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Dutch dominate first day of Dübendorf cross world championships

Alvarado's brilliant season topped off with rainbow jersey

The Dutch utterly dominated Saturday’s first day of the UCI Cyclocross Championships in Dübendorf, Switzerland, grabbing seven of the nine podium spots. Although Canadian champ Maghalie Rochette had a great start to the elite women’s race, she had problems on Lap 1 and finished fourteenth. What looked like it might be a boring affair turned into a white-knuckle contest among the Dutch, with new superstar Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado topping off her great season with the rainbow jersey.

The Course
Situated on an airfield, most of the course’s elevation changes came via the five flyovers, with numbers one and four requiring the riders to carry up stairs. The final flyover led to the finish line. Besides a lot of bumps, there were a couple of natural features including an eight-foot wall of a hill.

The first championship in Dübendorf was the new Junior women‘s contest. Canadians Emilly Johnston and Claire Steciuk competed in the historic race. Dutch racer Shirin van Anrooij earned the gold, with compatriot Puck Pieterse taking home the silver almost a minute behind. American Madigan Munro rounded out the podium. Johnston was top Canadian in 16th and Steciuk came 41st.

There was no surprise at the first two in the U23 men‘s race, with Dutchman Ryan Kamp beating Swiss Kevin Kuhn by attacking on Lap 4 of six. The duo comprised the top two in the U23 World Cup this season but in reverse order. Mees Hendrikx made it four Dutch riders on the first two podiums of Dübendorf 2020. The best Canadian result was Tyler Orschel in 31st, with Malcolm Barton 47th.

Elite Women

A battle between Dutch riders Alvarado and Annemarie Worst was the World Cup season’s central story, with Worst triumphing in the final round. Alvarado still has Worst as her closest DVV Trofee rival and compatriot Yara Kastelijn on her heels at the top of the Superprestige series.

Rochette started on the front row with the Orange Armada and Sanne Cant. She was fourth heading up the first stairs.

Rochette sandwiched by Dutch riders at start of Lap 1.

The Dutch ran away from Rochette before the Canadian made a mistake off camera that put her back to 15th place.

Midway through Lap 2 of five, Brit Evie Richards, American Katie Compton and Belgian Ellen Vay Loy started to edge closer, prompting a surge from Alvarado that popped off a teammate. Compton was soon Alvarado, Brand and Worst’s main pursuer, 19-seconds back going into Lap 3.

Jenn Jackson moved up a couple of places on Lap 3, while Rochette dropped to 16th. Brand lost her grip on her teammates but they sat up and waited on Lap 4. By the bell lap it was clear that Compton couldn’t make the podium and the Dutch would have to scrap it out among themselves.

Worst tried to unhitch Alvarado, with Brand fighting to get back before finally latching on again. Worst then attacked, dropping Brand once more. The final flyover was crucial but it was out of the final corner that Alvarado started her sprint. She collapsed and wept with joy after the finish line while Worst sat stunned nearby.

Rochette worked up to 14th place and Jackson was 27th.

Dübendorf 2020 World Championship Elite Women

1) Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (The Netherlands) 45:20
2) Annemarie Worst (The Netherlands) +0:01
3) Lucinda Brand (The Netherlands) +0:10
14) Maghalie Rochette (Canada) +3:37
27) Jenn Jackson (Canada) +8:05