World Champion Sanne Cant (IKO-Crelan) started as leader in the third round of the Superprestige in the Belgian city of Gavere. American champion Katie Compton (KFC-racing) was on the start list, but wasn’t able to get a contract with the organization on time. As three-time winner of this cyclocross classic she would be missed on the tough track that Gavere always delivers.
There was no mud fest this year, but the many technical sections and elevation would make it a tough race as usual.
Bethany Crumpton (Tarteletto-Isorex) had the day’s head start, but soon lost her lead to European Champion Annemarie Worst (777), who took the known steep descent of Gavere in first position. Towards the long climb on the track, Yara Kastelijn (777) took over the lead. After powering up the climb she only had teammate Worst and Laura Verdonschot (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) left in her wheel.
Right before the steep descent in lap 2, Worst once again took over the lead, as she felt really confident going into the technical sections. On the long climb, however, it was Italian champion Eva Lechner (Creafin-Fristads) who set a high pace, which created a leading group of 7 riders at the end of Lap 2.
Not part of that leading group was World Champion Sanne Cant, who didn’t seem to have her best day, chasing with a 26 seconds arrear already.
In Lap 3, for the first time, it wasn’t Worst taking the lead in the technical descent, as Lechner was still the conductor of the orchestra. On the climb, last year’s winner Alice Maria Arzuffi (777) accelerated. Only U23 European Champion Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Corendon-Circus) and Kastelijn were able to follow the Italian, who won last week’s Superprestige race on the domain of the dance festival Tomorrowland in Boom.
At the end of Lap 3, the three had a 10-second advantage on Worst and Verdonschot. Cant kept losing time, as she already had an arrear of more than a minute.
In the fourth Lap, Kastelijn went clear on the climb, as Alvarado wasn’t able to keep up with her pace. By the end of the lap, she already had a 16-second advantage on Alvarado and Arzuffi and a 26-second advantage on Worst and Verdonschot.
Alvarado maneuvered herself past Arzuffi in the fifth passage of the steep descent, but then got dropped by Arzuffi on the climb. Entering the last lap, Arzuffi had reduced the gap to Kastelijn to 13 seconds.
With a lap left to race, a lot could still happen on this very though course.
Kastelijn, however, turned out to be the strongest as the gap at the finish line had opened up to 19 seconds again. With her win today, the 22-year-old took her first win of the season.
“This is really very special, I’m very happy. I felt good on the climbs. I said it to myself this morning: ‘If you win today, you win a classic.’ But it will stay my goal to finish in the top 5 as much as possible.” (translated, source: Sporza)
Kastelijn’s teammate Arzuffi and Alvarado completed the podium. Worst beat Verdonschot in the sprint for fourth place.
World Champion Cant finished with a 3:34 minutes arrear and lost her lead in the Superprestige to Kastelijn.
“I hope my crash during the recon was the reason for my off-day,” Cant said (translated, source: Sporza). “I had a very good week of training. I worked very hard and I thought to perform well in Gavere. If I stop by the masseur tonight, he will think I didn’t do anything today. I just couldn’t put any force on the pedals.”
American riders Kaitie Keough (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld) and Corey Coogan Cisek (Triple C Racing) finished 12th and 24th.
Full results are below.
Elite Women Results: 2019 Superprestige Gavere
|Rank||BIB||Last Name||First Name||Country||Result|
|3||32||ALVARADO||Ceylin del Carmen||NED||0:44:21|
|8||31||VAN DER HEIJDEN||Inge||NED||0:44:51|
|13||9||VAN DE STEENE||Kim||BEL||0:46:12|
|29||42||DE VOS||Nele||BEL||-2 LAPS|