Marianne Vos claimed an eighth cyclocross world title after a tough fight against compatriot Lucinda Brand, only the sprint for the finish line able to separate the pair and crown Vos world champion.
“This is really unbelievable. You don't often think back on your career towards a World Championships. I really can't believe it," Vos said after her victory.
The 34-year-old knew she wouldn't be able to drop Brand, so instead bid her time and waited patiently for the sprint, where she eventually bested her rival.
“It was really very difficult. Lucinda is hard to beat and I knew it. She put pressure during the race and I tried. However, it was difficult to drive away. So I had to stay calm and do the right things in the final lap and focus on the sprint.”
Brand has been dominant this season, before the Worlds she had only failed to win at three out of 14 races since November 27, and all three of those blotches on an otherwise perfect record came at the hands of Vos.
Before the Worlds, Vos had won the two previous races between the pair, the Netherlands' National Championships and the UCI World Cup in Hoogerheide, the latter the location where Vos last pulled on the cyclocross rainbow jersey eight years ago.
Her cyclocross world titles now span 16 years, beginning in 2006 before a six-year winning stretch from 2009-2014, her eight cyclocross rainbow jerseys accompanying her three road world titles.
"Not much has changed," Vos said of the approach she's taken over the years to keep winning the biggest races. "I've just continued on the same footing and I'm trying to do the right things. I also get a lot of support from my family and the team. I am really very grateful to be here now and to be world champion again.”
UCI Cyclocross World Championships - Women Elite
1. Marianne Vos (Ned), in 0-55-00
2. Lucinda Brand (Ned), at one second
3. Silvia Persico (Ita), at 51s
4. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned), at 1-04
5. Yara Kastelijn (Ned), at 1-05
6. Manon Bakker (Ned), at same time
7.Maghalie Rochette (Can), at 1-39
8. Hélène Clauzel (Fra), at 1-59
9. Inge van der Heijden (Ned), at same time
10. Sanne Cant (Bel), at 2-12
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