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Verschueren wins Koppenbergcross in Oudenaarde

Crowds lined the twisting Koppenbergcross circuit.

Crowds lined the twisting Koppenbergcross circuit. (Image credit:

Jolien Verschueren (Young Telenet-Fidea) captured the biggest win of her career on Sunday afternoon when she dominated the Koppenbergcross, second round of the Bpost bank Trophy cyclo-cross series. The 25-year-old preschool sports teacher is the first Belgian winner of the Twenty20 Koppenbergcross, one of the few European races with equal prize money for elite men and momen.

Verschueren also becomes the new leader in the Bpo-trophy with a lead of 1:57 over Nikki Harris (Young Telenet-Fidea), partly due to the absence of former leader Pavla Havlikova.

“I’m really pleased with this victory. Many people said this was a race for me. Last year I was runner-up and this year I hoped to win. It worked out well. I’m really excited. This is still a hobby. I’m still a nearly fulltime sports teacher for preschoolers,” Verschueren said.

Last year’s runner-up Verschueren rode away from her rivals during the second ascent of the Koppenberg, picking up 15 bonus seconds at the intermediate sprint. During the three remaining laps she kept increasing her lead and became a well-deserved winner.

Apart from Verschueren her first big win there was also Femke Van den Driessche (Kleur Op Maat – Nodrugs Cycling Team) who was possibly an even bigger surprise on Sunday. The 21 year-old Belgian rider impressed uphill and fought out a great duel for second place with 28-year-old Nikki Harris. Van den Driessche rode away from Harris on the uphill, but coming back down the Koppenberg towards the finish the British rider was much faster. During the penultimate lap Van den Driessche managed to distance Harris for good, capturing second place.

At the intermediate sprint during the second lap Verschueren picked up 15 bonus seconds. At that point Harris was still riding in second place, taking 10 seconds. Fast starter Wyman took the remaining 5 seconds. After two laps of racing there were still four riders in contention for the victory with Verschueren, Van den Driessche, Harris and Wyman. Belgian champion Cant was struggling on the long climbs in fifth place, just ahead of Talitha de Jong (Rabobank Liv).

In the final laps Verschueren extended her lead. Harris and Van den Driessche battled for second place with the latter winning the duel. Cant won the battle for fourth place against Wyman and De Jong. The latter was able to finish just ahead of Wyman to grab fifth place.

There were at least two major absentees at the Koppenbergcross. Last year’s winner Sophie de Boer is still side-lined due to illness. Also Bpo-trophy leader Pavla Havlikova was not present in Melden. Before the race the Czech rider held a three seconds lead over Jolien Verschueren and 49s over Harris. Cant was fourth at 1:42.


#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jolien Verschueren (Bel) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:43:45
2Femke Van Den Driessche (Bel) VZW Lotto-Ladiescycling0:00:58
3Nikki Harris (GBr) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:01:06
4Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm - BKCP0:01:21
5Thalita De Jong (Ned) Rabobank Liv0:01:28
6Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Team0:01:33
7Ellen Van Loy (Bel) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:02:26
8Sanne Van Paassen (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team0:02:40
9Maud Kaptheijns (Ned) AA Drink-Kalas Cycling Team0:02:43
10Loes Sels (Bel) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:05:28
11Hannah Payton (GBr)
12Bianca Van Den Hoek (Ned)0:05:42
13Marlene Petit (Fra)0:06:04
14Lizzy Witlox (Ned) TWC de Kempen0:07:03
15Linda Ter Beek (Ned) WSV Emmen0:07:23
16Katrien Thijs (Bel) Kleur Op Maat cyclingteam0:07:31
17Diane Lee (GBr)0:07:48
18Asa Maria Erlandsson (Swe)0:07:52
19Annabel Simpson (GBr)0:07:56
20Pauline Delhaye (Fra)0:08:14
21Brittlee Bowman (USA) House Industries0:08:57
22Amira Mellor (GBr)0:09:17
23Aurélie Vermeir(Bel) VC Meetjesland Knesselare0:09:39
24Axelle Bellaert (Bel) AA Drink-Kalas Cycling Team0:09:50
25Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:09:54
26Gabriela Wojtyla (Pol) Zator0:10:03
27Patrycja Lorkowska (Pol)0:10:38
28Katrina Jaunslaviete (Lat) CT Pajur-2 Laps
29Jinse Peeters (Bel)-2 Laps
30Senna Feron (Ned) WV Zwee-2 Laps
31Julia Boschker (Ned)-2 Laps
32Olga Wasiuk (Pol) Blekitni-2 Laps
33Jara Noël (Bel) AA Drink-Kalas Cycling Team-3 Laps
34Paula Gorycka (Pol) 4F Scott-3 Laps
35Madeleine Gammons (GBr) Sherwood-3 Laps
36Anja Geldhof (Bel)-3 Laps
37Gertie Willems (Bel) Kleur Op Maat cyclingteam-3 Laps
38Birgit Massage (Bel)-3 Laps
39Jana Dobbelaere (Bel)-3 Laps
40Caren Commissaris (Bel)-3 Laps
41Sophie Thackray (GBr)-3 Laps
42Bo Vandermeulen (Bel)-4 Laps
43Tatiana Vanparys (Bel)-4 Laps
44Cindy Diericx (Bel) Coolens Cycling Team-4 Laps


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