photo credits @ UCI
– What happened? –
The fifth round of the Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup took place at the Hinter der Ahe park in Zeven, Germany.
In the Men Elite race, Dutch Champion Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon), 21, took his sixth consecutive UCI World Cup win, beating UCI World Champion Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team), who had the best start in Zeven. After suffering a mechanical early on, Van der Poel started his chase on the leader and turned his 20-second deficit into a 20-second lead. Kevin Pauwels (Marlux-Napoleon Games) was third. Van Aert extends his lead in the Telenet UCI World Cup standings with 300 points over Pauwels (229 points).
The Women’s race saw a great last-lap duel between Belgian Champion Sanne Cant (IKO Enertherm-Beobank) and US Champion Katherine Compton. The sand pit turned out to be decisive, offering 26-year-old Cant a small bonus over Compton (37). Italy’s Alice Maria Arzuffi (Lensworld-Zannata), 22, captured her first ever World Cup podium, holding off World Cup leader Sophie de Boer (Kalas-NNOF) for third place. De Boer remains leader of the Telenet UCI World Cup with 258 points, 31 more than Cant.
Joris Nieuwenhuis (the Netherlands) won the Men Under-23 race ahead of World Champion Eli Iserbyt (Belgium) and European Champion Quinten Hermans (Belgium). Nieuwenhuis takes over the lead in the rankings. Jelle Camps (Belgium) won the Men Junior race ahead of Toon Vandebosch (Belgium) and Thomas Pidcock (Great-Britain).
– La suite ? –
Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup round 6: Namur, Belgium, on Sunday 18th December for categories Men Elite, Women, Men Under-23 and Men Juniors.
Last year’s results
1. Mathieu van der Poel (NED)
2. Wout Van Aert (BEL)
3. Kevin Pauwels (BEL)
1. Nikki Harris (GBR)
2. Caroline Mani (FRA)
3. Eva Lechner (ITA)
1. Eli Iserbyt (BEL)
2. Gioele Bertolini (ITA)
3. Quinten Hermans (BEL)
1. Jappe Jaspers (BEL)
2. Jens Dekker (NED)
3. Tanguy Turgis (FRA)
– What you should know about… the Cyclocross de la Citadelle –
The cross at the Namur citadelle is the only UCI World Cup round to be held in Wallonia, the southern French-speaking part of Belgium. It’s the sixth consecutive season that a World Cup event is hosted on the spectacular site in the capital of Wallonia. This race features the most climbing metres, a treacherous off-camber descent and multiple steep drops. Kevin Pauwels is the only rider to win twice in the Men Elite category, in 2012 and 2014. Katherine Compton won the race twice in the Women’s category in 2012 and 2013.
– Focus on Thalita de Jong –
Dutch rider Thalita de Jong is just 23 years old. Coming off the road she stormed to the front of the cyclo-cross scene at the end of the 2015-2016 season, winning the Dutch national championships in Hellendoorn, then the rainbow jersey in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium. This season she continues her progression, with a first UCI World Cup victory in Valkenburg, the Netherlands, and the European title in Pontchâteau, France.
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