Sanne Cant, back to her old form, but a late crash might impact the next few weeks. © Bart Hazen

Sanne Cant, back to her old form, but a late crash might impact the next few weeks. © Bart Hazen

HOOGSTRATEN – Sanne Cant came across the finish line and quickly grabbed her shoulder in pain. She had won the Women’s Elite Race of Sunday’s Superprestige, which came after a big crash on the pavement late in the race while she was off the front alone. Helen Wyman lead the pack of chasers across the finish line for second, while Jolien Verschueren took third.

The course at this event appears more like a bog in some areas, and while the mud can be power-draining at times, the riders have to be careful as the mud turns slick as tires make the transition to pavement.

As one of the fastest starters in cyclocross, Wyman was able to leap off the starting grid first and take the holeshot. Instead of creating a gap and seeing how far she could get ahead of the other riders in the early goings, however, she appeared as if she was backing off a bit, and allowing other riders to set a pace.

The Sanne's rub shoulders at Superprestige Hoogstraten

The Sanne’s rub shoulders at Superprestige Hoogstraten

Cant didn’t need more of an invitation than that, and after bumping shoulders with Sanne van Paasen, chased down Wyman and decided to dictate the speed through the heavy mud of the course.

Helen Wyman rides the ditch at Hoogstraten while others run, but it wasn't necessarily faster.

Helen Wyman rides the ditch while others run, but it wasn’t necessarily faster.

Ellen van Loy took charge as the primary chaser of Cant, with Wyman and Verschueren following in suit. The chasers all volleyed for spots as the race pressed on, but it appeared as if Cant was going to cleanly pull away with this race as she had done the day before in the BPost series.

Van Loy leads the chasers through the sand. Photo taken from Vier footage

Van Loy leads the chasers through the sand. Photo taken from Vier footage

On the pavement of the final lap, however, Cant took a turn too tightly, and snagged herself on the straw fencing that lined the inside of the course. This, combined with her mud-slick tires, caused her to crash hard.

“I was soon on the ground and hurt my left shoulder,” Cant told Vier after her race. I was afraid that Wyman would catch me, but the gap was large enough for me to keep my lead [through the final lap.” She was able to finish with her hands in the air, but she quickly reached back to her shoulder.

Her reason to fear Wyman was not unfounded. The British National Champion had taken back the lead of the chasing group from Van Loy and was hoping she could reclaim the lead from Cant. But the World Championship runner-up still had a large enough gap to secure the win, although Wyman was able to narrow the lead to 14 seconds by the time she crossed the finish line in second. Verschueren took third a half-minute behind Wyman. Van Loy arrived in for fourth nearly two minutes behind the leader.

Hannah Payton finished ninth, almost six minutes back, and Christine Vardaros was the last rider pulled from the race, and was the lead American in 15th place. Elle Anderson, who is having a rough late season, finished in 20th place.

The Men’s Elite race report is also available.

2015 Superprestige Hoogstraten, Women's Elite Race

1Sanne Cant (Lille / Enertherm-BKCP)46:02:00
2Helen Wyman (GBR)0:14
3Jolien Verschueren0:43
4Ellen Van Loy1:48
5Loes Sels2:30
6Sanne van Paassen (Ned)3:14
7Aida Nuno Palacio (Spa)4:04
8Bianca van den Hoek (Ned)5:05
9Hannah Payton (GBR)5:51
10Shana Maes6:00
11Reza Hormes (Ned)6:28
12Karen Verhestraeten6:54
13Joyce Vanderbeken7:16
14Cindy Bauwens7:18
15Christine Vardaros (USA)2 laps
16Pauline Delhaye (Fra)
17Lisa Jacobs (Aus)
18Suzie Godart (Lux)
19Esther van der Burg (Ned)
20Elle Anderson (USA)
21Aurelie Vermeir3 laps
22Tine Verdeyen
23Lotte Eikelboom (Ned)
24Meg De Bruyne on4 laps
25From Ynske Tichelt
26Valerie Boonen
27Jana Dobbelaere.