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Harris and Havlikova make the podium
Daphny van den Brand (AA Drink - Leontien.nl) celebrates her victory in MIddelkerke.
Despite her nearing retirement European champion Daphny van den Brand (AA Drink-Leontien.nl) keeps racking up the wins. And just like last weekend in Hoogstraten the 33-year-old finished ahead of Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) and Pavla Havlikova (Telenet-Fidea).
“This was quite an easy win on a fast technical course. I made the difference in the technical section. This week I felt really tired because of the cold and the long season, but there are only four races to go,” Van den Brand said.
The podium finishers distanced the rest of the field early on and together they hit the final lap in Middelkerke. In the first corners Van den Brand pulled away from the two Telenet-Fidea riders.
“She had a small gap on those corners and it was impossible to close it down,” a disappointed Harris said. “I made a big step forward this season but I’m really longing for a win. Today I came close but I think I lack confidence. I should’ve used my head better because I was leading the group on the long sections while Daphny could just sit on the wheels. I should’ve talked with Pavla too,” Harris concluded.
British champion Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Team) finished fifth, just behind Dutch rider Arenda Grimberg. “While riding in fourth I got stuck with my foot at the barriers and crashed. I needed a new bike so the podium was gone,” Wyman said.
The Superprestige cyclo-cross series don’t organize a ranking in the Women’s category and this might have been the reason why the starting field in Middelkerke wasn’t impressive. World champion Marianne Vos (Stichting Rabo Women), USA-champion Katie Compton (Rabo-Giant Off-road), Sanne van Paassen (Brainwash), Sophie de Boer (Telenet-Fidea) and Belgian champion Sanne Cant (Boxx Veldritacademie) didn’t show up. On Sunday most women race in Heerlen, The Netherlands.
|1||Daphny van den Brand (Ned) AA Drink - Leontien.nl||0:39:25|
|2||Nikki Harris (GBr) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:00:08|
|3||Pavla Havlikova (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:00:13|
|4||Arenda Grimberg (Ned)||0:01:08|
|5||Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Racing||0:01:28|
|6||Nancy Bober (Bel) Style & Concept Cycling Team||0:01:53|
|7||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel) Cycling Team Vermeeren||0:02:06|
|8||Nikoline Hansen (Den) Bov CC-Denmark||0:02:21|
|9||Amy Dombroski (USA) Crankbrothers Race Club||0:02:33|
|10||Nicole De Bie-Leyten (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:03:35|
|11||Christine Vardaros (USA) Baboco||0:03:40|
|12||Margriet Kloppenburg (Den)||-1lap|
|13||Caitlyn La Haye (Bel) Hageland Cycling Team||-2laps|
|14||Sandie Verriest (Bel)|