For the first time in history the city of Bern, Switzerland, hosted a round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup. The sunny weather and pleasant temperatures in the park surrounding the Weyermannshaus open-air pool in downtown Bern offered the 200 + cyclo-cross riders from 15 nations a blistering fast 2.9km long course. Obstacles during the four races on Sunday included a set of barriers and a few low steps that forced riders to carry their bikes. Mathieu Van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) and Marianne Vos (Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team) were the winners on Sunday afternoon.
UCI World Champion Wout van Aert (Belgium) made a blistering start in the Men Elite category. Only Daan Soete (Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice) and Van der Poel joined the early move. During the third of eleven laps, Van der Poel didn’t hesitate when van Aert lost vital seconds with chain problems. Last year’s Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup winner Van der Poel blasted away and completed a long solo ride that earned him his first World Cup win of the season. Van Aert finished just eight seconds behind the European Champion and is closing in on World Cup leader Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions), who finished third in Switzerland nearly a minute behind winner Van der Poel.
In the Women’s race, Marianne Vos hit the gas during the second of six laps. Annemarie Worst (Steylaerts - 777) needed some time to move up through the field but during the third lap she began the pursuit of leader Vos. After a long chase, Worst joined her compatriot and the duo reached the final lap together. That’s when Vos showed that she had something left in the tank, riding the fastest lap of the race (6:32). Worst was second at 9 seconds. Katherine Compton (USA) was third, well ahead of UCI World Champion Sanne Cant (Corendon-Circus) and Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado (Corendon-Circus). The latter was the first finisher in the Women Under 23 category. Vos strengthens her lead in the Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup over Cant, who moves up from seventh overall to second. Evie Richards (Trek Factory Racing CX) remains out in front in the Women Under 23 category.
On Sunday morning, the first World Cup rounds in two youth categories were contested. Eli Iserbyt (Belgium) won the race in the Men Under 23 category. Wietse Meeussen (Belgium) was victorious in the Men Junior category. The two Belgian riders are the early leaders in their respective categories.
– What’s next? –
2018/2019 Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup #4 > Tábor (Czech Republic) on November 17
– Photo of the week –
– Focus on Annemarie Worst –
Young Annemarie Worst from Nunspeet, Netherlands, once again showed off her talent in Bern on Sunday afternoon. Worst initially stepped into the spotlight in January 2017, a month she’ll never forget. First, she captured the Dutch title in the Women Under 23 category, then one week later she surprised many with a fourth place in the Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup round of Fiuggi (Italy). The next weekend she captured her first-ever World Cup podium on home soil in Hoogerheide. The icing on the cake came in Bieles (Luxembourg), where she won the 2017 UCI Cyclo-cross Women Under 23 World Championships. Last season, she managed several podium results and a win in Baden (Switzerland). During the summer she worked on her speed on the road, and this cyclo-cross season Worst seems to have taken another step forward. Last week, she beat in-form Marianne Vos at the Superprestige race in Gieten before managing her best-ever World Cup result in Bern.