Nikki Harris rounded out the top ten in the penultimate round of the Cyclocross World Cup series in Lignières-en-Berry on Sunday. Christine Majerus finished two spots further back in 12th place. The French venue was a new addition to the World Cup calendar and featured a winding, undulating and fast lap. World Cup leader Sanne Cant took the win ahead of Ellen Van Loy and Eva Lechner.
Majerus parlays quick start into top twelve finish
Christine Majerus was quick off the line and featured at the head of the race in the first lap. When she crossed the finish line for the start of lap two, she was riding in fifth place, only 11 seconds down on eventual winner Sanne Cant.
“This year, I always try to start fast and stay with the best as long as I can,” said Majerus. “My start was great, and my second, third and fourth laps where the same time as my first. It shows me that it wasn’t a mistake to start fast.”
“Today I missed the extra kick to have better lap times in laps two and three,” Majerus added. “I couldn’t stay with the group that was fighting for position five. I don’t know why. Maybe I hesitated too much in the technical parts, and as soon as you loose the wheel on a fast lap, it’s done.” With two laps left to race, Majerus maintained a top ten position. She slipped back three spots in the last lap to slot into 12th place.
“This wasn’t my favourite course,” admitted Majerus. “It was too fast for me.
I tried to get the best I could of out it, but I’m a bit disappointed to lose a spot in the top ten on the last lap.”
“I need to get more confidence in the fast technical corners,” Majerus said. “That’s where I lost time. I let go of the wheels in front of me too often in those parts.”
“My fighting spirit was good, and I was strong on the straights,” Majerus added. “Twelfth was okay in the end even if I really wanted the top ten.”
Having raced as the lone representative of the Boels-Dolmans team for the entire season, Majerus was joined by Nikki Harris for the first time on Sunday.
“It didn’t change anything to have Nikki in the team,” noted Majerus. “Everyone has their own preparation technique so you are more by yourself than on the road, and in the race everyone is fighting for their own position.”
“The only thing that changed is that I didn’t close the door on Nikki when she passed me during the race,” Majerus added. “I probably would have done that with any of the other girls. Maybe depending on the race situation we can help each other in the future but today the race wasn’t like that.”
Nikki Harris debuts British cyclocross champion jersey in Lignières-en-Berry
While Majerus enjoyed a fast jump off the line, Nikki Harris was forced to recover from a bad start and fight her way to the front of the race. Harris worked her way up to tenth place by the start of lap two, and while she would lose and gain spots throughout the remaining laps, she would ultimately end up back where she was three laps earlier – the final rider in the top ten on the day.
“I’m a bit disappointed with my race,” said Harris. “My start was bad, but I tried to keep calm and work my way back to the front.”
“When I finally made it to the next group, I crashed,” she added. “It was hard to come back again, especially because the course was so fast.”
The winner of the Namur World Cup, Harris admitted that the venue in France didn’t play to her strengths.
“I didn’t particularly like the course,” Harris added. “It’s just one of those things. Like it or not, it’s what we had to race. Some days are just like this I guess.”
Having won her national title last weekend, Harris debuted her national champion jersey in France.
“It was nice to wear the jersey,” said Harris. “It would have been even nicer to have a better result.”
Both Majerus and Harris are back in action next weekend. The duo will race the final round of the World Cup series in Hoogerheide on Sunday – and Harris will contest Rucphen the day prior.