A fast, dry course greeted competitors in the Italian round of the 2012-2013 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup which saw Dutch World Champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank Liv/Giant Team) and Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb â€“ Napoleon Games) storm to victory.
With one more World Cup round to go Katherine Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) is already certain of the overall victory in the womenâ€™s category. Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) no longer has to deal with Sven Nys (Crelan-Euphony) in the battle for the World Cup, as the latter had an off-day in Rome.
Elite Men: third victory of the season for Pauwels
After six of ten laps, five riders were leading the race: Klaas Vantornout and Pauwels were joined by Albert, Marco Aurelio Fontana (Cannondale Factory Racing) and Francis Mourey (FDJ â€“ Big Mat). Vantornout put pressure on the group and one by one they dropped away, with only Pauwels managing to join his teammate in front. The duo clearly had victory in their hands. In the final lap Vantornout let go of Pauwels who grabbed his third World Cup victory of the season. At short distance from the finish Vantornout ran into bad luck. He dropped his chain and also saw Albert, Fontana and Mourey pass by.
Much further back Sven Nys had the worst race of his season due to illness. Finishing in 20th place, he no longer shares the lead in the World Cup standings with Albert. The latter will hit the final World Cup round with a bonus of 16 points over Pauwels; Nys trails by 39 points.
Elite Women: Compton and Vos distance the field
World Cup leader Katherine Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) showed fine form from the start, and only Vos was able to keep up. The duo soon distanced the rest of the field. With two laps to go Compton trailed the World Champion by a couple of seconds, and one lap later Vos had extended her lead to 16s, finally finishing 24s in the clear.
More than a minute behind the winner, the Czech rider Katerina Nash took third place, finishing just ahead of the Netherlandsâ€™ Sanne Van Paassen (Rabobank Liv/Giant Team), and Belgiumâ€™s Sanne Cant (Veldritacademie Enertherm-BKCP).
Men U23 â€“ solo for Alaphilippe
Juan Alaphilippe (France) finished solo in a tactical race in the Men Under 23 category. Just over halfway through the race, Alaphilippe escaped from a large group of riders and stayed away for the final three laps. Mike Teunissen (the Netherlands) was the best of the rest at 16s, finishing just ahead of Gianni Vermeersch (Belgium). Belgian Champion Wietse Bosmans didnâ€™t have a sprint ready and finished sixth but remains World Cup leader.
Junior Men: van der Poel continues to dominate
As expected, Mathieu van der Poel (the Netherlands) once again dominated the race in the Junior Men category and keeps his lead in the overall standings. Home rider Gioele Bertolini was his strongest rival, finishing 25s behind the fast Dutchman. Martijn Budding (the Netherlands) won the sprint for third place.
Phoro: World Cup leader Katherine Compton and World Champion Marianne Vos lead the women's field