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Hello again, CyclingTips readers!
As the road season’s winding up, the cyclocross season is coming to a close, and the weekend had phenomenal racing in both disciplines.
The CX world champs in Dübendorf, Switzerland, were held in grim conditions, and produced a winner in the women’s race that is a rapidly rising star, and a winner in the men’s that is a firmly established one (no prizes for guessing who…)
In other news, the first WorldTour one day race of the season was held in Australia with the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, where weather played a role of its own in the women’s race – and forced some drastic measures in the coverage.
Until next time, readers.
| Alvarado wins women’s cyclocross world championship
Ceylin de Carmen Alvarado has been one of the revelations of this cyclocross season, and the 21 year old Dutch rider delivered the goods in Dübendorf on Saturday.
The Dutch team was the most dominant, with a leading trio of Lucinda Brand, Annemarie Worst and Alvarado establishing off the front. Worst looked to have a slight edge through the final lap, but Alvarado had her measure in the sprint, taking her debut World Championships (and at the elite level, no less, despite being eligible to race as a U23).
| Mathieu van der Poel romps to third CX world championship
The result was a little less surprising in the men’s race, with unbackable pre-race favourite Mathieu van der Poel riding away from the entire field to a dominant victory. The Dutch star established a 15 second lead by the end of the first lap, which only grew as the race went on.
Raced in sloppy mud, thanks to heavy rain prior to the race, Van der Poel described it as “one of the hardest races I’ve ever done” – not that it looked to trouble him too much.
Making up the minor placings were Tom Pidcock (Great Britain) who was thrilled with his second place finish, and Toon Aerts (Belgium) in third. Just off the podium was Van der Poel’s longtime rival, Wout van Aert, who continues his impressive recovery from a potentially career-ending leg injury sustained at the Tour.
| Liane Lippert weathers Cadel’s Race to win
The opening WorldTour race of the women’s calendar was won by Sunweb’s Liane Lippert on Saturday. The race was a battle of attrition, splintered by crosswinds and a major crash that took out more than 30 riders.
From the leading group, Sunweb was best placed with five riders, and Lippert took flight on the final climb with 6km to go, soloing to the win. Rounding out the podium 15 seconds later were defending champ Arlenis Sierra (Astana) and 2016 winner Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott).
| Devenyns takes out men’s Cadel’s Race
The men’s edition of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race was held in more hospitable conditions, but still delivered a tense, tactical race. Mitchelton-Scott went into the race with high hopes for Daryl Impey, forcing the major split on the penultimate lap of the closing circuit and splintering it again on the final ascent of Challambra Crescent.
From the six riders that were left, Pavel Sivakov (Ineos) made the key move, and was joined by Deceuninck-QuickStep’s Dries Devenyns at 3.8km to go. In the end, Devenyns proved the stronger in the sprint, with Impey having to settle for third behind Sivakov.
| Robbie McEwen, the cameraman
Robbie McEwen had an illustrious career as a rider, pivoted into commentary in his retirement, and can now add a third string to his bow: cameraman.
During the womens’ edition of Cadel’s Race, poor visibility grounded helicopters and brought live vision to a standstill. For most of the final 30km of the race, the only footage was from Robbie McEwen’s phone on the back of a motorbike, calling it in via Skype.
| Sergio Higuita is the new Colombian champion
Sergio Higuita (EF Pro Cycling) just won the Colombian national road race title, ahead of Egan Bernal (Ineos) and teammate Dani Martinez. It’s an impressive result for the young rider, who only turned pro mid-last year; it also caps a nice Colombian national championships for EF Pro Cycling, with Martinez winning the time trial.
In case you missed it
| Cam Wurf on his WorldTour return: “It’s happened within six days”
Last week came the surprising news of Cameron Wurf’s return to the WorldTour peloton with Team Ineos, after several years focusing on a career as an Ironman triathlete. Over the weekend, CyclingTips’ Matt de Neef caught up with Wurf to talk about how that came about.
| Matteo Moschetti wins hearts, races at Challenge Mallorca
Trek-Segafredo sprinter Matteo Moschetti’s season is off to a flyer, with two wins from two race days at Challenge Mallorca. He’s also responsible for one of the most heartwarming moments of the season thus far, as this video shows.
Today’s featured image is of the start of the U23 men’s CX World Championships, and was shot by Rhode van Elsen for Kristof Ramon.