They say patience is a virtue, but sometimes a situation forces an athlete into a sense of urgency.
Midway through Sunday’s Superprestige Ruddervoorde, a clear group of four jockeyed for position at the front—Marianne Vos (WaowDeals Pro Cycling), Annemarie Worst (Steylaerts – 777), Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Corendon – Circus) and Ellen Van Loy (Telenet Fidea Lions). However, a chase group that included Sanne Cant (IKO-Beobank) lurked behind and slowly closed the gap as the leaders took turns at the front.
Up through the fifth of six laps, Vos showed she was content to be patient and allow her group mates to push the pace. The approach is one she has taken in several of her wins during her impressive start to the 2018/19 season.
Midway through Lap 5, Cant’s white and rainbow kit lurked a few dozen meters behind the leaders. For Worst and Vos, the patient afternoon was over.
Worst attacked and Vos followed. Vos then countered against her countrywoman—and frequent 2018 foe—and dared Worst to keep her pace. Vos’ effort was too much for Worst, and as the two got the bell, Vos’ lead was up to five seconds.
Vos carried her sense of urgency through the last lap to her latest win and second win over Worst in as many weeks.
Patience is a Virtue
The Elite Women’s race at Ruddervoorde kicked off with Christine Majerus (Boels – Dolmans) taking the holeshot and driving the pace for most of the first lap. Most of the other favorites were content to let her dictate the pace on the punchy Ruddervoorde course. Vos, Worst and Del Carmen Alvarado slotted in behind her, and after one lap, upwards of 10 riders were within 5 seconds of the lead.
One favorite who had a slow start was Cant, who found herself back around tenth and chasing almost from the start.
In the second of six laps, Majerus dropped off and the first lead selection of Vos, Worst, Del Carmen Alvarado and Van Loy pushed off the front. Del Carmen Alvarado took over lead duties for most of the lap, and her fast pace left Van Loy dangling a few seconds off the back. Not wanting to be left behind, the Lion attached herself at the beginning of Lap 3 and did her best to factor in the group’s affairs.
Midway through the race, the lead group traded turns and kept their pace high enough to keep the chase at a safe distance. Midway through Lap 3, last week’s winner in Boom Kim Van De Steene (Tarteletto – Isorex) broke from the chase and started to close the gap solo.
Van de Steene continued her solo run through Lap 4 and made the catch at the start of Lap 5. The lead group was now five.
A Sense of Urgency
If the first two-thirds of the race were defined by patience, urgency became the key in the race’s final third. With five riders now vying for position at the front, Cant was free to put her head down and start to close the gap.
Her efforts paid off, and midway through the lap, her gap to the leaders was within eight seconds. For Worst and Vos, the time for patience was over.
Worst attacked the group and only Vos could follow. The two Dutch women pushed the pace, but eventually Vos’ power was too much for Worst and she took over solo first.
Behind the two Dutch riders, Van Loy wiped out on a corner, allowing Cant to join the chase now racing for third.
At the bell, Vos’ advantage on Worst was 5 seconds, who in turn had 8 seconds on the chase.
The last lap belonged to Vos. After being patient for the first 30 minutes of the race, she was all-in to the finish line. The win was her second straight in a duel with Worst and another piece of revenge after Worst got the best of her in Diegem.
Worst took second with another strong ride.
The chasers traded leads several times in the last lap. Van De Steene rose to the top by entering the last corner first and winning the sprint for third. Denise Betsema finished fourth and Del Carmen Alvarado fifth.
Elle Anderson (Milwaukee – Alpha Motorhomes) finished 14th.
Full results are below.
Elite Women's Results: 2018 Superprestige Ruddervoorde
|Rank||BIB||Last Name||First Name||Country||Result|
|3||16||VAN DE STEENE||Kim||BEL||0:43:00|
|5||31||DEL CARMEN ALVARADO||Ceylin||NED||0:43:01|
|13||34||VAN DER HEIJDEN||Inge||NED||0:44:12|
|34||26||DE VOS||Nele||BEL||-1 LAP|