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February 3, 2013
The emotions displayed as riders crossed the line summed up the days racing beautifully; Marianne Vos and Sven Nys took very different victory in Louisville, Kentucky. Neither of the newly crowned World Champions were a huge surprise, but that didn’t take away from the excitement of the racing.
The organisers made the decision to modified the entire race schedule due to flood warnings at the competition site and all the events took place on Saturday (US time). It turned out to be a good idea as flood walls held back the water. Have a look at this photo to see how disaster was avoided..
The live streaming coverage for the race was brilliant and you can take the opportunity to watch the replay of the races via the videos below.
The women’s race was held in frozen conditions, the course was a thin brown line through the snow. Frenchwomen, Lucie Chainel-Lefevre got the holeshot but that didn’t last for long. There were no surprises when we saw Vos ride solo off the front of the race within half a lap. By the end of the first lap it was a race for second as Vos rode away flawlessly to victory. Vos’ lap times were faster than those of the elite men who raced later in the day, albeit in worse conditions. Vos’ salute was gracious; she took her glasses off and curtsied. There is no doubt she is the most complete cyclist the world has ever seen.
Marianne Vos (Rabobank) wins her sixth career elite cyclocross world championship in addition to her two road race rainbow jerseys and two of Olympic gold medals.
Initially Eva Lechner led the chase while Vos’ teammate Sanne Van Paassen sat on. With two laps remaining local favorite Katie Compton recovered from a slow start and was riding by alone in second place. Compton crossed the line solo 1min and 34 seconds behind Vos; her emotions were evident as waved and encouraged the crowd.
In the last lap the battle for bronze proved to be exciting. Katerina Nash and Lucie Chainel-Lefevre were throwing everything at each other. There was action in the last few hundreds meters that the coverage didn’t catch. Chainel-Lafevre led up the final climb but Nash emerged on foot onto the finish straight. Nash suffered drivetrain issues and was forced to scoot to the line. Chainel-Lefevre passed Nash in the last few meters and was absolutely elated with bronze.
As the day’s racing progressed, temperatures rose and the course conditions deteriorated. The Belgians took advantage of the stacked front row with Rob Peeters taking the holeshot. In the first lap, Martin Bina and Francis Mourey were at the head of affairs, whilst behind the fields sorted itself out. For the next 3 laps the Frenchman Francis Mourey has riding solo at the front of the race. On the fourth lap Kevin Pauwels, followed by Klaas Vantornout and Sven Nys, joined Mourey at the head of the race.
36-year-old Sven Nys from Belgium wins his second World Championship
On the seventh of ten laps, disaster struck Kevin Pauwels as he dropped a chain. This event also dislodged Mourey from the lead group. Over the final 3 laps we were treated to a brilliant duel between Nys and Vantornout. As the snow belted down it was only the fluro shoes of Vantornout that allowed the Belgian duo to be distinguish. Coming into the last run up, Nys attacked, under pressure Vantornout made a small error, as his bike clipped the fence as he put it down. This was all Nys needed to ride away to victory. Nys celebrations were interrupted as Vantornout was closing in on him rapidly. The photos will show Nys with a 2-arm salute and Vantornout thumping his bars behind. In the post race interview Nys concluded that his “career is now complete”.
Behind the race for bronze saw Dutchman Lars Van Der Haar ride a brilliant race. Throughout the races he was chasing, the persistence paid off as he caught and subsequently passed defending champion Niels Albert. In his first years as an elite Van Der Haar rode across the line pumping his fist. He raised three fingers, acknowledging his third place, and the three gold medals won earlier by his Dutch teammates.
For some excellent photos from the weekend, have a look at CyclePhotos.co.uk.