A new page in cycling history was written in Louisville, Kentucky at the 2013 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships when four world champions were crowned for the first time outside of Europe in the event's 60+-year history. The noisy and happy crowd, estimated to be close to 10,000 strong, didn't let snow, freezing conditions or flooding deter their love of the sport, they cheered loudly all the racers.
Marianne Vos, of the Netherlands won her her first consecutive title in the Elite Women's race. American Katie Compton was second and Lucie Chainel-Lefevre of France was third. In the Elite Men's race, veteran Sven Nys of Belgium took the second world title of his illustrious career. His teammate Klaas Vantornout was second and Lars van der Haar, of the Netherlands, was third.
“It is true [I said I would never race world championships again], and this day before the race I felt I was getting a little nervous. I thought ‘damn, why am I doing this?’ It is so stressful, costs a lot of energy, but in the end when you win and you have this jersey, you say, ‘this is why I am doing it.’ The crowd and family at home, I felt before the race that I got the respect from all of the U.S. fans and I felt myself really calm. That is what I needed to win this race.” Nys said.
“I have to say the Americans are really cool and were cheering for me too. Getting the world championship is really an amazing feeling, and it is different because it is in America and it is the first time it is overseas, so that makes it special. In the end, it is the same race with the same racers, and for me the pressure gets higher every year because people expect me to win.” Vos commented.
“Luckily enough, I’ve had plenty of practice chasing all this year and recovering from crappy starts, so I figure – what’s one more. I did everything I could and Marianne [Vos] obviously had a gap. The thought of not winning a medal here was heartbreaking, so there is no way in hell that was going to happen. I put everything out there and rode with a lot of heart and did everything I could.” a smiling Compton said during the press conference. “After that ride in St. Wendel, that was way more disappointing today. Today I felt like I won a silver, not that I got second. After going through those emotions in St. Wendel, I wasn’t going to put myself in that spot again. I rode well, I made some mistakes, yes, but that is all I can do. Getting second to Marianne [Vos] isn’t too shabby, so I’m happy.”
In the Junior and Under 23 Men's races, the Netherlands was the victor, with Mathieu van der Poel - son of legend Adri van der Poel - winning the Junior race ahead of teammate Martijn Budding. A very happy Adam Toupalik of the Czech Republic was third. Mike Teunissen made his move in the final lap to win the Men Under-23 title ahead of Belgian duo Wietse Bosmans and Wout van Aert.
“In the second or third lap I made a couple of mistakes, and I lost like 20 seconds, so I didn’t think I could come back to first place, but I managed to catch up. I put the pressure on and kept attacking. The last lap I just went full blast and I managed to get some meters and I knew by the end that the gap was increasing. It is awesome. Two years ago I was very close and almost got the jersey, and now two years later I finally got it.” Teunissen said. “Here in America they are a little more crazy. The crowd was absolutely astonishingly noisy. It was fantastic to ride in such great walls of sound. It was a very nice track and a nice audience. I mean in Europe it is nice to race, but this is good as well.”
“The first world championship is always more special, because last year in Koksijde, there was really a battle for it, and now I just had time to celebrate and I knew when I entered the last round that it was for me. Last year I just need to give it all through the last round to win it, so this year is different for me.” van der Poel said about winning his second back-to-back world title.
Full results here