Published on Jan 21, 2013
The UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup final in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands, offered a great spectacle on Sunday due to the cold weather conditions. Snow and ice turned the twisting, hilly and often muddy course into a slippery challenge for the riders.
Elite Men: Albert salvages World Cup despite Pauwels' attack
Martin Bina's victory was well-deserved, albeit surprising. The 29-year-old Czech clearly felt comfortable on the snow-covered course, while others were lacked that comfort, unable to develop their power on the slippery course.
Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) made few mistakes and was confident early on, launching several attacks on Niels Albert. However, the Belgian riders were taken by surprise in the sixth of nine laps when Bina launched his attack. The Czech rider collected a lead of about ten seconds on the first chasers, where home rider Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Development Team) was doing most of the work. In the closing laps Pauwels left Albert behind and was leading the chase on Bina during the penultimate lap. He came close to taking over the World Cup win as he was riding in second place while Albert was seventh. However, his dreams were shattered in a steep descent when he lost his chain and saw lots of riders, including Albert, pass by. Bina overcame a late scare after a bobble to complete his solo towards his first-ever World Cup victory. The late surge from Van der Haar resulted in a close second place ahead of Simon Zahner (Switzerland), Nys and Albert. Pauwels crossed the line in eighth place.
Elite women: Vos makes it three in a row
Marianne Vos won the final round in the women's category. The World Champion went up the snowy roads with her compatriot Sanne van Paassen (Rabo Women Cycling Team). The duo quickly collected half a minute on a chasing group of Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Faren- Let's go Finland Team), Eva Lechner (Italy) and Jasmin Achermann (Switzerland). At the half-way mark, Van Paassen took the initiative in the lead group but on a right hand corner her front wheel slipped away and she went down in the snow. Vos made the most of this mistake to create a small gap which Van Paassen never managed to bridge. French rider Ferrier-Bruneau took third place on the snowy course.
World Cup leader Katherine Compton skipped the final round in Hoogerheide as she was already certain of the overall victory. The British Champion Nikki Harris (Great-Britain) dropped from second to third place in Hoogerheide due to a distant tenth place on the slippery course. Her disappointing performance allowed Van Paassen to claim second place in the World Cup.
Men U23 and Juniors: Bosmans and Van der Poel unbeatable
With a fourth win in six rounds Wietse Bosmans added the icing to his World Cup cake. Bosmans left his last rivals behind at the half-way mark of the U23 race. Gianni Vermeersch (Belgium) held off Juan Alaphilippe (France) for second place in Hoogerheide. Bosmans is the logical winner of the World Cup with compatriot Wout Van Aert (Belgium) finishing second. Corne van Kessel (the Netherlands) and Vermeersch share third place, with Van Kessel coming out on top due to a greater number of second places.
In the first race of the day Mathieu Van der Poel completed his unbeaten winning streak in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup. Van der Poel completed a six-lap solo ride, arriving half a minute ahead of his compatriot Martijn Budding and Italian rider Gioele Bertolini. The overall World Cup is won by Van der Poel, well ahead of Budding and Logan Owen (USA).
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