Marianne Vos has become cyclocross world champion for the eighth time in her career. In Fayetteville, the 34-year-old Dutch rider trumped Lucinda Brand after an exciting duel in the final sprint.
Immediately after the start, there was pushing and shoving and Vos narrowly avoided a crash. In the first lap, Vos and Brand showed they were the strongest and in seven laps they created a margin of fifty seconds on the rest of the field. Both riders bombarded each other with attacks on the fast track in the United States, but there was no chance of breaking away. In the end, Vos was clearly stronger in the decisive sprint.
She won her seventh and penultimate cyclocross world title in 2014. While for Vos it is her eighth world title, for her team, Team Jumbo-Visma Women, it is the first rainbow jersey since the squad’s formation in 2021. Vos began a new adventure with the Dutch women’s team last year and has since won six cyclocross races.
The new world champion was speechless. “It’s unbelievable. I really can’t believe it. You don’t look back much prior to the race. You try to focus on the race itself. It was a tough cross. I know it’s always tough to beat Brand. We tried to put pressure on each other, but it was hard to ride away. I knew I had to stay calm, do the right things on the last lap and focus on the sprint.”
“There were a lot of years between the last world title and this one”, Vos said, referring to her 2014 world title. “I haven’t changed much since then and continued to do what I was already doing. I get great support from my family and the team. I always try to do my best. It’s incredible that I get to stand on the highest step of the podium here. I am extremely grateful to everyone.”