Marianne Vos swapped her Jumbo-Visma jersey for a Dutch champion’s kit since her last World Cup, and in final round of the 2021-2022 series in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands, AKA the GP Adrie van der Poel, she earned her fourth triumph out of 15 races with a strong attack on the final lap. Runner-up Lucinda Brand wrapped up her second consecutive World Cup title.
Brand’s lead was 59 points over Denise Betsema at the top of the table going into the final round.
Vos, Fem van Empel and Eva Lechner all had strong starts on Lap 1. Inge van der Heijden nabbed the early lead, with Vos in Position 2. Kata Blanka Vas and Shirin van Anrooij both took their turns doing the pace making. Vas led over the line.
Vas continued to pound away at the pointy end of the race, with Italian champ Silvia Persico on her six. The leading group was still an octet on the second circuit and Puck Pieterse pulled it over the line.
On the third of seven laps Pieterse pushed to open a gap. Brand, Vos and van Empel were her closest pursuers. Vas laboured to sew it up. When Brand grabbed the reins, van Empel had to scramble to reestablish contact. Pieterse attacked at the end of the lap.
Lap 4 saw Vas make a quintet, prompting Vos to punch the gas. Brand and Pieterse were wise to the move, but van Empel and Vas dangled off the back. By the end of the lap the group had reunited.
Vas took the reins at the start of Lap 5. Van Anrooij was the quintet’s lone chaser. Riders started being lapped. Brand lost a couple of metres at the back of the string but returned before the stairs.
At the beginning of the penultimate lap Brand accelerated. Vas had trouble keeping contact. Then Brand and Vos departed from Pieterse and van Empel, with only Pieterse making it back.
Puck made a surge early in the bell lap, and the World Champion momentarily lost the wheels. Pieterse really wanted it but Vos waited for the right moment to skip away, quickly opening a huge gap. Brand was runner-up and Pieterse earned her sixth 2021-2022 World Cup podium.
2021-2022 UCI ‘cross World Cup, Round 15, Hoogerheide
1) Marianne Vos (The Netherlands/Jumbo-Visma) 52:14
2) Lucinda Brand (The Netherlands/Baloise Trek Lions) +0:10
3) Puck Pieterse (The Netherlands/Alpecin-Fenix) +0:11