Ellen Van Loy (Telenet-Fidea Lions) won an exciting fifth round of the Superprestige Ladies Trophy in Gavere, beating Nikki Brammeier (Boels-Dolmans) by two seconds in a sprint finish. Kim Van De Steene (Tarteletto-Isorex) finished third, 21 seconds back.
The race was a wet and muddy one, and was different from previous rounds right from the start as Brammeier and Van Loy led the way. Maud Kaptheijns (Crelan-Charles), suffering with a knee injury, endured a slower start than usual, falling behind the group of front-runners.
A chase group was soon established behind the lead duo as the riders worked their way around the ten-minute laps - long due to the slow mud and amount of dismounting and running required as a result.
World Champion and new European Champion Sanne Cant (Beobank-Corendon) was among them, along with Van De Steene, Annemarie Worst (Era-Circus) and Sophie De Boer (Breepark). Try as they might though, the gap to the lead duo - seven seconds at the end of lap one - would not be closed.
As numerous riders lying further back slipped and crashed in the mud, Brammeier and Van Loy were exchanging positions up front, increasing their gap to the rest bit by bit. Meanwhile Kaptheijns, the dominant rider so far this season, was clearly suffering as she fell further back - behind the chase group.
That chase group fractured during the middle two laps, with Van De Steene coming out on top, somewhat surprisingly. Heading into the final lap, the Belgian was the only woman within 20 seconds of the leaders. Further back, four-time Gavere winner Cant and Alice Maria Arzuffi (Steylaerts-Betfirst) fought over fourth.
Drama on that final lap saw Brammeier pull out a gap before a crash held up her progress. Van Loy caught up before a bike change saw her lose ground again. It was far from over though, as she hunted the British national champion down and with a brilliant sense of timing caught Brammeier in time for the final corner of the race.
With the momentum in her favour, the 37-year-old launched her sprint from behind and passed Brammeier within sight of the line.
With Cant finishing 5th and Kaptheijns 12th, the Superprestige rankings race has been blown wide open, with Cant now lying just two points behind the Kaptheijns 64 at the top of the leaderboard.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:42:50|
|2||Nikki Brammeier (GBr)||0:00:02|
|3||Kim Van De Steene (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex||0:00:21|
|4||Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Steylaerts - Betfirst||0:00:36|
|5||Sanne Cant (Bel) Beobank-Corendon||0:01:02|
|6||Sophie De Boer (Ned)||0:01:19|
|7||Christine Majerus (Lux)||0:01:25|
|8||Jolien Verschueren (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice||0:01:28|
|9||Annemarie Worst (Ned) Era-Circus||0:01:34|
|10||Katherine Compton (USA)||0:01:39|
|11||Elle Anderson (USA)||0:02:07|
|12||Maud Kaptheijns (Ned) Crelan - Charles||0:02:52|
|13||Laura Verdonschot (Bel) Marlux - Napoleon Games||0:03:03|
|14||Fleur Nagengast (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:03:15|
|15||Yara Kastelijn (Ned)||0:03:32|
|16||Nikola Nosková (Cze)||0:04:11|
|17||Geerte Hoeke (Ned)||0:04:13|
|18||Karen Verhestraeten (Bel)||0:04:50|
|19||Denise Betsema (Ned)||0:05:40|
|20||Susanne Meistrok (Ned)||0:06:25|
|21||Axelle Bellaert (Bel)||0:06:48|
|22||Jinse Peeters (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice||0:08:19|
|23||Kim Van De Putte (Bel)||0:09:42|
|24||Irene Gerritsen (Ned)||0:11:04|
|25||Matilde Bolzan (Ita)||0:11:59|
|26||Julia Boschker (Ned)||0:12:41|
|LAP||Jana Dobbelaere (Bel)|
|LAP||Laure Michels (Bel)|
|LAP||Jo Blanchaert (Bel)|
|LAP||Yasmine De Wulf (Bel)|
|DNF||Loes Sels (Bel) Crelan - Charles|
|DNF||Laurine Boidequin (Bel)|