Report: Roubaix World Cup Cyclo-Cross

Roubaix played host to the latest round of the Cyclo-Cross Word Cup where the weather was glorious

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Paul Burgoine writes … Roubaix played host to the latest round of the Cyclo-Cross Word Cup where the weather was glorious; a touch on the cold side but with blue skies and bright sunshine.

Unfortunately the sun did not shine for Britain’s Helen Wyman (Kona) and Ian Field (Hargroves Cycles). While I was in track centre waiting for the women’s race to begin I was told the unfortunate news, Ian had dislocated his shoulder jumping the hurdles whist warming up and as a consequence had withdrawn from the race.

I asked Ian about the injury and how he done it – he said “I was just going over the planks – I hopped over the first one and just pulled up for the next one and felt my shoulder pop out, I didn’t fall off and managed to land one handed. I tried but I couldn’t get my shoulder back in on my own, so luckily some people in the crowd knew me so they got me to first aid and a doctor popped it back in. The only worrying thing is it was out for quite a while so all the time you are doing damage to other muscles, but it’s in now and doesn’t feel too bad”.

The women’s race started as usual at break neck speed but when I looked up at the big screen the first thing I saw was Helen Wyman flying over her handlebars into the sand behind two Rabobank riders, and when the peloton rode into the velodrome, Helen was nowhere to be seen. In fact she was in last position. I asked Helen about the incident and she said “I was incredibly disappointed. I felt on form today. I had a good enough start and was in a decent position until we came into the sand pit.”

“I took a good line into it and just before we came out the other end, someone switched on me as I was coming up the outside. I think my pedal hit their wheel or something. I went straight down then someone ran into the back of me. My rear mech snapped so I had to run half a lap to the pits, that left me last by a long way and I came across the line over one minute down at the end of the first lap.”

“I managed to work my way up gradually and at the end of the race I was in 13th place. It’s just so disappointing because I was so high up in the World Cup rankings. Everyone always has one bad result but this was one of my good races and I’m pretty sure I would have been on the podium today if I hadn’t have crashed. Actually, if I hadn’t of broken my rear mech, I think I would have still been there but because I had to run so far, I lost too much time and couldn’t make it up“.

The race was a battle between Saanne Van Paassen (Rabobank) and Katie Compton (Trek) and it consisted of Van Paassen having the lead for 90% of the race and Compton chasing her but making mistakes – crashing and chasing again to get on terms with her. On the final lap, Van Paassen took the lead into the technical section then ran down a decent while Compton rode it and came out with more speed and a lead that Van Paassen couldn’t get back.

Jasmin Achermann (Rapha Focus) rode a cracking race in third and stood on the podium for the first time in a World Cup race. The first British rider home was Nikki Harris ( Telenet-Fidea) who finished in fourth place and was riding well but was very isolated behind the front three. Gabby Day (Rapha Focus) finished in sixth place. I asked Gabby how she felt her race went “Today was good. I felt strong, a gap opened up early on there was a big crash in the sand pit and I unfortunately got stuck behind it.”

“It’s very hard to get time back on this course because it is so fast, but overall I’m happy with the result today”.

I had a quick chat with Katie Compton (Trek) while she was being whisked away to doping control she said “I felt tired today and it wasn’t pretty. I made a bunch of mistakes and crashed a few times but I just kept fighting and never gave up. On the final lap I rode a descent and Sanne ran it so I got a gap and I never surrendered it“.

The men’s race was a great contest with Julian Taramarcaz (BMC) setting the early pace with Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor), Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) and Niels Albert(BKCP) with Belgium Champion Sven Nys(Landbouwkredit) way down the field in a position that seemed impossible for him to win from. Well, I will re- phrase that, it would be impossible for almost anyone else to win from that position…. but as per usual Nys began to weave his way through the field until with three laps remaining he was in the group containing all the above apart from Meeusen.

The final laps saw Albert and Pauwels (above) doing their best to weaken Nys but to no avail and Nys pressed the turbo half way round the final lap and entered the Roubaix track with a lead that Pauwels and Albert could not do anything about so for the second World Cup running, Nys took the win with Pauwels winning the battle with Albert for second.

In the after race press conference, it was put to Nys that once again he had come from nowhere and won “Yes, but this time it was not so easy because of all the corners and the race is very fast and I didn’t feel technically stronger than anyone else in the race. So I had to wait for the gaps to pass the riders in front of me, but I knew when I reached the front group they would stop riding and I was right. So it gave me some time to recover. I felt very strong and put in a big acceleration 200m before the finish line and it was enough.”



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