The Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup Chronicle
– What happened? –
Riders from 16 nations took to the sand dunes of Koksijde, close to the North Sea in Belgium, for the third round of the Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup on Sunday.
Mathieu van der Poel was seemingly unbothered by the shoulder injury he sustained during the C2-race in Boom on Saturday, taking his third consecutive World Cup win. The Dutch rider took the lead early on, and halfway through the second lap, nobody was left on his wheel. Fellow Dutchman Lars van der Haar (Telenet Fidea Lions) took second and UCI World Champion Wout Van Aert, who suffered mechanical problems in the penultimate lap, claimed the final podium spot. Van der Poel has the maximum of 240 points in the overall standings, 80 points more than second-placed Laurens Sweeck (ERA-Circus).
In the Women’s race, 23-year-old Maud Kaptheijns showed similar class, surging away during the first of five laps to capture her first-ever UCI World Cup win by nearly a minute ahead of Sophie de Boer (Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil Cycling Team). UCI World Champion Sanne Cant (Beobank-Corendon) won the battle for third place against fellow Belgian Loes Sels (Crelan-Charles) and Pan-American Champion Katherine Compton (USA).
Laura Verdonschot (Marlux-Napoleon Games) was the first rider in the Women Under 23 category, finishing fifteenth. Pim Ronhaar (Netherlands) won the Men Junior category, while 18-year-old Thomas Pidcock (Great-Britain) took victory in the Men Under 23 category.
– What’s next? –
2017-2018 Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup #4: Bogense (Denmark) November 19, test event for the 2019 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships.
– Photo of the week –
– Focus on Maud Kaptheijns –
Maud Kaptheijns, 23, would appear to be the new Dutch kid on the block in the Women’s category.
In 2015, Kaptheijns was crowned Women Under-23 European Champion, and a year later was bronze medalist in the same category at the UCI World Championships. Last season, Kaptheijns started mixing with the best in the Women Elite category. Her best result in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup was sixth in Zeven (Germany). At the end of the season, Kaptheijns sprinted to her first victory in the Women Elite category, beating UCI World Champion Sanne Cant in her hometown Lille. This year, she has taken another step forward. In October, she captured the wins in all three Superprestige rounds - on various terrains - before taking her first-ever World Cup win in Koksijde. She moves up from seventh to fourth in the World Cup standings.