Cant nabs fourth straight IJsboerke Ladies Trophy win at Azencross

Sanne Cant makes her way through the sand

Sanne Cant makes her way through the sand (Image credit: Tim de Waele/

Belgian champion Sanne Cant (IKO Enertherm-Beobank) won the sixth round of the IJsboerke Ladies Trophy in Loenhout, Belgium on Thursday. Cant finished solo ahead of Rabo-Liv riders Marianne Vos and world champion Thalita de Jong. The latter remains leader in the time-based classification of the IJsboerke Ladies Trophy by 46 seconds.

"I'm not focused on the classification and prefer to win here than to win the series. There's still two rounds left to race and in Baal there are often big gaps," Cant told Sporza.

De Jong lost significant ground during the second of five laps when she slipped away and dropped her chain. "It's a pity. I felt really good and during the race I realized I was very strong. [...] After my crash it was no longer possible to take seconds at the intermediate sprint. You try to control the damages but it's tough," she said.

De Jong featured up front straight from the start, riding just behind Rabo-Liv teammate Lucinda Brand. Cant was right on their heels but failed to hold their wheels during the opening lap. Thanks to her World Cup victory in Heusden-Zolder, Marianne Vos no longer is a back-row starter. She quickly featured in the top 10 but lacked the energy to move up. "I wasn't able to move along with the leaders and the gap quickly increased. I just didn't ride fast enough. I didn't feel as good as in Zolder. That's okay once in a while," Vos told Sporza.

Brand rode a blistering pace up front on the fast course, first dropping Cant and later also De Jong. After the opening lap, Brand had a bonus of 11 seconds on Cant and De Jong. Ellen Van Loy (Young Telenet-Fidea), Laura Verdonschot (Kalas-NNOF) and Vos were trailing Brand by 17 seconds.

The first part of the course in Loenhout was muddy and the Rabo-Liv riders up front struggled with that section during the second lap. First it was Brand who slipped away in one of the first corners. A few moments later De Jong crashed as well, dropping her chain and losing a lot of time.

Cant had a golden opportunity to pass Brand. At the intermediate sprint Cant picked up 15 bonus seconds, Brand grabbed 10, and Ellen Van Loy five. De Jong was chasing at 14 seconds from Cant and Brand. The two leaders worked well together and after two laps they had a bonus of 11 seconds on De Jong, Vos, Van Loy and Verdonschot.

Halfway through the race Cant, accelerated in the mud. Brand quickly faded and she was caught by the four chasers. At that moment in the race, Vos seemed unlikely to factor. When hitting the penultimate, lap De Jong, Verdonschot and Brand were not getting much closer, trailing Cant by 12 seconds. Vos and Van Loy were a few seconds further back.

Then, De Jong found a second wind. The world champion dropped the other chasers and came back to within five seconds from Cant when hitting the final lap, with Vos, Brand and Verdonschot still at the same distance from the leader. Van Loy sat further back in sixth.

In the final lap Cant was under pressure as De Jong was seemingly on fire and on her way to the front. However, a few moments later De Jong's momentum was gone when she made a few minor technical mistakes. Suddenly she found herself back in the group with Brand, Vos and Verdonschot at long distance from Cant.

The latter easily held on for the win. In the battle for the two remaining podium spots Brand was the first to sit up, just before the finishing straight. De Jong went from far out with Vos and Verdonschot on her wheel. Vos proved to have something left in her tank and easily beat De Jong in the sprint for second, with Verdonschot a distant fourth.

"It was only in the final lap that I got going. It was just in time for a podium result," Vos said.

In the time-based overall classification Cant made up a 21 seconds on leader De Jong. The gap is now 46 seconds. Sophie de Boer (Kalas-NNOF) was a non-starter in Loenhout but she's still in third place overall, at 6:18.

The penultimate round of the IJsboerke Ladies Trophy is held on New Year's Day in Baal, Belgium.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sanne Cant (Bel) IKO Enertherm-Beobank0:39:51
2Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team0:00:06
3Thalita De Jong (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team
4Laura Verdonschot (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games0:00:09
5Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team0:00:26
6Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:00:40
7Maud Kaptheijns (Ned) Team Steylaerts0:01:19
8Nikki Brammeier (GBr) Boels-Dolmans0:01:21
9Pavla Havlikova (Cze) MRM Avalon Pro Cycling0:01:22
10Loes Sels (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:01:42
11Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Lensworld-Zannata
12Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado (Ned)0:01:43
13Nikola Noskova (Cze) AA Drink-Kalas0:01:54
14Karen Verhestraeten (Bel) Lares-WoawDeals
15Elle Anderson (USA)0:01:56
16Manon Bakker (Ned)
17Monique Van De Ree (Ned) Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling Team0:02:45
18Inge Van Der Heijden (Ned)0:02:46
19Juliette Labous (Fra)
20Lindy Van Anrooij (Ned)
21Jolien Verschueren (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions0:02:47
22Veerle Goossens (Bel)0:02:57
23Lucia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Lointek0:03:05
24Alicia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Lointek0:03:09
25Geerte Hoeke (Ned)0:03:20
26Sunny Gilbert (USA) Van Dessel0:03:28
27Pauline Delhaye (Fra)0:03:34
28Anne Terpstra (Bel)
29Floor Weerink (Ned)0:03:45
30Lizzy Witlox (Ned)0:03:52
32Ida Jansson (Swe)
33Anais Morichon (Fra)0:03:58
34Shana Maes (Bel) AA Drink-Kalas0:04:00
35Susanne Meistrok (Bel)0:04:02
36Audrey Menut (Fra)0:04:07
37Asa Maria Erlandsson (Swe)0:04:16
38Helene Clauzel (Fra)0:04:23
39Jinse Peeters (Bel)0:04:33
40Mascha Mulder (Ned)0:04:40
41Emily Wadsworth (GBr)0:04:58
42TInne Vermeiren (Bel)0:05:16
43Meg De Bruyne (Bel)0:05:20
44Irene Trabazo Bragado (Spa)0:05:47
45Nikola Bajgerova (Bel)0:05:58
46Miyoko Karami (Jpn)0:06:02
47Saga Molin (Swe)0:06:05
48Kristien Nelen (Bel)0:06:14
49Laure Michels (Bel)0:06:43
50Caren Commissaris (Bel)0:07:10
51Gertie Willems (Bel)0:07:29
52Hannah Van Boven (Ned)0:07:42
53Madeleine Gammons (GBr)0:08:03

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