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by Matt de Neef
February 5, 2018
In today’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Wout van Aert stuns to win his third-straight CX world title; Sanne Cant takes back-to-back CX world titles; Esteban Chaves wins the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, Sam Crome claims the final stage; Alejandro Valverde wins the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana; Sergio Henao takes his second-straight Colombian road title; Tony Gallopin wins Etoile de Besseges with final-stage victory; UCI announces use of video commissaires in biggest road races; Giro organisers want guarantee Froome’s results will be valid; Vincenzo Nibali set for new challenge at the Tour of Flanders; Hong Kong businessman Adam Kwok invests in Mitchelton-BikeExchange; Esteban’s Extras; Live-stream slip-up.
“This may have been the hardest race of my career,” a mud-spattered Sanne Cant commented after she crossed the finish line in Valkenburg. The Belgian defended her world championship title in a brutally muddy duel with four-time medalist Katie Compton (USA). In an equally exciting battle for bronze, Dutch rider Lucinda Brand bested Luxembourgian Christine Majerus.
The championship weekend’s most anticipated event more closely resembled a mud run than a bike race, as the already tricky course was bogged down with heavy, tire-deep muck. In a battle against the elements, it was a question of who could keep their bike upright the longest and who was the fittest. Slips and crashes were abundant and the pit crew had their work cut out for them as well.
One lap completed, Majerus and Cant led the race with a steadily building 30-second gap, but riders like Katie Compton and Lucinda Brand were moving through the field quickly. Cant quickly earned a gap but paced herself. When Compton successfully made contact with Cant with two laps to go, the duel we had all hoped for ensued.
With only a quarter lap and two more run-ups to go, Cant put in a dig on Compton. “Now or never” she must have thought, grinding the mud-covered gears with pain and exhaustion written all over her face. As Cant ran up the muur, Compton’s legs said “no more”. Compton was barely moving while Cant had gone clear with a 16-second gap, going on to win a second-straight world title.
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