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First World Cup win for Vos in comeback at Zolder

Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv) captured the win in the seventh round of the Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup on Monday afternoon. On Boxing Day, Vos finished just ahead of Belgian champion Sanne Cant (IKO Enertherm-Beobank) and Katerina Nash (CLIF). It was Vos' first World Cup round in nearly two years and only the third race of the season for seven-time world champion Vos, who made her comeback in Antwerp nine days earlier.

"I'm very happy. Heusden-zolder is always a course... or has been a course that suited me. I'm very happy to be here. It's a special race to win," Vos said in the flash interview.

Overnight rain turned the fast course around the car racing circuit into a slightly more technical event. World champion Thalita de Jong (Rabo-Liv) called off her participation on the course where she won the World championships back in January due to illness. Apart from the challenging course in Heusden-Zolder, eventual winner Vos also had to deal with her back-row start position.

Ellen Van Loy (Young Telenet-Fidea) claimed the hole shot and rode away from the rest of the pack in a muddy section. The chase group with Nash, Cant, De Boer, Ellen Noble, Lucinda Brand (Rabo-Liv), Eva Lechner (CLIF) was 13 seconds down on her.

Vos was steadily picking her way through the bunch at 25 seconds from Van Loy, who made a mistake on a steep descent and landed in the cushions, while Nash crashed on the off-camber climb, flatted and lost a lot of time. Lechner profited and rode away from the other chasers at the end of the second lap on a steep climb. At the end of the second lap Italian champion Lechner trailed Van Loy by only six seconds. Cant and De Boer were 12 seconds down with Vos, Ellen Noble, Amanda Miller, Brand and Christine Majerus at short distance.

Cant rode a strong third lap, surging towards the front with De Boer, Vos and Brand, and reeled in Lechner and eventually lone leader Van Loy. During the fourth lap Brand tried her luck. She gapped the five other women and rode most of the lap alone in front. At the back-end of the course she struggled in the final technical part of the course and suddenly Vos and the others were back on her tail. Further back, Nash was making up a lot of ground and rode the fastest fourth lap of the pack, bridging up to the lead group on the finishing straight.

On the final lap climb to the Sacraments chapel Vos accelerated, dropping Lechner, Brand and De Boer. Only Cant and Nash could follow the Dutch woman's fast pace. Right after the off-camber climb she put the duo briefly at distance. In the muddy descent Cant ended up in a bad track and she lost all momentum. Nevertheless she fought back and passed Nash on the run-up, fighting back to Vos' wheel.

On the final climb in the forest Vos impressed and rode the first part of the climb to the top, leaving Cant and Nash behind. Vos made no mistakes and held on to her lead until the finish line, clearly being delighted with a big comeback victory in the World Cup. Cant pushed on but finished as runner-up at two seconds. Nash was a strong third after her fallback halfway the race.

In the World Cup standing Cant gains back 20 points on De Boer, who leads with 373 points. Nash moves into third place with 275 points, eight more than Ellen Van Loy. Miller is fifth with 247 points.

The penultimate round of the World Cup is held on the 15th of January in Fiuggi, Italy.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team0:44:09
2Sanne Cant (Bel) IKO Enertherm-Beobank0:00:02
3Katerina Nash (Cze) Clif Pro Team0:00:04
4Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team0:00:13
5Eva Lechner (Ita) Clif Pro Team0:00:17
6Sophie De Boer (Ned) Kalas-NNOF0:00:22
7Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:00:28
8Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:00:30
9Nikki Brammeier (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:00:48
10Amanda Miller (USA) Boulder Cycle Sport/YogaGlo0:00:50
11Laura Verdonschot (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games0:00:51
12Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Lensworld-Zannata0:01:16
13Maud Kaptheijns (Ned) Team Steylaerts0:01:32
14Emma White (USA) Rally Cycling0:01:38
15Lucie Chainel (Fra)0:01:46
16Pavla Havlikova (Cze)0:01:49
17Chiara Teocchi (Ita) Bianchi Countervail0:01:50
18Loes Sels (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:01:54
19Ellen Noble (USA) Aspire Racing0:02:05
20Manon Bakker (Ned)0:02:08
21Lucia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Lointek0:02:20
22Nadja Heigl (Aut)0:02:26
23Yara Kastelijn (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team0:02:33
24Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)0:02:34
25Inge Van Der Heijden (Ned)0:02:35
26Jolien Verschueren (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:02:56
27Juliette Labous (Fra)0:03:04
28Jessica Lambracht (Ger)0:03:17
29Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado (Ned)0:03:27
30Nikola Noskova (Cze)0:03:32
31Jade Wiel (Fra)0:03:41
32Evita Muzic (Fra)
33Lise-Marie Henzelin (Swi)0:03:51
34Karen Verhestraeten (Bel) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling Team0:04:00
35Audrey Menut (Fra) Scott Creuse Oxygene Gueret0:04:05
36Alicia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Lointek0:04:14
37Pauline Delhaye (Fra)0:04:19
38Ida Jansson (Swe)0:04:20
39Sunny Gilbert (USA) Van Dessel0:04:45
40Stefanie Paul (Ger)0:04:50
41Asa-Maria Erlandsson (Swe)0:05:28
42Kim Van De Steene (Bel)0:05:56
43Emily Wadsworth (GBr)0:06:17
44Lisa Heckmann (Ger)0:06:31
45Nikola Bajgerova (Cze)0:06:43
46Irene Trabazo Bragado (Spa)0:06:46
47Naomi Williams (Aus)0:06:57
48Saga Molin (Swe)0:07:12
49Denisa Minarikova-Svecova (Cze)0:07:18
50Nathalie Lamborelle (Lux)0:07:23
51Rebecca Locke (Aus)0:07:31
52Christine Vardaros (USA)0:08:10
53Edie Antonia Rees (Lux)0:08:37
54Mara Schwager (Ger)
55Tereza Medvedova (Svk) Bepink
56Suzie Godart (Lux)
57Stacey Riedel (Aus)


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