Sanne van Paassen (Brainwash) held off Helen Wyman (Kona-FSA) in an exciting finale on Sunday morning to win the Gavere cyclo-cross in Belgium. Sophie de Boer (ZZPR.nl) finished third at short distance.
“This is great. It boosts my confidence that despite sickness I was able to ride hard,” Van Paassen said. “During the race I felt I was technically better than Helen. When she created a gap on the climb I didn't want to close it down right away. From previous races I learned that gaps during the races are not that important. It's all about the gaps at the finish line,” Van Paassen told Cyclingnews.
Due to the absence of Katie Compton, considered to be Queen of Gavere after her three consecutive wins, a new name was to be added to the impressive list of winners in Gavere. British champion Wyman was considered to be one of the favourites and she led the peloton into the first steep drop away from the castle.
“The tracks were different than before and I got into the course tape. I lost a lot of places,” Wyman said. In front, the usual suspects weren't waiting for Wyman's return. Van Paassen, De Boer, Nikki Harris and Sanne Cant (BKCP-Powerplus) were leading the race but already during the first lap Wyman returned to the front group. When heading back up towards the castle Wyman clearly was stronger than the rest and continued her efforts. “Maybe I used a bit too much energy early on but once I bridged back up to the leaders I felt I had to push through to make the difference,” Wyman said.
Van Paassen also increased the pace and dropped Cant, De Boer and Harris. An attack from De Boer on the pavement resulted in Harris being left alone chasing in fifth position. Van Paassen caught back up with Wyman on the technical descent and the two leaders had a small gap over De Boer and Cant.
In the final laps, Wyman once again created a gap over Van Paassen on the uphill section. The race seemed decided, but by showing great technical skills, the Dutchwoman managed to close the gap as the final lap began. This time both riders stayed together, keeping a small gap over De Boer. Heading towards the sprint, Wyman led Van Paassen on the penultimate straight before the finish. Just before the last corner, a 180° turn transitioning from grass to pavement, Van Paassen jumped away and she powered onto the finishing straight with a small gap over Wyman. The Dutchwoman had no problem in keeping the small gap and grabbed the win in Gavere.
Wyman and De Boer joined Van Paassen on the podium, while Belgian champion Cant finished fourth ahead of Harris.
|1||Sanne van Paassen (Ned) BrainWash||0:38:30|
|2||Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona|
|3||Sophie de Boer (Ned) ZZPR.nl||0:00:20|
|4||Sanne Cant (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus||0:00:45|
|5||Nikki Harris (GBr) APB Cycling Team||0:01:40|
|6||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)||0:02:03|
|7||Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) BrainWash||0:02:08|
|8||Linda van Rijen (Ned)||0:02:32|
|9||Gabriella Day (GBr) The ChainStay-RENNER||0:02:37|
|10||Nancy Bober (Bel) Style & Concept Cycling Team||0:03:08|
|11||Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn (Ned) ZZPR.nl||0:03:18|
|12||Ellen Van Loy (Bel)||0:04:35|
|13||Gertie Willems (Bel)||0:05:05|
|14||Nathalie Nijns (Bel)||0:05:13|
|15||Tessa Van Nieuwpoort (Ned)||0:05:24|
|16||Nicole De Bie - Leyten (Bel) APB Cycling Team||0:05:50|
|17||Helena van Leijen (Ned)||0:06:08|
|18||Anja Geldhof (Bel)||0:06:15|
|19||Christine Vardaros (USA) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team||0:06:18|
|20||Anne Arnouts (Bel)||0:06:20|
|21||Katrien Thijs (Bel) Edegem Bicycle Club V.Z.W.||0:06:55|
|22||Anja Nobus (Bel)||0:07:03|
|23||Lana Verberne (Ned)||0:08:02|
|24||Katrien Vermeiren (Bel)||0:08:56|
|25||Katrien Aerts (Bel)|
|26||Iris Ockeloen (Ned)|
|27||Vicki Thomas (Can) Disasterrecovery.Com|
|28||Steffy Van den Haute (Bel)|
|29||Marijke De Pauw (Bel)|
|30||Valerie Boonen (Bel)|
|31||Claire Thomas (GBr)|
|32||Kim Van Renterghem (Bel)|
|33||Sharon Defoor (Bel)|
|34||Maaike Lanssens (Bel) WC De Molenspurters Meulebeke|
|35||Jo Blanchaert (Bel)|