Dutch rider Annemarie Worst (777) won the penultimate cyclo-cross World Cup round of the season on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Nommay, France. Worst sprinted faster than World Cup leader Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Fenix), and American veteran Katie Compton (KFC Racing).
Alvarado now holds no more than a 5-point bonus over compatriot Worst in the World Cup classification ahead of the traditional World Cup final in Hoogerheide, Netherlands next week.
Multiple top riders like world champion Sanne Cant (IKO-Crelan) skipped this World Cup round at two weeks from the World Championships race in Dübendorf, Switzerland. Worst didn't mind about their absence as she still had the overall World Cup win in sight.
"It's fun to make it a thriller in the World Cup. It was exciting. It's good to know that I can bank on my sprint. I'm very pleased with this victory," Worst told Telenet Play Sports tv in the post-race flash interview.
Alvarado hoped that she would be able to secure the overall World Cup victory in Hoogerheide. "I'm still ahead of in the World Cup standings so I'm confident that I can hold onto that lead next week," Alvarado said.
How it happened
The undulating course in Nommay morphed from a fast hard subsoil into a muddy affair as the sun softened the top layer of the course. During the opening lap multiple riders struggled to find grip, as crashes from former World Cup leader Katerina Nash (CLIF Pro Team) and new World Cup leader Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado showed.
"I'm quite disappointed. I didn't have a great race. My legs didn't feel good. I tried to make the best of it. During the start I didn't get into my pedal and then completely slipped out of it. Then I crashed and lost more ground," Alvarado said.
Meanwhile, Worst was leading the race with fast starter Ellen Van Loy (Telenet Baloise Lions) and 20-year-old French champion Marion Norbert-Riberolle. The latter pleased the home crowd with a splendid performance in Nommay. For the first time in her career she was able to mix in with the best in a World Cup round.
Alvarado bridged up to the leaders by the end of the opening lap and replaced Van Loy, who slowly faded away from the front. Compton was moving up through the field and led a chase group at 15 seconds from the leaders. Nash had a very difficult opening lap and briefly rode outside the top-30. The Czech-American rider risked to drop out of the overall World Cup top-3.
Alvarado nor Worst seemed to have the punch to reach out for the win. "I did manage to come back to the front and hold the wheels. I tried but failed to make the difference. The legs didn't allow it today," Alvarado said.
Worst added, "It was a close race. It's a fast lap here. This morning it was slippery and fast and now it was different. At one point we just started watching each other."
This allowed an eager Norbert-Riberolle and steady Compton to believe in their chances. After three of the five laps Compton bridged up to the leaders and any of the four riders seemed capable of a win. Little later, Norbert-Riberolle broke her rear derailleur. The young French champion had to run for a long time to reach the pit area and switch bikes, throwing her well outside the top-5.
Suddenly Compton was nearly certain of a podium spot. Two years ago she captured the top step in Nommay and surprisingly enough at the age of 41 she was again in the mix in 2020. "I'm really happy. It was a good day for me. I felt pretty good. Technically I was riding well. I had a bit of a slow start but once I got into the race I got into the rhythm of the course. I was happy I could push it to the finish," Compton said.
At that point of the race she was tempted to attack.
"It was tough. In the second lap to go I felt like I could go faster but I wasn't sure. I wasn't sure how hard these girls were going. I tried to make an attack in the last lap before the finish but it didn't quite work. I put a good effort in. I'm happy with my result," Compton said.
The three women battled hard for position in the final lap and Worst ended up reaching the finishing straight in first position just ahead of Alvarado; Compton wasn't right on their wheels. Just like Brand won the sprint at the World Cup round in Heusden-Zolder from Alvarado, Worst ruled the sprint in Nommay. Alvarado sat up and just checked to keep Compton behind her.
The latter was pleased to see her form was improving. "I'm starting to feel better and stronger through the season. I had a slow start because I broke my arm at the beginning of the season. I've been trying to build and focusing on Worlds so hopefully I'll feel good and have a good race in a couple of weeks," a smiling Compton said.
At long distance from the top-3, Christine Majerus was a surprising fourth ahead of Manon Bakker (Experza). US-champion Clara Honsinger won a hard-fought battle for sixth place ahead of local hero Caroline Mani, Van Loy and Italian champion Eva Lechner (Creafin-Fristads).
A devastated Marino Norbert-Riberolle rolled over the finish line in tenth place. Nash salvaged her podium spot in the World Cup standing by finishing twelfth in Nommay, just behind Canadian champion Maghalie Rochette.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Annemarie Worst (Ned)||0:41:42|
|2||Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned)||0:00:01|
|3||Katherine Compton (USA)||0:00:03|
|4||Christine Majerus (Lux)||0:00:42|
|5||Manon Bakker (Ned)||0:00:43|
|6||Clara Honsinger (USA)||0:00:50|
|7||Caroline Mani (Fra)||0:00:55|
|8||Ellen Van Loy (Bel)||0:00:57|
|9||Eva Lechner (Ita)||0:00:58|
|10||Marion Norbert Riberolle (Fra)||0:01:00|
|11||Maghalie Rochette (Can)||0:01:23|
|12||Katerina Nash (Cze)||0:01:30|
|13||Marlène Petit (Fra)||0:01:41|
|14||Rebecca Fahringer (USA)||0:01:44|
|15||Perrine Clauzel (Fra)||0:01:45|
|16||Francesca Baroni (Ita)||0:01:56|
|17||Katie Clouse (USA)||0:02:00|
|18||Inge Van Der Heijden (Ned)||0:02:02|
|19||Anna Kay (GBr)||0:02:05|
|20||Elisabeth Brandau (Ger)||0:02:11|
|21||Loes Sels (Bel)||0:02:25|
|22||Gaia Realini (Ita)||0:02:28|
|23||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)||0:02:30|
|24||Geerte Hoeke (Ned)||0:02:35|
|25||Aida Nuño Palacio (Spa)||0:02:37|
|26||Amandine Fouquenet (Fra)||0:02:44|
|27||Léa Curinier (Fra)||0:02:49|
|28||Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita)||0:02:55|
|29||Line Burquier (Fra)||0:02:57|
|30||Karen Verhestraeten (Bel)||0:02:58|
|31||Lucia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa)||0:03:04|
|32||Lauriane Duraffourg (Fra)||0:03:15|
|33||Hannah Arensman (USA)||0:03:25|
|34||Silvia Persico (Ita)||0:03:28|
|35||Anaïs Morichon (Fra)||0:03:29|
|36||Noemi Rüegg (Swi)||0:03:31|
|37||Ruby West (Can)||0:03:50|
|38||Samantha Runnels (USA)||0:03:51|
|39||Aniek Van Alphen (Ned)||0:03:54|
|40||Lara Krähemann (Swi)||0:04:01|
|41||Zina Barhoumi (Swi)||0:04:35|
|42||Suzanne Verhoeven (Bel)||0:04:47|
|43||Ilse Pluimers (Ned)||0:05:05|
|44||Clea Seidel (Ger)||0:05:11|
|45||Marthe Truyen (Bel)||0:05:15|
|46||Kiona Crabbé (Bel)||0:05:17|
|47||Alicia Franck (Bel)||0:05:29|
|48||Nadja Heigl (Aut)||0:05:39|
|49||Emily Werner (USA)||0:05:41|
|50||Maud Kaptheijns (Ned)||0:05:53|
|51||Marine Strappazzon (Fra)||0:05:57|
|52||Carlotta Borello (Ita)||0:06:17|
|53||Tereza Švihálková (Cze)||0:06:25|
|54||Svenja Wüthrich (Swi)||0:06:55|
|55||Senne Knaven (Ned)||0:07:04|
|56||Mélissa Rouiller (Swi)||0:07:27|
|57||Paula Suarez Chasco (Spa)||0:08:02|
|58||Paula Diaz Lopez (Spa)||0:08:39|
|59||Maria Parajon Fuentes (Spa)||0:10:21|
|60||Lucie Cottier (Swi)|
|61||Ainara Albert Bosch (Spa)|
|62||Rebecca Gross (USA)|
|63||Fabienne Kipfmüller (Swi)|
|64||Sara Bonillo Talens (Spa)|
|65||Marta Zanga (Ita)|
|66||Prisca Jaquet (Swi)|
|67||Michelle Schätti (Swi)|
|68||Claire Steciuk (Can)|
|69||Irene Trabazo Bragado (Spa)|
|70||Nina Keller (Swi)|
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