Christine Majerus stepped onto the podium of the international cyclocross in Rucphen, The Netherlands, on Saturday to make it a true Benelux podium, with Loes Lels (Crélan-Charles) of Belgium as the winner and Manon Bakker (Experza-Footlogix) taking second place on home turf.
"The legs felt pretty okay, but all those tiny slow-motion corners on the Rucphen course are not my strength," Majerus said. "So podium is nice, despite it not being my best race."
A strong starter, Majerus was the first into the field. Swiftly though, Sels made her move never to give away the lead again. Behind her, Bakker took up second place, while Majerus fought with Yara Kastelijn (Waowdeals) for third place until halfway. By then, Majerus was firmly on her way to the podium - despite the course not suiting the strengths of the Luxembourg champion.
"Rucphen is a very technical race, one corner after another," Majerus explained. "I knew it wouldn't be in my favour. Also, the surface was very dry, which isn't my strength either. But I wanted to take it as a last training, also in combination with tomorrow."
The cyclocross race in Rucphen comes a day before the Telenet UCI World Cup finals in Hoogerheide on Sunday, which is located only 30 kilometres (18.5 miles) from Rucphen. In last week's World Cup race, Majerus equalled her career-best result in a World Cup with fifth place. She awaits the recon of the course tomorrow before expressing her ambitions for the race.
"It will depend on how the surface is going to be," Majerus contemplated. "If it's muddy, I hope to do another good race. And if it's dry and fast, I don't have any big ambitions, just trying to make it a good effort until the end."
The women's race of the Hoogerheide World Cup will start at 1.30pm CET and will be broadcasted live on tv, livestreamed or available to watch on the UCI website.