World Cyclocross Championships - 29th Jan 2006
Vos wins, Dutch dominate in 'home' Championships
British rider exceeds expectations in Belgium
The race was run in Zeddam in the Netherlands on Sunday morning. The weather was cold and the course retained its overnight solid condition throughout the event. The frozen ground was rutted in places and to add to the technical nature, there was a metal staircase to be climbed each lap and some tricky corners on the descents.
An early break saw Marianne Vos (NED), defending champion, Hanka Kupfernagel (GER) and Daphne van den Brande (NED) get away from the field of over 40 starters. Unfortunately, Brande punctured with a couple of laps to go and did not see the remaining leaders again.
Going into the final lap, the pair remained tight, although Vos was not keen to come through to the front whilst there was still a chance that compatriot Van Den Brande might make it back to the leaders. Kupfernagel increased the pace, but was unable to shake 18 year old Vos.
As the pair turned onto the finishing straight, Vos was close on the wheel of Kupfernagel. Although the winners of the previous races on the course during the weekend had seen victory go to the leader onto the straight, it was not to be in this case. Kupfernagel did not have enough of a lead over Vos and the Dutch rider came past to victory.
Van Den Brande held on to take third, whilst road star, Mirjam Melchers van Poppel took fourth. Briton Helen Wyman cashed in on the experience of a season in Belgium to take fifth (see below).
Courtesy Team FBUK : Team FBUK website
Team FBUK's Helen Wyman has rounded off a fantastic cyclo-cross season in style with 5th place at the World Championships in Holland.
Having been based in Belgium for most of the season, Helen made the short drive to the race on Friday afternoon, choosing to stay at home for as long as possible before the big event. The conditions were quite extreme with overnight temperatures dropping to minus 5, which left the course rutted and frozen. However with 2 hours riding the course on Friday and 1 hour on Saturday, Helen was very happy with the course.
The women's race was at 11.30am on Sunday and having again ridden one lap of the course in the morning Helen set about her usual pre-race routine before taking up her front row place on the starting grid.
As expected it was an incredibly fast start with the home nation riders leading the way through the first corners. Helen found herself in the second group and was sitting comfortably in 8th place. Being in this group did hold Helen up somewhat as she used the first road section at the end of the first lap to attack to the group and set about chasing down the leading 4 riders.
Her attack was very well timed and she found herself alone in 5th place by mid-way through the first lap and this left her concentration on holding this place. Those in front had a one-minute gap that without them suffering problems was going to be too much to overturn. Remaining focused throughout, Helen managed to hold off a very strong French challenge from behind to finish 5th. It is her best ever performance in a World Championships and show how much the year in Belgium has brought her on as a rider.
Helen was ecstatic with the result and now has a well earned rest week when she returns to England to collect an award and also be the guest speaker for her local cycling team Rugby Velo.
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