Hoogerheide was Amy Dombroski's best World Cup finish so far.© Bart Hazen

Hoogerheide was Amy Dombroski's best World Cup finish so far.© Bart Hazen

by Dan Seaton

Hoogerheide, Belgium – Just a week short of one year since she first put on the World Champion’s jersey in these same fields, Marianne Vos’s season came full circle when she stormed to victory in the final World Cup of the 2009-10 season. In her last week in the rainbow stripes—at least, this year’s edition—Vos pulled away from Daphny van den Brand and Sanne van Paassen midway through the 40-minute race and never looked back, showing that she remains on track for next week’s World Championships in Tabor with a 30-second victory.

Vos’ victory this year came in dramatically different conditions than her World Championship win last year, when she chased down Katie Compton on a fast, frozen course. This year the temperatures climbed towards the forties, while a combination of overnight rain and on-and-off drizzle during the day left the course coated in slippery mud. Additionally, the absence of Katie Compton, who was sidelined for the second week in a row by the leg cramps that have interrupted her racing occasionally over the past several years, meant that no one would have to chase the dominant American rider through the mud.

But there was drama almost right from the start line nonetheless when Czech National Champion Katerina Nash crashed dramatically during the first lap. Nash was catapulted over the bars, then forced to play a high speed game of Frogger with the rest of the women’s field in order to get back to her bike.

Katerina Nash finished fourth after her win in Roubaix.© Bart Hazen

Katerina Nash finished fourth after her win in Roubaix.© Bart Hazen

While Nash was trying to make her way back into the race, a trio of Dutch racers—Vos, van den Brand and van Paassen—managed to pull away to a ten second lead, chased by American Amy Dombroski and German Elizabeth Brandau. Up front, the leaders traded shots, but nothing stuck until Vos managed to open a small gap over the other two coming out of a sweeping, slippery off-camber turn in the middle of the third lap. Vos, sensing an opportunity, gritted her teeth and hit the gas, speeding through the muddy track to stretch her lead to nearly thirty seconds by the end of the next lap.

Behind her, van den Brand and van Paassen rode together, taking turns pushing the pace, but never really following through with a serious attack. Meanwhile, Nash had reached the front of the chase and began to pull away before German champion Hanka Kupfernagel closed the gap and made it a two-woman race for fourth place.

While Vos cruised to her third World Cup victory of the season, van den Brand, whose lead in the overall series standings was secure as long as she finished on the podium, eventually sat up, allowing her teammate van Paassen to take second, her best finish in a World Cup this season.

The second place finish was enough to move Van Paassen into third overall in the World Cup, bumping American Katie Compton, who watched the race from the sidelines near the pits, into fourth.

Nash, meanwhile, edged out Kupfernagel for fourth, ten seconds behind van den Brand. American Amy Dombroski faded slightly after her early action at the front of the chase group, but still managed ninth place, her best World Cup result this year. Other American results included Meredith Miller in 20th, Maureen Bruno-Roy in 23rd, and Christine Vardaros in 40th.

After the race, Vos told reporters that she was happy with her ride today and her prospects going into the World Championships next weekend in Tabor. “I was feeling good,” she said. “Now it is just before the World Championships, so it’s very important that you receive confirmation that your form is good.”

Despite her dominant performance today, Vos said that Worlds will be a wide open race. “For me, there are five favorites,” she told reporters. “They will certainly be looking at me, but Sunday is a new round with new opportunities.”

Compton, for her part, told Cyclocross Magazine that, while she was disappointed to miss a shot at the overall World Cup title, she was feeling optimistic about her chances in Tabor. “I’m starting to feel better, though I’m still not racing today,” said the American national champion. “But my legs are coming around, I think. Today I was able to move around without having the cramping sensation, so that’s a good sign. It usually takes a couple of days after that to feel good and be able to ride again.”

Stay tuned for much more from our chat with Katie Compton, as well as all the inside news out of Tabor, available all week on cxmagazine.com.

Full Results

1Marianne VOSNED2339:55300300
2Sanne VAN PAASSENNED2240:28260260
3Daphny VAN DEN BRANDNED3240:32220220
4Katerina NASHCZE3340:42190190
5Hanka KUPFERNAGELGER3640:42170170
6Eva LECHNERITA2541:05150150
7Caroline MANIFRA2341:17140140
8Elisabeth BRANDAUGER2541:27130130
9Amy DOMBROSKIUSA2341:33120120
10Christel FERRIER-BRUNEAUFRA3141:41110110
11Reza HORMESNED4341:51100100
12Sanne CANTBEL2041:519090
13Helen WYMANGBR2941:538080
14Sophie DE BOERNED2042:037575
15Nikki HARRISGBR2442:057070
16Annie LASTGBR2042:216565
17Pauline FERRAND PREVOTFRA1842:216060
18Pavla HAVLIKOVACZE2742:215757
19Jana KYPTOVACZE2543:015454
20Meredith MILLERUSA3743:065151
21Linda VAN RIJENNED2243:124848
22Gabriella DAYGBR2643:154646
23Maureen BRUNO ROYUSA3543:154444
24Sabrina SCHWEIZERGER2043:264242
25Lucie CHAINEL-LEFEVREFRA2743:354040
26Maureen GUICHARDOTFRA2643:503838
27Martina MIKULASKOVACZE1744:093636
28Arenda GRIMBERGNED3244:093434
29Martina ZWICKGER2144:103232
30Katrin LEUMANNSUI2844:123030
31Nicole DE BIE – LEYTENBEL3544:162929
32Sabrina STULTIENSNED1744:212828
33Susanne JURANEKGER3544:382727
34Ayako TOYOOKAJPN3044:452626
35Masami MORITAJPN3445:032525
36Joyce VANDERBEKENBEL2645:582424
37Ellen VAN LOYBEL3046:112323
38Katrien VERMEIRENBEL2147:132222
39Iris OCKELOENNED1847:302121
40Christine VARDAROSUSA4147:392020
41Zuzana PIRZKALLOVACZE1747:571919
42Jennifer SAGESSERSUI2048:121818
43Chika FUKUMOTOJPN1748:461717
44Katrien AERTSBEL4049:341616
45Michiko SHIMURAJPN3649:401515
46Vicki THOMASCAN3849:501414
47Nikoline HANSENDEN2351:201313

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