photo credits @ UCI
Dutch rider Thalita De Jong came from behind during the penultimate lap to win her first UCI cyclocross world championship in Zolder, Belgium today.
From the start, Ellen van Loy of Belgium led the pack, with Katie Compton (USA) falling on the first turn.
From there, Helen Wyman (Great Britain) no sooner overtook van Loy during the first flyover, the Belgian rider retook the lead on the muddy hill section, while Nikki Harris (Great Britain), World Cup champion Sanne Cant (Belgium) and Sophie de Boer (The Netheralands) proceeded to follow her line.
At the end of three consecutive run-ups, de Boer was holding the lead, with Harris on her wheel by the end of the first lap.
In the meantime, Caroline Mani succeeded in making her way to the forefront as well.
At that time, Mani, Cant, Harris and de Boer managed to distance the field, with Cant choosing to ride the muddy hills, while her companions elected to run.
Heading into the 3rd lap, the quartet was back together, while Harris now at the lead.
However, with the Dutch duo of Sabrina Stultiens and De Jong starting to creep up, Harris decide to attack. But, a slight bobble during a right-hand turn brought the British rider back into the fold.
As Mani was leading into the bell lap, Cant suddenly came alive to takeover the lead. However, at that point, De Jong had bridged her way to the leaders, and subsequently executed an attack of her own, which left the Belgian rider struggling to respond.
Indeed, De Jong then proceeded to open up an insurmountable lead, that left Cant and Mani battling for second place.
In the end, Mani surged forward to take second place and the silver medal, while Cant barely held off De Boer for the bronze.
Once again, Cant, the pre-race favorite, was inconsolable after her second year of missing out on the rainbow jersey.
Top 20 Finishers
1 Thalita De Jong (Netherlands) 0:41:03
2 Caroline Mani (France) 0:00:14
3 Sanne Cant (Belgium) 0:00:24
4 Sophie De Boer (Netherlands)
5 Nikki Harris (Great Britain) 0:00:32
6 Sabrina Stultiens (Netherlands) 0:00:36
7 Eva Lechner (Italy) 0:00:46
8 Kaitlin Antonneau (United States Of America) 0:01:12
9 Christine Majerus (Luxembourg) 0:01:25
10 Sanne Van Paassen (Netherlands) 0:01:44
11 Helen Wyman (Great Britain) 0:01:51
12 Pavla Havlikova (Czech Republic) 0:01:55
13 Katherine Compton (United States Of America) 0:01:57
14 Elle Anderson (United States Of America) 0:02:03
15 Elisabeth Brandau (Germany) 0:02:15
16 Mical Dyck (Canada) 0:02:30
17 Aida Nuno Palacio (Spain) 0:02:32
18 Ellen Van Loy (Belgium) 0:02:53
19 Jolien Verschueren (Belgium) 0:03:01
20 Loes Sels (Belgium) 0:03:07
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