LIGNIERES-EN-BERRY, France—For the Elite Women’s penultimate World Cup race there was little doubt within moments of the start of how the race would wind up.
Working with what they had, the course at Lignieres-en-Berry, France featured little elevation, but designers built in countless hairpin turns to challenge the riders on a mostly dry ground.
Ellen van Loy took the holeshot and led the charge onto the course as the field stayed compact through the first few moments. With many turns and a number of dismounts it was a race that would see the leaders slowly but steadily leave the chasers behind.
It was the reigning World Cup leader Sanne Cant, chasing her third World Cup win of the season, as well as Ellen van Loy and Eva Lechner, sporting her Italian National Champion colors on point midway through lap one. But by the end of the first circuit, it was the Cant show up front.
With all of the course’s twists and turns, some of which violated the UCI’s no pure 180 turns rule, it led to some picket fence moves from riders and gave the leaders the chance to get out of sight, out of mind from those racing for fourth.
The other aspect of the mostly flat terrain was that it seemed to reward the powerful as Cant in particular and van Loy to a slightly lesser extent, appeared to be doing time trial workouts in between the two or three run ups and stairs and the course’s more twisty spots.
Initially the race for fourth was led by Pavla Havlikova, but she perhaps went out too hard, too soon, and faded some throughout the race ending up eighth. Those who were there through the finale were Caroline Mani, the French National Champion, Sophie de Boer, and American Kaitlin Antonneau along with Helen Wyman of Great Britain. This small, talented group was nearly a minute down on Cant and wasn’t really in the picture in the race for the podium.
One name missing from the front of affairs was Katie Compton. Waiting for her somewhat trademark move to the front after a lackluster start, she came through 14 seconds down at the end of the first lap, but wasn’t seen near the front after that.
Back at the front, through the various S-turns it was Cant, van Loy and Lechner, all within eyesight of each other, but not really that close as each was separated by a curve from the other. Further back, De Boer, Mani, Wymann, Anntoneau, Havlikova all chased the three leaders.
Cant was set on growing her commanding lead, doubling it to 28 seconds with one to go. And it was on that penultimate lap that Cant had her one bobble atop a small rise on a left hand turn, and a trip to the pits for a new bike. It was no matter though for the World Cup leader.
With 1 to go Cant was going to have to have a catastrophe to not take the win. And while Lechner gave good chase for second and closed to within four seconds of van Loy, it wouldn’t get any closer as van Loy was able to distance her.
Mani lead the race for fourth with Antonneau and de Boer also within a minute of Cant in the end.
For the other Americans, Elle Anderson was 19th, Amanda Nauman was 28th, Katie Compton finished 33rd and Kathryn Cumming was 38th. Aside from Wyman, Great Britain’s National Champion Niki Harris was 10th and Hannah Payton was 26th, while Canadian Mical Dyck was 19th and Australian Lisa Jacobs was 35th.
2016 World Cup Lignieres-en-Berry Elite Women's Full Results
|2||Ellen VAN LOY||BEL||36||44:24|
|6||Sophie DE BOER||NED||26||44:58|
|13||Femke VAN DEN DRIESSCHE||BEL||20||45:47|
|14||Alice Maria ARZUFFI||ITA||22||45:57|
|23||Aida NUNO PALACIO||ESP||33||47:04|
|29||Alicia GONZALEZ BLANCO||ESP||21||48:13|
|30||Lucia GONZALEZ BLANCO||ESP||26||48:17|
|31||Bianca VAN DEN HOEK||NED||40||48:18|
|40||Olatz ODRIOZOLA MUJIKA||ESP||33||49:41|
|41||Margriet Helena KLOPPENBURG||DEN||28||50:07|
|46||Karla KORTAZAR UNZAGA||ESP||31|