After a busy season on the road, Marianne Vos began the cyclocross season in great form. Just a week after Paris Roubaix, she travelled across to America to take on the trio of races that kick-started the Cyclocross World Cup calendar. At the first race in Waterloo, she won a tight affair ahead of Lucinda Brand and Denise Betsema. Starting from the second row, Vos powered through to the front and worked in a small group with Brand, Betsema and Worst initially. The group swelled until Brand attacked, only Jolanda Neff and Vos could respond and Vos eventually rejoined Brand at the front. Denise Betsema had recovered from a chain-off moment to join the pair. Vos managed to sneak ahead of Brand to claim the front spot
3 days later she finished 4th at Fayetteville, with Brand and Betsema once again doing battle. Clara Honsinger took the final step on the podium that day. The Fayetteville race was a chance for the star riders, like Vos, to get a chance to see the course and conditions for the World Championships. The cyclocross World Championships are being held there at the very end of January 2022. The conditions were awful with driving rain making the course ride slow and heavy. Vos had started well, working with Lucinda Brand before attacking her. However, Vos crashed and then just seemed to fade off towards the end of this one.
Finally, there was the Iowa City round where Vos was able to take the victory again. A much nicer sunny set of conditions helped Vos this time. Vos was one of very few who were able to ride up Mount Crumpit and got a huge gap on Lap 1. Denise Betsema managed to close the gap but Vos’ dominance riding the steps at the base of Mount Crumpit was telling. Being able to continually ride the steep climb itself also played a big role in the victory. After the American races, Vos was the leader of the Cyclocross World Cup standings.
Marianne Vos 2021/2022 Race Schedule
|12th December||Val di Sole||Italy|
|9th January||Dutch CX Nationals||Netherlands|
|29th January||World Championships||United States|
Vos’ season continues with the snow-laden Val di Sole race, a new addition to the World Cup calendar. Then back home to the Netherlands for the Rucphen round, although skipping Namur the following day. Then it’s a full World Cup calendar, including the Dutch Nationals on top, until Flamanville on 16th January. Vos will skip the French race before racing Hoogerheide, before flying over to contest the World Championships. She’ll be aiming to win her first cyclocross World Championships since 2014 and her record-leading 8th overall.
Photo Credit: Jumbo Visma Women