It was the decisive scene of the women's World Championship race. Shortly before the end of the race, STEVENS rider Annemarie Worst (Team 777) accidentally slipped in a muddy right-hand bend on the Ostend racecourse as she rode head-to-head with compatriot Lucinda Brand at the front. Brand then rode the final meters alone to gold. "It cost me the title," said the 25-year-old, newly crowned runner-up, wistfully after the race. But Worst was also pleased with silver after a rather mixed season by her standards with few podium finishes. It was her second World Championship silver. Already in 2020 in Dübendorf, the European champion from 2018 managed to jump to second place.
In Ostende, bronze also went to Team Oranje. Denise Betsema finished third. With Dutch Yara Kastelijn (5th place, Credishop-Fristads) and Belgian Sanne Cant (8th place, IKO-Crelan), two more riders steered their Super Prestige into the top ten. Italy's Alice Maria Arzuffi (Team 777) was 14th, Loes Sels 27th and Karen Verhestraeten 32nd (both Belgium, both IKO-Crelan).
U23 silver medal for van Alphen
A silver World Championship weekend was also celebrated by Aniek van Alphen of Team Credishop-Fristads. Also riding a STEVENS Super Prestige, the Dutchwoman presented herself in top form on the beach course of Ostend. One day before her 22nd birthday, Van Alphen only had to admit defeat to her compatriot Fem van Empel, who only pulled away shortly before the finish and rode to gold with a three-second lead. Bronze went to Blanka Kata Vas from Hungary. The unpleasant 4th place went to the Dutch STEVENS rider Inge van der Heijden (Team 777). Compatriot Manon Bakker (Credishop-Fristads) was 7th, Belgian Julie de Wilde (IKO-Crelan) 18th
Kielich takes bronze medal
Successful from STEVENS point of view was also the U23 race of the men. Belgian Timo Kielich of Team Credishop-Fristads was part of the chasing group of the consistently leading Dutchman Pim Ronhaar, who also became world champion in the end. Behind them, Kieleich, compatriot Emiel Verstrynge and defending champion Ryan Kamp of the Netherlands engaged in battle for silver and bronze. After Verstrynge dropped back, Kielich was able to grab silver, but slipped away in a turn in the final bark and had to give way to Kamp. With bronze, however, Kielich still managed to meet the high expectations. Credishop-Fristad's teammate Mees Hendrikx also rode a good world championship race on his STEVENS Super Prestige. The Dutchman finished 6th.
In the men's elite race, the two cyclocross stars Mathieu van der Poel (gold) and Wout Van Aert (silver) settled the World Championship title among themselves, as expected. The bronze medal went to Toon Aerts from Belgium. Fellow compatriot and STEVENS rider Gianni Vermeersch (Credishop-Fristads) confirmed his good form with 12th place.
German riders were almost nowhere to be found in the results lists. Only Sascha Weber (34th) and Elisabeth Brandau (9th) were sent to the start by the BDR in Oostende. For the U23 races the BDR did not nominate any rider at all. The U19 races were unfortunately canceled early this year.