Marianne Vos on target for Cross Worlds
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Monday, December 28, 2009

Marianne Vos on target for Cross Worlds

by Ben Atkins at 1:57 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross

With little more than a month remaining before the World Cyclocross Championships in Tabor, Czech Republic, reigning champion Marianne Vos is confident that she is ready to defend her title.

"I am right on schedule," the 22-year-old Dutchwoman told the Dutch newspaper Eindhoven Dagblad on Monday.

Vos’ last two races have seen her finish second behind compatriot Daphny Van Den Brand in the World Cup race in Kalmthout, Belgium and then take victory in the Boxing Day World Cup race in Zolder. The races in the middle of the holiday period saw Vos spend a fourth Christmas away from home but, with the budgets in women’s cycling a fraction of those in men’s, not in luxury.

"We had a wonderful Christmas Day spent in the campervan,” said Vos, “I think that's better than sitting in a hotel. I was standing outside at nine o’clock the other morning, I think a nice relaxed way to live your life.”

Her last win in Zolder saw her take the lead in the first lap and held the lead right to the finish, despite an early crash. "That's usually not my approach, but I felt strong," she said.

Feeling confident about herself, Vos also identified the riders that she sees as her major competition for the rainbow jersey in Tabor next month. There are no surprises about the list of names she sees as the biggest threat.

"Daphny van den Brand is going well again,” she said, “Katie Compton is fortunately much less strong than in the beginning of the season and Hanka Kupfernagel is doing it just as I did last winter: starting late to be fresh at the World Championships. [Kupfernagel’s first race of the season was the World Cup race in Nommay, France on November 8th – ed]

“I don’t see Compton getting stronger,” she said, “Kupfernagel perhaps.”

She was asked if she thought there were any other contenders to take the rainbow jersey. "I don’t see any,” she replied.


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