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2020 World Championships Predictions: Day 1

The first weekend in February always means two things: the Super Bowl and the Cyclocross World Championships. This year, the World Championships take place in Dübendorf, Switzerland on the grounds of the Dübendorf airport. With the addition of the Junior Women category, there are now three races on Saturday and three on Sunday. In addition to the Junior Women, day one also includes the U23 Men and Elite Women.

We provided a full preview already, so let’s jump into the predictions. They will go in the order that the races will occur.

Junior Women

The first ever Junior Woman World Champion will be crowned Saturday morning. The last category added to the World Championships was the U23 Women in 2016. This now provides and equal number of categories for both the men and women.

If you have followed us for the 2019/20 season you will notice that the narrative in women’s racing has been the dominance of the Dutch. They are favored to win all three women’s categories this weekend.

For the Junior Women, we like Shirin van Anrooij. Because there were only two U19 races for her to enter this year (nationals and the continental championships), she has spent the year racing with the Elite Women. She won nationals as well as the Grand Prix Commune de Pétange and rand-Prix de la Commune de Contern. She also reached the podium at four other Elite races.

Behind Anrooji fellow Dutch rider and European Champion, Puck Pieterse is a favorite to podium. Other riders who could be in contention are Fem van Empel (NED) and Julie De Wilde (BEL).

We’re super high on two of the American’s in the race, Madigan Munro and Lizzy Gunsalus. Call us a bit of a homer, but we think an American will be on the podium.

  1. Shirin van Anrooij (NED)
  2. Puck Pieterse (NED)
  3. Madigan Munro (USA)

U23 Men

Switzerland’s U23 National Champion, Kevin Kuhn, will have the eyes of the nation upon him as he attempts to win the first medal for Switzerland in 15 years. Kuhn won three rounds of the World Cup and locked up the overall coming into Hoogerheide. Outside of the World Cups, Kuhn rarely races outside of Switzerland.

The Dutch U23 National Champion, Ryan Kamp, has come on strong in January and looks poised to make a run at the title. Kamp won the past two World Cups, including a win in Nommay where he beat Kuhn by seven seconds. Head-to-head, Kuhn still has the advantage, but Kamp is right there.

Beyond Kamp and Kuhn, there are a few riders we think are capable of reaching the podium and possible the title. We legitmaetly belive that the third rider on the pdoium will be one of three British riders. We’re giving the edge to two-time Junior World Champion Ben Tulett. Thomas Mein has had a stellar season, but is a little unpredictable as is Ben Turner.

To cover our bases, we will mention France’s Antoine Benoist. He could spoil our podium on Saturday.

  1. Kevin Kuhn (SWI)
  2. Ryan Kamp (NED)
  3. Ben Tulett (GBR)

Elite Women

If you’re reading this, that’s means you’ve probably read a lot of our articles this season. The biggest narrative has been the success of the Dutch women. We have hinted that we think it will be an all Dutch podium in Dübendorf and we are sticking with that.

No matter what happens, the odds of a podium finish for the Dutch are in their favor. Since the Elite Women’s World Championship was introduced in 2000, there have been two years (2004 and 2007) where they haven’t had a rider on the podium. In 2004 a 17 year old Marianne Vos finished in seventh, while in 2007, Daphny van den Brand finished fourth.

So, lets cut to the chase.

The three riders on the podium will be Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado, Lucinda Brand and Annemarie Worst. Shocker. Despite her win in Hoogerheide, we think Brand will end up in third place. We just have this gut feeling that Worst or Alvarado will be the champion.

Head-to-head, Alvarado has the edge, 13 – 10. Her decision to race the Elite race versus the U23 one will haunt her if she does not win. Coming off of last weeks World Cup finale, there has to be a bit of revenge in Alvarado’s head as well. Despite all that, we have a gut feeling that Worst is going to pull through in the end.

  1. Annemarie Worst (NED)
  2. Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado (NED)
  3. Lucinda Brand (NED)

Photo credit: https://cyclephotos.co.uk/

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