Bakker triumphs in Val di Sole
For the first time in her career, Manon Bakker has won a World Cup race. The Dutch rider made it to the finish line in Val di Sole ahead of Alvarado and Pieterse. After the seventh round of the competition, Alvarado remains leader of the classification.
World Cup leader Ceylin Alvarado (Alpecin - Deceuninck) was back in action after a week’s absence. She was first into the field in the Italian snow, but she went down in the second corner. Puck Pieterse (Fenis - Deceuninck) was also held up at the same point and had to chase.
Even after her slide, Alvarado was still able to continue to set the pace in front. The Czech Zemanová (Brilon Racing Team MB) managed to latch on and crossed the line at the end of the first lap just behind Alvarado. Pieterse, in the meanwhile, was trying to catch up and was doing all she could to get closer, but the podium, with Bakker in third position (Crelan - Corendon), seemed out of reach.
Up front, Alvarado was slowly building up a lead. Even when the chasers caught back up with her after a slide, Alvarado succeeded in riding away from Bakker and Zemanová fairly quickly once again. Halfway through the race, Zemanová began to slip away slowly. This left Bakker riding alone in second spot while Pieterse in turn was able to accelerate past the Czech, on the way to place three.
Just before entering the fourth and final lap, Bakker was getting closer and closer to Alvarado. A duel would decide who would win and who would lose in the seventh round of the 2023 - 2024 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup. Baker moved decisively into the lead and put Alvarado under pressure. Bakker made few mistakes and with every second she increased her lead over Alvarado.
Bakker, third in Val di Sole last year, completely dominated the final lap. In Vermiglio, she took her very first win in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup. Alvarado ultimately finished in second place 23 seconds behind. Pieterse was third at 1 minute 35.