Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) put on a patient and powerful performance to take an impressive victory at World Cup Hoogerheide.
The final round of the UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup played out on the Hoogerheide course designed by Adrie van der Poel and famed for features like the so-called ‘Stairway to Heaven’. A sizeable group duked it out for the first half of the race, Blanka Vas (SD Worx), Fem van Empel (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal), Puck Pieterse (Alpecin-Fenix), Vos and Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions) trading blows at the front of the race.
With the stragglers shaken loose, the leading quintet endured repeated attacks until the penultimate lap when the reigning world champion put the hammer down, taking only Vos and the U23 World Cup leader Pieterse with her.
The 19-year-old Alpecin-Fenix rider applied the pressure at the start of the final lap, and while Vos glued herself to Pieterse’s wheel, Brand lost a couple of bike lengths. Vos finally put in the race-winning attack just as Brand caught back on, and her frighteningly fast acceleration put a huge wedge between the Dutch national champion and her compatriots.
With Marianne Vos celebrating an immense hundredth elite CX victory, Brand and Pieterse sprinted for the podium, ultimately finishing in that order. There was no significant change in the overall standings, with Brand having already sealed the elite competition and Pieterse wrapping up the U23 category.