World champion Sanne Cant (IKO Enertherm-Beobank) won the eighth and final round of the IJsboerke Ladies Trophy in Middelkerke, Belgium on a cold Saturday afternoon to take her first win in the rainbow jersey and seal overall success in the season-long series.
In what must’ve been the longest race of the season with nearly fifty minutes of racing, Cant narrowly held off Sophie de Boer (Breepark).
Ellen Van Loy finished third in Middelkerke at more than a minute back. De Boer and Van Loy were tied on points in second place in the IJsboerke Ladies Trophy after the Middelkerke race, both doubting who would get the edge shortly after the race. However, Van Loy was eventually awarded second place thanks to riding more races in the series.
With her win, Cant secured overall victory in the IJsboerke Ladies Trophy. It was her first win in the rainbow jersey for Cant, and she had to dig deep to get it.
“I’m super happy with it. I started to think it wouldn’t work out anymore but I’m super happy now. It’s a nice classification I’m winning, for the second year in a row,” Cant told Telenet Play Sports.
A fast start
Van Loy took the best start in Middelkerke on the long asphalted start section, leading the pack into the field ahead of Cant, Maud Kaptheijns (Steylaerts-Verona) and Alicia Franck (Marlux-Napoleon Games). Sophie de Boer didn’t enjoy a great start and had to work her way through traffic.
“It wasn’t the goal to start that slow. I just started poorly and then I got held up in traffic, with some riders crashing in front of me. I had to close that gap and realised I was already at my maximum,” De Boer told Telenet Play Sports.
Meanwhile, world champion Sanne Cant was the first to bridge up to Van Loy. Sophie de Boer, Nikki Brammeier and Maud Kaptheijns quickly trailed the leaders by ten seconds.
After an opening lap of ten minutes, the two leaders were twelve seconds ahead of Sophie de Boer. She dropped Brammeier and Kaptheijns just before the long finishing straight and started her pursuit on the leaders. Cant briefly dropped Van Loy but when she struggled at the slippery off-camber section both Van Loy and De Boer returned.
After the second of five laps, the three leaders were fourteen seconds ahead of Kaptheijns. Nikki Brammeier (Boels Dolmans) was fifth at 27 seconds, ten seconds ahead of young Laura Verdonschot (Marlux-Napoleon Games) and ten more ahead of Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Team). Halfway the race, Van Loy started fading back while De Boer had a good lap but failed to drop Cant. Van Loy trailed the two leaders by nine seconds when hitting the penultimate lap. Kaptheijns was at 26 seconds and Brammeier at 36, ahead of Verdonschot. The hierarchy looked set.
During the penultimate lap, De Boer managed to drop Cant at the off-camber section. At the following short sand section Cant tried to ride through the sand but failed to do so, losing more time. The gap grew up to five seconds.
“On some parts of the course I was technically better but overall Sanne was stronger,” De Boer said.
Indeed Cant quickly managed to fight her way back in the final lap. The duo had a fierce fight and took turns to accelerate hard. Halfway through the final lap they were back together but after the vital off-camber section Cant moved into the lead and set a fierce pace.
“The last section of the course with a lot of corners favoured Sanne. It suits me less. I was completely dead. I struggled to shift up and saw Sanne riding away. Then it was too late,” De Doer said.
After the twisting section, Cant made no mistakes deep into the race - despite her illness - and reached the finishing straight with a safe lead over her Dutch rival.
“I’m still coughing but on this course one can cover that with technique. I love this course. It’s continuously twisting and turning and this time it was slippery too. It’s fun. Then it’s less about condition,” Cant said.
In the battle for third place, Van Loy struggled a lot in the final laps. Nevertheless, she narrowly held off the return of Maud Kaptheijns.
“Maud was coming up quickly while I made a lot of mistakes. It’s good that I took a fast start,” Van Loy told Telenet Play Sports.
Nikki Brammeier held off a well-paced Helen Wyman for fifth place. Laura Verdonschot lost a lot of time on the final lap and finished seventh, just ahead of Elle Anderson (SRAM-Strava).
The final classification
Immediately after the race there were a lot of doubts about the final general classification. The best six point results out of eight rounds were taken into account, with the final two rounds offering double points. Cant scored 113 points, dropping two second places from Francorchamps and Diegem. De Boer and Van Loy both scored 100 points but De Boer was given second place. De Boer won the third round in Ruddervoorde and the penultimate round in Hoogstraten.
“Sophie won races and I can’t win. That’s costing me second overall,” Van Loy explained.
Elle Anderson finished fourth overall with 69 points, two more than Laura Verdonschot and five more than Maud Kaptheijns.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Sanne Cant (Bel) IKO Enertherm-Beobank||0:49:33|
|2||Sophie De Boer (Ned) Kalas-NNOF||0:00:09|
|3||Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:01:07|
|4||Maud Kaptheijns (Ned) Team Steylaerts||0:01:08|
|5||Nikki Brammeier (GBr)||0:01:22|
|6||Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Team||0:01:27|
|7||Laura Verdonschot (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games||0:01:50|
|8||Elle Anderson (USA) Elle Anderson Racing||0:02:52|
|9||Loes Sels (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:03:19|
|10||Alicia Franck (Bel)||0:03:40|
|11||Karen Verhestraeten (Bel)||0:04:09|
|12||Pauline Delhaye (Fra)||0:04:29|
|13||Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado (Ned)||0:04:32|
|14||Annemarie Worst (Ned)||0:04:48|
|15||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)||0:05:07|
|16||Veerle Goossens (Ned)||0:05:15|
|17||Suzanne Verhoeven (Bel)||0:06:33|
|18||Geerte Hoeke (Ned)||0:06:41|
|19||Amira Mellor (GBr) NEXT Wyman/Kona||0:06:42|
|20||Linda Ter Beek (Ned)||0:07:13|
|21||Esther Van Der Burg (Ned)||0:07:24|
|22||Julie Wright (USA)||0:07:54|
|23||Shana Maes (Bel)||0:08:47|
|24||Aurelie Vermeir (Bel)|
|25||Jinse Peeters (Bel)|
|26||Kim Van De Putte (Bel)|
|27||Julie Van De Velde (Bel)|
|28||Irene Gerritsen (Ned)|
|29||Christine Vardaros (USA)|
|30||Meg De Bruyne (Bel)|
|31||Erin Faccone (USA)|
|32||Tine Rombouts (Bel)|
|33||Lise Van Wunsel (Bel)|
|34||Jo Blanchaert (Bel)|
|35||Anke Van Rompay (Bel)|
|36||Valerie Boonen (Bel)|