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Vos wins Namur World Cup

One day after an extremely muddy win from Marianne Vos in Essen, the Dutch 24-year-old racked up another dominant win on the muddy slopes of the citadel in chilly Namur, Belgium, during the fourth round of the cyclo-cross World Cup. Vos dealt best with the snow, frozen water and mud on the grounds of the old fortress in Namur. She finished almost a minute ahead of Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (France) and was even further ahead of US national champion Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team). Despite finishing in eighth place, Daphny van den Brand (AA remains leader in the World Cup rankings ahead of Compton and Chainel.

"This was one of the hardest races I've ever done, but it's the same for all," Vos said.

While the snowflakes started to come down, the women lined up at the foot of the citadel. Both Compton and Vos started well but then Compton had to put her foot on the ground. "My chain dropped when I shifted before reaching the steeper part of the start line. I had to stop, get off the bike and get the chain back on. I was DFL," Compton said.

Meanwhile Chainel sped away in front, but she was soon caught by Vos. On the muddy course, there was no chance to work together and little later. Vos was gone. "Lucie is a good climber, but after running uphill, I had a few meters. On the asphalt I was able to make the difference too with my road experience," Vos said. That difference reflected in a gap of four seconds the first time past the finish line.

Behind Vos and Chainel, the fight for third place was wide open. Helen Wyman (Kona) had a gap on a chase group with Sophie de Boer (Telenet-Fidea), Daphny van den Brand and Italian rider Eva Lechner (Colnago-Farbe Sudtirol). No more snow was coming down, and by the end of the first lap Sanne Cant (Boxx-Veldritacademie) and Compton joined this chase group at more than 40 seconds from the leaders.

Compton bridged up with British champion Wyman in tow. Halfway through the second lap, she dropped Wyman but a crash in the tricky off-camber section halted her march forward. "Running is slow so I gave it a go there. It didn't work out well," Compton said. As a result, Wyman caught back up with Compton.

During the first half of the second lap, Chainel kept Vos in sight but then she sat up. "Technically, I was riding at the same level but physically she's so strong," the slim French woman said. After the second lap, Vos had 26 seconds on Chainel while Compton and Wyman trailed her by 1:06. The group with Cant, Lechner, Van den Brand and De Boer was 15 more seconds down. Only seven seconds further back, Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) tried to close the gap on her own.

During the third of four laps, Vos kept going full gas and not even bad luck would take the win away from her. Compton dropped Wyman once more, and this time she didn't mess up the off-camber section. Almost traditionally, Wyman lost a lot of ground during the third lap. "It wasn't so bad today. I didn't know they were so close until Sanne Cant started shouting," Wyman told Cyclingnews.

After three laps, Chainel trailed Vos by 43 seconds with Compton alone in third half a minute later. Another half a minute later, Wyman was accompanied by Cant and De Boer. Lechner and Van den Brand were 15 seconds down on that trio. Antonneau and Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Lapierre International) were 20 seconds further back.

During the last lap, Vos took it relatively easy and her lead stopped growing. Chainel struggled but easily held off Compton by 15 seconds on the line. "I didn't see her, and I didn't know she was that close," Compton said. The French woman was delighted with her second place. "This is super and it comes unexpected. I hope I can get a top-five result in the World Cup," Chainel told Cyclingnews.

The battle for fourth place was won by Cant, who rode an impressive last lap. Wyman finished fifth. Mountain biker Lechner rode a flying last lap, too, and the Italian claimed sixth place ahead of De Boer, Van den Brand and Ferrand Prevot. "This is a surprise for me," Lechner told Cyclingnews. "I did no preparation for this. I only did three other cyclo-cross races, and I start at the back."

Finishing just behind Ferrand Prevot in 10th place was Antonneau. Both riders are only 19 years old. For Antonneau to finish 10th in her second World Cup race of the year is surprising. "I was trying to catch those in front of me, but that didn't succeed," Antonneau said. At the finish line, she tried to get in the warm van as soon as possible but hours later, she was still thrilled by her performance. "I'm very happy. This [the course] is awesome. It's why I do cyclo-cross," Antonneau told Cyclingnews.

Further back, Gabriella Day (Raleigh) finished a distant 18th place on the same course where she crashed hard on the steep descent last year. "I'm glad this weekend is behind me. The first two laps, I rode that descent, but then I got scared and ran it," Day told Cyclingnews. Compatriot Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) didn't seem to have a good day and eventually she abandoned the race.

Next week, the next round of the World Cup will be held at the former F1 car circuit Zolder, Belgium.

Full results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit0:36:53
2Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (Fra)0:00:54
3Katherine Compton (USA) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team0:01:11
4Sanne Cant (Bel) Boxx Veldritacademie0:01:40
5Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Racing0:01:44
6Eva Lechner (Ita) Colnago Farbe Sudtirol0:01:52
7Sophie De Boer (Ned) Telenet - Fidea0:02:01
8Daphny Van Den Brand (Ned) Aa Drink - Leontien.Nl Cycling Team0:02:31
9Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Lapierre International0:02:36
10Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.com0:02:41
11Caroline Mani (Fra)0:02:53
12Jasmin Achermann (Swi)0:03:11
13Linda Van Rijen (Ned) Skil - Koga0:03:37
14Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra) Gauss0:03:52
15Pavla Havlikova (Cze) Telenet - Fidea0:04:03
16Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) Brainwash Wielerploeg0:04:33
17Christine Majerus (Lux) Team Gsd Gestion0:04:50
18Gabriella Day (GBr)0:05:02
19Reza Hormes (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:05:12
20Ellen Van Loy (Bel)0:05:17
21Hilde Quintens (Bel)0:05:19
22Asa Maria Erlandsson (Swe)0:05:32
23Vania Rossi (Ita)0:05:36
24Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob's Red Mill / Seven Cycles0:05:44
25Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)0:06:07
26Lise-Marie Henzelin (Swi)0:06:15
27Arenda Grimberg (Ned)0:06:25
28Nikoline Hansen (Den)0:06:33
29Tessa Van Nieuwpoort (Ned)0:06:50
30Martina Zwick (Ger) Abus Nutrixxion0:07:53
31Kim Van De Steene (Bel)0:07:58
32Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita)0:08:13
33Christine Vardaros (USA) Baboco Cycling Team0:08:35
-1lapNicole De Bie - Leyten (Bel) Telenet - Fidea
-1lapKatrien Thijs (Bel)
-1lapMartina Mikulaskova (Cze)
-1lapGenevieve Whitson (NZl)
-1lapNancy Bober (Bel) Style & Concept
-1lapSarah Stewart (Can)
-2lapsMargriet Helena Kloppenburg (Den)
-2lapsMadara Furmane (Lat)
DNFNikki Harris (GBr) Telenet - Fidea
DNFAmy Dombroski (USA) Crankbrothers - The Race Club

World Cup standings after four rounds

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Daphny Van Den Brand (Ned) AA Drink - Cycling Team176pts
2Katherine Compton (USA) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team150
3Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (Fra)142
4Sanne Van Paassen (Ned) Brainwash Wielerploeg135
5Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Racing126
6Sanne Cant (Bel) Boxx Veldritacademie119
7Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit110
8Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team105
9Pavla Havlikova (Cze) Telenet - Fidea97
10Sophie De Boer (Ned) Telenet - Fidea86
11Sabrina Schweizer (Ger) Focus Mig Team67
12Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) Brainwash Wielerploeg67
13Gabriella Day (GBr)63
14Amy Dombroski (USA) Crankbrothers - The Race Club62
15Nikki Harris (GBr) Telenet - Fidea62
16Arenda Grimberg (Ned)55
17Jasmin Achermann (Swi)49
18Linda Van Rijen (Ned) Skil - Koga42
19Caroline Mani (Fra)39
20Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.com35
21Meredith Miller (USA) California Giant Cycling35
22Ellen Van Loy (Bel)35
23Martina Mikulaskova (Cze)33
24Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)33
25Nicole Duke (USA) Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.com31
26Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob's Red Mill / Seven Cycles31
27Eva Lechner (Ita) Colnago Farbe Sudtirol30
28Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger)30
29Reza Hormes (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team27
30Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra) Gauss26
31Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Lapierre International24
32Hilde Quintens (Bel)18
33Tessa Van Nieuwpoort (Ned)17
34Nikoline Hansen (Den)17
35Christine Majerus (Lux) Team Gsd Gestion14
36Nicole De Bie - Leyten (Bel) Telenet - Fidea14
37Julie Krasniak (Fra) Team Rapha Focus13
38Asa Maria Erlandsson (Swe)12
39Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita)11
40Kajsa Snihs (Swe)10
41Vania Rossi (Ita)9
42Gesa Bruchmann (Ger)8
43Lise-Marie Henzelin (Swi)5
44Annefleur Kalvenhaar (Ned) Giant Dealerteams4
45Christine Vardaros (USA) Baboco Cycling Team2
46Katherine Sherwin (USA) Stan's No Tubes2
47Martina Zwick (Ger) Abus Nutrixxion1
48Marlène Morel Petitgirard (Fra)1


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