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Ruby West’s 9th, best Canadian result at Dübendorf worlds

Career-best worlds result for Michael van den Ham

The final day of the Dübendorf, Switzerland World Cyclocross Championships on Sunday saw the Dutch domination of Saturday down to a single medal, albeit a gold one, a British surprise and Ruby West with Team Canada’s best performance of the weekend in the U23 women’s race.

Ninth place West crossed the finish line 2:43 after the French winner Marion Norbert Riberolle in the second race of the day. Hungarian Blanka Kata Vas scrapped with this season’s revelation Anna Kay (Great Britain) to earn the silver. Another Canadian, Dana Gilligan, was 26th.

Thibau Nys won all but the last round of the Junior men’s World Cup, so he was the heavy favourite to break the Dutch stranglehold on the championships’ gold. He didn’t disappoint, beating countryman Lennart Belmans by 31-seconds. Like the Dutch in the elite women’s affair, the Belgians had the podium all to themselves, with Emiel Verstrynge the bronze man. Canadians Cody Scott placed 51st and Matthew Leliveld 57th.

The elite men’s race held a surprise, but the winner wasn’t it. Mathieu van der Poel pulled out a 12-second lead over World Cup champ Toon Aerts and 16-seconds over Eli Iserbyt after Lap 1. By the midpoint of the race Brit Tom Pidcock had become van der Poel’s closest pursuer.

Pidcock, U23 world champion last season and Junior titlist in 2017, clung tenaciously to his silver position for his greatest accomplishment as an elite rider. Toon Aerts, two-time World Cup champ, took home the bronze. Wout Van Aert finished just off the podium.

It was van der Poel’s third consecutive elite title.

Canadian champion Michael van den Ham’s 24th is his best ever result at worlds either as an elite or U23 rider. Cameron Jette came in 37th.