Sunday’s 10th round of the UCI ‘cross World Cup was a good one for Canadian women, as Maghalie Rochette earned her second consecutive podium on an extremely difficult, snowy-covered course, while Sidney McGill was 12th in Val di Sole, Italy. Dutch rider Fem Van Empel impressed with her first World Cup victory, leading for the entire race.
You can watch the 2021-2022 UCI Cyclcross World Cup at FloBikes.
Marianne Vos was back racing after a couple of months off. World Cup leader Lucinda Brand and Annemarie Worst skipped this round.
Fem van Empel took the hole shot and seized the early lead on Lap 1 with Rochette second, Vos third and van Empel’s teammate Denise Betsema fourth and a considerable gap back to Puck Pieterse. Rochette shuffled down the pack and was soon just in front on Pieterse. Sidney McGill was an impressive 13th.
Both van Empel and Pieterse fell near the start of Lap 2, allowing Vos to edge closer to the leader and Rochette to re-establish fourth place. Vos’s mechanical saw her fade out of contention. Rochette went down in a corner, but kept third place, with Italian Eva Lechner and French woman Helene Clauzel her main podium threats.
Going into Lap 3 of five, the gap to van Empel was 20 seconds and Rochette was only five seconds in arrears of Betsema. Lechner, in her brilliant pink kit, separated herself from Clauzel in chasing Rochette. McGill was up to 12th.
Van Empel went into the penultimate lap with a 27-second gap. Rochette had Betsema always in her sights. The Canadian used a run-up to pass Betsema. Rochette started to reel in van Empel, while Vos started to pull back Lechner and Betsema.
When she heard the bell Rochette was only 9-seconds back. But Vos was coming hard as well, passing Lechner and Betsema before taking over second place from Rochette. Van Empel kept her head but Vos was still yanking her compatriot closer. When Vos went to pass her inside 150-metres, Vos got tangled in the side netting and got in van Empel’s way. Van Empel came out of the mess and accelerated away from Vos for the triumph.
The next round of the World Cup is Saturday, December 18 in Rucphen, the Netherlands.
2021-2022 UCI World Cup, Round 10, Val di Sole, Italy
1) Fem Van Empel (The Netherlands/Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal)
2) Marianne Vos (The Netherlands/Jumbo-Visma)
3) Maghalie Rochette (Canada) +0:11
12) Sidney McGill (Canada) +4:01