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Marianne Vos builds confidence ahead of Cyclo-cross Worlds with podium at Zilvermeercross

HULST NETHERLANDS JANUARY 03 Marianne Vos of The Netherlands and Team Jumbo Visma during the 5th Vestingcross World Cup 2021 Womens Elite CX Vestingcross CXWorldCup Hulst on January 03 2021 in Hulst Netherlands Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Marianne Vos secured her first podium of the 2021 season, for her and her new women's Jumbo-Visma team, at Saturday's Zilvermeercross in Belgium. The Dutch rider said it gave her confidence ahead of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships set to take place from January 30-31 in Ostend, Belgium.

"I'm happy with my first podium of the season," Vos said following the race in the sand and snow. 

"The first one for the team as well. I was feeling really good. Unfortunately, I made a big mistake in the sand on the penultimate lap after which I lost a bit of time. All of my form is improving and it is a nice confidence boost towards the World Championships in Oostende."

Vos finished third at Zilvermeercross behind her compatriots Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions), who is leading the World Cup series, and Denise Betsema ((Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal).

Zilvermeercross was one of the last races on the calendar ahead of the World Championships, however, reigning World Champion Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Fenix) and former world champion Sanne Cant (Iko-Crelan) opted not to take the start line. 

They are expected to clash at the final World Cup in Overijse on January 24, and Brand has secured enough points to have already secured the series title. She is one of a series of Dutch favourites to win the world title. 

Vos made her debut in the Jumbo-Visma kit at the World Cup in Hulst earlier this month. She began her cyclo-cross season in Essen on December 22, and went on to race in Herentals on December 23, and in Dendermonde on December 27, where she was still wearing the orange colours of CCC-Liv. 

Vos is a seven-time cyclo-cross world champion having won titles in 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, and always one to watch, but she will be racing with alongside strong Dutch team with defending champion Alvarado, Brand, Betsema, and Annemarie Worst, although the final Dutch team selection has not yet been announced.

Due to COVID-19 health restriction, the World Championships will only host events for the U23 and elite categories. The U23 men and elite women will race on the Saturday, January 30, followed by the U23 women and elite men on the Sunday, January 31. No fans will be allowed to attend.