Maud Kaptheijns (Steylaerts-Verona) captured a surprise victory at the final round of the IJsboerke Ladies Trophy in Lille, Belgium on a rainy Saturday afternoon. The 22-year-old Dutchwoman took her first win of the season at the Krawatencross ahead of an ill world champion Sanne Cant (IKO Enertherm-Beobank) and Laura Verdonschot (Marlux-Napoleon Games).
"This still needs to sink in because I didn’t expect it, and certainly not here in Lille," Kaptheijns told Sporza.
Due to the absence of series leader Thalita de Jong (Lares-Waowdeals), the overall victory in the time-based classification of the IJsboerke Ladies Trophy was easily won by Cant. Cant hails from Lille and is a quadruple winner in the race. Shortly after the finish, Cant was regretting the missed win in her home town.
"It was great to ride around in the rainbow jersey but for now I’m just disappointed not to win," Cant told Sporza.
Four riders dominated the final round of the IJsboerke Ladies Trophy. After two laps of racing, Kaptheijns, Cant, Verdonschot and World Cup winner Sophie de Boer (Breepark) were together in front, having dropped fast starter Ellen Van Loy (Telenet Fidea Lions) in the second lap. Nikki Brammeier (Boels Dolmans) clicked out of her pedal during the start and crashed at high speed into the fencing. After a while she recovered, only to discover a broken bike. Pan-American champion Katie Compton (KFC Racing p/b Trek/Panache) and Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) got off to slow starts and never made it back to the front group.
Halfway through the race, Cant and De Boer rode away from Kaptheijns and Verdonschot in the long sand sections at the border of the lake in Lille. Forty seconds further back, Van Loy was being chased by Compton and Loes Sels (Kalas-NNOF). During the penultimate lap, the pace in front dropped and allowed Kaptheijns and Verdonschot to bridge back up. Anything could happen in the final lap, with four riders battling for the victory. Compton was the first chaser at 38 seconds.
De Boer won the sprint for first place when heading into the first sand section but she slipped and fell, taking Verdonschot down with her. "Maybe I was the strongest rider today if you see I’m always coming back," Verdonschot said.
Cant and Kaptheijns escaped most of the trouble and collected a bonus. Cant briefly gapped Kaptheijns and then after a passage through the forest Verdonschot was back on her wheel, with Kaptheijns a few metres further back and De Boer dropped for good. Cant took her foot of the gas and Verdonschot moved to the front position in the final corners.
"Cant slowed down in the corners and I easily passed her but by then Maud was back too," Verdonschot said. Unaware of Kaptheijns’ return, Cant focused her attention to her left side where Verdonschot was positioned. Kaptheijns blasted away on the right hand side of the road.
"I expected Laura to start the sprint but she waited a bit and I felt it was too early to go. Maud seized her moment and powered away with a lot of speed. I wasn’t aware she was that close behind us. She had a gap of 20 metres and that was too much to close back down," Cant said.
Verdonschot regretted the missed opportunity.
"I paced myself and Maud immediately attacked. The victory was gone. It’s too bad," Verdonschot said.
Kaptheijns had no regrets. “I just went full gas all race long. I didn’t expect to come back on Sophie and Sanne. Then Sophie and Laura crashed and suddenly there were a lot of options. Bart [Wellens, team manager, BD] shouted that I was the fastest. That was sticking in my head," Kaptheijns said.
De Boer finished fourth at 36 seconds. Compton easily held on for fifth place at 55 seconds. Van Loy won the battle for sixth place from Loes Sels.
Cant's runner-up performance sealed her overall victory in the IJsboerke Ladies Trophy. The reigning world champion closed out the eight-event series with a hefty advantage over injured Thalita de Jong and Ellen Van Loy.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Maud Kaptheijns (Ned) Team Steylaerts||0:45:08|
|2||Sanne Cant (Bel) IKO Enertherm-Beobank||0:00:01|
|3||Laura Verdonschot (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games||0:00:02|
|4||Sophie De Boer (Ned) Kalas-NNOF||0:00:36|
|5||Katherine Compton (USA) KFC Racing p/b Trek/Panache||0:00:55|
|6||Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:01:15|
|7||Loes Sels (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:01:18|
|8||Manon Bakker (Ned)||0:01:35|
|9||Karen Verhestraeten (Bel) Lares-WoawDeals||0:01:46|
|10||Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado (Ned)||0:02:09|
|11||Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Team||0:02:20|
|12||Elle Anderson (USA)||0:02:27|
|13||Pauline Delhaye (Fra)||0:02:40|
|14||Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com||0:02:48|
|15||Veerle Goossens (Bel)||0:03:01|
|16||Lindy Van Anrooij (Ned)||0:03:19|
|17||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel) AA Drink-Kalas||0:03:31|
|18||Alicia Franck (Bel)||0:03:35|
|19||Linda Ter Beek (Ned)||0:03:36|
|20||Suzanne Verhoeven (Bel)||0:03:41|
|21||Shana Maes (Bel) AA Drink-Kalas||0:03:49|
|22||Amira Mellor (GBr)||0:04:09|
|23||Maaike De Heij (Ned)||0:04:23|
|24||Marthe Truyen (Bel)||0:04:31|
|25||Jolien Verschueren (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:04:57|
|26||Eva Maria Palm (Bel) AA Drink-Kalas||0:05:20|
|27||Julie Wright (GBr)||0:05:31|
|28||Stefanie Paul (Ger)||0:05:48|
|29||Mascha Mulder (Ned)||0:06:08|
|30||Laur Krans (Ned)||0:06:13|
|31||Kristien Nelen (Bel)||0:06:14|
|32||Lena Bischof-Stein (Ger)||0:06:18|
|33||Meg De Bruyne (Bel)||0:06:49|
|34||Gertie Willems (Bel)||0:07:06|
|35||TInne Vermeiren (Bel)||0:07:38|
|36||Sabine Hey (Ned)||0:07:39|
|37||Yenthe Boons (Bel)||0:07:54|
|38||Jinse Peeters (Bel)||0:08:33|
|39||Caren Commissaris (Bel)||0:08:47|
|40||Lise Van Wunsel (Bel)||0:09:09|
|41||Erin Faccone (Ita)||0:09:18|