Worst nabs World Cup overall in dramatic finale, Aerts gets second series win

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The 2019-2020 Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup series came to a close with Sunday’s finale in Hoogerheide. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) and Lucinda Brand (Telenet Baloise Lions) took the race victories, but Toon Aerts (Telenet Baloise Lions) and Annemarie Worst (777) wrapped up the overall titles.

On the women’s side, the outcome was determined in the stunning final few seconds of the final event of the series.

Worst and Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Fenix) were locked in a tight series battle through to Sunday’s last showdown at Hoogerheide. Alvarado took a narrow overall lead into the final race, with Worst nabbing three World Cup wins on the season and Alvarado winning Koksijde and finishing second in five other starts.

On the front in the waning moments at Hoogerheide, Alvarado looked to be on her way to the title, but her lead evaporated in dramatic fashion when she crashed in the last few hundred meters of the race.

Brand sailed past for the win and Worst powered to runner-up honors. With Alvarado ultimately finishing sixth on the day, Worst vaunted to the top of the overall standings to claim the overall title. Alvarado settled for second with Katerina Nash in third.

World Cup overall winner Annemarie Worst flanked by flanked by Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado and Katerina Nash at Hoogerheide. Photo: Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2020

On the men’s side, Aerts sealed the series win for the second straight season, this time without having won a World Cup event. He did, however, finish as runner-up in six of the nine races, including Hoogerheide, racking up enough points to finish comfortably ahead of Eli Iserbyt in the overall standings. Iserbyt’s Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal’s teammate Michael Vanthourenhout finished third.

Van der Poel won all five of the races he started in the series this year, but decided to skip four other events and therefore not contest the overall.

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