Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) made a successful transition from a podium at the first women's Paris-Roubaix to cyclo-cross, taking out the opening World Cup in Waterloo.
Vos barged her way to the front ahead of world champion Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek) and held it to the line to take the victory, with Denise Betsema (Pauwels Sauzen) rounding out the podium.
"The last lap was a full sprint," Vos said. "All the race was quite intense, but of course it's very hard to keep up the speed. At times there was a little time to recover but the last lap was full gas.
"Lucinda is a great racer so you can't give her any space. You have to keep riding. When I had a little gap over the last hill, I just gave everything I had."
Pan American champion Maghalie Rochette took the hole shot and led the peloton onto the dirt ahead of Fem van Empel (Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal) and Helene Clauzel (A.S. Bike Crossteam), Annemarie Worst (777) and Vos.
Rochette gained a solid advantage halfway through the opening lap but Brand moved through the field into second place and quickly nullified the Canadian's lead. A surge from Denise Betsema (Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal) cost Rochette a few positions, and Betsema, Brand, Worst, and Vos went clear to form a four-rider leading group on lap two.
On lap three, Betsema attacked, jettisoning Worst out of the group where she chased with Hungarian champion Kata Blanka Vas (SD Worx), but then Betsema dropped her chain and had to stop to free it. That left Brand and Vos as the leaders at the halfway point.
Blanka Vas and Worst almost made contact early on lap four as Jolanda Neff (Trek Factory Racing) fought her way through the field to fifth. Worst was the first to bridge across to the leaders, then Blanka Vas, a surging Betsema, and Neff also joined the front group. Next came Clauzel to make it seven in the lead.
"The group came back together and it was pretty tough because I think everybody wanted to get to second and third place," Vos said. "I am happy I could be there in the final to battle for the win with Lucinda."
Brand made a move on lap five, attacking hard into the flyover to overtake Neff and Blanka Vas and opened up a gap of a few seconds with Vos leading the chase. The Jumbo-Visma rider made contact halfway into the penultimate lap but Brand never let off the pressure.
Neff then fumbled the transitions on the last run-up and lost contact with Betsema, who went on to bridge up to the leaders on the final lap just as Vos came to the front and surged on the climb. Betsema came to the front on the twisting, technical section ahead of the pits, but Brand put in a stinging attack to retake the lead before the flyover.
Brand and Vos nearly came to grips on a downhill turn as the world champion fought to hold the lead position, but Vos made a powerful surge in the last section of the course and managed to take the lead before the final turn.
"Actually I wanted to go down the hill first to be the first up Factory Hill," Vos said, "but Lucinda made a great move to pass me again. So I had to try some other thing and the next hill I just passed her in the corner and from then on I went to a bigger gear and gave it everything."
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Marianne Vos (Ned) Jumbo-Visma Women Team||0:48:28|
|2||Lucinda Brand (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions||0:00:02|
|3||Denise Betsema (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal||0:00:03|
|4||Jolanda Neff (Swi) Trek Factory Racing CX||0:00:19|
|5||Annemarie Worst (Ned) 777||0:00:26|
|6||Kata Blanka Vas (Hun) SD Worx||0:00:32|
|7||Hélène Clauzel (Fra) A.S. Bike Crossteam||0:00:35|
|8||Puck Pieterse (Ned) Alpecin - Fenix||0:00:50|
|9||Yara Kastelijn (Ned) IKO - Crelan||0:01:06|
|10||Maghalie Rochette (Can)||0:01:21|
|11||Gaia Realini (Ita)||49:05:32|
|12||Clara Honsinger (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld||49:16:32|
|13||Aniek van Alphen (Ned) 777||49:23:32|
|14||Fem van Empel (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal||49:39:32|
|15||Alicia Franck (Bel) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini CT||49:43:32|
|16||Shirin van Anrooij (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions||49:46:32|
|17||Inge van der Heijden (Ned) 777||49:57:32|
|18||Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service||50:01:32|
|19||Sanne Cant (Bel) IKO - Crelan||50:05:32|
|20||Katerina Nash (Cze)||50:08:32|
|21||Manon Bakker (Ned) IKO - Crelan||50:20:32|
|22||Ellen Van Loy (Bel)||50:40:32|
|23||Katie Clouse (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld||50:52:32|
|24||Eva Lechner (Ita) Trinx Factory Team||50:59:32|
|25||Madigan Munro (USA) Trek Factory Racing CX||51:01:32|
|26||Raylyn Nuss (USA)||51:05:32|
|27||Silvia Persico (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service||51:06:32|
|28||Perrine Clauzel (Fra) A.S. Bike Crossteam||51:08:32|
|29||Rebecca Fahringer (USA)||51:19:32|
|30||Caroline Mani (Fra)||51:23:32|
|31||Caitlin Bernstein (USA)||51:24:32|
|32||Erica Zaveta (USA)||51:26:32|
|33||Sidney Mcgill (Can)||52:03:32|
|34||Marie Schreiber (Lux) Tormans - Circus Cyclo Cross Team||52:31:32|
|35||Anna Megale (USA)||52:42:32|
|36||Nicole Bradbury (Can)||52:51:32|
|37||Lizzy Gunsalus (USA)||52:59:32|
|38||Emily Werner (USA)||53:02:32|
|39||Team Marion Norbert Riberolle (Bel) Starcasino CX||53:08:32|
|40||Hannah Arensman (USA)||53:09:32|
|41||Crystal Anthony (USA)||54:57:32|
|42||Lauren Zoerner (USA)||55:09:32|
|43||Lucia Bramati (Ita) Trinx Factory Team|
|44||Harriet Harnden (GBr) Trek Factory Racing CX|
|45||Julie Brouwers (Bel)|
|46||Siobhan Kelly (Can)|
|47||Isabella Holmgren (Can)|
|48||Ava Holmgren (Can)|
|49||Maria Larkin (Irl)|
|50||Jinse Peeters (Bel) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini CT|
|DNF||Kaitlin Keough (USA) Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld|
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