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Cant wins North Sea cross

Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) wins the elite women's race at Belgian Cyclo-cross Nationals

Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) wins the elite women's race at Belgian Cyclo-cross Nationals (Image credit: Tim de Waele/

Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) continued her winning ways with another victory at the windy North Sea cross in Middelkerke on Saturday afternoon. UCI leader, European and Belgian champion Cant won solo ahead of British champion Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Team) and young Femke van den Driessche (Kleur op maat-Corpellets-Sortimmo Cycling Team). The victory in the final Superprestige round was Cant's 22nd victory of the season.

Only during the first of five laps on the technical course in Middelkerke was the domination from Cant questioned. Wyman made use of her fast start to lead the way over the 36 starters in the coastal town. Teammates Pavla Havlikova (Young Telenet-Fidea) and Nikki Harris (Young Telenet-Fidea) did the same but the duo quickly faded back.

Harris explained after the race that she’s been struggling with illness since the World championships from two weeks ago. Meanwhile Cant moved up and by the end of the opening lap she led the race together with Wyman. In the large chase group behind, the duo Harris and Havlikova were accompanied by Loes Sels (Young Telenet-Fidea), Jolien Verschueren (Young Telenet-Fidea), Ellen Van Loy (Young Telenet-Fidea) and van den Driessche.

From the second lap on Cant was able to maintain a rhythm that was a level too high for Wyman, who dropped back and started focusing on the riders behind her. Van den Driessche managed to ride through the sand section and ripped the chase group apart, together with Verschueren.

The lead from Cant over Wyman grew up by about 15 seconds in every lap. When hitting the final lap it was clear Cant was working her way to yet another victory. The battle for second place was most entertaining. Van den Driessche dropped Verschueren and bridged up with Wyman at the start of the final lap. The sand section was the terrain of Van den Driessche. The 18-year-old Belgian rider managed to ride through the sand in almost every lap. This time she gapped Wyman who was taking big steps in the sand, trying to limit her damages on Van den Driessche.

Wyman managed to bridged back up and overtake her, before gapping her halfway through the final lap. Van den Driessche fought back and joined the British champion once again. The scenario was repeated one more time, offering the Belgian crowds a good show in Middelkerke. Eventually Wyman took charge in the final sections and captured second place. The third place for Van den Driessche is her best result of the season, by far.

The strong performance from Van den Driessche meant there were no Young Telenet-Fidea riders on the podium. It’s a feat that has not happened very often this season in the Superprestige. Verschueren was the first of the Young Telenet-Fidea riders in fourth place, ahead of teammates Van Loy, Harris, Sels and Havlikova.

There’s no general classification in the Women’s category in the Superprestige cyclo-cross series. 

Brief Results

#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm - BKCP
2Helen Wyman (GBr) Konfa FFSA Factory Team
3Femke van den Driessche (Bel) Kleur op maat-Corpellets-Sortimmo Cycling Team

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