Sanne Cant (Enertherm - BKCP) won the elite women's race in Zonhoven on Sunday. She crossed the line ahead of VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team teammates Nikki Harris and Ellen Van Loy, confirming herself as a specialist in the sand dunes.
After losing out in Saturday's Koppenbergcross, the Belgian champion had something to prove in Zonhoven, where enormous sand dunes challenged the riders on both the climbs and the descents.
"It would have hurt to lose here," Cant said. "Sand is my specialty, and there is quite a bit here. If I had lost here I don't know what I would do. I know I am the favourite in such a course."
Cant had a less than ideal start, coming into the dunes in tenth position on the first lap, but she steadily worked her way toward the front, coming into third position. A bobble by Van Loy in the longer, gradual sandy climb put Cant into second at the end of the first lap, and then it was just a matter of time before she got around Harris.
Cant took the lead but had to keep fighting to fend off Harris, who came close but just could not get back on the wheel of the Belgian.
"I felt that I had everything under control," Cant continued. "It was important to make as few mistakes as possible on the technical sections, and survive in the longer straights."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm - BKCP||0:43:28|
|2||Nikki Harris (GBr) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:00:12|
|3||Ellen Van Loy (Bel) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:01:27|
|4||Pavla Havlikova (Cze) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:01:52|
|5||Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) Brainwash wielerploeg||0:02:27|
|6||Helen Wyman (GBr) Konfa FFSA Factory Team||0:03:34|
|7||Jolien Verschueren (Bel) Wielerteam Decock-Woningbouw Vandekerckhove||0:03:37|
|8||Nikola Noskova (Cze)||0:04:07|
|9||Laura Verdonschot (Bel) AA Drink-B.R.I.S. Cycling Team||0:04:39|
|10||Karen Verhestraeten (Bel) Kleur Op Maat cyclingteam|
|11||Maud Kaptheijns (Ned) AA Drink-B.R.I.S. Cycling Team||0:05:08|
|12||Katrien Thijs (Bel)(Kleur Op Maat cyclingteam||0:05:39|
|13||Monique Van De Ree (Ned)||0:05:40|
|14||Lindy Van Anrooij (Ned)||0:06:06|
|15||Femke Van Den Driessche (Bel) VZW Lotto-Ladiescycling||0:07:06|
|16||Christine Vardaros (USA)||0:07:16|
|17||Asa Maria Erlandsson (Swe)||0:07:37|
|18||Karlijn Swinkels (Ned)||0:07:58|
|19||Hannah Payton (GBr)|
|20||Mercedes Pacios Pujado (Spa)|
|21||Gertie Willems (Bel) Kleur Op Maat cyclingteam|
|22||Valerie Boonen (Bel) De Kastelse Durvers V.Z.W.|
|23||Meg De Bruyne (Bel) VD Hauwe CT - Gentse VS|
|24||Amira Mellor (GBr)|
|25||Brenda Kaczmarczyk (Bel) Heylen Meubelcentrale Zlwc St.Truiden|
|26||Laura Krans (Ned)|
|27||Marie Jackson (GBr)|
|28||Jessika Timmermans (Bel) Hageland Cycling Team|