Van Paassen takes another win in the Superprestige series. © Bart Hazen

Van Paassen takes another win in the Superprestige series. © Bart Hazen

by Bart Hazen

Gavere, Belgium – Sanne van Paassen (Brainwash) has won the women’s race in Asper-Gavere. In the race, the laughing van Paassen outsprinted British national champion Helen Wyman for the win. Another Dutch, Sophie de Boer, completed the podium. Sanne Cant came in fourth with Nikki Harris in fifth place. Cyclocross Magazine contributor Christine Vardaros finished in 19th. After the race she admitted that she didn’t have her best ride of the season thus far.

From the start Helen Wyman took control of the race followed by Nikki Harris, Sanne van Paassen, Sophie de Boer and Sanne Cant. Wyman created a gap on the steep hill on the course, and by the end of the second of five laps she had a 10-second lead on van Paassen and Cant and a bit more on De Boer and Harris.In the penultimate lap van Paassen was able to bridge up to Wyman, with Cant battling De Boer for third place. Van Paassen kept the pressure on Wyman and even dropped her in the first part of the final lap. On the steep hill Wyman was clearly the strongest and closed the gap on van Paassen. In the sprint for the win the Dutchwoman showed her fast legs by winning the race by bike lengths.

“I was technically better than Wyman today. But on some sections she was better,” commented van Paassen after the race. She continued, “Helen had the better start and I didn’t go 100 percent in the beginning in order not to blew up my engine to soon. The most important is to be the first at the finish. I was not totally fit lately, but it pleases me that I am still able to ride hard.”

About the next World Cup she said, “I am looking forward to Koksijde. I will go for the win. Last year I was already in the top five.” Van Paassen is leading the overall World Cup standings thus far after she won in Plzen a few weeks ago.

Wyman was not unhappy with her second place after riding in the lead for most of the race. “I had a tough week of training but it’s good. I was a bit tired and faded in the end. I was stronger on the hill than van Paassen, but in the sprint she was stronger.” Of next week’s World Cup she said, “I’m very confident for Koksijde next week. If I can stay with van Paassen, Compton and Nash I will have a good chance. They are the biggest competition together with Kupfernagel and van den Brand.”

De Boer would distance Cant in the race for the final podium spot bu almost a minute, with Harris claiming fifth place.

Christine Vardaros, meanwhile, told Cyclocross Magazine that her disappointing 19th place finish came after a disastrous first lap. “This is normally a great course for me, the more technical the better,” she said. “With the climbing and descending, it’s my style. Coming around the first turns I was top ten, looking perfect, and then a couple of girls bumped me and my chain fell off on the outside. I had to stop and put it back on.  I started riding and was closing in on the top ten when another girl flipped and knocked me off the side of the course and knocked my chain off.”

Vardaros battled back into the race, but, with the damage done, the top ten were well out of reach.  Nonetheless, Vardaros did have a few positive words about her day in Gavere. “It’s a beautiful course,” she said. “It’s just magical. There’s nothing like it on the whole circuit.”

Photo Gallery

Women’s Results:

1Sanne van Paassen (Ned) BrainWash0:38:30
2Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona-FSA
3Sophie De Boer (Ned)0:00:20
4Sanne Cant (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:45
5Nikki Harris (GBr)0:01:40
6Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)0:02:03
7Sabrina Stultiens (Ned)0:02:08
8Linda Van Rijen (Ned)0:02:32
9Gabriella Day (GBr) The ChainStay-RENNER0:02:37
10Nancy Bober (Bel)0:03:08
11Reza Hormes (Ned)0:03:18
12Ellen Van Loy (Bel)0:04:35
13Gertie Willems (Bel)0:05:05
14Nathalie Nijns (Bel)0:05:13
15Tessa Van Nieuwpoort (Ned)0:05:24
16Nicole De Bie – Leyten (Bel)0:05:50
17Helena van Leijen (Ned)0:06:08
18Anja Geldhof (Bel)0:06:15
19Christine Vardaros (USA) Baboco – Revor Cycling Team (USA)0:06:18
20Anne Arnouts (Bel)0:06:20
21Katrien Thijs (Bel)0:06:55
22Anja Nobus (Bel)0:07:03
23Lana Verberne (Ned)0:08:02
24Katrien Vermeiren (Bel)0:08:56
25Katrien Aerts (Bel)
26Iris Ockeloen (Ned)
27Vicki Thomas (Can) Disasterrecovery.Com (Can)
28Steffy Van den Haute (Bel)
29Marijke De Pauw (Bel)
30Valerie Boonen (Bel)
31Clarie Thomas (GBr)
32Kim Van Renterghem (Bel)
33Sharon Defoor (Bel)
34Maaike Lanssens (Bel)
35Jo Blanchaert (Bel)