Posted by Editoress on 11/27/10
Round three of the 2010-11 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup took place in the Belgian seaside resort town of Koksijde. Koksijde is considered one of the hardest circuits of the series, due to the large sand dunes that cover part of the course, forcing riders to struggling up and downhill through shifting sand. This year, the course was harder than ever, with the addition of a second sand dune to the circuit, requiring three climbs per lap.
The weather cooperated, with the expected snow only hitting inland of the race site. However, a cold wind kept the temperature near or below freezing for most of the day.
American champion Katie Compton (Planet Bike) completely dominated the women's race, as she rode away from the field to win by over two minutes. Dutch rider Daphny van den Brand finished second, for the third time, and leads the series, despite two wins for Compton (who missed the second event). Canada's lone entry, Vicki Thomas, finished 37th.
In the men's race, a battle took place between Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet), world champion Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea) and Dutch star Niels Albert (BKCP - Powerplus). Nys surged into the lead multiple times, but faltered each time, allowing a chase group containing his rivals - plus Kevin Pauwels (Telenet - Fidea), Francis Mourey (FDJ) and Bart Aernouts (Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team) - to rejoin him.
Finally, with less than three laps remaining, Albert managed to break away from the rest of the group, and held on to win a few seconds ahead of Stybar, with Nys grabbing the final podium spot. Stybar continues to hold the overall lead in the season.
Canada had two riders in the race - Craig Richey (CyclocrossRacing.com) and Shaun Adamson (CycleSmart) - who finished 4 and 6laps down, respectively.