Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Lars van der Haar (Rabobank) and Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) won the second round of the 2013-14 World Cup on Saturday in Tabor.
In men’s racing, World Cup leader van der Haar and Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) got off to a strong start, escaping on the second lap of the fast, hilly course.
With seven laps to go the two had padded their advantage to 17 seconds, and they would not be caught, despite an 11-man chase that had dwindled to just one — Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) — by the finish.
The victory demanded quite a comeback from van der Haar, who crashed in a sketchy corner with six laps remaining, dropping his chain and falling a dozen seconds behind Walsleben.
But he fought back up to the German with four to go, and while Walsleben hit the paved finishing stretch first, van der Haar took him in the sprint. Pauwels escaped a chase group on the final go-round to finish third on the day, 11 seconds down.
“It’s unbelievable. I don’t know what to say,” said van der Haar, who added that fighting back up to Walsleben was “crazy hard.”
“I knew Philipp was really, really good. But I knew if I kept the gas full open I had a chance of coming back, because he was tired too.”
Asked if he felt confident of winning the two-up sprint, van der Haar replied: “I have never sprinted against Philipp. But I knew if I could come out of the corner correctly I had a good chance of winning.”
Van der Haar now leads the World Cup standings with 160 points. Walsleben sits second with 135 while Pauwels is third, tied on points.
In women’s racing, Compton took the victory by just six seconds over Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) with Pavla Havlikova (Telenet) third at seven seconds.
Compton now leads the World Cup standings with 110 points. Harris sits second with 95 while Havlikova is third with 75.
• World champion Sven Nys (Creland-KDL) had a race to forget, crashing and finishing 22nd at 2:28.
• U.S. champion Jonathan Page (Fuji-Spy) finished 31st at 4:06.