Posted by Editoress on 11/28/21
Canada's Maghalie Rochette (Specialized Racing) had her best European Cyclo-cross World Cup result ever on Sunday in Besançon, France, finishing second to world champion and World Cup leader Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions). Brand led from start to finish, while Rochette moved up from sixth on the start loop, to fifth by the end of Lap 1, third at the end of Lap 2 and into second for the final two laps. She finished only 26 seconds behind Brand. Rochette moved up to 13th in the overall standings from 19th.
Maghalie spoke with us after the race: "I think that was my best World Cup ever, so I'm super happy about that. Initially, I was not supposed to be here today, but racing Nationals! But when we got the news that Nationals was being cancelled [postponed to January], we instantly rescheduled our trips and decided to come back to Europe earlier."
"I feel like this season I've been wanting to be in Europe a lot more, because I feel that this is where I need to be if I want to step up my game this year. I want to be challenged, and I'm definitely very much challenged here. So we changed our flights, got to Europe early, and came here. I actually didn't have much expectations this weekend; I wanted to get settled in Europe and use these two races [she raced a smaller race the day before, finishing 8th] to get going and see if our setup was working well. I did the race the day before in Kortrijk, and I had a good race; I was in the mix for a big part of the race. My legs did feel a bit sleepy, so I think yesterday's efforts kind of allowed my body to wake up."
"I felt better today, but talking about the actual race ... I had a bad start, again I messed up the start and got swallowed. But I kept really calm ... I guess I had confidence that the last time I had a bad start I was still able to have a good race. So I just made my way through the field and suddenly I could see the front of the race. So I kept riding clean and trying not to make mistakes, and pass people where I could."
"Eventually I found myself in third and it was, 'Oh my god, this is awesome!'. For a little bit, it was like, 'Okay, let's hold onto third', and not get caught up by the people behind. But then I realized that second place was right in front, and why not get up there? So I thought I would try to see if I could catch her too, and I did."
"So it was really a game ... as much as I was excited about where I was positioned, I was trying not to think about it, so I could focus on the race and how I was executing things and staying calm. I think I did a good job of that, and it ended up second, which is definitely my best race and my best World Cup. So I'm super happy; David [Gagnon] and I are both excited to hopefully use this momentum to keep having a good trip here."
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