As the two biggest series, the World Cup and the Superprestige, take a break this weekend, European racers will turn their attention to two Belgian races: the third round of the Soudal Scheldecross at Antwerp on Saturday, and the Vlaamse Druivenveldrit in Overijse on Sunday.
Last year at Antwerp, the wins went to Katie Compton and Sven Nys. Similar to last week at World Cup Roubaix, Compton overcame a few difficulties to eventually overcome and overtake the leader, Hanka Kupfernagel, in the course’s switchbacks through deep sand. Kupfernagel eventually faded, and Sanne Cant took second ahead of Sophie de Boer.
In the men’s race, it was a solo affair after Nys escaped from Telenet-Fidea duo Tom Meeusen and Rob Peeters, using his superior skill in the sand to ride them off his wheel. Meeusen held on for second, but Peeters was overtaken by Dieter Vanthourenhout for third.
Previous editions in the 2012 series have gone to Nys, at Neerpelt, and Albert, at Niel in the Elite mens, and to Nikki Harris at both editions for the women.
Nys also heads into Sunday’s Vlaamse Druivenveldrit as an historical favorite, having won the race four times, as well as the past two editions. With three laps to go, it was Nys, Meeusen and Bart Aernouts who had escaped off the front, largely due to an aggressive ride by Meeusen. It was not to be his race, however, as the Telenet-Fidea rider lost traction in the transition to pavement and crashed out of contention. Nys twice surged away from Aernouts, and the second move stuck, leaving him to ride most of the final lap solo.
Also having double-wins last year was Katie Compton, who after her win at Scheldecross went on to take the Vlaamse Druivenveldrit in fine fashion, soloing to the line ahead of Nikki Harris and Sanne Cant.
Check back in to cxmagazine.com for full reports after the races!