European and Belgian champion Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) won a very muddy edition of the Gavere Superprestige race on Sunday afternoon after a race-long duel with Nikki Harris (Young Telenet-Fidea).
The 24 year-old Belgian rider showed off her technical skills during a strong final lap. A mud-clad Harris rolled across the finish line in second place at short distance behind Cant. More than a minute later Ellen van Loy (Young Telenet-Fidea) captured the final podium spot.
It was the fifth win in a row for Cant and she will head to next weekend’s World Cup with bags of confidence. Runner-up Harris admitted Cant got the better of her. At the beginning of the final lap Cant dived into the first downhill and created a small gap. It turned out to be the decisive move.
“This wasn’t my best day of the season. The course demanded a lot of running. It’s okay to have a course like this once in a while. It’s good I came out the winner,” Cant said.
Halfway through the race Cant tumbled into the inflatable barriers when she tried to pass Harris during steepest of the two descents.
“That wasn’t too bad. There’s not much you can do. If I touched the brakes I would’ve crashed. I shouted that I was passing on the right but it’s hard to keep control,” Cant explained.
Harris gracefully accepted defeat.
“Sanne was better. She attacked at the right time too. She took a big risk at that downhill and was faster on that section. I hesitated a little and she was gone,” Harris said.
Cant's gap grew from four to seven seconds after the second descent. In the following section Harris came back to five seconds but then she had nothing left for the final part of the demanding course.
“At the end I was dead,” Harris said. “It’s a pity because on previous laps I waited for Sanne a couple of times because it was better to ride together at that moment of the race.”
Van Loy takes third
The duo distanced the rest of the field after the second lap, with Ellen Van Loy keeping them in sight for a long time and was riding at only 11 seconds from the leaders.
“I saw that Nikki was trying to force Sanne into the lead. Anyways, I was riding at my limit and when I joined them I might have been dropped straight away. On the other hand, I don’t know whether my support for teammates is always returned equally,” Van Loy told Cyclingnews.
While Cant and Harris were each other’s match in Gavere, the rest of the field was spread the course. Jolien Verschueren (Decock Woningbouw) was fourth at nearly two minutes. Before the race it was announced that she will be riding for the Young Telenet-Fidea team from January onwards.
Elle Anderson (Kalas – NNOF) was eighth in Gavere and enjoyed her ride.
“This is exactly why I came to race in Europe. We don’t have this deep mud in the USA. I’ve got good power in my legs but I can improve on these courses. I’ve set my sights on Koksijde [next week’s World Cup round]. I’ve had a really bad cold for 10 days and I was on antibiotics,” Anderson told Cyclingnews.
There’s no general classification in the Women’s category of the Superprestige series.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm - BKCP||0:41:10|
|2||Nikki Harris (GBr) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:00:09|
|3||Ellen Van Loy (Bel) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:01:05|
|4||Jolien Verschueren (Bel) Wielerteam Decock-Woningbouw Vandekerckhove||0:01:44|
|5||Sophie De Boer (Ned) Kalas-NNOF Cycling Team||0:02:42|
|6||Christine Majerus (Ger)||0:02:50|
|7||Pavla Havlikova (Cze) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:03:32|
|8||Elle Anderson (USA) Kalas-NNOF Cycling Team|
|9||Githa Michiels (Bel)||0:04:02|
|10||Olatz Odriozola Mugika (Spa)||0:05:02|
|11||Stephanie De Croock (Bel) Wielerclub De Sprinters Malderen||0:05:15|
|12||Bianca Van Den Hoek (Ned)||0:05:17|
|13||Esmee Oosterman (Ned) AA Drink-B.R.I.S. Cycling Team||0:06:39|
|14||Christine Vardaros (USA)|
|15||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel) Wielerteam Decock-Woningbouw Vandekerckhove||0:07:00|
|16||Lindy Van Anrooij (Ned)||0:07:15|
|17||Femke Van Den Driessche (Bel) VZW Lotto-Ladiescycling||0:07:32|
|18||Hannah Payton (GBr)||0:07:46|
|19||Monique Van De Ree (Ned)||0:09:12|
|20||Lierni Lekuona Etxebeste (Spa)||0:10:35|
|21||Axelle Bellaert (Bel) AA Drink-B.R.I.S. Cycling Team|
|22||Jessika Timmermans (Bel) Hageland Cycling Team|
|23||Chris Van Dorsselaere (Bel) Rudyco-Janatrans Cycling Team|
|24||Ayse Cakir (Tur)|
|25||Cindy Diericx (Bel) Coolens Cycling Team|
|26||Busra Onder (Tur)|
|27||Beyza Kahveci (Tur)|
|28||Mesude Senol (Tur)|