Maud Kaptheijns (Crelan-Charles) made it four wins from four rounds at the Superprestige Ladies Trophy in Ruddervoorde. Lucinda Brand (Sunweb) finished second, one second back in the sprint finish, while Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) was three seconds down in third.
The race saw a return to the grass and mud of the last round in Boom, and a return to the familiar sight of Kaptheijns leading the way at the start. The Dutchwoman had suffered a cut to her left knee on Saturday, caused by her rear disc brake, but looked keen to prove it wasn't affecting her.
By the end of the opening lap an unfamiliar name had taken the lead. Brand, riding her first Superpres-tige race of the season, had gained a small gap on the chasing Cant.
And so emerged the themes of the day - the small time gaps, with nobody able to build a commanding lead, and the two riders who would battle out front for much of the race.
The nature of the technical course lent itself to close racing, with 40 corners, a mostly muddy surface and a sandy section all contributing to breaking any sustained momentum from an attacker.
On lap three it looked as though World Champion Cant had taken control. The Belgian led the chase group of Brand, Kaptheijns and Annemarie Worst (Era-Circus) by seven seconds at the end of it, and looked in good shape to extend that lead.
It wouldn't last though, as Brand made another move on the next lap to make it a lead duo. But with Kaptheijns and Worst chasing just a handful of seconds behind, it wasn't a surprise that things came back together on the final lap.
Cant and Brand broke away mid-lap, during the tightest and twistiest sections of the course. It looked as the two riders who had led for much of the race would decide it, but Kaptheijns and Worst just would not drop.
Approaching the final decisive sand section, the four were all together. Kaptheijns, who had ridden through the sand on the previous lap while the rest dismounted, once again looked the strongest. Worst fell away and Brand dropped as Kaptheijns made her move.
Cant managed to hang on, but suffered for her efforts in the final straight. Kaptheijns distanced her in the sprint for yet another victory, while Brand fought back to pass her just before the line to score an impressive second place.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Maud Kaptheijns (Ned) Crelan-Charles||0:43:46|
|2||Lucinda Brand (Ned) Team Sunweb||0:00:01|
|3||Sanne Cant (Bel) Beobank-Corendon Deprof||0:00:03|
|4||Annemarie Worst (Ned) Era Real Estate - Circus||0:00:13|
|5||Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:00:58|
|6||Laura Verdonschot (Bel) Marlux - Napoleon Games Deprof||0:01:00|
|7||Kim Van De Steene (Bel) Tarteletto - Isorex|
|8||Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado (Ned) Kleur Op Maat - Bns Technics||0:01:08|
|9||Karen Verhestraeten (Bel) Donen/Vondelmolen Cx-Team||0:01:21|
|10||Fleur Nagengast (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:01:34|
|11||Elle Anderson (USA) Cycling.Be - Alphamotorhomes||0:01:37|
|12||Sophie De Boer (Ned) Breepark||0:01:57|
|13||Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Steylaerts-Betfirst||0:02:20|
|14||Jolien Verschueren (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice Deprof||0:02:35|
|15||Denise Betsema (Ned) Hr En Tc D.O.K||0:02:47|
|16||Geerte Hoeke (Ned) Wv Breda||0:03:24|
|17||Marthe Truyen (Bel) Aa-Drink Jongerenteam||0:03:32|
|18||Axelle Bellaert (Bel) Donen/Vondelmolen Cx-Team||0:03:43|
|19||Pauline Delhaye (Fra) Quick Mtb Racing Team||0:03:49|
|20||Fanny Stumpf (Fra) Team Peltrax Braquet Libre||0:04:24|
|21||Maïna Galand (Fra) Ec Landerneau||0:04:34|
|22||Laura Porhel (Fra) Telenet - Fidea Cycling Team||0:04:46|
|23||Pasquine Vandermouten (Fra) Club Cycliste Boulou||0:05:03|
|24||Jinse Peeters (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice||0:05:55|
|25||Shana Maes (Bel) Donen/Vondelmolen Cx-Team||0:06:05|
|26||Natalie Redmond (Aus) Ozriders Cannondale Sram||0:06:11|
|27||Meg De Bruyne (Bel) Kleur Op Maat - Bns Technics|
|28||Tessa Zwaenepoel (Bel) Van Assche - Vertronics|
|29||Laure Michels (Bel) Cycling.Be - Alphamotorhomes|
|30||Oceane Allart (Fra) Sev V|
|31||Jo Blanchaert (Bel) Individueel|
|32||Yasmine De Wulf (Bel) Individueel|
|DNF||Nikki Brammeier (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam|
|DNF||Didi De Vries (Ned) Van Assche - Vertronics|