Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) surged to victory in the first round of the Cyclocross World Cup after an intense battle with world champion Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions).
A fantastically deep and international women’s field turned up in Waterloo, Wisconsin for the first of 16 World Cup rounds. The course was a little moist in places, but the conditions were good for a fast and flowing contest among the world’s best.
Pan American champion Maghalie Rochette was hot out of the blocks, but she was tagged by the end of the first lap as the favourites came to the front. Denise Betsema (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) was quick to put pressure on the group, drawing out the big names and showing off some explosive form. But by the end of lap three, Brand and Vos had begun to turn the screw.
On the last lap of six, Vos and Brand had been joined once more by Jolanda Neff (Trek Factory Racing) and Betsema, who had to chase back on after dropping her chain on lap three.
Vos and Brand fought shoulder to shoulder for prime position going into the final corner – a battle that Vos won – and eight days after finishing second at Paris-Roubaix Femmes, Vos took victory ahead of Brand, with Betsema settling for third.