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WATERLOO, Wisconsin (VN) — Jolanda Neff (Trek Factory Racing) rode from the very back row to the front of the race to take the win at the 2021 Trek CX Cup and defend her title at the UCI C2 race.
The Tokyo Olympic gold medalist in cross-country mountain bike looked to have ridden conservatively on the first lap. However, she quickly found her way to the pointy end of the race on the second lap, and by the third lap, she was off the front.
Over the next two laps she put herself ahead of Helen Clauzel (AS Bike Cross Team), Caroline Mani (Pactimo Fierce Team), and Katerina Nash (Clif Pro Team), who were battling for the remaining podium positions.
Neff used supreme bike handling skills to navigate the route, which while sun-drenched, was still soft from the previous day’s rain.
With each successive lap, she padded her lead and by the time she came through the finishline in 48:33, she was more than 20 seconds ahead.
Clauzel put distance between herself and the fight for third, and all but secured second place with four laps remaining.
Behind her, Mani and veteran racer Nash traded positions several times and by the final lap Nash had enough gap to secure the final podium position after seven laps.
In the men’s race, Daan Soete (Deschacht-Group Hens-Containers) won in a similar fashion, although he did not start from the back row.
After the second lap, Soee was clear, and the very front of the race had sorted itself out to a handful of riders vying for the rest of the podium positions.
Thijs Aerts, the younger brother of Toon, rode away from the rest of the field in the middle of the 60-minute race.
Technical and muddy corners did not play a factor for the front runners, however, with the sun beating down on racers in skinsuits, pitting for bikes also afforded them a chance to get rehydrated as many racers had opted to run their bikes without bottle cages.
The battle for third heated up in the final two laps with Kerry Werner (Kona Maxxis Shimano CX Team), Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz Bicycles), Michael Van den Ham (Easton-Giant) applying pressure throughout the remaining two laps.
Three-time U.S. national champion Stephen Hyde was never quite on terms with the front of the race, and chased behind the front five. He finished in sixth, nearly two minutes back.
2021 Trek CX Cup Women’s C2 Results
- Joland Neff (Trek Factory Racing), 48:33
- Helen Clauzel (AS Bike Cross Team), at :21
- Katerina Nash (Clif Pro Racing), at :43
2021 Trek CX Cup Men’s C2 Results
- Daan Soete (Deschacht-Group Hens-Containers), 1:02:33
- Thijs Aerts (Baloise Trek Lions), at :39
- Kerry Werner (Kona Maxxis Shimano CX Team), at :43