Race Report
Maud Kaptheijns (Crelan-Charles) captured the...

Koksijde: Kaptheijns untouchable in the sand

Maud Kaptheijns (Crelan-Charles) powered to the first UCI Cyclocross World Cup victory on Sunday in Koksijde, Belgium.

Maud Kaptheijns (Crelan-Charles) was flawless in the sand dunes of Koksijde, Belgium on Sunday, as she took victory in the third Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup of the season. She finished fifth and 10th at the first two world cups in the United States, but since returning to Europe she has been virtually unbeatable. This is the first world cup victory of her career.

The Dutchwoman took over the lead on the opening sand section and never relented, increasing her gap to the others throughout the entire nearly 45-minute race. Sophie de Boer (Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil) rode most of the race alone to finish second.

World champion Sanne Cant (Beobank-Corendon) and Loes Sels (Crelan-Charles) battled on the final lap for the final place on the podium. Cant powered through the final sand section before the finish and was able to open a gap over Sels. Sels would manage to get back to Cant before the finishing straight, but did not have enough energy to contest the sprint, meaning the world champion captured the final spot on the podium.

Top-10

  • 1. Maud Kaptheijns, (NED), 44:20
  • 2. Sophie De Boer, (NED), 45:12
  • 3. Sanne Cant, (BEL), 45:47
  • 4. Loes Sels, (BEL), 45:49
  • 5. Katherine Compton, (USA), 46:06
  • 6. Lucinda Brand, (NED), 46:06
  • 7. Helen Wyman, (GBR), 46:20
  • 8. Kaitlin Keough, (USA), 46:22
  • 9. Nikki Brammeier, (GBR), 46:23
  • 10. Pavla HavlÍkovÁ, (CZE), 46:24

The third stop of the Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup visited the hallowed sand dunes of Koksijde. Riders were happy conditions were suitable to race, though it was a bit chilly, as last year a monstrous wind storm whipped-up overnight and made conditions impossible, forcing the organizers to cancel the event.

Helen Wyman (Kona) took the holeshot and led the group onto the first sand section, which was a terribly steep run-up. Kaptheijns slipped by Wyman after the descent and began laying down the power once on the front. Behind her, Kaitlin Keough (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) and de Boer chased with Cant having a difficult opening lap. She fell-over dismounting on one of the sand run-ups and was seen riding around 10th place.

Kaptheijns’ gap really ballooned on the opening lap when she was able to ride a sand section that most were forced to run. By the end of the lap, she had 10 seconds over de Boer followed by Keough a few seconds after.

Katie Compton (KFC Racing/Trek/Panache) was over 30 seconds behind with Nikki Brammeier (Boels-Dolmans) and Cant was a further 10 seconds back of them.

On the second lap of five, Cant began to pick-off riders, as she found her rhythm and fought to the front of the race. She would team up with Compton and Sels would latch on as well. The trio would begin to close in on the podium. However, they would never come close to the lone leader.

Entering the final lap, Cant was alone in third, but Compton and Sels were right behind. The fight for the final podium spot was fierce. Meanwhile, Keough had faded and was at risk of falling outside the top-10. De Boer and Kaptheijns were comfortable in second and first.

Sels left Compton behind on one of the many sand sections and made the junction to Cant late in the lap. Cant wouldn’t go down without a fight though and blitzed through the final uphill sand section to open a gap. Her Belgian counter-part would rejoin her, but have no energy to contest the sprint.

Kaptheijns pumped the sky multiple times as she crossed the line, to capture her first victory in cyclocross’ top series.

De Boer finished second, albeit she was nearly a minute behind and never in with a shot at victory after Kapthijns opened her initial gap.

Compton, a multi-time winner at Koksijde, nearly had heartbreak on the line as Lucinda Brand (Team Sunweb) charged-on late in the race. The two threw their bikes across the line and Compton’s initial reaction seemed to show she thought she had been beaten. However, she wasn’t and finished the race in fifth.

The runner-up at the first two world cups in Iowa City and Waterloo, Keough, finished eighth with fellow American Elle Anderson (Cycling.be-ALpha Motorhomes) finishing 23rd.

The Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup continues on November 19 in Bogense, Denmark, a first-time host venue.

Full results

  • 1. Maud Kaptheijns, (NED), 44:20
  • 2. Sophie De Boer, (NED), 45:12
  • 3. Sanne Cant, (BEL), 45:47
  • 4. Loes Sels, (BEL), 45:49
  • 5. Katherine Compton, (USA), 46:06
  • 6. Lucinda Brand, (NED), 46:06
  • 7. Helen Wyman, (GBR), 46:20
  • 8. Kaitlin Keough, (USA), 46:22
  • 9. Nikki Brammeier, (GBR), 46:23
  • 10. Pavla HavlÍkovÁ, (CZE), 46:24
  • 11. Eva Lechner, (ITA), 46:37
  • 12. Ellen Van Loy, (BEL), 46:38
  • 13. Annemarie Worst, (NED), 46:39
  • 14. Jolanda Neff, (SUI), 46:39
  • 15. Laura Verdonschot, (BEL), 46:50
  • 16. Lucie Chainel, (FRA), 46:53
  • 17. Joyce Vanderbeken, (BEL), 47:16
  • 18. Fleur Nagengast, (NED), 47:23
  • 19. Alice Maria Arzuffi, (ITA), 47:36
  • 20. Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado, (NED), 47:46
  • 21. Karen Verhestraeten, (BEL), 47:52
  • 22. Nikola NoskovÁ, (CZE), 47:52
  • 23. Elle Anderson, (USA), 48:11
  • 24. Kim Van De Steene, (BEL), 48:15
  • 25. Karla ŠtĚpÁnovÁ, (CZE), 48:42
  • 26. Lucia Gonzalez Blanco, (ESP), 49:00
  • 27. Geerte Hoeke, (NED), 49:17
  • 28. Jolien Verschueren, (BEL), 50:13
  • 29. Pauline Delhaye, (FRA), 50:32
  • 30. Marlene Petit, (FRA), 50:52
  • 31. Marlène Morel Petitgirard, (FRA), 51:15
  • 32. Hannah Payton, (GBR), 51:16
  • 33. Marion Norbert Riberolle, (FRA), 51:38
  • 34. Inge Van Der Heijden, (NED), 51:52
  • 35. Anna Kay, (GBR), 52:00
  • 36. Nadja Heigl, (AUT) , 52:25
  • 37. Evita Muzic, (FRA), 52:33
  • 38. Bethany Crumpton, (GBR)
  • 39. Maina Galand, (FRA)
  • 40. Natalie Redmond, (AUS)
  • 41. Léa Curinier, (FRA)
  • 42. Elizabeth UngermanovÁ, (CZE)
  • 43. Tereza ŠvihÁlkovÁ, (CZE)
  • 44. Margriet Kloppenburg, (DEN)
  • 45. Amira Mellor, (GBR)
  • 46. Mara Schwager, (GER)