New European champion Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) transformed the third round of the Superprestige in Ruddervoorde into a one-woman show on Sunday, riding away alone in the sand at the end of the first lap before completing a long solo ride to victory. On the podium she was flanked by compatriots Ellen Van Loy (Young Telenet-Fidea) and Jolien Verschueren (Young Telenet-Fidea).
“I felt good straight from the start and these were a fun 40 minutes. It’s the first time this season that I felt powerful,” Cant told Sporza after her dominant victory.
Cant strengthened her lead in the Superprestige series after Nikki Harris (Young Telenet-Fidea) abandoned the race during the second lap. She drops to fifth overall with 28 points. Cant now has 45 points. Verschueren is second with 39 points. Maud Kaptheijns (AA Drink-Kalas) finished fifth in Ruddervoorde and now has 32 points in the season-long competition. Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Team) lost the battle with Verschueren for third place and is now fourth overall in the Superprestige standings with 31 points.
AS is often the case, Wyman had the best start on the fast Vrijgeweide start-finish road surface. She was marked by Cant and Van Loy. Harris didn’t feature in the top-five, while Jolien Verschueren had a bad start and was outside the top-15.
“Once again the start was a problem. I didn’t get away well and ended up at the back. Then you make stupid mistakes to get to the front. I crashed too. Then I focused on passing rider per rider. I no longer believed in the podium,” Verschueren said.
In front Cant set a blistering pace and only Wyman and Van Loy were able to keep up. At the end of the 2600 metres long course on the Pyfferoen meadow, the long sand section was perfect for a powerful rider like Cant. She rode through the whole sand section while Van Loy and Wyman were forced to hop off their bikes.
“I just had to make sure that I rode my own pace and arrive fresh at the sand section. Each time I was able to extend my lead over there,” Cant said.
Crashes and time gaps split the race
Cant held on to a lead of 10 seconds over Van Loy who soon dropped a fading Wyman. Harris was in fourth place at 25 seconds from Cant after the opening lap but in the second lap she abandoned the race. In the background Verschueren worked hard to move up through the pack but was trailing Cant by 38 seconds. The gap between Cant and Van Loy remained the same for most of the third lap; with Wyman was losing ground as Verschueren got her in sight. After a tumble from Van Loy in the fourth of five laps, Cant extended her lead from 10 seconds to nearly 20 seconds. She was I control.
“I crashed at a difficult corner,” Van Loy explained. “After a near standstill you had to turn and I overdid it there. I was riding on my limit and still had to close those 10 seconds on Cant. The sand isn’t my preferred area and she rode through it every lap.”
Cant and Van Loy were sure of their podium spots during the final lap, with the best action going on behind them. Wyman and Verschueren were duelling for third place. The crowd cheered Verschueren forward and she had most left in their tank but kept making several technical mistakes. She eventually passed Verschueren and rode well enough through the final sand section to hold off Wyman.
“The crowds kept shouting that it was possible. I’m satisfied with third place,” Verschueren said.
More than a minute behind Wyman, young Maud Kaptheijns who finished sixth ahead of Joyce Vanderbeken. New under 23 European champion Femke Van den Driessche (Kleuren Op Maat) was eighth ahead of Karen Verheestraete (Kleuren Op Maat) and Italian champion Alice Maria Arzuffi (Selle Italia - Guerciotti).
The next round of the Superprestige series is held next week in Asper-Gavere, Belgium on Sunday November 15.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Sanne Cant (Bel) Team Ciclismo Mundial||0:40:38|
|2||Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:00:24|
|3||Jolien Verschueren (Bel) Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:00:39|
|4||Helen Wyman (GBr) Matrix Fitness Vulpine||0:00:56|
|5||Maud Kaptheijns (Ned) AA-Drink-Kalas Team||0:02:05|
|6||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel) Wielerteam Decock-Van Eyck||0:02:26|
|7||Femke Van Den Driessche (Bel) Kleur Op MAAt - Nodrugs||0:02:33|
|8||Karen Verhestraeten (Bel) Kleur Op MAAt - Nodrugs||0:02:44|
|9||Maria Arzuffi Alice (Ita) Inpa Sottoli Giusfredi||0:03:02|
|10||Loes Sels (Bel) Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:03:11|
|11||Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team||0:03:32|
|12||Bianca Van Den Hoek (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg||0:03:45|
|13||Lucia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Lointek Team||0:04:23|
|14||Chiara Teocchi (Ita) Uci||0:04:46|
|15||Sara Casasola (Ita) Team Sud Tirol Campana Imballaggi||0:05:03|
|16||Fleur Nagengast (Ned) Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:05:18|
|17||Maria Erlandsson Asa (Swe) Varbergs Mtb/Haibike||0:05:45|
|18||Laure Bouteloup (Fra) Les Bleus De France||0:05:50|
|19||Floor Weerink (Ned) Wsv Emmen||0:06:04|
|20||Alicia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Lointek Team||0:06:18|
|21||Katrien Thijs (Bel) Kleur Op MAAt - Nodrugs||0:06:33|
|22||Axelle Bellaert (Bel) AA-Drink-Kalas Team||0:06:38|
|23||Elena Valentini (Ita) Italy||0:06:46|
|24||Shana Maes (Bel) AA-Drink-Kalas Team||0:07:03|
|25||Suzanne Verhoeven (Ned) Zzpr.Nl-Orange Babies||0:07:16|
|26||Marthe Truyen (Bel) Kalas Cycling Team 99||0:07:47|
|27||Gertie Willems (Bel) Kleur Op MAAt - Nodrugs||0:07:56|
|28||Mieke Deroo (Bel) Beernem Cycling Team||0:08:05|
|29||Aurelie Vermeir (Bel) Kon. Vc ´T Meetjesland - Knesselare||0:08:39|
|30||Jinse Peeters (Bel) Acrog - Balen Bc||-1 lap|
|31||Birgit Massagé (Bel) Kleur Op MAAt - Nodrugs|
|32||Sabine Hey (Ned) Wv Breda||-2 laps|
|33||Katrina Jaunslaviete (Lat) Ct Pajuris|
|34||Jana Dobbelaere (Bel) Kon. Vc ´T Meetjesland - Knesselare|
|35||Bo Vandermeulen (Bel) Wc De Molenspurters Meulebeke||-3 laps|
|36||Tatiana Vanparys (Bel) Cycling Team Oostkust|
|37||Cindy Diericx (Bel) Individueel|
|38||Maaike Lanssens (Bel) Wc De Molenspurters Meulebeke|
|DNF||Nikki Harris (GBr) Young Telenet Fidea Cycling|
|DNF||Margriet Kloppenburg (Den) Inthemud.CX|
|DNF||Anja Geldhof (Bel) Napoleon Games - St Martinus|
|DNF||Anke Van Rompay (Bel) Kleur Op Maat - Nodrugs|
|DNF||Jara Noël (Bel) AA-Drink-Kalas Team|
|DNF||Ynske Van Tichelt (Bel) De Kastelse Durvers V.Z.W.|