Hot and cold women's nationals in the north and south hemispheres
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Monday, January 11, 2010

Hot and cold women's nationals in the north and south hemispheres

by Ben Atkins at 7:59 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross, National Championships
 

With the cycloross season nearing its climax, it was national championships weekend all over Europe this week. Colder than average temperatures meant that many courses were under snow; there was too much in Great Britain and Ireland though, and both championships were postponed until after the World Championships.

The three members of the podium in the Netherlands were never going to be any different. Barring accident, the only real question was who would come out on top in the battle between Daphny Van Den Brand (ZZPR.nl) and Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit) ahead of Van Den Brand’s teammate Sanne Van Paassen. In the end, Van Den Brand handled the snowy conditions better than Vos and she retained the title that she’s held for ten of the last twelve years.

In Belgium 20-year-old Sanne Cant – who rides for Niels Albert’s BKCP-Powerplus team – came of age to take her first senior Belgian Cyclocross Championship. Cant has been the best Belgian by far this year, getting close to the World Cup podium on a number of occasions, and beat outgoing champion Joyce Vanderbeken by almost a minute.

Perennial German champion Hanka Kupfernagel retained her title at a canter, despite crashing in the first lap. Kupfernagel beat Elisabeth Brandau and Martina Swick by almost two minutes as she builds her form for her bid to reclaim her World Championship at the end of the month.

In France Caroline Mani won a four-woman sprint, beating outgoing champion Christel Ferrier-Bruneau – who is also French road race champion – and Pauline Ferrand Prevot. Eva Lechner retained her Italian title as she beat Vania Rossi and Evelyn Staffler by more than two minutes.

In Luxembourg 23-year-old Christine Majerus put an end to the five-year reign of Suzie Godart, as the 47-year-old abandoned after puncturing on the first lap. Reigning champion Czech Pavla Havlikova was beaten by Katerina Nash, while in Spain Rocio Gamonal Ferrera retained her title.

Southern summer sees champions on the road

Meanwhile, in the southern hemisphere summer is at its height; Australian and New Zealanders were competing for their road race championships.

The Australian time trial was won by former Olympic rower Amber Halliday. She beat 2008 champion Bridie O’Donnell (Cycling Team Valdarno Umbria) by just 4 seconds, and Carly Light by just over a minute. In the road race Ruth Corset – recently signed for US Team Tibco – escaped a highly select group to win in solo fashion. O’Donnell took her second silver medal of the championships, beating German Judith Arndt (HTC-Columbia) in a two-woman sprint 18 seconds later.

[Note: The Australian Championships road race is run as an open race and so non-Australians can enter.]

In New Zealand Melissa Holt beat Alison Shanks by 49 seconds to take victory in the time trial. Recently naturalised New Zealander Linda Villumsen (HTC-Columbia) – who is technically still the Danish champion – took the bronze medal. The road race saw Rushlee Buchanan – recently transferred from Team Tibco to Colavita-Baci p/b Cooking Light – escape the peloton alone and build a massive lead. Villumsen was the first to seriously react to Buchanan but could only halve her lead and Buchanan won by more that three minutes. Villumsen’s silver was her second medal of the championships and former Selle Italia-Ghezzi rider Kaytee Boyd took the bronze a further minute back.

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