For the first time in a year, Annemarie Worst (777) didn’t race in the jersey of European champion but she didn’t mourn that for too long, winning the fourth round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Tábor, Czech Republic on Saturday.
At the end of an exciting race near the Luznice river, 23 year-old Worst rode away from her compatriot Ceylin Carmen del Alvarado (Corendon-Circus). The new European champion, Yara Kastelijn (777), made sure it was an all-Dutch podium in Tábor as she finished third at 20 seconds from Worst, just ahead of Dutch champion Lucinda Brand (Telenet Baloise Lions).
It was the second World Cup victory in a row for Worst but, in contrast to her win in Bern, Switzerland last month, this one was a thriller.
"It was very exciting. Ceylin was very good today and it was a close call," Worst said in the post-race flash interview with Telenet Play Sports TV. "Last year I was runner-up and now I won. The Superprestige series and DVV series aren’t going well but luckily the World Cup is different."
Despite not featuring on the front row, Alvarado managed a great start and entered the first off-road section right behind U23 world champion Inge van der Heijden (CCC-Liv) and Pan-American champion Maghalie Rochette (CXfever). Last year’s winner Lucinda Brand made her comeback in the World Cup but she was confronted with a distant start position, riding around 20th place early on.
Half-way through the opening lap, Alvarado took over the command from Van der Heijden and, a little later, she surged away on the nearly dry course. By the end of the opening lap, Alvarado had a lead of 11 seconds over Worst and Anna Kay (Experza Pro CX). Alvarado seemed to be on her way for a long solo but Worst slowly worked her way back to the leader, bridging at the end of the second lap.
Behind the leading duo, Kastelijn tried hard to bridge up as well but failed to close the final 10 seconds. Meanwhile, Brand was powering through the field, sometimes being halted by a stumble or fall at the technical sections on the challenging course in Tábor. Half-way through the race, Brand entered the top-five, riding in the company of Kaitlin Keough and the young Kay (Experza Pro CX) but she was still 40 seconds down on the leaders. World Cup leader Katerina Nash struggled during the World Cup round in her home country, riding well outside the top-15.
Worst and Alvarado kept each other in check during the second half of the race and headed for a last-lap decider. At the barriers, Alvarado missed her pedal and she ended up riding shoulder to shoulder with Worst.
"It’s a tough lap and I figured to ride full gas one more time. I just tried to ride away from her on the final climb, otherwise it would be a sprint. It worked out well and I’m quite pleased with that," Worst said.
For Alvarado, it wasn’t fun to miss out on her first World Cup victory. "This is a bummer. It was possibly today but Annemarie was the strongest. She accelerated and I was able to keep up but then I started making small mistakes. At the end of the race, she was stronger than me. This is a major boost towards my next races and then I really like to be on the top spot."
20 seconds after Worst, Kastelijn narrowly managed to hold off Brand. She was very pleased with her performance and enjoyed riding in the jersey of European champion.
"I really enjoyed it and I will continue to do so for the rest of the season. It was a hard race for me. I know that Lucinda is capable of riding a very good final lap. I had to give everything I had," Kastelijn told Telenet Play Sports TV.
Despite finishing in a distant 18th position, Katerina Nash remains the leader in the World Cup ahead of Rochette and Keough. Worst moves up from 18th to sixth position in the overall standings.
The next round will be contested next week in the sand dunes of Koksijde, Belgium.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Annemarie Worst (Ned)||0:44:45|
|2||Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned)||0:00:10|
|3||Yara Kastelijn (Ned)||0:00:20|
|4||Lucinda Brand (Ned)||0:00:23|
|5||Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita)||0:01:20|
|6||Sanne Cant (Bel)||0:01:28|
|7||Anna Kay (GBr)||0:01:29|
|8||Kaitlin Keough (USA)||0:01:41|
|9||Puck Pieterse (Ned)||0:01:59|
|10||Shirin Van Anrooij (Ned)||0:02:01|
|11||Eva Lechner (Ita)|
|12||Inge Van der Heijden (Ned)||0:02:23|
|13||Katherine Compton (USA)||0:02:26|
|14||Caroline Mani (Fra)||0:02:37|
|15||Marion Norbert Riberolle (Fra)||0:02:39|
|16||Maghalie Rochette (Can)||0:02:43|
|17||Manon Bakker (Ned)||0:02:47|
|18||Katerina Nash (Cze)||0:02:57|
|19||Ellen Van Loy (Bel)||0:03:05|
|20||Sophie De Boer (Ned)||0:03:08|
|21||Pavla Havlíková (Cze)||0:03:12|
|22||Lucia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa)||0:03:29|
|23||Alicia Franck (Bel)||0:03:33|
|24||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)||0:03:49|
|25||Millie Couzens (GBr)||0:03:55|
|26||Geerte Hoeke (Ned)||0:04:02|
|27||Nadja Heigl (Aut)||0:04:08|
|28||Loes Sels (Bel)||0:04:18|
|29||Kata Blanka Vas (Hun)||0:04:50|
|30||Nikola Bajgerová (Cze)||0:05:26|
|31||Mari-Liis Mõttus (Est)||0:05:46|
|32||Elizabeth Ungermanová (Cze)||0:05:57|
|33||Janka Keseg Stevkova (Svk)||0:06:08|
|34||Harriet Harnden (GBr)||0:06:09|
|35||Aneta Novotná (Cze)|
|36||Kamila Janů (Cze)||0:06:35|
|37||Josie Nelson (GBr)||0:06:38|
|38||Marthe Truyen (Bel)||0:06:56|
|39||Tatiana Jaseková (Svk)||0:07:00|
|40||Kiona Crabbé (Bel)||0:07:05|
|41||Karolína Bedrníková (Cze)||0:07:15|
|42||Jana Czeczinkarová (Cze)||0:07:31|
|43||Tereza Švihálková (Cze)||0:07:43|
|44||Anna Megale (USA)||0:07:49|
|45||Corey Coogan Cisek (USA)||0:07:56|
|46||Clea Seidel (Ger)||0:08:00|
|47||Katie Scott (GBr)||0:08:24|
|48||Tereza Kurnická (Svk)||-1 lap|
|49||Rebecca Gross (USA)||-1 lap|
|50||Amandine Fouquenet (Fra)||-1 lap|
|51||Larissa Luttuschka (Ger)||-2 laps|
|DNF||Maud Kaptheijns (Ned)|
|DNF||Laura Verdonschot (Bel)|
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