“I knew she would be hard to beat in the sprint, that she won the road world championships in the sprint, but at some point you’re hoping for more. I was focusing on Vos and Nash for too long but when I realized they weren't having their best day I closed the gap to Ferrand-Prévot. On the climb after the barriers I felt really strong.
I ride a full cyclo-cross season and have many more races in my legs than those other women. They are more fresh than me. It’s frustrating to lose the world title in the sprint from someone who rides fewer cyclo-cross races than I do. I recognize the qualities of Nash, Vos and Ferrand-Prévot but Pauline and Marianne start their 'cross campaign in December and focus on the World Championships. I can’t afford to skip ten races to be fresh for the World Championships. I have to be up there all season long. Then it’s hard to fight up against women who race half the season. That’s easier than performing all season long. That’s a bit of a blow now.
I don’t think the men were happy to see a fresh Zdenek Stybar racing along only one race each season.
I’ve got a good season behind me. I won the World Cup, the Belgian and European championships and end the cyclo-cross season as the world’s number one. So, from the non-occasional riders I was probably the best. But for now, that’s not much of a consolation for me. I hope that during the next few years I can rise to the level that allows me to win the World Championships after a full cyclo-cross season. There will be more chances but this was a missed one.”
I agree. Well, I thought almost the same watching the podium cerimony. Not about Marianne Vos, who is probably the best cyclist ever - without regard for gender - but for the new World Champion, who's strong - and smart - but basicly a road racer and - like many French riders - basicly racing Franch races, not the more demanding cross in Belgium. Sanne Cant deserved to win and she's right to feel disappointed. By the other side it has been an exciting race and she admits she made the race on the wrong girls.
Anyway in my opinion to enter a Cyclocross World you should have collected some cyclocross points racing a larger number of cyclocross races. Lars van der Haar is now racing with Giant on the road but only in the off season of the cyclocross calendar and didn't miss any important race: that's ok. Stybar situation is very different.
Road teams are profesional and WT teams pay much more so it's normal that a top rider decides at some point to accept their support. But it's wrong if it changes the balance in a World Championship: fresher riders, money to make it more confortable and allowing a best preparation... Cyclocross is very different from procycling, and should remain so.