Cyclo-cross World Cup: Worst takes overall victory in Hoogerheide


Lucinda Brand (Telenet Fidea Lions) won the final round of the UCI World Cup in Hoogerheide, beating Annemarie Worst (777) in the sprint to the line after one of the most dramatic finales of the cyclo-cross season. World champion Sanne Cant (Iko-Beobank) rounded out the podium in sunny Hoogerheide.

The result means that Worst wins the UCI World Cup as her rival, and ranking leader, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Fenix) crashed with around 300 metres to go on a cambered descent while on the attack. Alvarado ended up in sixth place, sealing the U23 title once more but losing the overall title in heartbreaking fashion.

Worst's 70 points means that she clinches the World Cup with 495 points, while Alvarado's 50 puts her in second place with 480. Katerina Nash, who finished 19th, rounded out the overall podium with 430 points.

"It was an exciting race, especially between me and Ceylin. That was really exciting. At a certain point I lost her wheel and then Lucinda was between the two of us. Then Ceylin crashed on the off-camber section. I was able to pass her. I'm really happy to win the World Cup," Worst told Telenet Play Sports in the post-race flash interview.

The win earns her €30.000. "I don't know what I'll do with that money. The first thing that crosses my mind is my post-season holiday," Worst laughed.

Obviously, Alvarado was more down-hearted during her post-race interview as she was in pole position for the win at 30 seconds from the finish.

"This is quite a bummer, especially because it's that late in the race. It made me lose the race and the overall World Cup. I felt good throughout the race. Annemarie wasn't on my wheel and Lucinda wasn't glued on my wheel," Alvarado told Telenet Play Sports.

"My plan was to go full gas at the bottom of the off-camber section but then I bumped out of the rut and then my wheel clipped in the loose sand. It's sad that I don't get to go home with the overall World Cup victory. It'll have to happen next week."

Race winner Brand will be one of the major contenders for next week's rainbow jersey race in Dübendolf, Switzerland.

"I'm really happy. Without the crash it would've been quite the sprint for the victory. It was a tactical race. That's partly due to the speed on this course which makes the level of racing more equalised compared to other races, there was also the battle for the overall World Cup and also the world championships which are on everybody's mind. The win offers me extra flow but there's certainly a few other riders who gained confidence here," Brand told Telenet Play Sports.

Third-placed Cant had an ice-pack on her leg during her first World Cup podium ceremony of the season. She struggled throughout the race to mark the moves from the top guns. Nevertheless she'll be a force to be reckoned with in Switzerland.

"During the second or third lap I hit the barriers with my leg. That happens. It didn't bother me much but it's starting to swell. I didn't feel very fresh and for most of the race I had to hang on. I often had to ride alone in the headwind section on the road. Without the crash from Alvarado I would've been fourth today but it's fun to be on the podium nevertheless. I hope to add a few more percentages to my form by next week," Cant said.

How it unfolded

Inge van der Heijde (CCC-Liv) led the way from the start, while a few wheels further back, Alvarado stuck onto Worst's wheel – all she had to do in order to secure overall victory – during the early stages. Katie Compton (KFC Racing p/b Trek) went to the front to keep the pace up, but there was no separation at the front of the race early on.

A large group remained out front on lap two, despite Compton and Lucinda Brand (Telenet Baloise Lions) putting in a dig. Later during the same lap, Compton crashed, falling away from the front of the race.

Lap three saw more action, as European champion Yara Kastelijn (777) pushed on, stretching out the lead group. A further attack from Evie Richards (Trek Factory Racing) saw the elastic snap, leaving an elite group of six out front, with the Brit joined by Kastelijn, Alvarado, Worst, Van der Heijden and world champion Sanne Cant (Iko-Beobank).

Brand was unlucky to somersault over her bars on a tricky cambered section on lap three, but the Dutchwoman quickly made her way back to the front of the race. With Van der Heijden falling out of contention as Alvarado put in an attack, Brand replaced her in the lead sextet.

On the penultimate lap of five, Worst led Alvarado at the front of the race. With the first six places giving 80-70-65-60-55-50 points and Worst having three round wins to Alvarado's one, just beating her compatriot would be enough for Brand to overhaul her. Put simply, whoever crossed the line first would take the UCI World Cup.

Heading onto the final lap, after a circuit entirely led by Worst, Brand went on the offensive, provoking another split in the lead group. Only Worst and Alvarado could go with her as Brand powered across the start-finish line, making it a Dutch trio in the race lead.

Shortly thereafter, Alvarado took to the front, and things seemed to slow up a touch, as Cant, Kastelijn and Richards came back. It was clear that the three Dutchwomen were the strongest though as Brand got back on the front, putting more pressure on the three chasers, who struggled to keep up.

On the final section of the last lap, it was Alvarado who took the initiative. She sprinted up the long staircase, moving ahead of Worst and Brand, and put more space between her and Worst after remounting her bike.

It look all set for an Alvarado victory with a couple of hundred metres remaining, but disaster struck for the 21-year-old on the same section that Brand had earlier come a cropper. She lost control on the tricky camber, sliding down the hill and off her bike.

It was a brutal end to her World Cup hopes, but her rival Worst had no such trouble, staying upright to cross the line safely in second place and secure her first UCI World Cup title.

Full results

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Race result
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lucinda Brand (Ned) Telenet Baloise Lions 0:45:11
2Annemarie Worst (Ned) 777 0:00:03
3Sanne Cant (Bel) Iko-Crelan 0:00:04
4Yara Kastelijn (Ned) 777 0:00:05
5Evie Richards (GBr) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:10
6Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 0:00:17
7Shirin Van Anrooij (Ned) Cecemel-Aveve 0:00:26
8Maghalie Rochette (Can) Specialized-Feedback Sports 0:00:29
9Inge Van der Heijden (Ned) CCC-Liv 0:00:44
10Laura Verdonschot (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal
11Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions
12Eva Lechner (Ita) Creafin-Fristads 0:00:45
13Alicia Franck (Bel) Experza Pro CX 0:00:46
14Caroline Mani (Fra) 0:00:47
15Katherine Compton (USA) KFC Racing p/b Trek 0:00:49
16Puck Pieterse (Ned) Parkhotel-Valkenburg
17Katie Clouse (USA) Cannondale Cyclocrossworld 0:01:12
18Anna Kay (GBr) Experza Pro CX 0:01:13
19Katerina Nash (Cze) Clif Pro Team 0:01:14
20Lucia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Nesta-Skoda Alecar 0:01:24
21Clara Honsinger (USA) 0:01:31
22Marion Norbert Riberolle (Fra) Experza Pro CX 0:01:33
23Sara Casasola (Ita)
24Manon Bakker (Ned) Experza Pro CX 0:01:37
25Aniek Van Alphen (Ned) 0:01:38
26Christine Majerus (Lux) 0:01:42
27Gaia Realini (Ita) 0:01:49
28Loes Sels (Bel) Iko-Crelan 0:01:53
29Amandine Fouquenet (Fra) Chazal-Canyon-3G Immo 0:01:56
30Rebecca Fahringer (USA) 0:01:57
31Elisabeth Brandau (Ger) 0:02:01
32Fem Van Empel (Ned) 0:02:03
33Geerte Hoeke (Ned) 0:02:08
34Francesca Baroni (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti 0:02:14
35Pavla Havlíková (Cze) 0:02:23
36Perrine Clauzel (Fra) AS Bike Crossteam 0:02:27
37Samantha Runnels (USA) 0:02:36
38Madigan Munro (USA) 0:02:44
39Léa Curinier (Fra) 0:02:51
40Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel) 0:03:03
41Zina Barhoumi (Swi) 0:03:06
42Tereza Švihálková (Cze) 0:03:11
43Lara Krähemann (Swi) 0:03:19
44Josie Nelson (GBr) 0:03:30
45Aida Nuño Palacio (Spa) 0:03:35
46Ruby West (Can) 0:03:37
47Harriet Harnden (GBr) 0:03:45
48Sofia Rodriguez Revert (Spa) 0:03:47
49Anna Flynn (GBr) 0:03:52
50Marthe Truyen (Bel) 0:04:01
51Marie Schreiber (Lux) 0:04:24
52Jennifer Jackson (Can) 0:04:30
53Hannah Arensman (USA) 0:04:39
54Lizzy Gunsalus (USA) 0:04:43
55Emilly Johnston (Can) 0:04:52
56Isa Nomden (Ned) 0:05:07
57Emily Werner (USA) 0:05:13
58Nadja Heigl (Aut) 0:05:17
59Julie De Wilde (Bel)
60Judith Krahl (Ger) 0:05:24
61Stefanie Paul (Ger) 0:05:31
62Camille Devigne (Fra) 0:05:34
63Mari-Liis Mõttus (Est) 0:05:38
64Karolína Bedrníková (Cze) 0:05:48
65Shannon Mallory (USA) 0:05:53
66Kiona Crabbé (Bel) 0:05:59
67Bethany Crumpton (GBr) 0:06:24
68Paula Diaz Lopez (Spa) 0:06:26
69Nikola Bajgerová (Cze) 0:06:31
70Julie Brouwers (Bel) 0:07:57
71Mélissa Rouiller (Swi) Row 70 - Cell 2
72Irene Trabazo Bragado (Spa) Row 71 - Cell 2
73Cyriane Muller (Fra) Row 72 - Cell 2
74Dana Gilligan (Can) Row 73 - Cell 2
75Maria Parajon Fuentes (Spa) Row 74 - Cell 2
76Sara Bonillo Talens (Spa) Row 75 - Cell 2
77Marta Zanga (Ita) Row 76 - Cell 2
78Ainara Albert Bosch (Spa) Row 77 - Cell 2
79Claire Steciuk (Can) Row 78 - Cell 2
80Diana Steffenhagen (Ger) Row 79 - Cell 2
81Aya Akamatsu (Jpn) Row 80 - Cell 2
DNFAneta Novotná (Cze) Row 81 - Cell 2
DNSLucia Gomez Andreu (Spa) Row 82 - Cell 2

World Cup rankings

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UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup final standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamPoints
1Annemarie Worst (Ned) 777495
2Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix480
3Katerina Nash (Cze) Clif Pro Team430
4Inge Van der Heijden (Ned) CCC-Liv388
5Katherine Compton (USA) KFC Racing p/b Trek377
6Maghalie Rochette (Can) Specialized-Feedback Sports375
7Lucinda Brand (Ned) Telenet Baloise Lions370
8Anna Kay (GBr) Experza Pro CX346
9Caroline Mani (Fra) 335
10Manon Bakker (Ned) Experza Pro CX333
11Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions326
12Yara Kastelijn (Ned) 777324
13Eva Lechner (Ita) Creafin-Fristads297
14Sanne Cant (Bel) Iko-Crelan295
15Clara Honsinger (USA) 295
16Lucia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Nesta-Skoda Alecar282
17Loes Sels (Bel) Iko-Crelan241
18Shirin Van Anrooij (Ned) Cecemel-Aveve237
19Evie Richards (GBr) Trek Factory Racing235
20Marion Norbert Riberolle (Fra) Experza Pro CX233
21Kaitlin Keough (USA) Cannondale Cyclocrossworld224
22Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) 777218
23Rebecca Fahringer (USA)216
24Puck Pieterse (Ned) Parkhotel-Valkenburg198
25Laura Verdonschot (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal176
26Nadja Heigl (Aut)167
27Geerte Hoeke (Ned)166
28Maud Kaptheijns (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal160
29Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)149
30Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans146

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