In her second race back after a two-year break from cyclo-cross, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Canyon-SRAM) returned to the top step of the podium with a solo victory at an extremely muddy Vlaamse Druivencross. World Champion Sanne Cant (Beobank-Corendon), who was victorious in Essen on Saturday, chased hard to catch and pass Lucinda Brand (Team Sunweb) for second place with the latter coming home in third place.
It was a thoroughly muddy affair for the women on the technical, hilly course in Overijse. Ellen Noble (Aspire Racing) got off to a quick start but she would eventually be distanced as an elite group of five forged clear. Ferrand-Prevot, Brand, Cant, Katie Compton (Trek) and Nikki Brammeier (Boels Dolmans), managed the course best early on and built a key advantage.
The conditions made for a race of attrition and Sophie de Boer called it quits midway through, after finishing in the top 10 the day before. It was Brand that appeared to have the handle of things, despite some small errors. The Dutch rider dropped all of her rivals, but Ferrand-Prevot kept her close and was able to pass her when she went into the pits for a new bike.
After passing Brand, Ferrand-Prevot didn’t look back and she pulled out an advantage that would allow her to avoid taking big risks in the closing lap. Behind her, Brand had a few heart-stopping moments. She came off her bike on a steep descent, losing control in the mud, which allowed Cant to close the gap to her. She tried to attack Cant but crashed again when she caught a course-side barrier.
In the end, Cant had the power on the climbs and the confidence on the descents, allowing her to ease out a gap to take second place behind Ferrand-Prevot.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Fra) Canyon-SRAM||0:40:01|
|2||Sanne Cant (Bel) Beobank-Corendon||0:00:20|
|3||Lucinda Brand (Ned) Team Sunweb||0:00:28|
|4||Katie Compton (USA) Trek||0:00:32|
|5||Nikki Brammeier (GBr) Boels Dolmans||0:00:48|
|6||Annemarie Worst (Ned) ERA-Circus||0:01:23|
|7||Evie Richards (GBr)||0:01:24|
|8||Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Steylaerts-Betfirst||0:01:40|
|9||Ellen Noble (USA) Aspire||0:01:46|
|10||Kim Van de Steene (Bel) Tarteletto-Isorex||0:01:58|
|11||Helen Wyman (GBr)||0:02:06|
|12||Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:02:34|
|13||Maud Kaptheijns (Ned) Crelan - Charles||0:02:58|
|14||Karen Verhestraeten (Bel)||0:03:08|
|15||Fleur Nagengast (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions||0:03:33|
|16||Emma White (USA)||0:03:34|
|17||Harriet Harnden (GBr)||0:03:37|
|18||Juliette Labous (Fra)||0:04:18|
|19||Jolien Verschueren (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice||0:04:56|
|20||Pauline Delhaye (Fra)||0:05:03|
|21||Marion Norbert Riberolle (Fra)||0:05:28|
|22||Denise Betsema (Ned)||0:05:43|
|23||Axelle Bellaert (Bel)||0:05:48|
|24||Natalie Redmond (Aus)||0:06:19|
|25||Jinse Peeters (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Vastgoedservice||0:06:35|
|26||Anna Kay (GBr)||0:06:45|
|27||Emily Wadsworth (GBr)||0:06:57|
|28||Bianca Van Den Hoek (Ned)||0:07:17|
|29||Marthe Truyen (Bel)||0:07:32|
|30||Sophie Thackray (GBr)||0:07:39|
|31||Kim Van De Putte (Bel)||0:08:08|
|32||Linda Ter Beek (Ned)||0:08:12|
|33||Corey Coogan Cisek (USA)||0:09:46|
|34||Tess Van Loy (Bel)|
|35||Stacey Riedel (Aus)|
|36||Christine Vardaros (USA)|
|37||Tine Rombouts (Bel)|
|38||Olga Kuzmina (Rus)|
|DNF||Sophie De Boer (Ned)|
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