Sanne Cant (IKO Enertherm-Beobank) won her third straight opening round of the Superprestige Ladies Trophy on Sunday afternoon in Gieten, Netherlands. Cant was half a minute faster than road specialist Lucinda Brand (RaboLiv Womencyclingteam). Sophie de Boer (Kalas-NNOF) was third at a minute from winner Cant.
Just back from a difficult trip to the US during which last year's World Cup winner Cant only managed a ninth and thirteenth place, she managed to bounce back in Gieten. "This win pleases me a lot. During the last lap I've given it all to shake off everything. It's been very tough. I'm very happy," an emotional Cant said on Telenet Play Sports.
After wiping away the tears she explained. "In the USA I had two embarrassing races and that was no fun at all. I headed out there to win and struggled to crack the top 10."
The circumstances in Gieten were way different compared to last week's races in Las Vegas and Iowa. The weather was dry and cool in the north of the Netherlands. Sophie de Boer was the only rider at the start in Gieten who cracked the top 10 during the two first rounds of the World Cup as Katie Compton, Katerina Nash, Eva Lechner, Caroline Mani, Kaitlin Antonneau and the rest remained stateside.
Straight from the start Cant burst away on the fast course that combined long easy sections with a few technical passages through the sand. At first Sophie de Boer managed to hang on but once there was a gap after the first technical section Cant was gone.
After the opening lap Cant had a small gap of five seconds over De Boer and Lucinda Brand. That gap only grew larger as Cant clearly was clearly fresher than De Boer. Behind Cant, De Boer and Brand, Laura Verdonschot (Kalas-NNOF), Nikki Brammeier (nee Harris) and Elle Anderson (Rally Cycling) quickly discovered they were battling for fourth place.
Brand made a lot of technical mistakes but made up for that with a lot of horsepower.
During the second lap De Boer also had to let go of Brand. "The two women ahead of me didn't race yesterday [De Boer won the Soudal Classics in Neerpelt]. That race and the jet lag meant I'm dead-tired. Next week I'll be back on form," De Boer said.
During the third of seven laps Cant extended her lead over Brand up to 20 seconds. One lap later the leaders started to run into traffic from the youth category with Brand suffering the most in the sand. Cant kept cruising around flawlessly with Brand trying to make up for small technical mistakes, and finished with a fast lap to win well ahead of Brand and De Boer.
"There were doubts but I knew I was OK and that there were other reasons for my performance in the USA. I'm glad I was able to show that today. In the USA it was a mix of conditions with the heat and fatigue from travelling. Then you can have a bad day," Cant said.
Brand was pleased with her performance when asked about her career switch. "I've made some choice and they quickly deliver," Brand said. "I've done cyclo-cross in the past to prepare for the road. It's a big challenge because I'm not good at it. At this age I can still pick up a lot. It's good fun. I'll take a break in November."
Behind De Boer, it was her young Belgian teammate Verdonschot who held off Brammeier for fourth place. Anderson finished sixth ahead of Telenet-Fidea duo Ellen Van Loy and Loes Sels. The next Superprestige Ladies Trophy round is held in Zonhoven, Belgium on October 16.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Sanne Cant (Bel) IKO Enertherm-Beobank||0:43:56|
|2||Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team||0:00:29|
|3||Sophie De Boer (Ned) Kalas-NNOF||0:01:01|
|4||Laura Verdonschot (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games||0:01:15|
|5||Nikki Brammeier (GBr) Boels Dolmans||0:01:25|
|6||Elle Anderson (USA) Rally Cycling||0:01:31|
|7||Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:01:39|
|8||Loes Sels (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:01:46|
|9||Yara Kastelijn (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team||0:02:17|
|10||Annemarie Worst (Ned)|
|11||Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado (Ned)||0:02:25|
|12||Karen Verhestraeten (Bel)||0:02:35|
|13||Maud Kaptheijns (Ned) Team Steylaerts||0:02:44|
|14||Geerte Hoeke (Ned)||0:02:48|
|15||Manon Bakker (Ned)||0:02:54|
|16||Jolien Verschueren (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:03:14|
|17||Inge Van Der Heijden (Ned)||0:03:29|
|18||Lizzy Witlox (Ned)||0:03:34|
|19||Alicia Franck (Bel)|
|20||Lindy Van Anrooij (Ned)||0:03:44|
|21||Denise Betsema (Ned)||0:04:18|
|22||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)||0:04:33|
|23||Bianca Van Den Hoek (Ned)||0:04:37|
|24||Suzanne Verhoeven (Ned)||0:04:41|
|25||Maaike De Heij (Ned)||0:05:02|
|26||Julia Boschker (Ned)|
|27||Esther Van Der Burg (Ned)|
|28||Floor Weerink (Ned)|
|29||Linda Ter Beek (Ned)|
|30||Evy Kuijpers (Ned)|
|31||Anouk Spies (Ned)|
|32||Rozemarijn Ammerlaan (Ned)|
|33||Axelle Bellaert (Bel)|
|34||Kiki Van Asselt (Ned)|
|35||Laura Krans (Ned)|
|36||Aurélie Vermeir (Bel)|
|37||Marianne De Vegt (Ned)|
|38||Marieke Van Witzenburg (Ned)|
|39||Romy Berends (Ned)|
|40||Sophie Arends (Ned)|
|41||Yvet Schoonewille (Ned)|