Marianne Vos took the win at Lieven. ©Bart Hazen

Marianne Vos took the win at Lieven. ©Bart Hazen

by David Evans

Marianne Vos (Rabobank) and Daphny van den Brand (AA reprised their usual roles at the sharp end of Elite cyclocross in Liéven’s World Cup race. Vos’s dominance is nothing short of astonishing, even to a casual observer it is clear that the limits of her ability have yet to be reached.

The flying Dutchwomen left the field behind early in the race, trading turns to build a comfortable lead over a chase group of Katie Compton (Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team), Caroline Mani (France) and Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Racing). A crash involving both Vos and Van den Brand, born out of Liévin’s morning frost giving way to a greasy layer of dew, proved to be the decisive moment of the race.

As the pair approached the start of Liévin’s steep ascents, Vos lost her back wheel and slammed her right shoulder into the grass. Den Brand, in trying to avoid her compatriot, saw her front wheel slide out after a touch too much brake. Den Brand was soon up, running the hills because her chain had dropped. Vos had fared less well in the crash and tried to ascend the slope as gingerly as possible, obviously favoring her right side.

Vos found herself riding with Helen Wyman, Van den Brand already out of sight, but Vos wasn’t ready to write off the race. After a stunningly short recovery time, she went about reducing Van den Brand’s advantage. In a near virtuoso performance, she attacked every corner and applied her considerable wattage to every inch of the course, her rear wheel occasionally bobbling and chopping across the grass as it struggled for grip.

After overhauling Van den Brand, she carried on with her assault. A visibly dispirited Van den Brand finished an almost unthinkable 48 seconds back. Katie Compton rolled across to complete the podium, and Wyman couldn’t match Caroline Mani in the sprint for fourth.

Complete results below photos.

Photos – Bart Hazen

Elite Women Results:

2012 Lievin World Cup - Elite Women Results

1Marianne VOSNED2539:30:00200
2Daphny VAN DEN BRANDNED3440:18:00160
3Katherine COMPTONUSA3440:44:00140
4Caroline MANIFRA2540:49:00120
5Helen WYMANGBR3140:50:00110
6Sophie DE BOERNED2241:20:00100
7Nikki HARRISGBR2641:21:0090
8Lucie CHAINEL-LEFEVREFRA2941:51:0080
9Pavla HAVLIKOVACZE2942:05:0070
10Sabrina SCHWEIZERGER2242:11:0060
11Sanne CANTBEL2242:19:0058
12Arenda GRIMBERGNED3442:20:0056
13Martina MIKULASKOVACZE1942:22:0054
14Jasmin ACHERMANNSUI2342:28:0052
15Katerina NASHCZE3542:33:0050
16Kaitlin ANTONNEAUUSA2043:00:0048
17Sabrina STULTIENSNED1943:28:0046
18Christine MAJERUSLUX2543:31:0044
19Joyce VANDERBEKENBEL2843:32:0042
20Annefleur KALVENHAARNED1844:14:0040
21Julie KRASNIAKFRA2444:15:0039
22Hilde QUINTENSBEL4844:32:0038
23Linda VAN RIJENNED2444:46:0037
24Reza HORMESNED4544:57:0036
25Stéphanie VAXILLAIRE-DENUITFRA3345:07:0035
26Christine VARDAROSUSA4345:25:0034
27Cynthia HUYGENSFRA2345:36:0033
28Katrien THIJSBEL2746:07:0032
29Lise-Marie HENZELINSUI2146:56:0031
30Kim VAN DE STEENEBEL2647:11:0030
32Nancy BOBERBEL3728
34Ayako TOYOOKAJPN3226
35Nicole DE BIE - LEYTENBEL3725
36Margriet Helena KLOPPENBURGDEN2424
37Nikoline HANSENDEN2523