European champion Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) won a muddy edition of the penultimate round of the BPost Bank Trophy in Baal, Belgium on New Year’s Day. After a lengthy pursuit of compatriot Ellen Van Loy (Young Telenet-Fidea), Cant accelerated away with half a lap remaining to claim the win. British champion Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Team) was third.
Cant extends her lead in the time-based classification of the BPo-trophy up to 3:51 over Jolien Verschueren (Young Telenet-Fidea), who lost 1:40 in Baal.
Cant suffered on a course that turned out to be much heavier than expected due to overnight rain. “The course is very tough, close to running. For the men it’s probably slightly easier but for us it’s very tough. I moved into the lead at the barriers and wanted to go flat out for the remainder of the lap. Apparently Ellen crashed. I think I already had a gap but I didn’t see it,” Cant told Sporza afterwards.
The Belgian was forced to chase the early leader Van Loy, who enjoyed a great start. She quickly rode away from Pavla Havlikova (MRM-Avalon), Wyman, Cant and Maud Kaptheijns (AA Drink). Jolien Verschueren, meanwhile, had a typically slow start.
During the second lap Van Loy picked up the 15 bonus seconds at the intermediate sprint. Cant trailed the 35-year-old leader by 10 seconds. It seemed like Van Loy was up for a race-long solo effort, but by the end of the second lap Cant had made up some ground, coming back to 4 seconds. By that point, Wyman and Havlikova were battling for the third podium spot at 36 seconds, while Sophie de Boer (Kalas-NNOF), Elle Anderson (Strava) and Jolien Verschueren were about a minute down on the two protagonists.
By the midpoint of the race, Cant still hadn’t bridged up to Van Loy, though she managed to hold the gap to four seconds. The duo were clearly a level above the rest as Wyman was already 50 seconds back. Havlikova had a difficult lap, fading back behind Sophie de Boer. Verschueren distanced Anderson and tried to limit her losses.
Midway through the penultimate lap, Cant – who often opted to run rather than ride in the mud – finally bridged up to Van Loy, and sat on her wheel for the remainder of the lap. With no pressure from the trailing Wyman, still at 40 seconds, the pace dropped in front.
On the final lap, Cant took over the lead after the barriers and quickly gained a few metres on Van Loy. When Van Loy tried to pull back the ground on a steep descent, she couldn’t hold on to her bike and landed in the mud.
From there Cant had an easy ride ahead to the victory. Van Loy finished a strong race 18 seconds down on Cant, while Wyman was third at 47 seconds.
Sophie de Boer won the battle for fourth place from Havlikova at just over a minute from Cant. Verschueren lost a lot of time in Baal, finishing sixth at 1:40. American rider Elle Anderson finished eighth, behind Loes Sels. Maud Kaptheijns and Canadian rider Mical Dyck (Naked Bicycles & Design) rounded out the top 10.
Nikki Harris (Boels-Dolmans) wasn’t able to show off her new team kit, still struggling with illness.
There’s only one round of the BPost Bank Trophy remaining, in which a rider can lose a maximum of five minutes and 30 bonus seconds. Cant’s advantage of 3:51 over Verschueren seems more than enough to secure the overall victory in the BPost Bank Trophy. Wyman is third overall at 4:40 and on a good day she might manage to wrest the second place from Verschueren.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm - BKCP||0:45:58|
|2||Ellen Van Loy (Bel) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:00:18|
|3||Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Team||0:00:47|
|4||Sophie De Boer (Ned) Kalas-NNOF Cycling Team||0:01:02|
|5||Pavla Havlikova (Cze) MRM-Avalon Pro Cycling||0:01:06|
|6||Jolien Verschueren (Bel) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:01:40|
|7||Loes Sels (Bel) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:02:15|
|8||Elle Anderson (USA)||0:02:33|
|9||Maud Kaptheijns (Ned) AA Drink-Kalas Cycling Team||0:03:10|
|10||Mical Dyck (Can)||0:03:26|
|11||Bianca Van Den Hoek (Ned)||0:04:32|
|12||Pauline Delhaye (Fra)||0:04:48|
|13||Asa Maria Erlandsson (Swe)||0:06:08|
|14||Alba Teruel Ribes (Spa)||0:06:11|
|15||Linda Ter Beek (Ned) WSV Emmen||0:06:17|
|16||Ceylin Alvarado (Ned)||0:07:29|
|17||Allison Arensman (USA)||0:08:50|
|18||Hannah Arensman (USA)||0:08:53|
|19||Katrien Thijs (Bel) Kleur Op Maat cyclingteam||0:09:22|
|20||Delia Debbis (GBr)||0:09:32|
|21||Anna Schappert (Can)||0:09:33|
|22||Nathalie Redmond (USA)||0:09:46|
|23||Sofia Revert Rodriguez (Spa)||-1 Lap|
|24||Kristin Endres (Ger)|
|25||Marthe Truyen (Bel)|
|26||Nele Van Maldeghem (Bel) FUJI Medista MTB Team - Neeroeteren||-2 Laps|
|27||Claire-Jane Beaumont (GBr)|
|28||Aurélie Vermeir (Bel) VC Meetjesland Knesselare|
|29||Ruta Brakovska (Pol)|
|DNF||Lisa Jacobs (Aus)|
|DNF||Dagnija Auzane (Pol)|