Seven-fold world champion Marianne Vos kicked off the new year in style for her new WM3 Energy team by winning the GP Sven Nys in Baal, Belgium on New Year's Day. Vos finished solo ahead of Ellen Van Loy (Telenet-Fidea) in the seventh round of the IJsboerke Ladies Trophy. World Champion Thalita De Jong (Lares-Waowdeals) rounded out the podium.
"I wanted to start well for myself but it's great to start well for the new team. They came here with a bus full of people from WM3," Vos told Sporza.
Vos needed two laps to catch up with a fast-started Van Loy. During the penultimate lap Vos powered away from the veteran Belgian rider, reaching the finish with a bonus of 16 seconds. De Jong beat Belgian champion Sanne Cant (IKO Enertherm-Beobank) in the sprint for third place. With one round left to race, De Jong remains comfortably in the lead of the IJsboerke Ladies Trophy.
"Today was very scary with the frozen tracks. I showed character and rode full gas. I managed to catch Cant and pass her in the sprint. Beforehand I thought I would lose the series here but in the end I lost only five seconds in the intermediate sprint. There's one round left in Lille. A lot has to happen to lose out on three quarters of a minute," De Jong told Sporza.
Overnight frost turned the mud on the undulating course around the Balenberg climb into deep frozen ruts. Ellen Van Loy dealt best with the difficult circumstances, surging to the front as world champion De Jong was struggling in the first corners. Cant also struggled.
"Cold conditions is what I prefer, even more than rain. I love this course. It's a matter of switching the button on these frozen ruts," Van Loy told Sporza. After the first of five laps Van Loy had a good lead over chasers Vos and Cant. Dutch rider Annemarie Worst (Mijn Bad Liv-Giant) rode strong in Baal and followed at short distance. De Jong was a little further back with Laura Verdonschot (Marlux-Napoleon Games) and Nikki Brammeier (Boels-Dolmans).
During the second lap Vos got into a good rhythm, riding away from Cant towards leader Van Loy. "I didn't start bad but Ellen Van Loy took a blistering start and quickly had a nice gap. I needed time to find my way here. There were so many tracks to focus on. Once I found my rhythm I moved to the front," Vos said.
At the intermediate sprint halfway the second lap Van Loy was seven seconds ahead of Vos and fifteen seconds ahead of Cant. At the end of the second lap Vos bridged up with Van Loy. "It was the ideal moment for me to sit on a wheel for a moment. I knew she was coming up and I actually expected other to bridge up as well. Briefly I was able to keep up with her," Van Loy said. Halfway the race the two leaders were 25 seconds ahead of Cant. World champion De Jong, Verdonschot and Worst were ten seconds further back. Brammeier lost contact with this group in the third lap.
Vos took the initiative in front during the penultimate lap. On an uphill asphalted section she opened up a gap on Van Loy. "On that road, she switches two gears bigger than me. It's not a shame to lose out from someone like her," Van Loy said.
In the background De Jong, Verdonschot and Worst had Cant in sight. When hitting the final lap Vos was headed for her third win of the season, after Diegem and Heusden-Zolder. Van Loy cruised to a strong second place. Four riders were battling for third place as Cant was caught back by the group De Jong, Verdonschot and Worst halfway through the final lap. Cant seemed to struggle at the back of the group but then surged forward with a late move. De Jong struggled and was passed by Cant and Verdonschot. She passed Verdonschot again before the finishing straight and in the sprint she narrowly beat Cant.
"In the final lap I saw we were constantly getting closer. I saw Sanne was having a hard time. I suffered a lot too. In the sprint I had to dig deep but I had to do it," De Jong said. Young Verdonschot was fourth ahead of Worst.
In the time-based general classification De Jong leads Cant by 42 seconds. Ellen Van Loy is third overall at 5.05. The final round of the IJsboerke Ladies Trophy is still a while away. The Krawatencross is held on the 2nd of February.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Marianne Vos (Ned) Fortitude Pro Cycling||0:40:53|
|2||Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Telenet-Fidea||0:00:16|
|3||Thalita De Jong (Ned) Lares Waowdeals||0:00:47|
|4||Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm BKCP||0:00:48|
|5||Laura Verdonschot (Bel) Marlux - Napoleon Games||0:00:49|
|6||Annemarie Worst (Ned) Giant||0:00:53|
|7||Nikki Brammeier (GBr) Boels Dolmans||0:01:30|
|8||Maud Kaptheijns (Ned) Steylaerts-Verona||0:01:45|
|9||Anne Terpstra (Ned) Ghost Factory Racing||0:02:22|
|10||Elle Anderson (USA) Elle Anderson Racing||0:02:34|
|11||Jolien Verschueren (Bel) Telenet-Fidea||0:03:16|
|12||Karen Verhestraeten (Bel) Donen Vondelmolen||0:03:25|
|13||Pauline Delhaye (Fra) Quick Mtb Racing Team||0:03:32|
|14||Bianca Van Den Hoek (Ned) Team Rijwielpaleis Bilthoven||0:03:36|
|15||Loes Sels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea||0:03:43|
|16||Yara Kastelijn (Ned) Wm3-Procycling||0:04:06|
|17||Githa Michiels (Bel) Versluys||0:04:10|
|18||Fleur Nagengast (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:04:41|
|19||Maria Palm Eva (Bel) Donen Vondelmolen||0:05:27|
|20||Marthe Truyen (Bel) Aa-Drink Jongerenteam||0:06:01|
|21||Rebecca Locke (Aus) Coburg Cycking Club||0:06:41|
|22||Shana Maes (Bel) Donen Vondelmolen||0:07:27|
|23||Sarah Berkane (Fra) ECVB||0:07:51|
|24||Axelle Bellaert (Bel) Donen Vondelmolen||0:08:31|
|25||Christine Vardaros (USA) Stevens Pro Cycling Club|
|26||Gertie Willems (Bel) Kleur Op Maat - Bns Technics|
|27||Jinse Peeters (Bel) Acrog - Balen Bc|
|28||Kelly Greefs (Bel) Nodrugs Heroes Flanders|
|29||Stacey Riedel (Aus) Port Adelaide CC|
|DNF||Naomi Williams (Aus) St Kilda CC|