Elite Women: Zolder
Lucinda Brand (Telenet-Baloise) came out on top in a thrilling sprint to win the women's Telenet Superprestige round in Zolder. The Telenet rider was the strongest rider in the race and was almost faultless as she constantly attacked her rivals. However a strong defence from world champion Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Alpecin-Fenix) and several other riders ensured that Brand was never able to establish a healthy margin, even after several major attacks on the fifth and final lap.
In the sprint for the line, however, Brand had too much power, and she won ahead of Alvarado and Annemarie Worst (777). Denise Betsema (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal). finished in fourth. Brand hit the front as the lead group came off a grass section and headed back onto the tarmac circuit. Alvarado was well-placed on Brand's wheel but was unable to come through.
"It was a really fast one. It was really hard to get away. I tried a couple of times but I was never able to get more than 50 to 100 meters. I knew pretty soon that it would be a sprint but the question then was, how many riders. I'm happy that I could do it my way," Brand said at the finish after taking the win at that also extended her lead in the overall standings.
Brand was on the front almost from the gun and was part of a powerful group that moved clear on the first lap. Alvarado took a tumble on the opening lap after a short dismount but was quickly able to regain contact to make a group of five that also included Brand, Worst, Betsema, and Inge Van Der Heijden. Brand attacked soon after Alvarado regained contact, with a powerful move on the steps toward the end of the second lap, with only Worst able to initially match her.
A bike change for Brand allowed the five leaders to come back together again but Van Der Heijden was the first to lose contact as Worst began to mount her challenge by upping the pace on lap four. However, the circuit and its punchy climbs were unable to truly split the strongest riders and it was left to the final lap.
Brand once more took control and attacked at the bell with Alvarado desperately sprinting onto her back wheel before the more technical sections began. A second attack from Brand did even more damage as the Dutch rider looked to make the difference before the stairs section. She was unable to drop her companions and Betsema - knowing that she had little chance in the sprint - hit the front before the final climbs.
On a final steep section Alvarado once more lost her footing and although she managed to just about stay upright the incident allowed Brand to open a small gap with the world champion and the rest of the leaders held up. Alvarado made contact with Brand on the descent but as the riders came off the technical section Betsema and Worst had regained contact before Brand made no mistake with a convincing sprint win.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Lucinda Brand (Ned) Telenet Baloise Lions||0:40:38|
|2||Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix|
|3||Annemarie Worst (Ned) 777|
|4||Denise Betsema (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal|
|5||Manon Bakker (Ned) Credishop-Fristads||0:00:15|
|6||Inge van der Heijden (Ned) 777||0:00:16|
|7||Anna Kay (GBr) Starcasino CX Team||0:00:17|
|8||Alicia Franck (Bel) Proximus-Alphamotorhomes-Doltcini CT||0:00:20|
|9||Anne Tauber (Ned) Cst Postnl Bafang||0:00:30|
|10||Laura Verdonschot (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal||0:00:31|
|11||Perrine Clauzel (Fra) A.S. Bike Crossteam||0:00:56|
|12||Yara Kastelijn (Ned) Credishop-Fristads||0:01:00|
|13||Sanne Cant (Bel) Iko-Crelan||0:01:06|
|14||Aniek van Alphen (Ned) Credishop-Fristads||0:01:11|
|15||Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam||0:01:42|
|16||Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies||0:02:30|
|17||Karen Verhestraeten (Bel) Iko-Crelan||0:02:38|
|18||Lucia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Nesta-Skoda Alecar CX Team||0:02:42|
|19||Pauliena Rooijakkers (Ned) CCC-Liv||0:02:51|
|20||Ruby West (Can) Proximus-Alphamotorhomes-Doltcini CT||0:02:55|
|21||Kiona Crabbé (Bel) Cyclismo Mundial||0:03:10|
|22||Ellen van Loy (Bel) Telenet Baloise Lions||0:03:22|
|23||Sophie Wright (GBr) Equipe Paule Ka||0:03:31|
|24||Esther van der Burg (Ned) Proximus-Alphamotorhomes-Doltcini CT||0:03:35|
|25||Sidney Mcgill (Can) Pedalhead Race Room||0:03:56|
|26||Marlène Morel Petitgirard (Fra) Team S1neo-Graal-Bjorka||0:04:24|
|27||Jinse Peeters (Bel) Crelan-iko||0:04:37|
|28||Sandra Trevilla (Spa) Jem Sport Cde||0:04:56|
|29||Julie Brouwers (Bel) Vondelmolen-de Ceuster Cycling||0:04:58|
|30||Fauve Bastiaenssen (Bel) Bns Technics - Group t.o.M.||0:05:09|
|31||Siobhan Kelly (Can) Black dog Racing||0:05:23|
|32||Shana Maes (Bel) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team (Bel) Tormans Cyclo Cross Team||0:05:48|
|33||Camille Benoit-guyod (Fra) Team xc vtt Conliège||0:05:58|
|34||Sara Cueto Vega (Spa) Arrueda Cyclocross Team||0:06:11|
|35||Tessa Zwaenepoel (Bel) Proximus-Alphamotorhomes-Doltcini CT||0:06:28|
|36||Maïté Barthels (Lux) Lp07 Schifflange||0:06:52|
|37||Laura Greenhalgh (GBr) Imperial Racing Team||0:07:52|
|38||Camille Devigne (Fra) Ardennes Cross Team||0:08:37|
|39||Corey Coogan Cisek (USA) Velo Revolution - Cyclocross C||0:08:47|
|40||Muller Cyriane (Fra) Cc Sarrebourg||0:09:02|
|DNF||Marion Norbert Riberolle (Fra) Starcasino CX Team|
|DNF||Lindy van Anrooij (Ned) Starcasino CX Team|
|DNF||María Parajón Fuentes (Spa) Hermanos Clavero Pc|
|DNF||Yenthe van Lommel (Bel) Van Assche - Veloloft Ct|
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