Britain’s senior cyclo-cross champions produced further impressive performances on the world stage today in Tabor, Czech Republic.
Women’s champion, Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea), came within six seconds of her first victory in the elite UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup, after finishing second behind defending champion, Katie Compton (Trek).
And Ian Field (Specialized-Hargroves), who lifted the British crown for the second year in succession in February, rode to a highly creditable eighteenth place in the elite men’s race, cracking the top 20 for a second consecutive week, after finishing nineteenth at the opening round in Valkenburg.
Harris Tweeted: “A result like today makes all the hard work worth it! Really happy to take 2nd in today’s World Cup.”
The British champion and her team-mate, Pavla Havlikova, had ridden with Compton in the opening stages, but when the American launched an attack on the second lap, the Telenet-Fidea duo could do no more than maintain second and third.
At the denouement, Harris outsprinted her team-mate, riding on home soil, to finish with Compton in sight.
Meanwhile, in the men’s race, won in a second consecutive world cup victory by Lars van der Haar (Rabobank), the jersey of British champion was again honoured, this time in a strong performance by Ian Field.
The Kent rider, the only British male competing at the top tier of cyclo-cross, continued his superb start to the season, finishing in a top 20 packed with home nation riders and those from the Benelux, the traditional heartland of ‘cross.
Had to go so hard from the 5th row to make ‘my’ group, I had nothing left for the finale. 18th in the world on this given day. Happy, again. – Ian Field
Field Tweeted: “Had to go so hard from the 5th row to make ‘my’ group, I had nothing left for the finale. 18th in the world on this given day. Happy, again.”
The day belonged to van der Haar, however, who at 22, looks like the coming force in world cyclo-cross.
The Dutchman outsprinted German national champion, Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus), to claim victory in Tabor and settle a two-man squabble that lasted almost the entire race.
Former World Cup winner, Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) won the second two-man duel of the day, seeing off the challenge of Francis Mouray (FDJ), riding in the colours of French national champion, to claim third place.
The World Cup moves to the infamous sands of Belgium’s Koksijde circuit for round three, which takes place on Saturday November 23.
UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup 2013/14: round two (Tabor) – Elite Men – result
1) Lars van der Haar (Ned) – Rabobank – 1.09.06
2) Phiiipp Walsleben (Ger) – BKCP-Powerplus
3) Kevin Pauwels (BEL) – Sunweb-Napoleon Games +11″
4) Francis Mourey (FRA) – FDJ +12″
5) Klaas Vantornout (BEL) – Sunweb-Napoleon Games +24″
6) Niels Albert (BEL) – BKCP-Powerplus +27″
7) Bart Aernouts (BEL) – AA Drink +31″
8) Martin Bina (CZE) – Kwadro-Stannah +36″
9) Corne Van Kessel (NED) – Telenet-Fidea +51″
10) Enrico Franzoi (ITA) – Selle-Italia-Guerciotti +55″
UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup 2013/14: round two (Tabor) – Elite Women – result
1) Katie Compton (USA) – Trek – 43.41
2) Nikki Harris (GBR) – Telenet-Fidea +6″
3) Pavla Havlikova (CZE) – Telenet-Fidea +7″
4) Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (FRA) – Faren Kuota +37″
5) Sanne Cant (BEL) – Enertherm-BKCP – ST
6) Meredith Miller (USA) – Cal Giant Berry Farms-Specialized +47″
7) Ellen Van Loy (BEL) – DNCS-Pro 2012 +54″
8) Lucie Chanel (FRA) – BH-SR Suntour-KMC +56″
9) Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) – Cannondale +1.05
10) Sophie de Boer (NED) – Telenet -Fidea