21-year-old Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado is the 2020 women's cyclocross world champion, beating two of her compatriots as the Dutch dominated the race in Dübendorf, Switzerland, and took all three podium spots.
Alvarado, Annemarie Worst and Lucinda Brand broke away shortly after completing the first of five laps, but nothing could separate the three Dutchwomen until the final few hundred metres.
As Brand dropped back, Worst kicked around the final corner but Alvarado had the faster sprint, coming past her to be the one to reclaim the rainbow bands for her country for the first time since 2016.
After Brand took third, the USA's Katie Compton came in a minute later to take fourth, while Britain's Evie Richards finished in sixth, 1-44 down.
How it happened
Starting with a number of riders capable of taking the rainbow jersey for their nation, four Dutchwoman had crossed the line with daylight between them and the rest of the field by the end of the first lap.
Soon after Yara Kastelijn was dropped, leaving Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado, Annemarie Worst and Lucinda Brand at the front of the race and the Worlds title looking more like the Dutch national championships.
Alvarado then stretched her legs on the second lap as the trio opened up a 19-second gap over Katie Compton (USA) in fourth, with Britain's Evie Richards fighting hard in sixth, 36 seconds down.
Brand started falling behind at the start of lap four but managed to get back on as Alvarado and Worst looked at each other. Although the gap had been going out, this momentary pause allowed Compton to bring the gap back under 20 seconds.
Worst was the next to test her rivals, attacking over a steep section as Brand lost touch once again. Worst and Alvarado kept trying to snap the elastic to Brand but she would keep fighting back, dreaming of gold despite the bronze being guaranteed by this point.
Alvarado then took the inside track to overtake Worst as they neared the end of the fifth and final lap. As Brand got back on once more she attacked, with Alvarado losing the wheel. Brand then stuttered and Worst came over the top, attacking as Alvarado also caught back up.
Going into the final corner, Brand was finally spent as Worst opened up her sprint and attacked around the bend. Alvarado then responded and came past her compatriot to take the rainbow bands.
Collapsing to the floor, Alvarado was overcome with emotion, needing to be dragged to the interview booth as the 21-year-old came to terms with her performance. Worst remained stationary on the floor, distraught at how close she had come, hands covering her face as cameras were thrust into it.
The 2020 Cyclocross World Championships continue tomorrow with the elite men's race where the Netherlands' Mathieu van der Poel and Belgium's Wout Van Aert are two of a number of cyclocross stars who will be vying for the title.
UCI 2020 Cyclocross World Championships - Dubendorf, Switzerland
1. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned), in 45-20
2. Annemarie Worst (Ned), at one second
3. Lucinda Brand (Ned), at 10s
4. Katherine Compton (USA), at 1-00
5. Yara Kastelijn (Ned), at 1-26
6. Evie Richards (GBr), at 1-44
7. Eva Lechner (Ita), at 2-25
8. Ellen Van Loy (Bel), at 2-46
9. Laura Verdonschot (Bel), at 2-52
10. Marlene Petit (Fra), at 3-06
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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