Shirin van Anrooij got the Christmas cyclocross period underway with a victory in Mol at the Zilvermeercross. The young Dutch rider went solo early on and was never caught by the chasers on what was a sandy course. Lucinda Brand, Van Anrooij’s Baloise Lions teammate finished 2nd with Annemarie Worst in 3rd. The Brand and Worst it was a return to racing after injuries and training camps.
Behind them, there was some distance to the rest of the pack. Zoe Backstedt continued her impressive development with 4th in a strong field ahead of Aniek van Alphen, winner of the Robotland Cyclocross and Superprestige Boom in recent weeks. Clara Honsinger was also back racing in Europe after reclaiming her American national championship.
It was Backstedt who made the strongest start initially but Lucinda Brand came back past. An error in the sand saw her go over the front of her bike however and that saw Van Anrooij and Worse come back. It was the crucial mistake of the race, with the gap to Van Anrooij never being able to be closed back down again. Brand recently confirmed that the cyclocross race series are moot after her stop-start 2022/23 cyclocross season and she will be working towards the World Championships now.
“We had to wait and see how I would feel after the road training in Spain. The course was very tough and with all that rain I thought: s**t. Fortunately, it was not so technical and fun to do. I could ride my own lines everywhere and relied on my own strength.”Shirin van Anrooij
“It feels good to come back like this. I felt comfortable today. Sand isn’t my main speciality so I’m happy with how it went. Shirin was the strongest today anyway. Without mistakes, I might have been able to hook up with her a little longer.”Lucinda Brand
Exact Cross Mol Zilvermeercross Results
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