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January 12, Elite Women:

Cant defends Belgian 'cross championship

By:
Brecht Decaluwé
Published:
January 12, 2014, 15:00 GMT,
Updated:
January 12, 2014, 19:08 GMT

Van Loy, Michiels complete podium in Waregem

Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) on her way to a fifth Belgian 'cross title

Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) on her way to a fifth Belgian 'cross title

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There were no major upsets at the Belgian championships in the women's category where Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) grabbed her fifth title at the hippodrome in Waregem. The 23 year-old was joined on the podium by Ellen Van Loy (Young Telenet-Fidea) and Githa Michiels (Trek-KMC Trade Team).

“It would’ve been weird for me not to wear this jersey. During the first lap I had to adjust to the more slippery circumstances. It was very slippery under the bridges. Then I got into my rhythm and quickly caught up with Ellen Van Loy."

The spectacular horse track course was still somewhat dry and fast due to the temperatures just above freezing point in Waregem. Reasonable crowds were already present for the 11am race start and clearly it was Van Loy who was most ready for the race. During the first lap she put the pressure on Cant by taking a blistering start.

“I know I get a setback at some point in the race but I think I’ve got a mental benefit too. I also knew Sanne would be coming back but the question was when,” Van Loy said.

After the first of five laps Van Loy had a gap of ten seconds over Cant who was accompanied by Loes Sels (Young Telenet-Fidea) and Jolien Verschueren (DNCS-Towereye CT). After switching bikes Cant quickly distanced these women and started her chase on leader Van Loy. A crash by Van Loy halfway the second lap was the key moment in the race: Cant went up and past Van Loy.

From there Cant cruised to her fifth Belgian title. Halfway the race she had about half a minute on Van Loy who was initially accompanied by Sels.

“Before the race I was more nervous to hold on to my second place than to attack first place,” Van Loy admitted. While Sels and Verscheuren started getting stuck on the increasingly muddy course it was Githa Michiels who surged forward.

“My chances grew as the course got heavier. Due to mistakes from the others I rode in third place and I didn’t give it away,” Michiels said.

A late crash from Van Loy nearly cost her the silver medal. “When riding off the last artificial bridge I slipped away. There was more and more mud on those obstacles. Partly due to my fast start I had enough of a bonus to hold on to second place,” Van Loy said.

Cant, third in the UCI-rankings, will now focus on the world championships in Hoogheide in three weeks time, hoping to get on the podium like she did at the 2012 championships in Koksijde.

“Being Belgian champion means less than being third in the world. I hope I can improve my form after my illness towards worlds. I just want to have a good race there,” Cant said.

Full Results
1 Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) 0:44:29  
2 Ellen Van Loy (Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team) 0:00:36  
3 Githa Michiels (Trek - KMC Trade Team) 0:00:54  
4 Loes Sels (Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team) 0:01:43  
5 Jolien Verschueren (DNCS/Towereye CT) 0:02:13  
6 Stephanie De Croock (Wielerclub De Sprinters Malderen) 0:03:29  
7 Karen Verhestraeten (Kleur Op Maat Cyclingteam) 0:03:53  
8 Cindy Bauwens (Morgan Blue C.T. VZW) 0:04:48  
9 Katrien Thijs (Kleur Op Maat Cyclingteam) 0:05:31  
10 Hilde Quintens (Cycling Team Zemst Vzw) 0:05:56  
11 Shana Maes (Kriekel Cycling Team Tessenderlo) 0:07:21  
12 Petra Mermans (Vanomobil MTB Cycling Team) 0:07:50  
13 Gertie Willems (Kleur Op Maat Cyclingteam)  -1lap  
14 Anja Geldhof (Napoleon Games - St Martinus CT - Ker)    
15 Brenda Kaczmarczyk (Heylen Meubelcentrale Zlwc St.Truid)    
16 Lene Vrijsen (Kleur Op Maat Cyclingteam)    
17 Tine Verdeyen (Cycling Team Zemst VZW)    
18 Katleen Fraeye (Feestcomiteit Drogenboom)  -2laps  
19 Ilse Vandekinderen    
20 Aurelie Vermeir (Kon. Vc ´T Meetjesland - Knesselare)    
21 Jo Blanchaert (K.V.C. Deinze VZW)    
22 Valerie Boonen (De Kastelse Durvers V.Z.W.)    
23 Cindy Diericx (Coolens C.T.)  -3laps  
24 Sandra Sintobin    
25 Maaike Lanssens (Wc De Molenspurters Meulebeke)    
26 Caitlyn La Haye    
DNF Sandie Verriest (Asfra Racing Team)