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September 17/15 9:12 am - Van Aert and Nash make UCI World Cup history at CrossVegas

Posted by Editoress on 09/17/15

The first-ever North American UCI Cyclocross World Cup took place on Wednesday evening in Las Vegas, where 120 Elite cyclists from 20 countries contested the Clif Bar CrossVegas event. Emphatic victories were scored by Belgium's Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) in the men's race and Katerina Nash (Luna) in the women's. Canadian champion Catharine Pendrel (Luna) was the top Canadian at the event, finishing fifth in the women's race.

It was an auspicious start for World Cup cyclocross in North America. A crowd estimated at over 12,000 showed up to watch the night-time race. The competition was fast, tactical and exciting, and the strong international field of athletes commented on how much they enjoyed racing in front of these noisy, yet non-partisan spectators.



With desert winds raking the grassy venue for the night-time race, the men's field formed large, fast-moving groups. "It seems like it's a really simple course with a lot of obstacles, but it's not at all easy. The ground is really heavy. It's a power course. You have to be pushing hard on the pedals always," said race winner Van Aert . Veterans of this venue are familiar with the energy-sapping grass that comprises almost 100% of the 3.3km course. The only respite was a sand pit.

Michael VanThourenhout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games), one of the emergent generation of Belgian and Dutch stars, lit up the men's race with a third-lap attack, riding away from a huge bunch of fast-moving riders and quickly opened a gap of 30 seconds.

Two-time winner at Cross Vegas, Sven Nys, bided his time for a couple more laps then set off in pursuit with Van Aert. "When I went to the front, I saw it was the right moment, the strongest rider in the peloton was on my wheel, I went, he went with me and we did a time trial to close the gap as soon as possible. It was good to have just the two of us escape from the peloton," said Nys.

The gap was closed in under a lap and the leading trio stayed together for almost two laps, until Van Aert made his move.

"The hardest part of the course had three climbs close together so I attacked there," said Van Aert, who quickly opened up a lead with his well-timed effort. "When I was alone in the last two laps it was really hard to keep my pace, and I was happy to see the finish line," he said.

Nys' move had blown the peloton apart, and US national champion, Jeremy Powers, took advantage. "When Sven went away I had got swarmed and was too far back to go with him, so I had to force my own move, and it was great to be able to do that," he said. Two riders went with Powers: young Dutch star Lars Van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin), and Belgian veteran Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games). Having done much of the work in the early part of this move, Powers was left a little short in the closing meters and had to settle for sixth place, but nonetheless was satisfied with his night's work.

"It was a different level than years past because the depth of talent in the field was so much greater, and it felt great to be wearing the national champion's jersey in the first cyclocross World Cup in America," he said.

Jeremy Martin (Rocky Mountain) was the top Canadian man in 35th, followed by Derek Zandstra (Scott-3Rox) in 36th.

Women's winner Katarina Nash (Luna) maintains her Czech nationality but, after several years living in the USA, by now Americans regard the San Francisco resident as one of their own.

The women's race had boiled down to a leading group of five riders: Nash, Italian champion Eva Lechner, Belgian champion Sanne Cant, Georgia Gould (Luna), of the USA, and Canada's Catherine Pendrel (Luna). Then, with 1.5 laps to go, Nash made her move.

She sped to a 50-meter gap in very short time, and held onto a lead that was 15 seconds by the finish.

"I never start to think about winning until I cross the finish line," said Nash, "but I got a gap and then I pushed it really hard and I was happy to see that nobody came back. I've been to every Cross Vegas except one, and it was special to win this one that's the first world cup race in the USA."

Gould made an effort to go clear of the four-rider group on the last lap, but Lechner's counter was the move that stuck. And the crowd appreciated her effort. "It was a really good race with a really nice atmosphere. The Americans were really cheering everybody, and I liked it a lot," Lechner said later.

Belgian champion Sanne Cant had enough left to outsprint her two rivals from the Luna team to claim the third podium spot. Pendrel, the Canadian champion, took fifth, followed by Luna team mate Maghalie Rochette in seventh.

Women, 17.24 km (5 laps)
1 Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team 0:49:17
2 Eva Lechner (Ita) Team Colnago Sudtirol at 0:15
3 Sanne Cant (Bel) 0:38
4 Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Pro Team 0:38
5 Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Pro Team 0:38
6 Sanne Van Paassen (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team 0:50
7 Crystal Anthony (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 0:51
8 Meredith Miller (USA) Pepper Palace Pro Cycling p/b The Happy Tooth 0:54
9 Maghalie Rochette (Can) Luna Pro Team 0:55
10 Amanda Miller (USA) 1:01
11 Katherine Compton (USA) 1:20
12 Ellen Van Loy (Bel) 1:31
13 Courtenay Mcfadden (USA) 1:40
14 Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Team 1:43
15 Caroline Mani (Fra) 1:47
16 Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Twenty 16 p/b Sho-Air 1:49
17 Sunny Gilbert (USA) 2:09
18 Rachel Lloyd (USA) 2:22
19 Ellen Noble (USA) 2:27
20 Loes Sels (Bel) 2:33
21 Erica Zaveta (USA) BMW p/b Happy Tooth Dental 2:56
22 Aida Nuno Palacio (Esp) Lointek Team 3:03
23 Lisa Jacobs (Aus) 3:09
24 Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (Fra) 3:21
25 Sophie De Boer (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental Team 3:22
26 Carolina Gomez (Arg) 3:25
27 Hannah Payton (GBr) 3:34
28 Mical Dyck (Can) 3:46
29 Cassandra Maximenko (USA) 3:50
30 Arley Kemmerer (USA) 4:11
31 Jessica Cutler (USA) 4:16
32 Gabriella Durrin (GBr) 4:24
33 Sidney Mcgill (Can) 4:54
34 Natasha Elliott (Can) 5:44
35 Laura Verdonschot (Bel) 6:02
36 Laurel Rathbun (USA) 6:11
37 Anna Schappert (Can) 6:18
38 Amira Mellor (GBr) 7:19
39 Ashley Barson (Can) 7:23
40 Siobhan Kelly (Can) 8:05
41 Maria Larkin (Irl) -1LAP
42 Suzie Godart (Lux) -1 Lap
43 Josie Simpson (Aus) -1 Lap
44 Beatrice Godart (Lux) -1 Lap
45 Margriet Helena Kloppenburg (Den) -3 Laps
DNF Beth Ann Orton (USA)
Men, 27.14 km
1 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team 1:07:00
2 Sven Nys (Bel) at 0:23
3 Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team 0:44
4 Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Team Giant - Alpecin 0:52
5 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team 0:52
6 Jeremy Powers (USA) 0:54
7 Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Era Real Estate - Murprotec 1:30
8 Jens Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team 1:40
9 Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet - Fidea Cycling Team 1:48
10 Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team 1:48
11 Julien Taramarcaz (Sui) Era Real Estate - Murprotec 1:49
12 Ryan Trebon (USA) 1:52
13 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team 2:04
14 Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet - Fidea Cycling Team 2:17
15 Jim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet - Fidea Cycling Team 2:31
16 Vincent Baestaens (Bel) BKCP-Corendon 2:34
17 Adam Toupalik (Cze) BKCP-Corendon 2:34
18 Steve Chainel (Fra) 2:37
19 Radomir Simunek (Cze) Era Real Estate - Murprotec 2:37
20 Curtis White (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 2:38
21 Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Telenet - Fidea Cycling Team 2:38
22 Adam Craig (USA) 2:46
23 Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea Cycling Team 2:49
24 Michael Boros (Cze) BKCP-Corendon 2:51
25 Diether Sweeck (Bel) Era Real Estate - Murprotec 2:54
26 Ian Field (GBr) 2:54
27 Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Esp) 2:56
28 James Driscoll (USA) 3:03
29 Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet - Fidea Cycling Team 3:20
30 Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Corendon 3:28
31 Simon Zahner (Sui) 3:29
32 Daniel Summerhill (USA) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team 3:29
33 Stan Godrie (Ned) Rabobank Development Team 3:31
34 Travis Livermon (USA) Team Smartstop 3:36
35 Jeremy Martin (Can) Rocky Mountain 3:37
36 Derek Zandstra (Can) Scott-3ROX Racing 3:46
37 Marcel Wildhaber (Sui) Scott-Odlo Mtb Racing Team 3:46
38 Brian Matter (USA) 3:57
39 Lukas Winterberg (Sui) 4:01
40 Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling 4:05
41 Allen Krughoff (USA) 4:07
42 Craig Richey (Can) 4:16
43 Dan Timmerman (USA) 4:30
44 David Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP-Corendon 4:37
45 Kerry Werner (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 4:37
46 Tim Merlier (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team 4:49
47 Mark McConnell (Can) 4:57
48 Geoff Kabush (Can) Scott-3ROX Racing 5:30
49 Christopher Aitken (Aus) 5:41
50 Tobin Ortenblad (USA) 6:03
51 Stephen Hyde (USA) Astellas Cycling Team 6:04
52 Aaron Schooler (Can) 6:33
53 Benjamin Sonntag (Ger) 6:39
54 Evan McNeely (Can) Norco Factory TEam 7:19
55 Tom Chapman (Aus) 7:27
56 Kenneth Hansen (Den) -1 Lap
57 Jonathan Page (USA) -1 Lap
58 Garry Millburn (Aus) -1 Lap
59 Jack Hogan (Aus) -1 Lap
60 Michael van den Ham (Can) -1 Lap
61 Hugo Robinson (GBr) -2 Laps
62 Yoshitaka Hama (Jpn) -2 Laps
63 Sascha Weber (Ger) CCT p/b Champion System -2 Laps
64 Zach Mcdonald (USA) -3 Laps
65 Jeremy Durrin (USA) -3 Laps
66 Oleksiy Ukhanov (Ukr) -4 Laps
67 Jarno Trey (Est) -7 Laps
DNS Jose Alfredo Pacheco Roses (Mex)


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