February 06, 2018

A canvas left drying

It was 69 minutes on a Sunday. Not any given Sunday, but that Sunday. The 2018 Cyclocross World Championships. We will all remember the deep ruts of mud, welcoming and embracing riders with deceitful promises of soft resistance, and plenty of lines leading to failure – And one line leading to glory. It sucked the riders dry of power, challenged their technique, lured them into treacherous dead-end escapes. As the race progressed in the Men´s Elite, the defense turned into offense and a canvas was painted. Colors of intuition, adrenaline and spotlight, was mixed with dissatisfaction, frustration and shadows. As the 2018 CX season comes to an end, we leave the canvas to dry, and ask ´what now?´

Women´s Elite race – In the words of Elle Anderson, USA.

Red to green

I was so focused at the start, knowing that good positioning in the front of the pack would be key in the technical sections at the beginning of the lap. When the lights turned from red to green I really went for it and found some open space on the right side to move up. So I started the race with excellent positioning and had no trouble until the first descent down the tricky turns.

I tried to stay on my bike a moment too long, instead of running down the descent, and it cost me a few places when I crashed and got caught up with the racers behind me. But I kept going, never gave up, and maintained my own pace.

I wasn’t as confident building up to World Championships after placing outside of the top-20 in the last two World Cups of the season in Nommay and Hoogerheide. When I saw the course for the first time on Thursday in training, I immediately knew that it was a good course for me. The heaviest and muddiest and most technical courses suit me the best. But still, I didn’t know how the race would go for me. But I had only one choice, and that was to do my best and race my hardest on Sunday.

By the final lap of the race, I knew I was holding the 10th place and I focused on keeping that position until the end. At the finish, I couldn’t believe that I had been able to move up to 8th place. I was so happy to have my best result at World Championships ever and proud of my race and the support team around me.

Elle Anderson, USA.

More photo's from the Valkenburg 2018

See you at the CX World Championships 2019 in Bogense, Denmark.

 Photos by Elisa Haumesser & Davy de Blieck

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