After coming close on a few occasions 21-year-old Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Corendon-Circus) captured her first UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup win in the sand of Koksijde, Belgium on a grey Sunday afternoon.
On the final sand dune the U23 European champion rode away from Dutch champion Lucinda Brand (Telenet Baloise Lions) and European champion Yara Kastelijn (777). World Cup leader Katerina Nash (CLIF BAR) struggled in the conditions and finished fourteenth but the Czech-American rider remains in the overall lead after five of nine World Cup rounds.
Alvarado was delighted that she was finally able to get a World Cup victory at the highest level.
“This is massive. It’s unbelievable. This is a great race. Getting my first-ever World Cup victory as an U23-rider in the elite category is really fantastic,” Alvarado told Sporza tv.
Alvarado managed to hold off Brand with a display of tactical and sand-riding skills on the final Albert sand dune, named after Niels Albert who won the 2012 world championships race in Koksijde.
Just before the Albert dune, Alvarado was able to position herself in front of Brand and Kastelijn. Alvarado was able to ride most of the dune while Brand and Kastelijn were forced to run much longer.
“Lucinda was going so hard in the penultimate lap and there was no chance to move to the front. In the final lap the pace dropped a bit and that allowed me to take the lead. I think it was the right moment in the race,” Alvarado said.
She enjoyed a good bonus over Brand and Kastelijn and a late crash from Brand allowed Alvarado to celebrate her win when approaching the finish line on the runway of the military base in Koksijde.
Brand - with a bleeding left knee - was pleased with her second-place despite reaching out to the win.
“There was a lot of fatigue. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this tired but I’m very satisfied. Let’s be honest, this is not my biggest quality so I’m glad that I can mix in this well in only my third cyclo-cross race of the season,” Brand told Sporza.
Both Brand and Kastelijn felt that Alvarado was the best rider in the sand on Sunday.
“She had something left in the pocket at the technical sections and I was dead-empty,” Brand said.
Kastelijn seemed to struggle a lot with the downhill sand sections and she hailed Alvarado for her sand-riding skills.
“I just told her that it was impressive that she was actually able to ride through one of the dunes. I wasn’t so good today but I was always able to come back on the straight forward sections. I’m happy with my third place,” Kastelijn said.
When hitting the final lap, the trio was still in the company of previous World Cup round winner Anne-Marie Worst (777) and young Inge van der Heijden (CCC-Liv). These five Dutch riders dominated the race from start to finish. Worst and Van der Heijden ran out of gas in the final lap on the demanding course. In the background Laura Verdonschot (Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal) rode a blistering fast lap halfway the race which allowed her to win the Belgian duel from World champion Sanne Cant (IKO - Crelan). The latter is a sand specialist but is still searching for her best form and remains without a win this season. Cant narrowly held off Alice Maria Arzuffi (777) and finished seventh in Koksijde.
The sixth UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup round will be contested next month, December 22, on the slopes of the citadel in Namur, Belgium.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned)||0:47:09|
|2||Lucinda Brand (Ned)||0:00:06|
|3||Yara Kastelijn (Ned)||0:00:08|
|4||Inge Van der Heijden (Ned)||0:00:21|
|5||Annemarie Worst (Ned)||0:00:24|
|6||Laura Verdonschot (Bel)||0:01:00|
|7||Sanne Cant (Bel)||0:01:24|
|8||Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita)||0:01:25|
|9||Eva Lechner (Ita)||0:01:47|
|10||Shirin Van Anrooij (Ned)||0:01:48|
|11||Katherine Compton (USA)||0:01:52|
|12||Anna Kay (GBr)||0:01:59|
|13||Manon Bakker (Ned)||0:02:04|
|14||Katerina Nash (Cze)||0:02:06|
|15||Ellen Van Loy (Bel)||0:02:12|
|16||Geerte Hoeke (Ned)||0:02:16|
|17||Loes Sels (Bel)||0:02:29|
|18||Lucia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa)||0:02:37|
|19||Kaitlin Keough (USA)||0:02:44|
|20||Puck Pieterse (Ned)||0:03:02|
|21||Caroline Mani (Fra)||0:03:52|
|22||Christine Majerus (Lux)||0:03:59|
|23||Pavla Havlikova (Cze)||0:04:03|
|24||Bethany Crumpton (GBr)||0:04:13|
|25||Marline Petit (Fra)||0:04:33|
|26||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)||0:04:54|
|27||Marion Norbert Riberolle (Fra)||0:05:10|
|28||Millie Couzens (GBr)||0:05:34|
|29||Harriet Harnden (GBr)||0:05:44|
|30||Alicia Franck (Bel)||0:05:56|
|31||Marthe Truyen (Bel)||0:06:13|
|32||Zina Barhoumi (Swi)||0:06:29|
|33||Amandine Fouquenet (Fra)||0:06:31|
|34||Anais Morichon (Fra)||0:06:43|
|35||Nadja Heigl (Aut)||0:06:44|
|36||Kiona Crabbé (Bel)||0:07:17|
|37||Noemi Ruegg (Swi)||0:07:20|
|38||Josie Nelson (GBr)||0:07:22|
|39||Rebecca Gariboldi (Ita)||0:07:48|
|40||Pauline Delhaye (Fra)||0:08:50|
|41||Stefanie Paul (Ger)||0:09:28|
|42||Corey Coogan Cisek (USA)||0:09:54|
|43||Svenja Wurthrich (Swi)||0:10:06|
|44||Katie Scott (GBr)||0:10:35|
|45||Shannon Mallory (USA)||0:10:52|
|46||Daria Fomina (Rus)||0:11:10|
|47||Cassidy Hickey (USA)||0:11:18|
|48||Julie Brouwers (Bel)||0:11:19|
|49||Sandra Trevilla Samperio (Spa)||0:11:53|
|50||Lea Curinier (Fra)|
|51||Sterre Vervloet (Bel)|
|52||Katja Freeburn (USA)|
|53||Camille Devigne (Fra)|
|54||Bridget Tooley (USA)|
|55||Kaia Schmid (USA)|
|56||Rebecca Gross (USA)|
|57||Lucie Cottier (Swi)|
|58||Paula Diaz Lopez (Spa)|
|59||Abigail Yates (USA)|
|DNF||Sophie De Boer (Ned)|
|DNF||Maud Kaptheijns (Ned)|
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