Wout van Aert continued his winning start to his cyclocross season, extending his victorious streak to three in a row after crossing the line first in the snow of Val di Sole.
The Belgian finished nearly a minute clear of Michael Vanthourenhout in second, with Brit Tom Pidcock another 40 seconds back in third to round out the podium.
In the women's race, 19-year-old Fem van Empel narrowly edged out Marianne Vos to take the victory by just six seconds.
It was a dramatic ending to the women's event, Vos on the charge and looking to overtake Van Empel before the line, trying to go tight round the corner and clipping the fence, falling off her bike and Van Empel able to ride away as her Dutch compatriot re-mounted.
“I was disappointed after that mistake in the last corner, but I'm still happy,” Vos said after the finish. “I'm glad I could still fight for the win. But Fem rode great, and I know I made a mistake and couldn't make it right."
“We have seen a lot of spectacle [here]. This is sport at the highest level and in a great location. This race has proven that you can do cyclocross anywhere," Van Aert said of his day in the snow. "In a park in a big city, but also in the mountains. We have proven that. It's great that I was able to experience it and that I'm part of it.
“I will return to Dendermonde but I won't be there next week because of a training camp with the team," Van Aert continued of what lies ahead this winter period. "And after that I'll ride a full Christmas period with almost all the races. In any case, this was a good start to the season and I hope for a good remainder of the season"
What a spectacular finish in Val di Sole! 😲 Marianne Vos takes a risk to pass Fem Van Empel in the last corner, but crashes and finishes second. Maghalie Rochette 🥉. 📺 Follow the action 👉 https://t.co/vHcqDg15CP #CXWorldCup pic.twitter.com/i2azXD7MzCDecember 12, 2021
Result: UCI Cyclocross World Cup Val di Sole
1. Wout van Aert (Bel), in 59-27
2. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel), at 49 seconds
3. Tom Pidcock (GBr), at 1-28
4. Eli Iserbyt (Bel), at 1-44
5. Quinten Hermans (Bel), at 2-15
6. Niels Vandeputte (Bel), at 2-16
7. Kevin Kuhn (Sui), at 2-29
8. Daan Soete (Bel), at 2-46
9. Toon Vandebosch (Bel), at 3-36
10. Corné van Kessel (Ned), at 3-52
1. Fem van Empel (Ned), in 51-50
2. Marianne Vos (Ned), at six seconds
3. Maghalie Rochette (Can), at 11s
4. Eva Lechner (Ita), at 23s
5. Denise Betsema (Ned), at 45s
6. Hélene Clauzel (Fra), at 2-03
7. Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita), at 2-07
8. Sanne Cant (Bel), at 2-42
9. Puck Pieterse (Ned), at 2-54
10. Silvia Persico (Ita), at 3-35
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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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