Nikki Harris (Young Telenet-Fidea) won the muddy cyclo-cross event in Zogge, Belgium on Sunday morning. The 26 year-old British champion finished solo ahead of the duo Sanne Cant and Sophie de Boer (Young Telenet-Fidea). A week full of rain turned the course into a mud pool.
"It was heavy," a mud-clad Harris sighed. "Before the race I was nervous. I expected to roll in as third or fourth as I never had a good ride here. I arrived in stress because my car broke down on the way to the race; my exhaust fell off."
Not expecting anything good out of the race, her ambitions turned around as Harris quickly rode in the front line of the pack. "During the first lap I checked out the course to see where I could make the difference. Changing bikes resulted in a time loss of several seconds so I skipped that," Harris said.
During the first two laps Harris led the race together with teammate Sophie de Boer. Halfway through the race Cant was closing the gap to the two leaders. For Harris it was the sign to put the hammer down. "I started bad," said Cant," but when I finally made it to the front Sophie was riding a few metres behind Harris. I tried to close the gap back down in the penultimate lap but that didn't work."
While Harris kept her chasers under control De Boer and Cant were battling for second place in the final lap. "I switched bikes in the final lap and avoided mistakes. I knew the others weren't going to close me down," Harris said. Meanwhile Cant was struggling. "I didn't want to settle for second place and by trying to chase down Nikki I didn't have much left in my tank. In the final lap Sophie hit the gas on the road while I got stuck in the mud. It took me half a lap to get back to here and by then there were only two minutes left to do the sprint," Cant said.
Only six seconds behind winner Harris it was Cant who managed to throw her wheel ahead of that from De Boer. The rest of the pack was well distanced by the three protagonists. Ellen Van Loy was best of the rest at nearly two minutes from Harris, who grabbed her second win of the season.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Nikki Harris (GBr) Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:44:40|
|2||Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm-BKCP||0:00:06|
|3||Sophie de Boer (Ned) Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team|
|4||Ellen Van Loy (Bel) DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team||0:01:53|
|5||Pavla Havlikova (Cze) Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:02:09|
|6||Annefleur Kalvenhaar (Ned) Giant Dealerteams||0:03:58|
|7||Monique van de Ree (Ned)||0:04:03|
|8||Loes Sels (Bel) DNCS/PRO 2012 Cycling Team||0:05:07|
|9||Margriet Helena Kloppenburg (Den) Endura Lady Force||0:05:31|
|10||Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||0:05:39|
|11||Karen Verhestraeten (Bel) Up Cycling Team||0:05:57|
|12||Jamie Bierens (Ned) TWC Het Snelle Wiel|
|13||Evy Kuijpers (Ned) RTC Buitenlust|
|14||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel) Decock-Woningbouw Vandekerckhove||0:06:44|
|15||Jolien Verschueren (Bel) Cycling Team Drogenboom||0:07:01|
|16||Katrien Thijs (Bel) Up Cycling Team||0:07:44|
|17||Lotte Eikelenboom (Ned) DRC De Mol||0:08:32|
|18||Shana Maes (Bel) Kriekel Cycling Team Tessenderlo||0:08:48|
|19||Axelle Bellaert (Bel) KVC de Zeemeeuw Oostende||0:08:50|
|20 (-1 lap)||Lindy Van Anrooij (Ned) ZRTC Theo Middelkamp|
|21||Karine Temporelli (Fra)|
|22||Brenda Kaczmarczyk (Pol)|
|23||Meg De Bruyne (Bel) Rijschool AH - Gentse VS|
|24 (-2 laps)||Isabel Caetano (Por)|
|25||Anja Geldhof (Bel) Kriekel Cycling Team Tessenderlo|
|26||Gertie Willems (Bel) Kon. VC 'T Meetjesland - Knesselare|
|27||Aurélie Vermeir (Bel) WK Noord West Brabant|
|28||Marijke De Pauw (Bel) Asfra Racing Team|
|29 (-3 laps)||Sandie Verriest (Bel)|
|30||Cindy Diericx (Bel) Feestcomiteit Drogenboom|
|31||Katleen Fraeye (Bel)|