HEUSDEN-ZOLDER – On a sunny, mostly-dry course, Marianne Vos (Rabobank) shook off her crashes at World Cup Namur and stormed across the grassy terrain to lead solo from the first lap to the last, taking her first World Cup win of the season.
Marianne Vos has returned to cyclocross with her win today at World Cup Zolder © Bart Hazen
Katie Compton (Trek), who had a near-flawless race to win Namur, got off to a poor start that saw her sitting twenty riders back in the opening turns. As Compton made her way forward, her luck continued to be poor as she crashed on the steep, bumpy descent while trying to pass Swiss champion Jasmin Achermann (Rapha-Focus), taking Achermann down in the process. As Vos rode a flawless race ahead, Sanne Cant (BKCP), Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (Suntour), and Katerina Nash (Luna) made up a formidable chase, with Compton slowly making her way up to, and ultimately past, the chasers.
Compton would never see Vos again, however, as a second crash on the same descent cost her precious momentum, and brought Sanne Cant back into striking distance of second place. Indeed, Cant nearly overtook Compton at the end as the American champion crashed for a third time on the final, short drop right before the finish. Compton held the Belgian off, however, and came across the line in second, expanding on her World Cup series lead. That last week Vos took third despite two crashes, and this week Compton took second with three, speaks volumes to the abilities of the two champions, promising an exciting build up to the World Championships in Louisville.
Katie Compton’s skinsuit showing the challenges of the course © Bart Hazen
“After the last world cup in Namur, I thought I had to ride from the start and race my own race,” said Vos after the race. “That’s what I did, and I’m happy I could ride that to the finish. Today I knew that the course suits me and knew I could use my speed here. If Katie finds her rhythm, it’s really hard for me to keep up with her. That’s why I was so happy today to find my own rhythm from the start and keep Katie back a little bit. But I think Katie is the favorite for worlds. It’s nice for my confidence, I felt good in Namur, and it’s good to keep the rhythm. I go for Louisville.”
“I got a bad start and then was stuck in traffic,” said Compton, via Velonews. “There’s not anywhere to pass anyone until it opens up halfway through. So I was probably mid-pack at that point, and then I crashed in that first downhill. Then I did the same thing on the next drop. So I just tried to do my best, and thought, ‘Well, it’s a soft landing and I’m pretty good at tucking and rolling.’ It was just frustrating. But I just didn’t have a good race.”
Kaitlin Antonneau came in at 19th, then a trio of Americans – Nicole Duke, Crystal Anthony, and Maureen Bruno-Roy – nabbed 25th through 27th, with Meredith Miller coming in a few further down at 29th. Amy Dombroski finished 33rd, Andrea Smith 36th and Christine Vardaros in 46th.
Bart Hazen Photo Gallery:
2012 World Cup Zolder - Women
|8||Pauline FERRAND PREVOT||FRA||42:12:00|
|9||Ellen VAN LOY||BEL||42:18:00|
|27||Maureen BRUNO ROY||USA||45:20:00|
|32||Asa Maria ERLANDSSON||SWE||46:08:00|
|35||Margriet Helena KLOPPENBURG||DEN||46:24:00|
|38||Bianca VAN DEN HOEK||NED||46:48:00|
|47||Kim VAN DE STEENE||BEL|