Czech Katerina Nash won her first-ever cyclo-cross World Cup in Roubaix, France, on Sunday. She battled with Hanka Kupfernagel, but got rid of the German national champion on the final lap of the season's penultimate World Cup. Kupfernagel finished second ahead of Marianne Vos and Daphny van den Brand.
American Katie Compton, who was leading the World Cup prior to this round, was absent from the starting line in the Roubaix vélodrome. She was suffering the same leg cramp problems that troubled her last year. Van den Brand took over the lead in the World Cup standings from Compton, and Vos now sits second, dropping Compton to third.
"I knew that on a good day I was capable of finishing on the podium in the World Cup," Nash said to Cyclingnews. "I'm riding the next World Cup mainly to gather World Cup points and improve my start position at worlds."
"I'm really motivated to perform well there, as I'll be riding on home soil," Nash said, referring to the cyclo-cross world championships to be hosted by the Czech city Tabor. "Afterward, I'll be back on the mountain bike, which is my main discipline, but rest assured that cyclo-cross has my full focus, whereas a few years ago I didn't consider it that important."
After two laps of racing in Roubaix, it didn't seem like Nash would grab the cobble trophy. World champion Marianne Vos started on a rampage, destroying the opposition on the muddy course. Vos powered away right from the start, and behind her all riders were making mistakes, including Nash.
First, Nash escaped a crash on the track when Van den Brand touched wheels and went down right behind her. Then the Czech rider crashed hard on a steep drop behind the track, but she was able to continue without major damages.
During the third lap, Vos had to shift down a gear, and this allowed Nash and Kupfernagel to join her in the lead. "I took a fast start, but I had to ease off on this demanding course," Vos said. Then, Nash and Kupfernagel quickly left Vos behind, and from then on, it was clear that the two strongest women were riding in front.
"We were taking turns, and it could have gone either way. Halfway through the last lap, I went for it after a technical section, and it worked out unbelievably well," Nash said to Cyclingnews.
Kupfernagel seemed happy with her second place - her best World Cup result of the season - and that will boost her motivation going into the World Championships. Vos finished third at almost one minute behind Nash and a wounded Van den Brand claimed fourth place, which was enough to take over the lead in the World Cup from Compton.
Van den Brand was in bad condition and she fancied crying, rather than laughing. "I was blinded by the light when I hit Nash," was the only thing Van den Brand was able to say. Before the race, she had expressed to Katie Compton - and Cyclingnews - that she hadn't want to fight for the World Cup lead without Compton there.
One World Cup round remains and will be contested in Hoogerheide, in The Netherlands, next weekend.
American racer Meredith Miller claimed 12th place and the best US finish. She was two spots ahead of compatriot Amy Dombroski, and Maureen Bruno-Roy was the last American rider to finish on the same lap, in 23rd.
British 'Cross Champion Helen Wyman finished 15th.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna||0:40:55|
|2||Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger)||0:00:13|
|3||Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit||0:00:52|
|4||Daphny Van Den Brand (Ned)||0:01:31|
|5||Sanne Van Paassen (Ned)||0:01:52|
|6||Caroline Mani (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope||0:02:03|
|7||Eva Lechner (Ita)||0:02:28|
|8||Reza Hormes (Ned)||0:02:44|
|9||Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope||0:02:55|
|10||Elisabeth Brandau (Ger)||0:03:08|
|11||Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra)||0:03:22|
|12||Meredith Miller (USA) Tibco||0:03:34|
|13||Sanne Cant (Bel)||0:03:48|
|14||Amy Dombroski (USA)||0:03:55|
|15||Helen Wyman (GBr)||0:03:59|
|16||Sophie De Boer (Ned)||0:04:07|
|17||Pavla Havlikova (Cze)||0:04:16|
|18||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)||0:04:21|
|19||Linda Van Rijen (Ned)||0:04:46|
|20||Gabriella Day (GBr)||0:05:21|
|21||Maureen Demaret Guichardot (Fra)||0:05:29|
|22||Jana Kyptova (Cze)||0:05:50|
|23||Maureen Bruno Roy (USA)||0:05:52|
|24||Arenda Grimberg (Ned)||0:06:24|
|25||Nicole De Bie - Leyten (Bel)||0:06:48|
|26||Katrin Leumann (Swi)||0:06:53|
|27||Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (Fra)|
|28||Agnes Naumann (Ger)||0:08:05|
|29||Nancy Bober (Bel)||0:08:15|
|30||Marzena Wasiuk (Pol)||0:08:35|
|31||Ellen Van Loy (Bel)||0:08:52|
|32||Martina Mikulaskova (Cze)||0:09:21|
|33||Ayako Toyooka (Jpn)||0:09:29|
|34||Jennifer Sagesser (Swi)||0:10:06|
|35||Suzie Godart (Lux) Fenixs - Petrogradets||0:10:08|
|-1lap||Susanne Juranek (Ger)|
|-1lap||Zuzana Pirzkallova (Cze)|
|-1lap||Katrien Vermeiren (Bel)|
|-1lap||Katrien Thijs (Bel)|
|DNF||Nikki Harris (GBr)|
|DNF||Christine Vardaros (USA)|
|DNS||Katherine Compton (USA)|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Daphny Van Den Brand (Ned)||285||pts|
|2||Marianne Vos (Ned)||265|
|3||Katherine Compton (USA)||260|
|4||Sanne Van Paassen (Ned)||218|
|5||Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger)||200|
|6||Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra)||181|
|7||Sanne Cant (Bel)||157|
|8||Caroline Mani (Fra)||156|
|9||Pavla Havlikova (Cze)||118|
|10||Helen Wyman (GBr)||108|
|11||Linda Van Rijen (Ned)||100|
|12||Katerina Nash (Cze)||95|
|13||Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (Fra)||85|
|14||Gabriella Day (GBr)||80|
|15||Nadia Triquet-Claude (Fra)||79|
|16||Elisabeth Brandau (Ger)||77|
|17||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)||77|
|18||Eva Lechner (Ita)||76|
|19||Reza Hormes (Ned)||75|
|20||Sophie De Boer (Ned)||67|
|21||Jana Kyptova (Cze)||66|
|22||Arenda Grimberg (Ned)||58|
|23||Nikki Harris (GBr)||55|
|24||Maureen Demaret Guichardot (Fra)||50|
|25||Katrin Leumann (Swi)||42|
|26||Evelyn Staffler (Ita)||38|
|27||Amy Dombroski (USA)||35|
|28||Rosa Maria Bravo Soba (Spa)||29|
|29||Saskia Elemans (Ned)||29|
|30||Veronica Alessio (Ita)||29|
|31||Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra)||20|
|32||Jasmin Achermann (Swi)||20|
|33||Martina Zwick (Ger)||20|
|34||Meredith Miller (USA)||19|
|35||Nancy Bober (Bel)||18|
|36||Sabrina Schweizer (Ger)||15|
|37||Susan Butler (USA)||14|
|38||Camille Darcel (Fra)||11|
|39||Francesca Cucciniello (Ita)||10|
|40||Maureen Bruno Roy (USA)||8|
|41||Marlène Morel Petitgirard (Fra)||8|
|42||Nicole De Bie - Leyten (Bel)||8|
|43||Suzie Godart (Lux)||7|
|44||Sabrina Stultiens (Ned)||6|
|45||Veerle Ingels (Bel)||6|
|46||Elke Riedl (Aut)||6|
|47||Nikoline Hansen (Den)||6|
|48||Rebecca Talen (Ned)||4|
|49||Stefania Vecchio (Ita)||4|
|50||Agnes Naumann (Ger)||3|
|51||Ayako Toyooka (Jpn)||3|
|52||Nicoletta Bresciani (Ita)||3|
|53||Birgit Hollmann (Ger)||3|
|54||Vicki Thomas (Can)||3|
|55||Christine Vardaros (USA)||2|
|56||Marzena Wasiuk (Pol)||1|
|57||Martina Mikulaskova (Cze)||1|
|58||Ellen Van Loy (Bel)||1|
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