, the current runner-up in the World Cup, crashed in the first corner. They had to work their way through traffic to get back into the top 15. In front, British champion Nikki Brammeier (Boels-Dolmans) and her compatriot Helen Wyman were setting the pace.
At the back end of the lap, Wyman accelerated while Brammeier quickly faded back, and Cant, Ellen Noble (Aspire Racing), Compton and Loes Sels (Crelan-Charles) gave chase. Katerina Nash (CLIF Pro Team) was a bit further back with Ellen Van Loy (Telenet Fidea Lions).
During the second of five laps, Cant was able to bridge back up to Wyman. The latter tried to ride as much as possible whereas Cant was often spotted running the climbs and the deep mud sections. Things turned around in the chase group at the highest point of the course, where two loops resulted in two climbs and drops. Sels and Noble both lost contact after dropping their chain on the first bumpy descent. Noble struggled to recover from the setback and finished eighteenth in Zeven. Compton and Nash were the only riders left in contention for the podium spots, trailing leaders Wyman and Cant by 11 and 17 seconds, respectively, after two laps of racing.
Halfway the race, Compton bridged up to Wyman and Cant. Cant briefly created a gap after a technical section, but Compton came back and positioned herself ahead of the world champion. Wyman had a difficult lap but remained within touching distance of the duo.
"I had a difficult lap. Compton was able to pass me and I was unable to keep up. After that difficult moment I got going again," Wyman said in the post-race flash interview. The trio entered the penultimate lap more or less together, with Nash at 15 seconds. De Boer managed a strong comeback and rode to fifth place at half a minute.
Cant impressed again during the most technical part of the course and gapped her rivals. All three women were going flat out but Cant seemed most comfortable. She hit the final lap with a lead of 8 seconds on Compton and 15 seconds on Wyman. Nash and De Boer were together, battling for fourth place. Cant had no problems in bringing the victory home, taking her third World Cup win. Compton struggled during the running sections in the final lap and was passed by Wyman.
Just like last week, Wyman finished as runner-up behind Cant. "I hoped to win and I went all-in but wasn't the strongest rider out there," Wyman said. Compton managed her best World Cup result of the season with a third place, despite the illness that kept her from racing last week at the World Cup round in Bogense, Denmark. "I was a bit surprised. I don't feel 100 per cent yet and all the running today didn't help. The course is hard. It was a hard fight for third. I'm really happy I got that. It was all I could do. I couldn't even fight for second at the end there. It's good considering how I feel. The cough is still there," Compton said in the post-race flash interview.
Nash won the battle for fourth place, being fresher than an impressive Sophie de Boer. Jolien Verschueren (Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice) came back from her usual slow start outside the top 25 to finish in 6th place, just ahead of Italian champion Eva Lechner (CLIF Pro Team) and Brammeier. Loes Sels bounced back from her setback to finish ninth ahead of the first U23 rider, Laura Verdonschot (Marlux-Napoleon Games), and US riders Kaitlin Keough and Rebecca Fahringer.
The next World Cup round will be contested on the slopes of the Namur citadel in Belgium on December 17.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Sanne Cant (Bel) Beobank-Corendon||0:51:29|
|2||Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Team||0:00:12|
|3||Katherine Compton (USA) Trek||0:00:23|
|4||Katerina Nash (Cze) Clif Pro Team||0:00:43|
|5||Sophie De Boer (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg - Destil Cycling Team||0:00:55|
|6||Jolien Verschueren (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice||0:01:17|
|7||Eva Lechner (Ita) Clif Pro Team||0:01:21|
|8||Nikki Brammeier (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam|
|9||Loes Sels (Bel) Crelan - Charles||0:01:36|
|10||Laura Verdonschot (Bel) Marlux - Napoleon Games||0:01:46|
|11||Kaitlin Keough (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld||0:01:50|
|12||Rebecca Fahringer (USA)||0:01:53|
|13||Marlene Petit (Fra)||0:01:54|
|14||Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado (Ned)||0:01:57|
|15||Christel Ferrier Bruneau (Can)||0:02:00|
|16||Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita)||0:02:03|
|17||Christine Majerus (Lux)||0:02:06|
|18||Ellen Noble (USA)||0:02:15|
|19||Yara Kastelijn (Ned) Wm3 Pro Cycling Team||0:02:19|
|20||Fleur Nagengast (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:02:28|
|21||Nikola Nosková (Cze)||0:02:38|
|22||Elle Anderson (USA)||0:02:53|
|23||Ellen Van Loy (Bel)||0:03:08|
|24||Annemarie Worst (Ned)||0:03:10|
|25||Pavla Havlíková (Cze)||0:03:16|
|26||Courtenay Mcfadden (USA)||0:03:37|
|27||Lucia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Lointek||0:04:04|
|28||Maud Kaptheijns (Ned)||0:04:14|
|29||Adéla Šafárová (Cze)||0:04:16|
|30||Jade Wiel (Fra)||0:04:18|
|31||Karen Verhestraeten (Bel)||0:04:45|
|32||Manon Bakker (Ned)||0:04:52|
|33||Crystal Anthony (USA)||0:05:09|
|34||Marion Norbert Riberolle (Fra)||0:05:35|
|35||Stefanie Paul (Ger)||0:06:03|
|36||Pauline Delhaye (Fra)||0:06:23|
|37||Nadja Heigl (Aut)||0:06:45|
|38||Åsa-Maria Erlandsson (Swe)||0:07:02|
|39||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)||0:07:25|
|40||Natalie Redmond (Aus)||0:07:32|
|41||Tereza Vanícková (Cze)||0:07:37|
|42||Arley Kemmerer (USA)||0:08:01|
|43||Lisa Heckmann (Ger)||0:08:05|
|44||Axelle Bellaert (Bel)||0:09:14|
|45||Luisa Beck (Ger)||0:09:39|
|46||Kristina Thrane (Den)||0:09:59|
|47||Margriet Kloppenburg (Den)|
|48||Maina Galand (Fra)|
|49||Lena Bischoff-Stein (Ger)|
|50||Irene Trabazo Bragado (Spa)|
|51||Larissa Luttuschka (Ger)|
|DNF||Jessica Lambracht (Ger)|
|DNF||Lucie Chainel (Fra)|
|DNF||Inge Van Der Heijden (Ned)|
|DNF||Rikke Lønne (Den)|