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

Timothy John Timothy John

Reigning world cyclo-cross champion, Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus), added another title to his palmares at the final round of the season-long UCI World Cup series.

The Belgian’s fifth-placed finish on a course covered in a layer of thick snow in Hoogerheide, Netherlands, was sufficient to seal overall victory.

Albert’s closest rival, the defending champion, Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games), could only manage seventh after suffering a chain problem – a mechanical that arguably cost him his title.

2013-world-cup-hoogerheide-39-cyclephotos-Albert-Podium
Niels Albert added the 2012-13 UCI World Cup to his 2012 world championship victory

Sven Nys (Crelan-Euphony), the third rider in contention for the series victory before the final round, finished fourth: not enough to maintain his challenge.

Albert won the series by 25 points from Pauwels, with Nys a further nine points in arrears, despite an impressive mid-season run that saw him record three victories in succession.

Fourth place in Hoogerheide, however, was a fine effort from the veteran, considered one of the best ‘cross racers of all time, after losing his Belgian national title to Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) a week earlier.

Victory on the day went to Martin Bina, riding for the Czech Republic, rather than for a trade team.

His skill on the snow surpassed that of his rivals, and carried him to victory ahead of Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Development Team) and Simon Zahner (Switzerland).

The women’s series had been decided before racing began in Hoogerheide, with Katie Compton (Trek) wrapping up overall victory at the previous round in Rome.

The American did not compete in the final round, choosing to spend her time preparing for the forthcoming world championships in Louisville, Kentucky on February 2 and 3.

Events in Hoogerheide were not insignificant, however. Reigning world cyclo-cross champion, Marianne Vos (Rabobank), fine-tuned her preparation for the defence of her title in a fortnight’s time.

The world and Olympic road race champion, who missed the first four rounds of the World Cup recovering from her road season, made it three wins from the four rounds of her comeback.

2013-world-cup-hoogerheide-32-cyclephotos-Vos-Van-Paassen
World champion, Marianne Vos, and Rabobank team-mate, San van Paassen, race at close quarters in the snow

Vos won by a comfortable margin from Sanne van Paassen (Rabobank), repeating the order of the Dutch national championships, held a week earlier. Van Paassen’s efforts, however, sealed second place in the overall standings.

British riders, a real force in the 2012-13 World Cup, struggled in the snow. Helen Wyman (Kona) was seventh, ahead of newly-crowned British champion, Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea).

Harris’ tenth-placed finish, however, was sufficient to clinch third in the overall standings.

The focus of the cyclo-cross elite will now turn to Kentucky and the world championships.

UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup 2012-13: round eight – Hoogerheide

Elite Men

1) Martin Bina (CZE) – CEZ Cyklo Team Tabor – 1.02.17
2) Lars Van Der Haar (NED) – Rabo-Giant Offroad Team +7”
3) Simon Zahner (SWI) +11”
4) Sven Nys (BEL) – Crelan-Euphony +22”
5) Niels Albert (BEL) – BKCP-Powerplus +27”
6) Radomir Simunek (CZE) – Kwadro-Stannah
7) Francis Mourey (FRA) – Francaise des Jeux +33”
8) Kevin Pauwels (BEL) – Sunweb-Napoleon Games +42”
9) Julien Taramarcaz (SWI) – BMC Mountainbike +46”
10) Lukas Flückiger (SWI) +49”

Elite men – final overall standings

1) Niels Albert (BEL) – BKCP-Powerplus – 540pts
2) Kevin Pauwels (BEL) – Sunweb-Napoleon Games – 515
3) Sven Nys (BEL) – Crelan-Euphony – 506
4) Lars Van Der Haar (NED) – Rabobank Development Team – 411
5) Bart Aernouts (BEL) – AA Drink – 372
6) Radomir Simunek (CZE) – 361
7) Klaas Vantornout (BEL) – Sunweb-Napoleon Games – 356
8) Francis Mourey (FRA) – FDJ – 348
9) Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) – AA Drink – 318
10) Simon Zahner (SWI) – 298

Elite Women

1) Marianne Vos (NED) – Rabobank – 38:54
2) Sanne van Paassen (NED) – Rabobank Women Team +53”
3) Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (FRA) – Faren-Let’s Go Finland +1.12
4) Eva Lechner (Ita) – Colnago-Sudtirol +1.24
5) Jasmin Achermann (SWI) – Rapha-Focus +1.29
6) Sanne Cant (BEL) – Veldritacademie Enertherm-BKCP +1.48
7) Helen Wyman (GBR) – Kona +1.51
8) Vania Rossi (ITA) +1.56
9) Ellen Van Loy (BEL) – Melbotech Prorace CT +2.18
10) Nikki Harris (GBR) – Young Telenet-Fidea +2.28

Elite women – final overall standings

1) Katie Compton (USA) – Trek – 390pts
2) Sanne van Paassen (NED) – Rabobank – 300
3) Nikki Harris (GBR) – Young Telenet-Fidea  - 276
4) Helen Wyman (GBR) – Kona – 274
5) Sanne Cant (BEL) – Veldritacademie Enertherm-BKCP – 247
6) Marianne Vos (NED) – Rabobank – 225
7) Jasmin Achermann (SWI) – Rapha-Focus – 223
8) Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (FRA) – Hitec Products-Mistral Home – 202
9) Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (FRA) – BH-SR Suntour-Peisey Vallandry – 196
10) Pavla Havlikova (CZE) – Young Telenet-Fidea -165

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