For the third time in her career Daphny van den Brand (ZZPR.nl) won the European championships. In Frankfurt, Germany, she powered away from her compatriot Sanne van Paassen (Brainwash) when the latter encountered a shifting problem.
On a fast course British champion Helen Wyman (Kona) confirmed her position among the best European cyclo-cross riders with a third place in Frankfurt. German star Hanka Kupfernagel featured among the leaders early on but eventually fell short from the podium on home soil.
"The course wasn't hard enough to shake each other off and thus I had put all my money on the last lap. The outcome is great, putting on this blue shirt with stars for a third time," Van den Brand told KNWU.nl. "With this third victory I'm equalling the record from Hanka Kupfernagel. Expect me to be present next year in Lucca. Becoming the sole record holder would be fantastic," Van den Brand told Sport.be.
"It was a fast course, but there were still places you could use your strengh and technical skills. I know the course well having ridden here for the last three years so I felt confident," Wyman told Cyclingnews.
"This time last year, I didn't think I'd be disapointed if I'd got third in a European Championship, but today I am a little," continued Wyman.
"The two Dutch girls were very strong, but they worked together and got the better of me. But I think the strongest two girls on the day were in top two possitions. They deserved the top two steps of the podium. I'll be back next year, even stronger, and trying to win the jersey.
"It's still a championship medal and I'm always proud to win a medal. It shows I'm in good condition, and it shows how far I have come in the last 12 months. I've got another race on Thursday, then it will be a little break for me. I'm quite looking forward to weeekend off now!"
Four riders distanced the rest of the 26 starters in Frankfurt, featuring Van den Brand, Paassen, Wyman and Kupfernagel. During the second half of the race Kupfernagel dropped back, and Wyman also failed to stay with the two Dutch riders.
Van Paassen tried to rid herself of Van den Brand during the penultimate lap but the Dutch champion stood tall. "I had to work hard when Sanne van Paassen accelerated during the penultimate lap. I was happy just to stay with here, more wasn't possible at that moment," Van den Brand said.
Going into the last lap the two seemed to be heading for a sprint but then Van Paassen's hopes for a European title were shattered. "I forgot to shift ahead of the stairs making the whole thing lock up. Closing the resulting gap wasn't possible anymore," Van Paassen told Sport.be.
The disappointment from Van Paassen was in high contrast with the happiness with Van den Brand, as the latter explained. "Luckily Sanne made a small mistake of which I could take profit. I wasn't better than my compatriot today."
Pavla Havlikova rounded out the top five ahead of Sophie de Boer.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Daphny Van Den Brand (Netherlands)||0:38:30|
|2||Sanne Van Paassen (Netherlands)||0:00:09|
|3||Helen Wyman (Great Britain)||0:00:40|
|4||Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany)||0:01:01|
|5||Pavla Havlíková (Czech Republic)||0:01:08|
|6||Sophie De Boer (Netherlands)||0:01:14|
|7||Jasmin Achermann (Switzerland)||0:01:17|
|8||Chris Ferrier Bruneau (France)||0:01:27|
|9||Caroline Mani (France)||0:02:11|
|10||Paulin Ferrand Prevot (France)|
|11||Linda Van Rijen (Netherlands)||0:02:17|
|12||Sabrina Stultiens (Netherlands)|
|13||Arenda Grimberg (Netherlands)||0:02:29|
|14||Sanne Cant (Belgium)||0:02:30|
|15||Sabrina Schweizer (Germany)||0:02:33|
|16||Jana Kyptová (Czech Republic)||0:02:34|
|17||Martina Zwick (Germany)||0:02:42|
|18||Nikki Harris (Great Britain)|
|19||Martina Mikulásková (Czech Republic)||0:03:23|
|20||Nadia Triquet (France)||0:03:28|
|21||Gesa Brüchmann (Germany)||0:03:29|
|22||Gabriella Day (Great Britain)||0:03:37|
|23||Reza Hormes (Netherlands)||0:05:11|
|24||Madara Furmane (Latvia)|
|25||Liga Smite (Latvia)|