Shirin van Anrooij will wait until after Benidorm World Cup to decide on Elite or U23 Worlds

Shirin van Anrooij

Shirin van Anrooij is yet to make a decision on if she will race in the cyclocross World Championships at Elites or U23 level. Van Anrooij chose to skip the National Championships this weekend as a decision there could influence and set her path. If she’d ridden the Elite Nationals, she would have to ride the Elite Worlds. Her team, Baloise Trek Lions, and the cycling federation will announce a decision after the World Cup round in Benidorm this weekend.

“White smoke? It is not there yet. That decision will fall after Benidorm, that is the deal. I discussed it with her and she is very doubtful. At first the agreement was to choose after Zonhoven, but we decided in good consultation that it will be after Benidorm.

Based on our UCI ranking, we have seven starting places, and then you can increase with the world champion and the European champion. And then the overall winner of the World Cup, but there is a good chance that Fem will become that. So that does not provide an extra starting place.

After Benidorm it is still two weeks before the World Cup, and normally I only announce the full selection a week in advance. That in itself is fine,”

Gerben de Knegt, national coach

So we know that Marianne Vos and Fem van Empel will have a spot on the Dutch World Championship team in light of their previous achievements as reigning World and European champions. You’d have to suspect that the likes of Puck Pieterse, Denise Betsema, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado and Lucinda Brand are certainties to race. So the decision of Van Anrooij will have an impact on those who are closer to being on the bubble. If she races that leaves just 2 spots for the likes of Inge van der Heijden, Annemarie Worst, Manon Bakker and Aniek van Alphen. Yara Kastelijn has already said her cyclocross season is over.

Shirin van Anrooij is one of the most in-form cyclocross riders at the moment with 5 wins in her 6 races. The previously dominant Fem van Empel looks to be just leaving her form peak, exacerbated by her crash at Val di Sole. The other major threat is the new Dutch champion Puck Pieterse, who has won 4 of her last 6 races. The latter pair are already declared for the Elites race at the World Championships. Van Anrooij may feel like she can beat Pieterse and become World Champion and another win at Benidorm would make her confident. If not, she seems certain to win the U23 World title.