A short preface before the photos: I didn’t do well on Saturday. Part of the problem was that lot of miscellaneous things, such as chargers, remote flash triggers, etc. were in my luggage which was still somewhere in Frankfurt, let alone waterproof and warm clothing. It also didn’t help that I couldn’t get to the course too early and I couldn’t snap photos as I had to spare the available batteries. My final problem was the course itself, probably the hardest course I’ve encountered so far. It is built around a motor racing course so there are loads of high railings that had to be circumnavigated which often was a pain in the arse.
Long story short, I’m not really satisfied with the outcome but there’s not much I could do about it, next year it’s going to be better.
Sanne Van Paassen having a good time before the start.
This rather tricky descent demanded solid bike handling skills, though most riders were able to roll down without problems.
This climb was truly insane. It was roughly 4-5 meters long but the elevation was super-steep, it would have been hard to climb it without a bike, let alone the race. Here Daphny Van Den Brand arrives to the top of the ascent, who was riding in second position at this stage of the race.
US rider Amy Dombroski runs up the aforementioned climb.
From the previous spot I went to another tricky descent. It was quite steep and thus very fast, riders could either play it safe and descend slowly in the sticky mud or risk it a bit and let the brakes loose. It is also possible, however, that it wasn’t that bad as I didn’t really see there any very bad crashes, so maybe it was just me 🙂 Marianne Vos put a decent gap between she and her pursuivants which enabled her to rider her own pace.
Last season’s strongest female rider, Hanka Kupfernagel still unable to match the speed/strength of the top three riders, so she finished fourth, just like at the two previous races.
Sanne Cant is the youngest rider in the top15, she’s just 18 and she already very strong. For women, it’s probably tougher to get into pro racing gradually as there are no World Cup races for junior or U23 women so if you want to gain experience, you need to start competing against the very best. In spite of this, she constantly getting better and better through the season, I wonder whether she’ll dominate the women’s field in the coming years.
Gabriella Day eyeing the climb in front of her.
By the second half of the race, Compton secured his second place, Van Den Brand was almost 40 seconds behind her by then.
Marianne Vos starts her final lap.
A Zdenek Stybar fan was dancing on a table with a Sven Nys fan. You can check out the video, where the Styby-look-alike is karaoke-ing.
She entered four World Cup races this year (missed the one in Treviso), won two, came second two times: impressive success ratio. However, with only two races to go, it’s quite unlikely that she could catch up with Compton who now leads by 40 points.
After winning last week’s World Cup race, this third place was clearly a disappointment for Van Den Brand, especially that the difference in the World Cup overall standings grew to 15 points. There are still two more races, however, she’d need to win both in order to prevent Compton from winning it.
If someone could smile after a race like this then she definitely deserves to be featured here.