Elite Women: Zonhoven
Sanne Cant (Iko-Beobank) took her first Superprestige victory of the season, triumphing with a last lap attack in the sand at Zonhoven. Denise Betsema (Marlux-Bingoal) took second, ten seconds back, while Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Corendon-Circus) was third at 25 seconds.
It was a close-run until the closing stage in the famous Belgian sand pit, with Betsema and Cant battling it out in freezing conditions after dropping Alvarado late on. Reigning world champion, Cant, pushed to the front late on, and sealed victory after Betsema got her front wheel stuck in the thick sand.
Earlier in the race, it was Nikki Brammeier (Mudiiita Pro Team) out front, going on the attack and getting a small lead over the pack after series leader Annemarie Worst (Steylaerts-777.be) hit the deck. Meanwhile, Cant had a slow start, running down towards the back end of the top ten.
She wouldn't stay there for long though, showing her running prowess up the famous hill to pass everyone and take second place behind Brammeier. The day only got worse for Worst, with another fall taking her out of contention. Later on, she would crash for a third time, completing a miserable day for the Austrian.
Betsema was the rider who got things going in the chase, putting in a stinging attack that only Alvarado and Cant could follow. The trio quickly made it up to Brammeier, making it a lead quartet just before the halfway point of the race.
Brammeier would be the next victim of the challenging, thick sand, falling in the pit and losing ground on her companions. This was the big turning point in the race, with the remaining leaders set to contest the win. Italians Eva Lechner (Clif Pro Team) and Alice-Maria Arzuffi (Steylaerts-777.be) were solo chasers at various points, but neither could make inroads into the lead, with a fall seeing Arzuffi’s chase end.
The penultimate lap saw Betsema push on again, with Cant following and Alvarado struggling to keep up. Cant waited until the final lap to make her move though, passing Betsema before going for broke with Alvarado already distanced. It was then that disaster struck for Betsema as her front wheel got stuck in the sand, and so her chance to contest the win slipped away for good.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Sanne Cant (Bel) Iko-Beobank||0:44:35|
|2||Denise Betsema (Ned) Marlux - Bingoal||0:00:10|
|3||Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned) Corendon - Circus||0:00:25|
|4||Nikki Brammeier (GBr)||0:00:42|
|5||Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Steylaerts - 777||0:00:46|
|6||Loes Sels (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice|
|7||Inge Van Der Heijden (Ned)||0:01:34|
|8||Maud Kaptheijns (Ned) Crelan - Charles||0:01:36|
|9||Annemarie Worst (Ned) Steylaerts - 777||0:01:42|
|10||Shirin Van Anrooij (Ned)||0:01:58|
|11||Eva Lechner (Ita) Creafin Tüv Sud||0:02:11|
|12||Mari-Liis Mõttus (Est)||0:02:27|
|13||Anna Kay (GBr)|
|14||Manon Bakker (Ned)||0:02:55|
|15||Geerte Hoeke (Ned) Creafin Tüv Sud||0:03:12|
|16||Aniek Van Alphen (Ned)||0:03:22|
|17||Puck Pieterse (Ned)||0:03:58|
|18||Karen Verhestraeten (Bel)||0:04:54|
|19||Pauline Delhaye (Fra)||0:06:00|
|20||Susanne Meistrok (Ned)||0:06:22|
|21||Monique Van De Ree (Ned)|
|22||Emily Wadsworth (GBr) Tp Racing||0:06:52|
|23||Suzanne Verhoeven (Bel)||0:07:10|
|24||Corey Coogan Cisek (USA)||0:07:23|
|25||Pasquine Vandermouten (Fra)||0:07:32|
|26||Jana Dobbelaere (Bel)|
|27||Svenja Wüthrich (Swi)|
|28||Sophie Thackray (GBr)|
|29||Elodie Kuijper (Ned)|
|30||Tessa Zwaenepoel (Bel)|
|31||Julie Brouwers (Bel)|
|32||Poppy Cooke (GBr)|
|33||Fiona Turnbull (GBr)|
|34||Shana Maes (Bel)|
|35||Tinne Vermeiren (Bel)|
|36||Yvonne Waltert (Swi)|
|37||Meg De Bruyne (Bel)|
|38||Aurelie Vermeir (Bel)|
|39||Fleur Van Der Peet (Ned)|
|40||Michelle Schätti (Swi)|
|41||Flurina Glaus (Swi)|
|42||Connie Hayes (GBr)|
|43||Cecilia Hime (GBr)|
|44||Nieke Coppens (Bel)|
|DNF||Laura Verdonschot (Bel) Marlux - Bingoal|
|DNF||Veerle Goossens (Ned)|
|DNF||Marthe Truyen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions|
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