Worst is frustrated with subpar cyclo-cross season: "It happens, but not being in top form is annoying" Cyclo-cross

Worst is frustrated with subpar cyclo-cross season: "It happens, but not being in top form is annoying"

Worst is frustrated with subpar cyclo-cross season: "It happens, but not being in top form is annoying"

It can be said that Annemarie Worst knows the ins and outs in the world of cyclo-cross. The 28-year-old Dutch rider was crowned the Under-23 World Champion in 2017, and the following year, she claimed the European title in the elite category. Since then, she has consistently made her mark in the sport, although this winter has been somewhat less successful for the Dutch rider. IDLProCycling.com caught up with her for an interview!

With only five podium finishes this season at Ardooie (win), Ruddervoorde (second), Niel (third), Boom (third), and Herentals (third), Worst admits that it's a disappointing tally for someone of her caliber. "I'm not satisfied with what I've shown this season. I started off with a lot of bad luck, and after that, I never really got back into form. So, I'm still searching for that form. I can tell that I'm not performing as well as before, both in terms of feeling and results. On the other hand, these things happen, though it's always a bit disheartening."

"Everything has to fall into place for a medal at the National Championships," says Worst

The friendly rider from Cyclocross Reds doesn't have a specific explanation for her lesser performances. "If I did, I would have already been working on it. It's hard to pinpoint any specific pain points right now. I just hope that things get a bit better week by week. It would be great to be back in full form by mid-January.' Worst admits that the struggle with form dips can be mentally challenging. "It starts to get to you. You keep thinking it will come around, but when it doesn’t, it gets nerve-wracking. When will it happen? Fortunately, I still have a lot of morale and enthusiasm for cyclocross. That helps a lot."

And speaking of mid-January, that also means the National Cyclo-cross Championships. "I'm really looking forward to the Nationals, especially since it's one of the few cyclo-cross races in the Netherlands," she says ambitiously. "A good performance there would be a bonus. A medal would definitely make up for some of the season's disappointments, though everything really needs to fall into place. But I'm taking it as it comes for the rest of the season. Hopefully, I'll snag a few good results and close out the season decently."

Worst expects little from her World Championship, but more from Superprestige and X2O

In summary, heading into the rest of the season, Annemarie Worst adopts a 'let's see how it goes' attitude, especially when it comes to the Cyclo-Cross World Championship in Tábor, where she's tempering expectations. "Championships are always a goal, but I have to be realistic and tell myself that a podium finish at the world championship is going to be tough. I've hardly achieved any podiums this winter. I could say that I'm going to become the world champion, but that would be silly. I'm sure that when I'm in top form, I'm among the very best. But I'm not in top form right now, and that's frustrating." Competing with riders like Fem van Empel, Puck Pieterse, and Lucinda Brand seems a bit too ambitious at this point.

Currently, Worst stands at a respectable fifth place in the UCI rankings, while she's also actively competing for the overall victory in the Superprestige series. With one race to go, she is six points behind leader Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado, making a win seem challenging. However, there's also the X2O Trophy, where she holds fourth place. "For me, the Superprestige and the X2O Trophy are the most important. The World Cup, not so much. I hadn't really set it as a goal from the start. From that series, I mainly pick the most enjoyable races, as a kind of nice extra. Fortunately, I'm still in a very good position in the Superprestige. I take it race by race, but I'm confident of a positive outcome."

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