Seven-time cyclo-cross World Champion Marianne Vos (CCC Liv) will make her ‘cross debut next Tuesday at Ethias Cross in Essen. The versatile Dutchwoman used Essen last year to kick off an abbreviated ‘cross season, coming away with a solo victory on the muddy course.
Vos competed in five cyclo-cross events last season, winning two and finishing fifth in the Dutch National Championships. An injury to her groin prevented her from lining up at the World Championships in Switzerland. Winning her first world title in cyclo-cross in 2006, Vos last earned a Worlds podium in 2019 in Denmark with a bronze.
In 2021, she will begin her 16th road racing season as a pro and lead the newly-formed Jumbo-Visma women’s team. On the road in 2020, Vos won three stages at the Giro Rosa, took second in La Course and was fourth in the women’s road race at the UCI Road World Championships. Her last road competition was in October at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, where she finished fourth.
Race organisers also confirmed that Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) had added the race to his programme. Van der Poel began his ‘cross season a week ago with a win in his opening race at X2O Trophy Scheldecross.
The race in Essen marks the 55th year for cyclo-cross in the Belgian city. It was scheduled as the fifth stop of the Ethias Cross series this year, but is the fourth of eight races to be contested, after the opening round in September at Lokeren was rescheduled and canceled, due to concerns with the COVID-19 coronavirus panademic.
Ethias Cross Essen, like all cyclo-cross events across Europe, will close its doors to spectators because of continued concerns with the coronavirus. Fans in Belgium are can follow live on hln.be. Cyclingnews offers resources for cyclo-cross fans to catch racing action around the world using ExpressVPN as well.