Belgian champion Sanne Cant (Enertherm-Beobank) claimed the first World Cup round in Germany in more than a decade on Saturday. The 26 year-old managed to drop American champ Katie Compton (KFC Racing) in the final lap of the race and rode on to take the victory in Zeven. It was the first World Cup win of the season for Cant.
"In Belgium I often hear after a win that this or that rider is missing. Now they're all here. I'm first on the UCI ranking and today I've proven to be worthy of that," Cant said.
After the second of six laps on the fast and twisting course in the "Hinter der Ahe" forest there were still ten riders riding within ten seconds of each other. World champion Thalita de Jong (Rabo-Liv) and World Cup leader Sophie de Boer (Kalas-NNOF) led early, but Cant brought the rest of the field back on their wheels. The large group also included slow starter Katie Compton, Ellen Van Loy (Young Telenet-Fidea), Pavla Havlikova (Kooperativa), Maud Kaptheijns, Alice Maria Arzuffi (Selle Italia - Guerciotti), Laura Verdonschot (Kalas-NNOF) and U23 World Cup leader Ellen Noble (Rapha-Focus). Halfway through the third lap Cant took over the command from compatriot Van Loy, and then she opened up a gap. Behind Van Loy there was a gap to the rest of the field as well, as De Boer got stuck into the course wiring.
"I made a mistake and then they rode away while I was stuck in the wiring. Sanne played it well. I wasn't good enough today, especially technically. It was more slippery than I expected. The corners had to be taken at high speed and that wasn't in my favour," de Boer told Telenet Play Sports TV.
Meanwhile Compton was moving up in the group, trying to bounce back from her poor start. With two laps to go Cant was leading the race with Van Loy and Compton trailing her by seven seconds. World champion de Jong came back from a short break and found herself in a group with Arzuffi, de Boer and Kaptheijns at 11 seconds.
During the penultimate lap Van Loy dropped back into the large chase group. At the long sand section both Cant and Compton were riding smoothly. In the background, Kaptheijns, Verdonschot, Havlikova and Noble were losing time in the sand. Compton managed to bridge up with Cant when the Belgian lost traction on a short steep climb. Cant offered the lead to Compton, who decided to keep the pace up while chasers Van Loy, De Jong and De Boer were trailing by no more than 11 seconds. Compton set a fast pace on the course but she was unable to shake off Cant, who seemed more or less comfortable on her wheel.
During the penultimate lap, the chasers saw themselves losing ground, with de Jong struggling in the sand. Five riders were still in contention for the final podium spot and 22 year-old Italian rider Arzuffi took the initiative in the group. Van Loy continued to lose ground and ultimately settled for seventh place.
It was clear Compton and Cant were battling for the win when they hit the final lap with an advantage of 17 seconds over Arzuffi, de Boer and de Jong. Cant took over the command when reaching the first obstacles and upped the pace, opening up a small gap. Behind her, Compton struggled for the first time during the race and suddenly the gap was at a few seconds. Cant kept the pace high through the rest of the lap and didn't allow Compton to close it back down, claiming a big win, finishing six seconds ahead of Compton.
"It was a treacherous course, with slippery corners. The sand section was cleaned which made it harder to ride through. In the final lap I didn't ride it too well but I had a gap and tried to keep it until the finish," Cant said.
Compton was satisfied with her second place. "I'm happy with the result. I definitely didn't have an awesome race as I made a bunch of mistakes. I had a bad start. I just felt like I was out of the rhythm. I was a step behind the pace I had to be at," she said.
"I kept pushing, chasing hard. I got to the front and figured to play it steady."
She pointed to the sand pit as the decisive challenge in the final lap. "Sanne was able to ride the sand pit in the last lap and I messed it up. She had a gap and I couldn't recover it in time. She had a great race. She rode it until the end there," Compton said.
Asked whether it wasn't a mistake to lead for one lap and a half with Cant on her wheel, Compton said, "Possibly. Right now I felt like it was too long. I felt like we needed to keep the gap on three to five girls behind us and they weren't too far back. I just wanted to keep the gap and at least guarantee the podium instead of fighting for a fifth place spot.
"I'll go home in December and have some good training and come back in January. I'm looking forward to good training and I feel good.
Twenty-two seconds behind, Arzuffi won the sprint for third place, just ahead of a disappointed de Boer and de Jong.
Under-23 world champion Evie Richards of Great-Britain rode her first UCI World Cup round in Zeven, managing a 14th place in Germany.
De Boer remains World Cup leader with 258 points but Cant is closing in on her, now holding 227 points. Compton is in third overall with a total of 215 despite missing the third round in Valkenburg. She's just ahead of Caroline Mani (Raleigh-Clement) who had a difficult ride in in Zeven, starting slow and finishing 11th.
The next round of the World Cup will be held on December 18th on the tough climbing course at the citadel in Namur, Belgium.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Sanne Cant (Bel) IKO Enertherm-Beobank (Bel)||0:44:43|
|2||Katherine Compton (USA) KFC Racing p/b Trek/Panache||0:00:06|
|3||Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Lensworld-Zannata||0:00:22|
|4||Sophie De Boer (Ned) Kalas-NNOF||0:00:23|
|5||Thalita De Jong (Ned) Raboliv Womencyclingteam||0:00:28|
|6||Maud Kaptheijns (Ned) Team Steylaerts||0:00:33|
|7||Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:00:40|
|8||Laura Verdonschot (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games||0:00:41|
|9||Pavla Havlikova (Cze)||0:00:49|
|10||Ellen Noble (USA) Aspire Racing||0:01:00|
|11||Caroline Mani (Fra) Raleigh Clement||0:01:09|
|12||Manon Bakker (Ned)||0:01:14|
|13||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)||0:01:19|
|14||Evie Richards (GBr)||0:01:24|
|15||Nikola Noskova (Cze)||0:01:32|
|16||Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam|
|17||Alicia Franck (Bel)||0:01:46|
|18||Loes Sels (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:01:50|
|19||Chiara Teocchi (Ita) Bianchi Countervail||0:02:12|
|20||Karen Verhestraeten (Bel) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling Team||0:02:18|
|21||Jolien Verschueren (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:02:36|
|22||Helene Clauzel (Fra)||0:02:41|
|23||Inge Van Der Heijden (Ned)||0:02:44|
|24||Amanda Nauman (USA) SDG - Muscle Monster||0:02:51|
|25||Aida Nuno Palacio (Spa)||0:02:55|
|26||Jessica Lambracht (Ger)||0:03:03|
|27||Nadja Heigl (Aut)||0:03:11|
|28||Anais Grimault (Fra)||0:03:14|
|29||Bianca Van Den Hoek (Ned)||0:03:22|
|30||Lise-Marie Henzelin (Swi)||0:03:31|
|31||Pauline Delhaye (Fra)||0:03:40|
|32||Elle Anderson (USA) Elle Anderson Racing||0:03:54|
|33||Melinda Mccutcheon (USA) Visit Dallas Dna Pro Cycling||0:04:05|
|34||Geerte Hoeke (Ned)||0:04:09|
|35||Martina Mikulaskova (Cze)||0:04:32|
|36||Gesa Bruchmann (Ger)||0:04:34|
|37||Marlene Petit (Fra)||0:04:53|
|38||Lisa Heckmann (Ger)||0:05:00|
|39||Asa Maria Erlandsson (Swe)||0:05:07|
|40||Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado (Ned)||0:05:12|
|41||Jade Wiel (Fra)||0:05:14|
|42||Luisa Beck (Ger)|
|43||Nikola Bajgerova (Cze)||0:05:20|
|44||Tatiana Jasekova (Svk)||0:05:46|
|45||Caroline Schiff (Ger)||0:06:19|
|46||Stefanie Paul (Ger)||0:06:20|
|47||Christine Vardaros (USA)||0:06:48|
|48||Patrycja Lorkowska (Pol)||0:06:56|
|49||Benita Wesselhoeft (Ger)||0:07:08|
|50||Nathalie Lamborelle (Lux)|
|51||Larissa Luttuschka (Ger)|
|52||Erika Glajzova (Svk)|