World cyclo-cross champion Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions) used her superior power and tactics to ride away from a leading group of seven riders on the last lap to win the elite women's UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Tabor.
The Dutch rider took the lead for the last lap, with her increase in pace too strong for her rivals, who fell away in the last moments of the race.
Teenager Puck Pieterse (Alpecin - Fenix) had made the race with constant attacks and by jumping over the uphill planks section. She was rewarded by sprinting home for second narrowly beating Annemarie Worst (777) into third.
Brand extended her lead in the world cup to 19 points after rival for the series Betsema placed fifth despite finishing just nine seconds behind winner Brand. In her post-race interview Brand praised 19-year-old Pieterse and her attacks over the uphill planks on each lap.
“It was a really good race again,” said 19-year-old Pieters, talking about her second place.
“The small climbs, the power and the corner and of course the barriers.”
How it unfolded
Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions) was the in-form rider coming into the event having won the European championships last weekend and midweek Superprestige event in Niel.
The Dutch rider took the lead after the fast and wide asphalt start with Under 23 rider Puck Pieterse (Alpecin-Fenix) monitoring her senior rival while further down the field early crashes delayed those towards the back of the field.
After winning the previous world cup round in Overijse, Blanka Vas (Team SD Worx) led the rest of the field back to the early leaders as they snaked around the dry and fast course in the Czech Republic.
Pieterse, aged just 19, lead into the uphill planks before using her skills to bunny hop the obstacle. Impressively, she was the only elite woman able to do so.
Unlike the mud which has greeted riders in Belgium and Holland in recent weeks, the dry Tabor course allowed a group of 10 riders to form after the opening lap.
After finishing second in the last World Cup race in Overijse, Pieterse continued to push the pace while road rider Brand was using her strength on the relentless grassy climbs to put her rivals under pressure.
Pieterse attacked again on the uphill planks using her speed and forced Brand to close the gap with Vas able to respond but the remainder of the leading group under pressure.
The leading trio kept the pressure on their rivals in the front group with Annemarie Worst (777), Ceylin Alvarado (Alpecin-Fenix), Denise Betsema (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) and Shirin Van Anrooij (Baloise Trek Lions) all pulling their way back to the head of proceedings.
Betsema who sat level on points at the head of the World Cup with Brand coming into the sixth round looked to be struggling with the constant pace being enforced by Vas, Pieterse and Brand.
However, as the pace slowed on the asphalt start/finish area Betsema came back through the leading group of eight riders and looked to attack, only for Vas to outmuscle the Dutch rider and continue to push the pace.
On the fourth lap, Pieterse again attacked through the planks and got the slender gap she desired, as the chasers led by Vas sat eight seconds back with two laps remaining.
As the chasing group started to feel the relentless pace of the race, Betsema came to the front closing the gap to Pieterse before they hit planks again allowing the youngster to grow her gap once more.
Betsema again responded by pulling the leading group back to the leader, with only Van Anrooij losing ground on the six leaders together with a lap remaining.
World champion Brand had sat back in the leading group for a while but suddenly attacked off the asphalt section on the last lap to lead into the twisty grass corners and sharp climbs for the final time.
Pressure from Brand on the final lap distanced her rivals and cleverly stopped Pieterse attacking on the plank section but the young rider used her better technique to move up to second place.
The relentless pace of Brand forced open a gap of three seconds at the finish with Pieterse sprinting past Worst for second while Alvarado was pushed down into fourth.
Betsema was slightly distanced from the sprint for the podium places and lost vital world cup points over Brand finishing fifth.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Lucinda Brand (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions||0:52:00|
|2||Puck Pieterse (Ned) Alpecin - Fenix||0:00:03|
|3||Annemarie Worst (Ned) 777|
|4||Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned) Alpecin - Fenix||0:00:04|
|5||Denise Betsema (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal||0:00:09|
|6||Kata Blanka Vas (Hun)||0:00:19|
|7||Shirin van Anrooij (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions||0:00:25|
|8||Fem van Empel (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal||0:00:52|
|9||Inge van der Heijden (Ned) 777||0:01:10|
|10||Maghalie Rochette (Can)||0:01:16|
|11||Clara Honsinger (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld|
|12||Hélène Clauzel (Fra) A.S. Bike Crossteam|
|13||Eva Lechner (Ita)||0:01:17|
|14||Alicia Franck (Bel) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini CT||0:01:19|
|15||Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita)||0:01:54|
|16||Gaia Realini (Ita) Selle Italia - Guerciotti - Elite|
|17||Yara Kastelijn (Ned) Iko - Crelan||0:02:21|
|18||Manon Bakker (Ned) Iko - Crelan||0:02:30|
|19||Aniek van Alphen (Ned) 777||0:02:53|
|20||Kristýna Zemanová (Cze)||0:03:03|
|21||Marie Schreiber (Lux) Tormans - Circus Cyclo Cross Team||0:03:42|
|22||Katie Clouse (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld||0:03:58|
|23||Marion Norbert Riberolle (Bel) Starcasino CX Team||0:04:09|
|24||Millie Couzens (GBr)||0:04:22|
|25||Suzanne Verhoeven (Bel)|
|26||Olivia Onesti (Fra) Starcasino CX Team|
|27||Marthe Truyen (Bel) Iko - Crelan||0:04:29|
|28||Lucia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Nesta - MMR CX Team||0:04:35|
|29||Judith Krahl (Ger) Team Schamel p/b Kloster Kitchen||0:04:49|
|30||Carlotta Borello (Ita)||0:05:02|
|31||Lucia Bramati (Ita)||0:05:03|
|32||Sidney Mcgill (Can)||0:05:04|
|33||Raylyn Nuss (USA)||0:05:07|
|34||Pavla Havlíková (Cze)||0:05:09|
|35||Karla Štěpánová (Cze)||0:05:20|
|36||Tereza Tvarůžková (Cze)||0:05:30|
|37||Tereza Vaníčková (Cze)||0:05:36|
|38||Jana Dobbelaere (Bel) Starcasino CX Team||0:05:48|
|39||Kiona Crabbé (Bel)||0:05:59|
|40||Nadja Heigl (Aut) KTM Alchemist powered by Brenta Brakes||0:06:06|
|41||Asia Zontone (Ita)||0:06:14|
|42||Fauve Bastiaenssen (Bel) BNS Technics - Groep T.O.M.||0:06:24|
|43||Alice Papo (Ita)|
|44||Francesca Baroni (Ita) KTM Alchemist powered by Brenta Brakes||0:07:12|
|45||Clea Seidel (Ger)||0:07:13|
|46||Dominika Wlodarczyk (Pol)||0:08:03|
|47||Lydia Pinto Larenjo (Spa) Nesta - MMR CX Team||0:08:09|
|48||Malgorzata Mazurek (Pol)|
|49||Prisca Jaquet (Swi)|
|DNS||Charline Fragnière (Swi)|
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