World champion Brand wins muddy women's Cyclo-cross World Cup in Fayetteville

Through the pouring rain in the Ozark mountains of north-west Arkansas, Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek) won round two of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Fayetteville. The reigning World Champion took advantage of a mistake by Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) early on the final lap to earn a solo victory.

Denise Betsema (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) claimed second place just ahead of US national champion Clara Honsinger (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld), who overtook Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma), winner of Sunday's opening World Cup round in Waterloo, on the final lap.

"I'm definitely happy. It was a tough race - so was Sunday, but in totally different conditions," Brand said about the wet conditions for the second race of the World Cup season. "I'm happy that I could take the victory today."

Jolanda Neff (Trek Factory Racing CX) took the hole shot from her first front-row start of the season, now that she has earned points from a victory at the C2 win at Trek CX Cup last Friday and a fourth place at the Waterloo World Cup.

Five minutes into the race, the separation had been made quickly, with Vos riding at the front with Kata Blanka Vas (SD Worx), Brand and Betsema tagging along. 

On the start of lap two, Brand went to the front with Vos and, as the pair began to distance themselves, it looked like they would have a repeat battle like Waterloo. However, Vos took a spill on the final lap and gave Brand every reason to charge to the win. The seven-time World Champion Vos faltered in the mud before going into the pits for a fresh bike, giving up her chance at a podium spot to Betsema and Honsinger.

Although she came away without a podium, Vos was already looking forward to the World Championships when they take place on the same course in 2022. 

"It's good to have seen the course in different circumstances and I hope to be back in January," Vos said.

The mid-week matinee was a preview for the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships that take place in Fayetteville January 28-30, 2022. The first time the elites saw the 3km course on Tuesday the track was dry but then tropical storm Pamela rolled into the US from the Pacific to dump a wall of rain for new conditions on race day. 

On the third lap, a group of challengers included Maghalie Rochette of Canada, Yara Kastelijn (IKO - Crelan), Puck Pieterse (Alpecin-Fenix), Annemarie Worst (777), Inge van der Heijden (777). 

Then, in what looked like a non-technical corner halfway through the race, Brand went down on the slippery mud and Vos charged to the front, forcing Brand to expend energy to catch back. At the end of the fourth of the six laps, Vos rolled into the pits and took a fresh bike, giving Brand time to rejoin her, the rain pouring harder. 

American champion Clara Honsinger (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld) had clawed her way to fifth position on the penultimate lap, moving just behind Pieterse and Betsema. But the Dutch duo would shake her off just before the long climb.

Early on the first lap, Vos went down and Brand took her opportunity to up the pace and set out alone. Vos worked to hold off Betsema who was riding on her wheel through the slippery descents but after the big climb on the course Betsema charged past Vos. Appearing to struggle on the muddy track a few corners later, Honsinger pushed past Vos on a short climb to swipe the final podium spot. 

Pieterse crossed the line two seconds behind Vos for fifth, and Blanka Vas another second back for sixth.

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lucinda Brand (Ned) Baloise Trek 0:51:46
2Denise Betsema (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:00:09
3Clara Honsinger (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld 0:00:16
4Marianne Vos (Ned) Jumbo-Visma Women Team 0:00:26
5Puck Pieterse (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 0:00:28
6Kata Blanka Vas (Hun) Team SD Worx 0:00:29
7Maghalie Rochette (Can) 0:00:49
8Annemarie Worst (Ned) 777 0:01:22
9Yara Kastelijn (Ned) Iko-Crelan 0:01:35
10Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna 0:01:46
11Shirin van Anrooij (Ned) Baloise Trek 0:01:50
12Jolanda Neff (Swi) Trek Factory Racing CX 0:01:58
13Fem van Empel (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:02:14
14Inge van der Heijden (Ned) 777 0:02:35
15Gaia Realini (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite 0:02:42
16Silvia Persico (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service 0:02:58
17Alicia Franck (Bel) Proximus-Alphamotorhome-Doltcini
18Katie Clouse (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld 0:03:03
19Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service 0:03:04
20Eva Lechner (Ita) Trinx Factory Team 0:03:19
21Madigan Munro (USA) Trek Factory Racing CX 0:03:27
22Caroline Mani (Fra) 0:03:42
23Aniek van Alphen (Ned) 777 0:03:52
24Marie Schreiber (Lux) Tormans - Circus Cyclo Cross Team 0:04:04
25Sanne Cant (Bel) Iko-Crelan 0:04:14
26Harriet Harnden (GBr) Trek Factory Racing CX 0:04:27
27Manon Bakker (Ned) Iko-Crelan 0:04:41
28Rebecca Fahringer (USA) 0:05:09
29Ellen van Loy (Bel) 0:05:26
30Raylyn Nuss (USA) 0:05:42
31Caitlin Bernstein (USA) 0:06:02
32Anna Megale (USA) 0:06:03
33Erica Zaveta (USA) 0:06:45
34Sidney McGill (Can) 0:07:27
35Lauren Zoerner (USA) 0:08:08
36Lucia Bramati (Ita) Trinx Factory Team 0:08:29
37 (-1 lap)Crystal Anthony (USA)
38Hannah Arensman (USA)
39Ava Holmgren (Can)
40Jinse Peeters (Bel) Proximus-Alphamotorhomes-Doltcini
41Bridget Tooley (USA)
42Isabella Holmgren (Can)
43 (-2 laps)Nicole Bradbury (USA)
44Emily Werner (USA)
45 (-3 laps)Siobhan Kelly (Can)
DNFKaitlin Keough (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld
DNFJulie Brouwers (Bel)
DNSMaria Larkin (Irl)

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Jackie Tyson
North American Production editor

Jackie has been involved in professional sports for more than 30 years in news reporting, sports marketing and public relations. She founded Peloton Sports in 1998, a sports marketing and public relations agency, which managed projects for Tour de Georgia, Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and USA Cycling. She also founded Bike Alpharetta Inc, a Georgia non-profit to promote safe cycling. She is proud to have worked in professional baseball for six years - from selling advertising to pulling the tarp for several minor league teams. She has climbed l'Alpe d'Huez three times (not fast). Her favorite road and gravel rides are around horse farms in north Georgia (USA) and around lavender fields in Provence (France), and some mtb rides in Park City, Utah (USA).

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