Denise Betsema won the Dutch gathering on Sunday in the cross of Hulst, the penultimate world cup branch of the season. The 27-year-old rider of Pauwels Sauces-Bingoal performed a one-woman show on the banks of the Western Schelde, Lucinda Brand finished second a minute down but is already certain of the overall victory in the World Cup.
The World Cup was scheduled for the first time in Hulst. In recent years the race was a loose cross, this time the Vestingcross was part of the regularity criterion of the UCI. The previous three games were won by Lucinda Brand, even now she was the big favorite.
But the leader in the World Cup standings did not get off to a good start and was immediately dependent on chasing. Well started was Belgian champion Sanne Cant who took care of the first hundreds of meters. Denise Betsema quickly took over command, with Blanka Vas and Annemarie Worst in her wheel. Alvarado, Marianne Vos, Lucinda Brand, and Cant followed at several lengths. There was no measure for Betsema, she kept pedaling on the difficult course in Zeeland. After the first round, a trio separated: Betsema, Worst, and Vas who were three seconds ahead of Alvarado. Brand followed on a count of nine. Betsema continued to accelerate, Vas had to downshift and was relieved by the world champion at the front who struggled together with Worst. Without success, Betsema hit a gap and would increase her lead lap after lap. Brand would still move from the background to second place, but she came too late for the victory. She would be stranded within a minute of the winner, but she is sure of the World Cup. Alvarado had to settle for third place. Michelle Geoghegan did her best as always, and finishing the race in 51st as a 39 years old athlete at the highest world level is still something to say chapeau to!! Martine’s protegee and house guest Sophie Wright was 39th and now will concentrate on her road season. We wish her all the best.
Top 10 Hulst : 1. BETSEMA Denise NED 28 0:53:06
2. BRAND Lucinda NED 32 0:54:08
3. ALVARADO Ceylin del Carmen NED 23 0:54:15
4. WORST Annemarie NED 26 0:54:32
5. VAS Kata Blanka HUN 20 0:55:03
6. HONSINGER Clara USA 24 0:55:16
7. PIETERSE Puck NED 19 0:55:28
8. CANT Sanne BEL 31 0:55:29
9. BAKKER Manon NED 22 0:55:47
10. VAN EMPEL Fem NED 19 0:55:56