Cyclo-cross World Cup: Kaptheijns conquers the Koksijde sand

In-form Maud Kaptheijns (Creland-Charles) captured her first ever UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup win in the dunes of Koksijde, Belgium,on Sunday afternoon.

Kaptheijns stormed away on the opening lap and completed a race-long solo. Compatriot Sophie de Boer ( finished as runner-up at 52 seconds, while world champion Sanne Cant (Beobank-Corendon) won the sprint for third place at 1:27.

“This is my first World Cup win so I’m very happy. Before the race I wasn’t confident that I could win here," Kaptheijns said in the post-race flash interview. "I know when I start really fast that I can ride through the sand. It’s only in the sand sections that I went really hard. I hope that I can be up there every weekend.” 

Kaptheijns managed the hole shot in Koksijde and then bided her time. She was briefly passed by fast starters Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Team) and Lucinda Brand (Team Sunweb). In the descent of the Herygers-dune, Kaptheijns surged forward. Sophie de Boer and Kaitlin Keough ( briefly managed to keep up.

Halfway through the opening lap, Kaptheijns hammered up the Albert-dune. The young Dutch ace rode up the dune, where all the chasers were forced, or opted to run up the climb. Kaptheijns opened up a gap on De Boer that grew up to 10 seconds at the first passage of the finish line. From there, the gap kept increasing as Kaptheijns was in total control in Koksijde, not making any mistakes. De Boer skipped last weekend’s racing due to illness and was unable to match Kaptheijns. Nevertheless, she was never threatened for second place as Keough faded back.

Cant battled for third place with Pan-American champion Katherine Compton and Loes Sels (Crelan-Charles). Compton got stuck in the sand just before hitting the final lap and she had to let go of Cant. A few moments later, Sels powered towards Cant. The two Belgians exchanged accelerations but in the final sand section Cant managed to distance Sels.

Thanks to her third place on home soil and due to the absence of previous World Cup leader Katerina Nash, Cant moves into the Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup lead with 210 points. Sophie de Boer trails her by 20 points.

American rider Kaitlin Keough reached out to the World Cup lead early on but the countless sand sections took their toll on the light rider. Keough faded in the second half of the race, dropping from third place to eighth at the finish. She’s now third overall at 24 points from Cant.

Compton narrowly held off Lucinda Brand in the sprint for fifth place. Helen Wyman won the battle for seventh place ahead of Keough, Nikki Brammeier (Boels Dolmans) and Pavla Havlikova. MTB-specialist Jolanda Neff (Kross Racing Team) made her debut in Koksijde. She battled for a top-10 result but eventually settled for fourteenth place.

The next World Cup round is held next month in Bogense, Denmark on November 19.


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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Maud Kaptheijns (Ned) Crelan - Charles0:44:20
2Sophie De Boer (Ned)0:00:52
3Sanne Cant (Bel) Beobank-Corendon0:01:27
4Loes Sels (Bel) Crelan - Charles0:01:29
5Katherine Compton (USA)0:01:46
6Lucinda Brand (Ned)
7Helen Wyman (GBr)0:02:00
8Kaitlin Keough (USA)0:02:02
9Nikki Brammeier (GBr)0:02:03
10Pavla Havlíková (Cze)0:02:04
11Eva Lechner (Ita)0:02:17
12Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:02:18
13Annemarie Worst (Ned) Era-Circus0:02:19
14Jolanda Neff (Swi)
15Laura Verdonschot (Bel) Marlux - Napoleon Games0:02:30
16Lucie Chainel (Fra) Team Chazal Canyon0:02:33
17Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)0:02:56
18Fleur Nagengast (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions0:03:03
19Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Steylaerts - Betfirst0:03:16
20Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado (Ned)0:03:26
21Karen Verhestraeten (Bel)0:03:32
22Nikola Nosková (Cze)
23Elle Anderson (USA)0:03:51
24Kim Van De Steene (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex0:03:55
25Karla Štepánová (Cze)0:04:22
26Lucia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa)0:04:40
27Geerte Hoeke (Ned)0:04:57
28Jolien Verschueren (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice0:05:53
29Pauline Delhaye (Fra)0:06:12
30Marlene Petit (Fra)0:06:32
31Marlène Morel Petitgirard (Fra)0:06:55
32Hannah Payton (GBr)0:06:56
33Marion Norbert Riberolle (Fra)0:07:18
34Inge Van Der Heijden (Ned)0:07:32
35Anna Kay (GBr)0:07:40
36Nadja Heigl (Aut)0:08:05
37Evita Muzic (Fra)0:08:13
LAPBethany Crumpton (GBr)
LAPMaina Galand (Fra)
LAPNatalie Redmond (Aus)
LAPLéa Curinier (Fra)
LAPElizabeth Ungermanová (Cze)
LAPTereza Švihálková (Cze)
LAPMargriet Kloppenburg (Den)
LAPAmira Mellor (GBr)
LAPMara Schwager (Ger)

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