Marianne Vos, a week removed from taking second in the inaugural Paris-Roubaix Femmes, earned the win on Sunday’s 2021-2022 ‘cross World Cup opener in Waterloo. The Dutch swept the podium on a warm, windy day in Wisconsin that didn’t demand pit stops. Maghalie Rochette, fresh from three USCX victories, placed 10th.
You can watch this season’s World Cup on FloBikes.
2021-2022 UCI Cyclocross World Cup
October 10: Waterloo, Wis.
October 13: Fayetteville, Ark
October 17: Iowa City, Iowa
October 24: Zonhoven, Belgium
October 31: Overijse, Belgium
November 14: Tabor, Czech Republic
November 21: Koksijde, Belgium
November 28: Besançon, France
December 5: Val di Sole, Italy
December 12: Rucphen, the Netherlands
December 18: Antwerp, Belgium
December 19: Namur, Belgium
December 26: Dendermonde, Belgium
January 2: Hulst, the Netherlands
January 19: Flamanville, France
January 23: Hoogerheide, the Netherlands
The Fayetteville round will be a preview of the Worlds on January 29-30
Last year nine rounds were cancelled out of 14 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the five races that remained, Wout Van Aert earned the title for the elite men and Lucinda Brand took three out of five events on her way to owning the women’s cup.
Maghalie Rochette, Sidney McGill, Nicole Bradbury, Isabella and Ava Holmgren and Siobhan Kelly were in Waterloo for the World Cup opener.
Rochette nabbed the hole shot and led early on Lap 1. France’s Helene Clauzel was her closest pursuer. Rochette clawed out some space on Clauzel, world champ Brand and Annemarie Worst, but Brand sewed it up. Rochette led over the line, the first 3.1 km lap rolled at 8:09.
On Lap 2 Rochette dropped back a bit in the leading group. Denise Betsema grabbed the reins, with Worst, Brand and Vos going clear with their compatriot. The Dutch quartet was five seconds ahead at the end of the lap and Rochette was 11 seconds in arrears in ninth place. McGill was 34th and Bradbury 37th.
Lap 3 was where Hungarian Kata Blanka Vas nabbed the Dutch leaders. Betsema was leading when she dropped a chain. Brand and Vos put some real estate between themselves and Worst and Vas. Rochette was 11th and +0:22 at the midpoint of the race.
The Dutch duo continued to rip out front on Lap 4, while Worst made a podium bid by leaving the Hungarian behind. Suddenly, Worst joined them and drove the trio. More women bridged over and the leading group ballooned to seven. Betsema had done very well to get back into the race.
On the penultimate lap Brand pushed forward. Vos was hot in pursuit, with Betsema, Worst and Jolanda Neff vying for the final podium spot. Vos made the junction in the final third of the lap.
Brand and Vos took a six-second lead into the bell lap. Rochette was still 11th with considerable gaps fore and aft. Betsema and Neff made up the six seconds early on the lap. Neff had a problem on a run-up and lost contact. All three leaders took turns at the front. Vos couldn’t squeeze by Brand in the last kilometre, but tried it again and succeeded. There was no getting around Vos in the sprint.
Rochette fought her way to 10th. McGill placed 33rd, Bradbury 36th and Kelly and Holmgrens 46th to 48th.
2021-2022 UCI Cyclocross World Cup Round 1, Waterloo
1) Marianne Vos (The Netherlands/Jumbo-Visma) 48:28
2) Lucinda Brand (The Netherlands/Baloise Trek Lions) +0:02
3) Denise Betsema (The Netherlands/Pauwels Sauzen) +0:03
10) Maghalie Rochette (Canada) +1:21
33) Sidney McGill (Canada) +4:24
36) Nicole Bradbury (Canada) +5:12
46) Siobhan Kelly (Canada)
47) Isabella Holmgren (Canada)
48) Ava Holmgren (Canada)