CX Worlds Race Report: Elite Women
FEB 2, 2013, LOUISVILLE, KY. By Phil Beckman/PB Creative — Much like the Junior Men’s race that took place only moments earlier, the heavy favorite in Elite Women jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Impeccable, flawless, industrial strength riding on a treacherously slick course. Rise of the machines!
And once again it was a native of the Netherlands, wearing #1 as defending champion, putting on a clinic.
This time it was Marianne Vos in complete command. With the terrain beginning to thaw and the sun trying to make an appearance, Vos once again showed why many consider her to be one of the best riders of all time — man or woman.
At the halfway point of the six-lap race at Eva Bandman Park, Vos had moved out to a 51-second lead over Italy’s Eva Lechner and Sanne Van Paassen of Netherlands. American hopeful and new CX World Cup Champion Katie Compton was thrilling the crowd with an impressive charge after a rough first lap that had a number of contenders — including Americans Georgia Gould and Meredith Miller — tumbling across the slushy turf. With two to go Compton caught and then dropped Lechner and Van Paassen to assume a comfortable second place — but almost a minute and a half adrift of the leader.
There was no catching Vos. Add another Rainbow Jersey to the collection. She now has six in the closet, from cyclocross alone. Compton crossed the line at 1:34 by herself, wearing a wry smile.
The real drama came in the battle for the bronze. Katerina Nash (Czech Republic) emerged onto the final, paved straight next, but she was frantically skateboarding her bike due to a jammed chain. Frenchwoman Lucie Chainel-Lefevre, who had been a contender for much of the race, took full advantage of Nash’s misfortune and sprinted past for a surprise third place ahead of a very frustrated Nash.
As is frequently the case, anything can happen in bike racing — especially cyclocross.
1. Marianne Vos (Netherlands)
2. Katherine Compton (USA)
3. Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (France)