UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup round eight: Hoogerheide – gallery

Timothy John Timothy John

A snowy course in Hoogerheide provided a suitably tough finish to another tough season in arguably the toughest of all cycling disciplines. 

The freezing temperatures failed to chill a season-long conflict between the three best riders in men’s ‘cross: Neils Albert (BKCP-Powerplus), Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games), and Sven Nys (Crelan-Euphony).

Albert emerged victorious from a battle that went to the wire, benefitting from Pauwels’ broken chain and Nys’ failure to climb higher than fourth on a treacherous course.

The women’s race saw another master class from a rider frequently in a class of her own: Marianne Vos (Rabobank). Swapping the rainbow stripes of world road race champion for the rainbow stripes of world cyclo-cross champion, Vos completed the third win of her four-race World Cup comeback.

The series had already been claimed by Katie Compton (Trek), however. A fresh battle between the pair, and the resumption of hostilities among Albert, Pauwels, and Nys, will represent the more intriguing battles of the UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky, on February 2 and 3.

Balint Hamvas was on the spot to capture all the action from Hoogerheide in this gallery of stunning images.

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Sven Nys calls on his legendary bike handling skills to remain upright on a Hoogerheide course covered in snow and ice

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Kevin Pauwels tip-toes through one of the more treacherous corners. His title challenge was ultimately blunted by a broken chain 

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Niels Albert takes evasive action to avoid Nys 

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Britain’s Helen Wyman makes a determined pursuit of Rabobank team-mates Vos and Van Paassen

2013-world-cup-hoogerheide-33-cyclephotos-Gabby-DayGabby Day cuts a lonely figure in this image, but ground out a dogged performance to finish seventeenth

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UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup round eight: Hoogerheide – report