Sven Nys (Belgium) and Marianne Vos (Holland) are the new cyclo-cross world champions.
Two of the best riders to grace the discipline will wear the rainbow stripes of elite men’s and elite women’s world champions in the 2013-14 season, after victory at the world championships in Louisville, Kentucky.
Nys added a second world title to his palmares, having previously lifted the crown in 2005. Vos made it six consecutive titles: further evidence for the now widely-held view that she is the best rider in the world.
Nys fought a tense duel with countrymen, Klaas Vantornout, in the closing stages of the elite men’s race but seized his chance when presented.
“The General”, who lost his treasured national title to Vantornout a month earlier (Nys has been Belgian national champion eight times), made his move on a short obstacle section and held on to beat his teammate by two seconds.
The young Dutch rider, Lars Van Der Haer, finished in a comfortable and impressive third position.
Nys’ teammates, and the men to whom he had lost out in the season-long battle for the UCI World Cup, did not contest the victory.
Defending world champion, Niels Albert, the recently-crowned World Cup winner, finished in eighth place, 1.19 down on Nys, while Kevin Pauwels finished 2.04 down in twelfth.
In the elite women’s race, Vos displayed her customary dominance to win by over a minute-and-a-half from the slow-starting Katie Compton (USA).
Many had expected a close duel between defending world champion, Vos, and Compton, the recently-crowned World Cup holder.
But a poor start and several unforced errors during the early laps put Compton out of contention and left Vos with a clear run at a sixth consecutive world title.
Vos was clearly delighted by her victory, and later Tweeted: “I didn’t expect from myself to use this word, but: the World Championships @louisville2013 were A-MA-ZING. Thanks everybody for the support!”
The expected flooding that forced organisers to condense the race programme to a single day on Saturday (Feb 2) arrived on Sunday (Feb 3).
Meteorologists had forecast high water levels in the Ohio River, which feeds Beargrass Creek, close to the purpose-built cyclo-cross course in Louisville’s Eva Bandman Park.
Last Friday, organisers warned that they had been forced to take “extraordinary measures”.
UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships 2013 – results
1) Sven Nys (BEL) – 1.05.35
2) Klaas Vantornout (BEL) +2”
3) Lars Van Der Haar (NED) +25”
4) Bart Wellens (BEL) +41”
5) Philipp Walsleben (GER) +44”
6) Julien Taramarcaz (SUI) – ST
7) Radomir Simunek (CZE) +1.15
8) Niels Albert (BEL) +1.19
9) Thijs Van Amerongen (NED)
10) Martin Bina (CZE) +1.41
1) Marianne Vos (NED) – 43.00
2) Katherine Compton (USA) +1.34
3) Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (FRA) +2.10
4) Katerina Nash (CZE) +2.12
5) Sanne Van Paassen (NED) +2.15
6) Eva Lechner (ITA) +2.17
7) Jasmin Achermann (SUI) +2.36
8) Sabrina Stultiens (NED) +3.06
9) Ellen Van Loy (BEL) 3.18
10) Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) +3.19