Just like last year, Lucinda Brand (Telenet Baloise Lions), conquered the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup round at the rain-soaked Namur citadel. A mud-clad Brand won solo in Belgium ahead of compatriots Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado (Corendon-Circus) and Annemarie Worst (777).
Katerina Nash (CLIF) finished fifth in Namur and remains World Cup leader ahead of Alvarado after six of nine World Cup rounds.
"I'm super happy to prolong my victory. I tried to ride the lines I trained on yesterday with Sven Nys, avoiding getting into the deep tracks. During the final lap I started to struggle but luckily I had enough of a gap. It was a matter of keeping my cool at that point and using my anger at the sections where it was possible," Brand told Telenet Sports Play TV.
Brand didn't have the best start on Sunday afternoon during the mini-lap that preceded the five full laps in Namur. She had to close down the gap to the first lead group with Worst, Alvarado, Yara Kastelijn (777) and young Anna Kay (Experza Pro CX).
A much-discussed newly introduced descent that preceded a cobbled climbing section, caused havoc. Rain turned the twisting path into a mudslide, as Kastelijn, Brand, Alvarado, Nash and Pan-American champion Maghalie Rochette quickly found out.
Worst surged forward during the first full lap and created a small gap over Alvarado and Brand while the rest of the field quickly disappeared from the monitor.
World champion Sanne Cant (IKO-Crelan) won yesterday's race in Sint-Niklaas but in Namur she quickly faded out of the top-10; she eventually finished fifteenth. Kaitlin Keough (Cannondale-Cyclocrossword.com) wanted to defend her third place in the World Cup standings on a course that suits her well. That didn't happen as she had a poor start and ended up abandoning the race after the first of five laps, while riding in 41nd place.
Keough dramatically tumbles from third to tenth place in the World Cup standings. Possibly she was struggling with the cold water, just like multiple other riders, as a shivering Alvarado said after the race. "Before the start of the race I was already feeling cold and during the race it wasn't easy either. My hands were freezing cold which made it hard to guide the bike."
A crash from Worst turned her race around. Brand and Alvarado bridge up to her and quickly left her behind as the crash seemed to have broken her rhythm. Further back, Evie Richards turned a distant start position around and she worked her way to the group that fought for fourth place with fresh US-champion Clara Honsinger, Katie Compton, Katerina Nash and Anna Kay.
Halfway into the race, Brand exploited a difficult moment for Alvarado. The latter slipped away at the foot of the cobble section when coming off the muddy descent. She didn't find the space to hop back on her bike and Brand surged away on the pavé. Brand collected a bonus of ten seconds which grew up to 25 seconds during the penultimate lap.
Honsinger passed Nash and Richards and seemed on her way to fourth place while Kay completely disappeared from the top-10; Kay finished 30th. Brand then crashed in the final passage of the tricky descent. She then failed to kick off at the start of the pavé but also Alvarado struggled making it impossible to take advantage of these mishaps.
Brand won, well ahead of Alvarado and Worst. Richards won the battle for fourth place ahead of Nash and Honsinger. Compton won a hard-fought sprint for seventh place from compatriot Rebecca Fahringer. Former world champion Marianne Vos slowly fought back from her back-row start position to clinch a ninth place at three minutes from winner Brand, just ahead of Rochette.
Next week, the seventh of nine World Cup rounds will be contested in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium on Boxing Day.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Lucinda Brand (Ned) Telenet Baloise Lions||0:45:05|
|2||Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned) Corendon - Circus||0:00:16|
|3||Annemarie Worst (Ned) 777||0:01:21|
|4||Evie Richards (GBr) Trek Factory Racing Cx||0:01:34|
|5||Katerina Nash (Cze)||0:01:45|
|6||Clara Honsinger (USA)||0:01:48|
|7||Katherine Compton (USA)||0:02:46|
|8||Rebecca Fahringer (USA)||0:02:49|
|9||Marianne Vos (Ned) CCC - Liv||0:03:00|
|10||Maghalie Rochette (Can)||0:03:07|
|11||Marion Norbert Riberolle (Fra) Experza pro Cx||0:03:13|
|12||Manon Bakker (Ned) Experza pro Cx||0:03:15|
|13||Eva Lechner (Ita) Creafin – Fristads||0:03:27|
|14||Inge Van Der Heijden (Ned) CCC - Liv||0:03:29|
|15||Sanne Cant (Bel) Iko – Crelan||0:03:30|
|16||Yara Kastelijn (Ned) 777||0:03:46|
|17||Caroline Mani (Fra)||0:03:53|
|18||Shirin Van Anrooij (Ned)||0:03:57|
|19||Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam||0:04:07|
|20||Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) 777||0:04:36|
|21||Francesca Baroni (Ita) Selle Italia - Guerciotti - Elite||0:04:51|
|22||Puck Pieterse (Ned)||0:04:53|
|23||Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions||0:05:05|
|24||Perrine Clauzel (Fra) A.s Bike Crossteam|
|25||Harriet Harnden (GBr)||0:05:25|
|26||Lucia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Nesta - Skoda Alecar cx Team||0:05:27|
|27||Alicia Franck (Bel) Experza pro Cx||0:05:47|
|28||Marlène Petit (Fra) Team Podiocom Cc||0:05:50|
|29||Nadja Heigl (Aut) Ktm Alchemist Racing Team||0:05:55|
|30||Anna Kay (GBr) Experza pro Cx||0:05:57|
|31||Elisabeth Brandau (Ger)||0:06:00|
|32||Olivia Onesti (Fra)||0:06:17|
|33||Geerte Hoeke (Ned)||0:06:25|
|34||Ruby West (Can)||0:06:30|
|35||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)||0:06:40|
|36||Sara Casasola (Ita) Servetto - Piumate - Beltrami Tsa||0:06:44|
|37||Samantha Runnels (USA)||0:06:47|
|38||Marine Strappazzon (Fra) Team Podiocom Cc||0:06:48|
|39||Loes Sels (Bel) Iko – Crelan||0:06:56|
|40||Amandine Fouquenet (Fra) Team Chazal - Canyon - 3g Immo||0:07:11|
|41||Josie Nelson (GBr)||0:07:23|
|42||Madigan Munro (USA)||0:07:32|
|43||Lizzy Gunsalus (USA)||0:07:47|
|44||Zina Barhoumi (Swi)|
|45||Ffion James (GBr)||0:08:00|
|46||Gaia Realini (Ita)|
|47||Mari-Liis Mõttus (Est)||0:08:09|
|48||Noemi Rüegg (Swi)||0:08:18|
|49||Maud Kaptheijns (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal||0:08:26|
|50||Raylyn Nuss (USA)|
|51||Stefanie Paul (Ger)|
|52||Lara Krähemann (Swi) Jb Brunex Felt Factory Team|
|53||Léa Curinier (Fra) Sunn Factory Racing|
|54||Tina Züger (Swi)|
|55||Lauren Zoerner (USA)|
|56||Bethany Crumpton (GBr) Tarteletto - Isorex|
|57||Anna Flynn (GBr)|
|58||Marthe Truyen (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions|
|59||Marie Schreiber (Lux)|
|60||Letizia Borghesi (Ita) Aromitalia - Basso Bikes - Vaiano|
|61||Nicole Göldi (Swi)|
|62||Irene Trabazo Bragado (Spa)|
|63||Kiona Crabbé (Bel)|
|64||Giada Borghesi (Ita)|
|65||Paula Diaz Lopez (Spa)|
|66||Judith Krahl (Ger)|
|67||Nina Küderle (Ger)|
|68||Mélissa Rouiller (Swi)|
|69||Lucie Cottier (Swi)|
|70||Sara Cueto Vega (Spa)|
|71||Diana Steffenhagen (Ger)|
|72||Sophie Thackray (GBr)|
|73||Siobhan Kelly (Can)|
|74||Michelle Schätti (Swi)|
|75||Fabienne Kipfmüller (Swi)|
|76||Marta Zanga (Ita) Ktm Protek Dama|
|77||Sterre Vervloet (Bel)|
|78||Maria Parajon Fuentes (Spa)|
|79||Claire Steciuk (Can)|
|80||Kelly Lawson (Can)|
|81||Laetitia Maus (Lux)|
|82||Lies´L Schevenels (Bel)|
|DNF||Laura Verdonschot (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal|
|DNF||Katie Clouse (USA) Cannondale Cyclocrossworld|
|DNF||Kaitlin Keough (USA) Cannondale Cyclocrossworld|
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