Women’s Cyclo-cross World Cup: Vos goes solo in Heusden-Zolder
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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Women’s Cyclo-cross World Cup: Vos goes solo in Heusden-Zolder

by Kyle Moore at 9:28 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross, Race Reports and Results
 
World champion rides away from Compton; World Cup leader doomed by three crashes

Marianne VosMarianne Vos (Rabobank) took a classy victory in the Boxing Day showcase of women’s UCI World Cup Cyclo-cross in Heusden-Zolder on Wednesday. Vos led almost from the gun and quickly rode away from the field on the first lap and never looked back, keeping World Cup leader Katie Compton (Trek Cyclo-cross Collective) firmly behind her.

In the World Cup round five race on Sunday in Namur, it was Compton who rode cleanly and took advantage of crashes by Vos. In the Zolder rematch, the scenario was reversed, as Vos produced the sterling ride and Compton struggled playing catch-up behind, crashing three separate times and never challenging the World Champion’s lead.

After pulling away from Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (BH-SR Suntour) and Sanne Cant (Veldritacademe Enertherm-BKCP) early on lap one, Vos rode the remaining five laps by herself. Compton came home more than a minute down, followed quickly by Cant, who rode a quality race for third. Katerina Nash (Luna) was fourth, and Chainel-Lefevre rounded out the top five.

“After the last World Cup race in Namur, I thought I would have to ride from the start and race my own race, and that’s what I did,” Vos told cameras at the finish. “I was really happy to be able to keep the pace to the finish. The win is really nice for my confidence. I felt good in Namur, [but the crashes hindered me], so it’s good to keep my rhythm in this portion of the season, until I go for Louisville [and the World Championships].”

With a style preferred by her husband Steve, Chainel-Lefevre got the hole shot on the relatively clean Zolder course. The field quickly lined out through the winding early sections, and Vos was quickly into the lead. Chainel-Lefevre and Cant sensed the danger and tried to keep up, but the Dutchwoman quickly had a gap. Compton was nearly 12 riders back in the field as Vos surged ahead, putting the rainbow stripes on display. Compton made her first mistake on the first of two sandy downhills, putting her front wheel in the right-hand barrier and going over the top. Chainel-Lefevre and Cant continued to chase in vain as riders began lap two, with the duo now 14 seconds behind. Nash was 20 seconds slower, Helen Wyman (Kona) was 25 ticks back, and she was followed by Compton at a half minute behind.

Compton was the only rider to change bikes after a lap, but the American had soon caught Nash and Wyman on course. Wyman was dropped first, and then Compton rode away from Nash as well, and she had almost caught Cant and Chainel-Lefevre to begin the third lap.

Compton caught hold in the finishing straight and went around the chasing duo, though she had lost a few more seconds on Vos, now 35 behind the world champion. Nash joined up with Chainel-Lefevre and Cant to form a trio chasing the two stars, while Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Rabobank) was putting together a great race in fifth.

Ahead, Vos had a rough moment on a steep run up, but Compton made the point moot on another sandy downhill, taking a hard tumble over the bars, putting her on the back foot again and allowing Cant, Chainel-Lefevre, and Nash to catch up.

On the penultimate lap, Compton and Cant rode together temporarily, with the Czech and French riders just behind. Nash put Chainel-Lefevre behind her as Vos carefully took the sandy portions of the course ahead. Compton gapped Cant again in her pursuit of Vos, but she was a minute in arrears with a lap to race. The American went down one more time, sending ripples through the Belgian crowd hoping to see Cant pick up a spot at the finish, but the American recovered quickly.

Vos removed her glasses to celebrate the victory, and Compton crossed 1’10” later, five seconds ahead of Cant. Nash and Chainel-Lefevre followed ahead of two Brits, Harris and Wyman.

Women’s UCI World Cup Cyclo-cross – Heusden-Zolder:


1, Marianne Vos (Rabobank) in 39’37”
2, Katie Compton (Trek Cyclo-cross Collective) at 1’10”
3, Sanne Cant (Veldritacademe Enertherm-BKCP) at 1’15”
4, Katerina Nash (Luna) at 1’35”
5, Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (BH-SR Suntour) at 1’49”
6, Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) at 2’17’
7, Helen Wyman (Kona)
8, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Rabobank)
9, Ellen Van Loy
10, Jasmin Achermann (Rapha-Focus)

Updated World Cup standings:


Compton 340 pts
Harris 235 pts
Wyman 215 pts
Van Paassen 210 pts
Cant 182 pts
Achermann 172 pts
Chainel-Lefevre 164 pts

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