Sanne Cant (Corendon-Circus) won the final round of the Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup series on Saturday in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands.

The UCI World Cyclocross Championships are a week away and Sanne Cant (Corendon-Circus) looks to be in great shape and ready to defend her title. The Belgian won the final round of the Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup on Sunday in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands. After battling with Eva Lechner (Clif Pro Team) for the opening laps, Cant put down the power on an uphill straight on the fourth of six laps and rode away from the Italian.

Cant extended her lead over the rest of the race to show she is ready for the world championships. She also took home the prize as World Cup champion as well. Cant had actually sewn-up the win in the World Cup series the week before, by winning the World Cup in Nommay, France.

Evie Richards (Trek Factory Racing) took third, an impressive ride after she started far back in the grid. Multi-time world champion Marianne Vos (WM3) won the sprint for fourth with American Kaitie Keough (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) taking fifth. Keough finished second in the final standings in the World Cup series overall.

A terrible crash occurred on the fourth lap between Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Canyon-SRAM) and Jolanda Neff. The duo plunged down a muddy off-camber side-by-side, but then Ferrand-Prevot’s front wheel slide out from under her. The riders collided and both flipped over their handlebars and hit the ground hard. Neff and Ferrand-Prevot each lay on the ground for many minutes and were attended to by the race medical staff. Ferrand-Prevot was clutching her left shoulder and left the course on a stretcher. Neff would stand up and walk off the course.

Top 10

The atmosphere in Hoogerheide on Saturday for the final round of the World Cup series was electric and the elite woman did not disappoint and put on a spectacular show. The course in Hoogerheide is diabolical with a flyover serving as the holeshot and a tough long staircase coming at the end of the lap.

Lechner led the riders onto the flyover, safely avoiding the inevitable traffic jam. Ellen Noble (Aspire RAcing) had a good start and was in the top 10 heading onto the flyover, but she stalled midway up. Noble was forced to dismount and run to the top and her stall caused the rest of the riders in the field to stack-up into one another.

It was clear from the beginning that Lechner and Cant were the strongest riders in the race. The world champion and Italian champion never left from the top two spots. Ellen van Loy (Telenet Fidea) and Maud Kaptheijns (Crelan-Charles) followed Cant and Lechner on the opening lap. However, by the time the riders crossed the finish line for the first time, the lead group was down to two. Kaptheijns had been unable to hold the pace and van Loy crashed on a low-speed off-camber descent. The course in Hoogerheide featured many off-camber descents and some were faster than others.

Neff had a blistering fast opening lap and ended the first lap eight seconds behind the leaders in the first chase group. She was joined in the group by Kaptheijns and Nikki Brammeier (MUDIIITA-Canyon). Richards led the large second chase group across the line with Keough and Ferrand-Prevot in tow.

While Neff had a quick opening lap, Richards threw down the power on the second ronde. She rode away from the chase and then also passed Kaptheijns and Brammeier. Neff had also attacked her group and was pursuing the two leaders. Richards caught Neff at the end of the lap and the duo crossed the line seven seconds behind Cant and Lechner with four laps to go.

Ferrand-Prevot finally made her way to the front of the race on the third lap. The French national cyclocross champion joined Richards and Neff in the chase group. Up front, Lechner and Cant continued to go pedal stroke for pedal stroke with one another. Neither of the riders could get any sort of an advantage.

The fourth lap of the race proved to be the decider. Cant powered away from Lechner on an uphill straightaway and the terrible crash between Ferrand-Prevot and Neff also occurred.

Cant, Lechner, and Richards would each ride the final two laps alone to solidify their places on the podium.

Meanwhile, the battle for a top-five position was a war. Two chase groups came together in the final laps to create an exciting final. Vos had been non-existent for much of the event but came on strong in the end.

Keough led out the sprint on the pavement for fourth, but she went a bit too early. Vos was able to come around her and capture fourth. Keough finished the World Cup series with a fifth-place in Hoogerheide and cemented her spot as second in the overall standings.

The UCI World Cycyclocross Championships take place next weekend in Valkenburg, the Netherlands. The elite women’s race takes place on Saturday, February 3.

Full results