Sanne Cant (Iko-Crelan) sailed through the course in Meulebeke to take her 12th consecutive cyclo-cross national title on Sunday. Lotte Kopecky (Liv Racing) took the silver with a strong ride and Alicia Franck (Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini) completed the podium with the bronze.
The national title was Cant’s first cyclo-cross victory of the season. She had taken only two podiums this season, at Cyclocross Bredene and Cyclocross Gullegem in the past two weeks, with a pair of top 10s at World Cups.
"It was a difficult course, but I did a good job and tried not to make mistakes," said Cant, as reported by Sporza.
"Now I am rested again for a year. It has been a long time since I had to put on the team jersey again, it took some getting used to. I am glad that it can be put back in the closet."
With sunshine prevailing on an already rain-soaked course, Baloise Trek Lions teammates Marthe Truyen and Ellen Van Loy had the fastest starts, followed pursued by Franck, Kopecky and Laura Verdonschot (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal). Cant settled in quickly and soon set the pace on the opening circuit, with Kopecky and Franck just a few seconds back.
While Kopecky and Franck tried to keep Cant in sight on the second lap, Verdonschot lost momentum on a fall and messy bike exchange while riding with Van Loy and staying in the top five.
At the halfway mark, Kopecky gained some time with a smooth kick through the sand pit, but the pace being pushed by Cant kept the time gap close to 15 seconds over her closest rival. Franck had slipped back to close to a minute back, but held her ensuing podium position with a 20-second gap over Van Loy.
With less than two laps to go, Cant cruised through the sand and was in full control, while Kopecky had to dismount and run part of that section, continuing to lose time.
"I was in a good rhythm. After a lesser passage in the sand she came back for a moment, but when I looked back, I never saw them," Cant told Sporza.
By the bell lap, the top three riders had secured their placings, and it would be Verdonschot who would move into fourth as this time Van Loy used time with a final bike change.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Sanne Cant (Bel) Iko - Crelan||0:48:39|
|2||Lotte Kopecky (Bel)||0:00:22|
|3||Alicia Franck (Bel) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini Ct||0:01:38|
|4||Laura Verdonschot (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal||0:02:17|
|5||Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions||0:02:19|
|6||Marthe Truyen (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions||0:02:47|
|7||Loes Sels (Bel) Iko - Crelan||0:02:49|
|8||Suzanne Verhoeven (Bel)||0:03:10|
|9||Kiona Crabbé (Bel)||0:03:50|
|10||Karen Verhestraeten (Bel) Iko - Crelan||0:04:08|
|11||Kim Van De Steene (Bel)||0:04:31|
|12||Julie De Wilde (Bel) Iko - Crelan||0:04:47|
|13||Jinse Peeters (Bel)||0:05:07|
|14||Jana Dobbelaere (Bel)||0:05:23|
|15||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)||0:06:34|
|16||Tessa Zwaenepoel (Bel) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini Ct||0:07:10|
|17||Julie Brouwers (Bel)||0:07:18|
|18||Shana Maes (Bel) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team||0:08:30|
|19||Fauve Bastiaenssen (Bel)|
|20||Tine Rombouts (Bel)|
|21||Meg De Bruyne (Bel)|
|DNF||Lise Van Wunsel (Bel)|
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