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Marianne Vos won’t defend world ‘cross title in Hoogerheide

For the first time neither elite champion will try to repeat

For the first time, neither reigning elite cyclocross world champion will defend the rainbow jersey. The cycling world has known for a while that Brit Tom Pidcock has finished his ‘cross season to focus on the road, but on Thursday, Jumbo-Visma announced that Dutch superstar Marianne Vos will skip the Hoogerheide Worlds in her home country.

Jumbo-Visma said that Vos has had difficulty in the 2022-2023 ‘cross season because of a constriction of her pelvic artery. She will undergo treatment to prepare for the road. This is the same problem that she faced in the 2019-2020 ‘cross season, when she raced only five times. In the 2022-2023 campaign Vos competed in ten races, winning the Kortrijk-Urban Cross round of the X2O Trofee.

Last January, Vos outsprinted compatriot Lucinda Brand to claim her eighth elite women’s world cyclocross title.

Despite this disappointment, the Netherlands is expected to win the elite women’s race on February 4 in Hoogerheide. Three young riders, Fem van Empel, Puck Pieterse and Shirin van Anrooij, have been dominant this season. Dutch cyclists have take all the rounds of the World Cup, Superprestige and X2O Trofee series so far. The top-10 ranked elite women are all Dutch.