It was Thursday, I think, last year, two days before the women’s race in Zolder and a few of us were having dinner and had a silly chat. The topic? If we were the King of the World and we were to award the World Champion title to a rider, who would that be? I know, it’s a silly premise, but most of us had Sanne Cant on the top of their list, which wasn’t much of a help for her, since she finished in third place, only 24 seconds down from Thalita de Jong. Another year went by and the most consistent top cyclocrosser stayed in the Belgian National Champion jersey.
This year, she probably wasn’t even a favourite. She was always duly mentioned, but after a less than stellar (to hear standards, at least) season, it didn’t seem like she could finally win the rainbow jersey. But she wasn’t listening to silly pundit wannabes, like me. She raced an amazing race and she won one of the most emotional World Championship title in my memory. Everybody was ecstatic at the finish area and it took Cant minutes to recompose herself and believe, that yes, she indeed has just won the World Champion title. She deserved it so much and now it is hers for a year, at least.
It was a long day, with an amazing all-British podium at the junior men’s race and a great U23 women’s race. Tomorrow’s schedule will be easier, but more spectators and higher stakes will make things interesting.
Also, if you haven’t done so yet, check out the Kickstarter campaign for the 2016/2017 Cyclocross Album!