In their last race wearing the rainbow stripes before next weekend’s World Championships, Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit) repeated their wins on last year’s World Worlds course in tremendous style in the World Cup round in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands.
The race was the finale of the 2009-2010 UCI Cyclocross World Cup presented by Safety Jogger.
Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) is the overall winner of the World Cup in the Elite Men category, while Daphny van den Brand (the Netherlands) is the best in the Women’s category. In the Men Under 23 category, Tom Meeusen (Belgium) took the overall win after finishing second behind Kacper Szczepaniak (Poland). Local rider David van der Poel (the Netherlands) grabbed the overall title in the Juniors Men category.
Elite Men: Albert’s victory places him second behind Stybar overall
Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) took the lead early on, but during the second half of the race it was Albert who battled with Czech Champion Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) and Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea) for the win on the muddy and slippery course. Albert took the initiative throughout the race and managed to take advantage of a small mistake from Stybar in the last lap.
However, Stybar’s second place was enough for his first overall win in the UCI World Cup presented by Safety Jogger. The Czech rider finished the World Cup season with a four points margin over Albert. Third overall is Belgian champion Nys, trailing Stybar by one hundred points.
Part of a 4-man chase group for most of the race, American Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) finished 8th.
A good result for Page with the World Championships coming up. “Today was a good day for me.” Page told Sporza. “I spent the whole season for these two weeks, it might work out”
In his first race in Europe since Nationals, US Cross Champion Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) finished 32nd. His teammates Jamey Driscoll 40th and Jeremy Powers 51st. Ryan Trebon (KONA) and Troy Wells (Clif Bar) did not finish the race.
Canadian Mike Garrigan was 55th and his compatriot Erik Box 58th.
Women: Dutch dominate
The Women’s category was dominated by the local Dutch riders. World Champion Vos won her third World Cup round of the season after leaving her two compatriots behind halfway through the race. Sanne van Paassen and her teammate van den Brand finished second and third, 30 seconds behind Vos. Winner of the World Cup round in Roubaix, Katerina Nash (Luna) won the sprint for fourth place from Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany).
Nash crashed in the first minutes of the race and went head over bars. “Soft landing. I think I hit the barriers times, but that’s racing.” Nash told trailwatch.net. Nash recovered and chased back.
With her eighth place finish, Amy Dombroski (Luna) was the highest placed American. Dombroski had a terrific start and found herself part of the first chase group before fading back slightly. Meredith Miller (CalGiant) finished 20th, Maureen Bruno-Roy (MM Racing/Seven) 23rd and Christine Vardaros 40th. Canadian Vicky Thomas finished 46th.
Van den Brand’s third place was just enough to win the overall classification of the World Cup series. Vos finishes second in the overall ranking, just five points adrift of Van den Brand. Third overall is van Paassen who took over the last podium spot from Katie Compton (Planet Bike), absent from Hoogerheide due to her ongoing battle with leg cramps.
Men Under 23: Meeusen overall winner
Meeusen was virtually certain of taking the overall World Cup win in the Under 23 category before the race began. And with his second place in Hoogerheide the Belgian did much more than needed. Szczepaniak was a surprising winner who bounced back after a poor start in the race. Overall second placed Robert Gavenda (Slovakia) had an off-day and finished a distant sixteenth. Arnaud Jouffroy’s third place in Hoogerheide was just enough for the Frenchman to sneak past Tijmen Eising (the Netherlands) to take third in the overall classification.
Highest place American was Zach McDonald in 29th, followed by U23 US Cross Champion Danny Summerhill in 30th, Jerome Townsend 36th and Luke Keough 41st.
“I had a little bit of a bad start.” said McDonald to trailwatch.net. He connected with Summerhill and the duo worked together but “nothing was closing down up front.”
Juniors: Van der Poel overtakes Bosman to take World Cup title
The two Dutch riders Gert-Jan Bosman and van der Poel were battling for the overall win in the Juniors Men category on Sunday morning. Bosman went into the race with a fourteen point advantage over his compatriot after the penultimate World Cup round in Roubaix, France. After several attempts, van der Poel succeeded in shaking off Bosman during the second half of the race. He went on to win the two-man sprint over another compatriot Danny van Poppel while Bosman only managed to finish in sixth place. This meant that van der Poel wins the overall classification of the World Cup, ahead of Bosman and Jens Vandekinderen (Belgium).
US Cross Champion Cody Kaiser has an extremely frustrating day and finished 41st. (Read his blog entry) Jeff Bahnson was 46th and Chris Wallace 48th.
“Had an awesome, second row start and was sitting in the top 20 then after the first corner crashed in a group of about 5 and was frustrated by mishaps in the pit all day. I felt great today, as good as I did at Nationals. ” said Kaiser.
Canadians Kiernan Orange finished 49th, Mackenzie Carson 51st and Conor OBrien 52nd.
Complete results here