The first leg of the Bpost Bank Trofee cyclo-cross series was won by Nikki Harris (Young Telenet-Fidea). The 26-year-old British rider seemed unbothered by the foul weather conditions at the Hotondberg and she rode solo from start to finish. Compatriot Helen Wyman (Kona) held off Sanne Cant (IKO Enertherm-BKCP) for second place at a respectable distance from winner Harris.
When crossing the line Harris paid tribute to the late Amy Dombroski, the American cyclo-cross rider died after colliding with a truck during a training ride.
"It's good but sad at the same time," Harris told Cyclingnews. "While riding I was thinking how difficult it must've been for Amy's family, they were watching us race. It seems wrong to celebrate. Maybe in a few weeks it'll sink in but now it doesn't seem significant."
Obviously the whole cyclo-cross world is still dealing with the loss of Dombroski. As hard as it is, there's always still the order of the day. The racing continuous.
Harris was on a league of her own in Ronse and she was quite surprised by that feat. "I don't know where it came from. I'm quite surprised by it. Clearly my condition is OK," Harris said. Thanks to her win and the bonus seconds Harris leads time-based general classification of the Bpost Bank series by 1:07 over Wyman and 1:31 over Cant. World champion Marianne Vos wasn't present in Ronse.
In the battle for second place British champion Helen Wyman got the better of Belgian champion Sanne Cant and Sabrina Stultiens (Rabobank). Wyman seemed content with the outcome of the race. "I'm not as strong as I was last year," Wyman said. The introduction of disc brakes caused problems too. "It's the first proper cross with my mechanical disk brakes. During the first laps it was fantastic then suddenly it was nothing. I dropped to sixth place," Wyman said. Despite the mechanical Wyman was exstatic about her brakes. "Those brakes really revolutionize the way we race." During the penultimate lap Wyman caught back up with Cant and Stultiens and left them trailing on a false flat road section. "That road seemed easy to me. I went hard to get them and then attacked," Wyman said.
The next round of the Bpost Bank cyclo-cross series is held on November 1 with the Koppenbergcross in neighbouring town Oudenaarde. Next week there's the World Cup round in Valkenburg, Netherlands.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Nikki Harris (GBr) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team|
|2||Helen Wyman (GBr)|
|3||Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm - BKCP|
|4||Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) Brainwash wielerploeg|
|5||Sophie De Boer (Ned) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team|
|6||Ellen Van Loy (Bel) DNCS/PRO 2012 Cycling Team|
|7||Pavla Havlikova (Cze) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team|
|8||Githa Michiels (Bel)|
|9||Esmee Oosterman (Ned)|
|10||Lotte Eikelenboom (Ned)|
|11||Bianca Van Den Hoek (Ned)|
|12||Stephanie De Croock (Bel) Wielerclub De Sprinters Malderen|
|13||Jolien Verschueren (Bel) Feestcomiteit Drogenboom|
|14||Laura Verdonschot (Bel) C.T.- DJ.Matic-Kortrijk|
|15||Ayako Toyooka (Jpn)|
|16||Katrien Thijs (Bel) UP Cycling Team|
|17||Margriet Helena Kloppenburg (Den)|
|18||Karen Verhestraeten (Bel) Sengers Ladies Cycling Team|
|19||Christine Vardaros (USA) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team|
|20||Hilde Quintens (Bel) Cycling Team Zemst VZW|
|21||Ilse Vandekinderen (Bel)|
|22||Shana Maes (Bel) Kriekel Cycling Team Tessenderlo|
|23||Valerie Boonen (Bel) De Kastelse Durvers V.Z.W.|
|24||Cindy Diericx (Bel)|