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Cant wins dramatic cyclo-cross world title

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Sanne Cant lets out the emotion of victory as she crosses the line

Sanne Cant lets out the emotion of victory as she crosses the line
(Image credit: Tim de Waele)
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The fans came out despite the cold weather

The fans came out despite the cold weather
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Helen Wyman (Great Britain)

Helen Wyman (Great Britain)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Katherine Compton (United States of America)

Katherine Compton (United States of America)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Lucie Chainel (France)

Lucie Chainel (France)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sophie De Boer (Netherlands)

Sophie De Boer (Netherlands)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Elle Anderson (United States of America)

Elle Anderson (United States of America)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alicia Franck (Belgium)

Alicia Franck (Belgium)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Kaitlin Antonneau (United States of America) riding to tenth

Kaitlin Antonneau (United States of America) riding to tenth
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alice Maria Arzuffi (Italy) is carried off the course after her race ending crash

Alice Maria Arzuffi (Italy) is carried off the course after her race ending crash
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sanne Cant (Belgium)

Sanne Cant (Belgium)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The women's race gets underway

The women's race gets underway
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Waka Takeda (Japan)

Waka Takeda (Japan)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sophie De Boer (Netherlands) was a DNF today

Sophie De Boer (Netherlands) was a DNF today
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Helen Wyman (Great Britain)

Helen Wyman (Great Britain)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Elle Anderson (United States of America) riding to 11th

Elle Anderson (United States of America) riding to 11th
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alicia Franck (Belgium) about to lose her front wheel

Alicia Franck (Belgium) about to lose her front wheel
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Katherine Compton (United States of America) DNF'd

Katherine Compton (United States of America) DNF'd
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A mud splattered Eva Lechner (Italy) rode to sixth

A mud splattered Eva Lechner (Italy) rode to sixth
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alice Maria Arzuffi (Italy) crashed out of the race

Alice Maria Arzuffi (Italy) crashed out of the race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Christine Majerus (Luxembourg) rode to sixth at her home Worlds

Christine Majerus (Luxembourg) rode to sixth at her home Worlds
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Eva Lechner (Italy)

Eva Lechner (Italy)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marianne Vos chasing Sanne Cant

Marianne Vos chasing Sanne Cant
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mud covers Sanne Cant from head to toe

Mud covers Sanne Cant from head to toe
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sanne Cant crosses the line

Sanne Cant crosses the line
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Katerina Nash outsprints Lucinda Brand for the final medal available

Katerina Nash outsprints Lucinda Brand for the final medal available
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The plentiful mud shows just how challenging the race was

The plentiful mud shows just how challenging the race was
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sanne Cant lets the emotions flow at the finish

Sanne Cant lets the emotions flow at the finish
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The climb forces Marianne Vos out of the saddle

The climb forces Marianne Vos out of the saddle
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sanne Cant digs in on the climb

Sanne Cant digs in on the climb
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Lucinda Brand (Netherlands)

Lucinda Brand (Netherlands)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sanne Cant has to think fast to avoid crashing into Lucinda Brand

Sanne Cant has to think fast to avoid crashing into Lucinda Brand
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Lucinda Brand continues her slide

Lucinda Brand continues her slide
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Lucinda Brand slipped out on a tricky descent

Lucinda Brand slipped out on a tricky descent
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The top three

The top three
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sanne Cant tries to compose herself as the Belgian national anthem plays

Sanne Cant tries to compose herself as the Belgian national anthem plays
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sanne Cant enjoying her time on the podium

Sanne Cant enjoying her time on the podium
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sanne Cant waves to the crowd

Sanne Cant waves to the crowd
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The emotion of victory hits Sanne Cant

The emotion of victory hits Sanne Cant
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sanne Cant still in disbelief about her win

Sanne Cant still in disbelief about her win
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sanne Cant sprints to the line

Sanne Cant sprints to the line
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marianne Vos, Sanne Cant and Katerina Nash on the podium at the cyclo-cross World Championships

Marianne Vos, Sanne Cant and Katerina Nash on the podium at the cyclo-cross World Championships
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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An emotional Sanne Cant on the podium

An emotional Sanne Cant on the podium
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sanne Cant beats Marianne Vos to the 2017 Cyclo-cross World Championships

Sanne Cant beats Marianne Vos to the 2017 Cyclo-cross World Championships
(Image credit: Tim de Waele)

Sanne Cant (Belgium) beat seven-time world champion Marianne Vos (Netherlands) in a last-lap thriller at the Bieles 2017 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships. Katerina Nash (Czech Republic) fought back from behind and captured the bronze medal. For 26-year-old Cant, it's the first-ever world title after falling just short in the last two years.

When crossing the line, Cant burst into tears, realizing she will be wearing the rainbow jersey during the next year. "I can't believe it. The jersey is mine for a whole year. I dreamed of it since I was six years old. It's twenty years ago. I really can't believe I beat Marianne Vos. She's the seven-time world champion. She's really history. It's an incredible day, the most beautiful day of my life," Cant said in the post-race interview.

Despite a crash from Cant and a chain problem for Vos, the duo reached the short finishing straight together, with Cant leading the way. "When turning onto the road she was still on my wheel and I thought I would lose again. I was sprinting until the finish line but there wasn't any orange coming up. I still couldn't believe it when I crossed the finish line," Cant told Sporza. "Beating Vos in a direct duel adds more glamour to this victory."

For Vos, finishing as runner-up was a major blow. On the podium, she had a hard time to hide her frustration at missing out on another title. "I'm a bit disappointed. You know anything can happen in such a race. It was a fierce duel. We matched each other today, and then it came down to the last lap," Vos told Sporza. "She's technically the best in the pack so it would be hard to beat her on this course."

Vos took the initiative throughout the race, surging away on several occasions. Each time, Cant managed to come up with an answer. Nash and Lucinda Brand (Netherlands) also excelled on the difficult course in Bieles. As they hit the penultimate lap, there were still four leaders in the race with Vos, Cant, Brand and Nash. Vos accelerated again, and forced Brand and Nash to drop back.

Cant once again marked Vos' wheel. That was until halfway the penultimate lap when Cant slipped away and Vos opened up a seemingly massive gap. Nash briefly caught up with the Belgian rider but, again, Cant fought back.

Vos reached the final lap with a lead of eight seconds on Cant and 12 on Nash. Brand was fourth at 19 seconds with Maghalie Rochette (Canada) and Eva Lechner (Italy) at short distance. "It's hard to get a big lead on this course because you always have to pay attention to avoid mistakes. I was handed the lead when Cant slipped away," Vos said.

The race seemed decided, but things turned around again in one of the first sharp corners of the course. Vos' chain dropped and suddenly Cant was leading the race. "After my crash I lost the belief but suddenly I saw her standing and thought, now it has to happen. I thought she was side lined much longer, and I was surprised to find her back on my wheel a few moments later," Cant told Sporza.

The duo headed into the second half of the course with multiple technical obstacles. Vos attacked one more time but Cant was able to fight her way back to her wheel. The pace never dropped with Nash following at short distance. Vos reached the final steep off-camber drop first but Cant exited the section much faster and moved into the lead. With one final climb left to the finishing straight the Belgian rider had the best cards. "I wanted to drop her on that climb but that didn't work out. I did realize that she was also on the limit. I hesitated to shift to the big ring. It all goes so fast. Luckily she had nothing left in her tank. If I had shifted, I would've come to a standstill," Cant said.

Behind the leading duo, Nash captured a well-deserved third place in a sprint with a disappointed Lucinda Brand in fourth. It's Nash her second medal at the world championships after a third place in Sankt-Wendel in 2011. The biggest surprise of the day was the fifth place for Maghalie Rochette. She rode near the front throughout the race, seemingly making no mistakes on the slippery course. Eva Lechner was sixth at nearly a minute from winner Cant. Home rider Christine Majerus (Luxembourg) took a great start, briefly led the race in the opening lap and eventually captured seventh place ahead of Ellen Van Loy (Belgium) and Nikki Brammeier (Great Britain). Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) completed a steady race just behind the top guns and closed out the top-10.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sanne Cant (Belgium)0:43:06
2Marianne Vos (Netherlands)0:00:01
3Katerina Nash (Czech Republic)0:00:21
4Lucinda Brand (Netherlands)
5Maghalie Rochette (Canada)0:00:36
6Eva Lechner (Italy)0:00:53
7Christine Majerus (Luxembourg)0:01:21
8Ellen Van Loy (Belgium)0:01:25
9Nikki Brammeier (Great Britain)0:01:31
10Kaitlin Antonneau (United States Of America)0:01:46
11Elle Anderson (United States Of America)0:02:29
12Caroline Mani (France)0:02:40
13Amanda Miller (United States Of America)0:02:49
14Marlene Petit (France)0:02:53
15Courtenay Mcfadden (United States Of America)
16Helen Wyman (Great Britain)0:03:06
17Alicia Franck (Belgium)0:03:12
18Lucie Chainel (France)0:03:19
19Lucia Gonzalez Blanco (Spain)0:03:29
20Mical Dyck (Canada)0:04:27
21Rebecca Fahringer (United States Of America)0:04:49
22Lise-Marie Henzelin (Switzerland)0:05:13
23Nathalie Lamborelle (Luxembourg)0:05:51
24Cindy Montambault (Canada)0:06:06
25Magdalena Sadlecka (Poland)0:06:30
26Jolien Verschueren (Belgium)0:06:36
27Hannah Payton (Great Britain)0:06:40
28Stefanie Paul (Germany)0:08:05
29Eri Yonamine (Japan)0:08:15
30Miho Imai (Japan)-1
31Aida Nuno Palacio (Spain)-1
32Naomi Williams (Australia)-1
33Rikke Lonne (Denmark)-1
34Kristina Thrane (Denmark)-1
35Waka Takeda (Japan)-1
36Rebecca Locke (Australia)-2
37Suzie Godart (Luxembourg)-2
DNFKatherine Compton (United States Of America)
DNFLoes Sels (Belgium)
DNFSophie De Boer (Netherlands)
DNFMaud Kaptheijns (Netherlands)
DNFPavla Havlikova (Czech Republic)
DNFAlice Maria Arzuffi (Italy)

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