Feature photo and one above courtesy of @Belga

The Druivencross course in Overijse was very swampy and difficult. The Dutch women were in their element on the track, with the best start for Marianne Vos. Afterward, Denise Betsema and Ceylin del Carmen took over Alvarado. World Cup winner Lucinda Brand had to warm up a bit, but in the third round, she came all the way up front. Brand and Alvarado dived into the final lap together after Betsema went down several times after a mistake. In the technical descent, perfect for the fiery world champion, Brand could not follow Alvarado. The bird had gone flying for the second time this weekend. The surprisingly strong Manon Bakker took the podium with Alvarado and Brand.
Alvarado can go to the World Cup with confidence, but Brand certainly seems ready for the battle for the rainbow jersey. Sanne Cant was of course the best Belgian in sixth place. (PS: Michelle Geoghegan finished around 60th place, 2 laps down, she competed in most of the UCI crosses in the continent this year, battling away against the best of the world..her courage should be mentioned!)
1 Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (NED) 49’48”
2 Lucinda Brand (NED) +20″
3 Manon Bakker (NED) +21″
4 Clara Honsinger (USA) +34″
5 Denise Betsema (NED) +40″
6 Sanne Cant (BEL) +48″
7 Anna Kay (GB) +56″
8 Evie Richards (GB) +58″
9 Kata Blanka Vas (HUN) +1’15”
10 Marianne Vos (NED) +1’21”

Women’s Final Standings CX Nations World Cup :

1.Lucinda Brand (Ned) 180 points
2.Ceylin Alvarado (Ned) 142
3.Denise Betsema (Ned) 129
4.Clara Honsinger (VS) 102
5.Kata Blanka Vas (Hon) 100
6.Sanne Cant (Bel) 86
7.Annemarie Worst (Ned) 79
8.Manon Bakker (Ned) 71
9.Puck Pieterse (Ned) 66
10.Anna Kay (Gbr) 63

Good luck next week in Oostende…you keep the green going in difficult times Michelle (Photo Martine)