UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup WE Hulst – Preview

By @EchelonsHub

The Course

It’s the 13th (well actually, 12th raced) round of the 2021/2022 World Cup and we are in the Netherlands this Sunday to take in another battle on the moat surrounding the town of Hulst. 

With an ever-changing track the riders may be in for a couple surprises, but the classic landscape revolves around the steep banks found around the Binnenvest. It’s a treacherous track, there has been some rain earlier this week which should mean there will be mud on the track, specially on the lower areas, but overall I wouldn’t expect that to be crucial tomorrow, explosivity will be very important here but most importantly I reckon that avoiding the little mishaps is what will separate the good from the best tomorrow.

The Startlist

1.Lucinda Brand 2.Ceylin DC. Alvarado 3.Denise Betsema 4.Annemarie Worst
5.Puck Pieterse 6.Fem van Empel 7.Shirin van Anrooij 8.Marianne Vos
9.Yara Kastelijn 10.Inge VD. Heijden 11.Aniek van Alphen 12.Manon Bakker
13.Isa Nomden 14.Femke Gort 15.Alice Maria Arzufi 16.Eva Lechner
17.Silvia Persico 18.Lucia Bramati 19.Sanne Cant 20.Alicia Franck
21.Marion Riberolle 22.Suzanne Verhoeven 23.Ellen van Loy 24.Marthe Truyen
25.Laura Verdonschot 26.Jinse Peeters 27.Kiona Crabbe 28.Julie de Wilde
29.Lotte Kopecky 30.Raylyn Nuss 31.Clara Honsinger 32.Katie Clouse
33.Caitlin Bernstein 34.Erica Zaveta 35.Madigan Munro 36.Anna Megale
37.Emily Werner 38.Lizzy Gunsalus 39.Lauren Zoerner 40.Corey C. Cisek
41.Bridget Tooley 42.Helene Clauzel 43.Perrine Clauzel 44.Line Burquier
45.Olivia Onesti 46.Camille Devigne 47.Solenne Billouin 48.Lucia G. Blanco
49.Sara C. Vega 50.Lydia P. Larenjo 51.Sofia R. Revert 52. Sara B. Talens
53.Marta S. Hernandez 54.Harriet Harnden 55.Zoe Backstedt 56.Amira Mellor
57.Anna Kay 58.Evie Richards 59.Ella Maclean-Howell 60.Emilly C.-Anderson
61.Christine Majerus 62.Marie Schreiber 63.Maghalie Rochette 64.Sidney Mcgill
65.Ava Holmgren 66.Isabella Holmgren 67.Siobhan Kelly 68.Nadja Heigl
69.Tereza Kurnicka 70.Tereza Vanickova 71.Karla Stepanova 72.Barbora Jerabkova
73.Tereza Tvaruzkova 74.Kata Blanka Vas

The Favourites

Beating Lucinda Brand this is proving itself to be a colossal task, only successful by some. The Dutch are absolutely dominating the World Cup and it will be from them that the main competition will present itself but the names can vary quite a lot, Denise Betsema has been perhaps her most consistent rival but rarely does she have the edge to go over, however this is a good circuit for her regular style of taking the race by the horns so surely she will have a plan to put Brand over pressure, perhaps with some over-the-top moves in groups that can include the likes of Fem van Empel, Puck Pieterse and Shirin van Anrooij, all of them 19 and without having raced this track (last year it was completely different so that can be excluded) within such a field is far from the ideal preparation for a win, however surprises can and do happen.

Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado had arguably her best performance of the season today and surely she will have drawn quite some motivation from it, she was the winner the last time the riders were on these banks so she will be quite familiar with the task at hand, you also have Marianne Vos, an inconsistent figure on the calendar however in her 6 races this year she has won half and has not gone below a 4th place, she won’t be troublesome for the WorldCup points Brand ambitions but if the win is on the line Vos is very much capable of turning the script on it’s head.

The likes of Annemarie Worst, Inge van der Heijden, Kata Blanka Vas will also be looking for an opening, Women’s races are much more open so easily we could see a surprise result from one of them, North Americans Clara Honsinger and Maghalie Rochette can never be discounted aswell from such a battle, as a wildcard I’ll mention Hélene Clauzel who has been riding on a super level in the WorldCup races where she seems to be focusing on quite a lot.

Prediction Time

1st– Marianne Vos

2nd– Lucinda Brand

3rd– Fem van Empel

4th– Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado

5th– Denise Betsema

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Rúben Silva

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