Inge van der Heijden gave CCC-Liv a very large prize on Sunday. After an intense climax, she grabbed the world championship cyclo-cross title in Danish Bogense (U23). From beginning to end, our young rider from Brabant was positioned at the front, together with, among others, some compatriots. The podium was only orange.
Immediately after the start, Inge pushed hard and took the initiative, together with the Dutch selection. The orange jerseys, with several favourites for gold, did not succeed in shaking off the competition. The bunch regrouped over and over again at the finish line on the windy course in Bogense.
Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado put a wild card on the table in the final lap: she threw herself down in a descent and took a small advantage to Inge and the other riders. Inge did not give in: she countered Alvarado. With a powerful effort, she drove past her fellow compatriot to pick up the gold on the finish line.
“This was a very exciting cross, especially towards the end. The group at the front stayed together for a long time. There was a gap from time to time, and at other moments, the group re-connected. It was not so much the wind that played a part; the riders didn’t really push through, the pace was not high”, according to Inge.
“I knew that I had to be the first on the slope in the final lap. If someone made a mistake there, I certainly did not want to be behind. When Alvardo overtook me, I kept her in sight. I had a very good focus. It was a matter of up and over. Due to some recovery bits in the race, I still had enough power in the legs to push through.”
The title in Bogense is Inge's biggest victory so far. “A world championship is always very special. It is even more special if you can win. Many friends and Dutch supporters came to Denmark. I often heard my name during the cross. Such a beautiful atmosphere is amazing. I think we're going to build a party tonight. I keep wearing the rainbow jersey for now!”
Photo credits: Cor Vos