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HOOGERHEIDE, Netherlands (VN) — Marianne Vos (Rabobank) won the final UCI cyclocross World Cup round on Sunday while American Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) was confirmed as the overall series champion.
Compton clinched the title in the penultimate round in Rome, where she finished second to Vos, and skipped the finale in Belgium.
World champion Vos took off early on the snowy circuit with compatriot and teammate Sanne van Paassen and the two quickly built a half-minute lead over a chase group containing Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Faren-Let’s go Finland), Eva Lechner (Colnago Sudtirol) and Jasmin Achermann (Rapha-Focus).
At mid-race Van Paassen took the initiative only to slide out on a right-hand corner and go down in the snow. Vos made the most of this mistake to create a small gap that Van Paassen never managed to bridge, though she hung on for second. French rider Ferrier-Bruneau took third.
“It was just balancing today, it was so slippery,” said Vos. “The competition was the conditions, the snow and the ice. You had to stay concentrated the whole time, stay warm, and keep on your bike.
“I didn’t have a crash, but it was slippery and it was pretty difficult. It’s fun. That’s cyclocross, you know? You have the different conditions, the mud, sand, ice, it’s everything, speed, power, all the different things, and you have to do it all.”
Vos, who said she was confident and happy with her form, knew from the outset that the World Cup classification wouldn’t be among her targets.
“But I’m really happy to have three wins in the four races that I did. That was the choice after the Olympic season, it was the best choice I could make to have some rest and start later,” she said.
While Compton claimed the World Cup crown in absentia, Van Paassen used the finale to slip past British champ Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) into second overall. Harris slid to third overall after finishing 10th in Hoogerheide.
“I really enjoyed the weather. I was in Spain until Friday, so it was a bit of a shock to come back to this. But my body feels well, and for me it wasn’t difficult to race in the cold,” said Van Paassen. “It was a little dangerous, but I said to myself, ‘It’s slippery and of course I’m going to slip, but it will be fine.’ I fell once, and that was the only moment that wasn’t good. So I’m very happy with my second place.”
Editor’s note: Dan Seaton contributed to this report.