Last week I started this series with Lars Boom, who was unable to defend his World Championship title he had won a year earlier.
The same happened to the 4-time World Champ rider, Hanka Kupfernagel. Her season probably couldn’t have started better though, a 2nd place in Kalmthout and two wins, one at Tabor and one at Pijnacker, but the arrival of American rival, Katherine Compton changed the situation and for the rest of the season, she was unable to clinch another victory.
However, since she managed to finish at 2nd places at all races for the rest of the season, she secured her overall World Cup title at the penultimate race of the World Cup at Roubaix. The performance she showed during the season implied that the main contestants of the World Championship title would be she and Compton.
A group of three riders, that consisted of Kupfernagel, Compton and Dutch Marianne Vos was at the front of the pack throughout the race and it became soon obvious that the winner be one of them. They rode together until only a couple hundred meters remained from the race, when Vos made her move and left her opponents standing still, winning the title.
Kupfernagel was rather shocked and could hardly hide her tears after the race and during the awards ceremony. Hopefull, she’ll have better luck this year.