Race Report: World Cup Round #4 Namur, Belgium
on December 22, 2013
World Cup Round #4
Kaitie Antonneau, Curtis White, and CyclocrossWorld.com’s 16 year old junior amateur rider, Cooper Willsey, travelled to Namur, Belgium for the 4th round of the UCI Cyclocross World Cup on Sunday. Antonneau was in contention for a podium finish for most of her race and went on to finish in 7th place, a World Cup career best for the youngster from Wisconsin. White and Willsey fought adversity for most of their races and soldiered on to finish in 27th and 48th place, respectively.
Antonneau got off to a great start in the UCI Elite Women’s event and quickly settled into a group for 4th place with Sanne Cant (BEL), Eva Lechner(ITA), and Pauline Ferrand-Prevot(FRA). Antonneau found herself on the ground, however, just before taking the bell for the last lap and she lost contact with the group.
“I quickly got up, kept my focus, and rode as hard as I could while staying as relaxed as possible for that last lap,” said Antonneau of the late race mishap.
Antonneau was optimistic after crossing the line in a career best 7th place, adding, “I’m very happy with my ride today. I know it’s in me and I’m glad I could show that to myself today. I had a blast out there and I like this course a lot.”
White, like Antonneau, also got off to a great start in his U23 event, slotting himself inside the top-15. Soon after the start, however, White was battling another rider for position and he ended up on the losing end of the fight.
“My seat got caught on a post on the inside of a corner and I lost 15 positions trying to fix it,” said White. “I got back up and going as quickly as I could, trying to make up spots,” he added.
White fought on but admittedly made a few more mistakes on the day and he finished 28th, well below where he had hoped.
“The mud was thick and it was packing easily,” said White after the race. “I took some corners a little too hot trying to make up spots and I slid out in the process. Otherwise, I feel like I raced the course well.”
Young Willsey’s first European World Cup was practically over before it began. Like his Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld.com mentors, Willsey attacked from the line and placed himself into the top 10. A few seconds later, however, Willsey found himself tangled with a few of his competitors and he exited the melee with two broken wheels.
“I started running as soon as I saw my wheels were broken and I lost more than three minutes to the leaders by the time I reached the pit,” said Willsey.
As for how he felt about his first European World Cup, Willsey said, “Aside from the early crash, I had fun learning how to ride such a hard course. The camera perspective doesn’t do the steep, muddy drops justice.”