Last week at Superprestige Gieten, Annemarie Worst (Steylaerts – 777) got the best of Marianne Vos (WaowDeals Pro Cycling) in front of the home country fans. On Sunday at the World Cup in Bern, Switzerland, Vos got her chance to return the favor.
At the start of the second lap, the 2018/19 World Cup leader attacked and gapped a chase group that included Worst, Katie Compton (KFC Racing p/b Trek Knight), Sanne Cant (IKO-Beobank) and Ellen Van Loy (Telenet Fidea Lions). With the fast and grassy course seemingly built for Vos, it looked like she might solo to victory while the rest of the field battled for second.
For the second weekend in a row, Worst would not let her countrymate coast to a win.
In the fourth of six laps, Worst bridged the gap to Vos, and the two Dutch women worked together to hold the powerful Compton at a comfortable distance.
Knowing that she had at least one more big effort to give, Vos waited until the last lap to power away from Worst. As the two wound their way through the grassy turns, a lead of three bike lengths slowly became three seconds and then much more.
Vos’ strong last lap sealed her second World Cup win in three tries this season. Worst secured a strong second, and Compton finished strong to grab a podium spot after a rough two weeks in the Midwest a month ago.
Big Groups Early
Sunday’s World Cup took place on the grounds of the Freibad Weyermannshaus outdoor swimming pool which first hosted a race last year as part of the Switzerland-based EKZ Tour.
With the sun shining and the grassy course dusty, the Women’s World Cup got off to a fast start. One could say the riders were Berning up the course early on.
Eva Lechner (Creafin TUV Sud) took the holeshot and then led the field through the early part of the course. After one of the few technical parts of the course that included a turn through a small sand pit and a steep incline, a lead selection of Lechner, Compton, Vos, Van Loy and Kaitie Keough (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld) had a small gap on the rest of the chasers.
At the end of the first lap, Cant and Worst bridged to make the lead selection a pack of seven crossing the finish line. A total of 16 riders were within five seconds of the lead.
In the second of six laps, Vos wasted little time playing around in the group. She grabbed the first spot and powered through the sand and up the inclines to put pressure on the other riders. It worked, and she had a sizeable gap on Cant, Worst and the rest of the women chasing.
Vos stuck to her move, and at the end of two laps, she had a 12-second lead on Cant, Worst, Compton and Van Loy. With Vos looking strong and dialed, the chase group certainly had its work cut out for it.
The small sand off-camber had a rut that was the preferred line. The third time through, Van Loy missed the rut and fell to the bottom of the off-camber. The chase was now down to Worst, who was then followed by Compton trying to keep her pace.
By the end of Lap 3, Worst halved Vos’ advantage but still faced the challenge of bringing the rest of it back. Compton was hoping to do the same, sitting just three seconds behind Worst entering the second half of the race.
Worst and Vos, Redux
In the early stages of the second half of Sunday’s World Cup, Worst made it clear she was going to make a race of it. As the fourth lap progressed, the gap between her and Vos was becoming visibly smaller. Toward the end of the lap, Worst got within a few bike lengths and then made the catch shortly before the Dutch duo headed onto the long paved start/finish straight.
With two to go, it was double Dutch at the front.
With the fast conditions in Bern, Worst and Vos had little time for games at the front of the race, especially knowing that Compton sat just seven seconds back, often within eyesight if they glanced back.
The two immediately got in formation like two road riders looking to make a break stick. Worst led through the more technical part of the course and then gave way to Vos to power through the grassy turns. A flick of the elbow from Vos, and Worst was again on the front.
Worst took lead duties heading through the start/finish straight to get the bell.
At World Cup Waterloo, Vos teamed up with Ellen Noble for much of the race and waited until the last possible moment to make her winning move. On Sunday, Vos was again attached to the wheel of one of the sport’s top up-and-coming talents. She no doubt had a plan for the last lap, and Worst would have to dig deep to find a counter to the seven-time world champion.
Vos’ plan for the bell lap was not so much a move in a specific spot as it was a lot of watts put down for about seven minutes.
Vos took over the lead early in the lap and put the power down to put pressure on Worst. When the two cleared the sand and inclines, Vos had about three bike lengths on Worst. A few hundred meters later, the gap was up to three seconds. It continued to grow from there.
Vos’ last-lap effort was too much for Worst. Leaving nothing to chance, she powered through the second half of the lap and accelerated down the finishing straight.
The win was her second in three World Cups and third overall of her early start to the 2018/19 cyclocross season.
Worst held on for second, and Compton kept Cant and Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Corendon – Circus) at bay to hang on for third after a rough go at the two Midwest World Cups in September.
Cant finished fourth and Del Carmen Alvarado fifth.
Canadian Maghalie Rochette (CX Fever p/b Specialized) finished strong after a slow start to take sixth.
Keough finished 10th, Crystal Anthony (Liv Cycling) 38th and Kathryn Cumming (Jalapeno Cycling) 47th for the U.S. contingent.
Full results are below.
Elite Women's Results: 2018 World Cup Bern
|Rank||BIB||Last Name||First Name||Country||Result|
|5||16||DEL CARMEN ALVARADO||Ceylin||NED||0:41:35|
|27||19||VAN DER HEIJDEN||Inge||NED||0:43:24|