After a fairly dry month of European racing, what some would call proper cyclocross conditions—and others would just call cyclocross conditions—came at Saturday’s Soudal Jaarmarktcross Niel DVV Trofee / Sack Zelfbouw Ladies Trophy race.

The return of mud and rain also brought the return of the Sanne Cant (IKO-Beobank) who has won two-straight world championships.

At home in the mud, Cant helped the front of Saturday’s race sort itself out in the first lap. After one ronde, Cant was joined by Loes Sels (Pauwels Sauzen – Vastgoedservice) and Ellen Van Loy (Telenet Fidea Lions) off the front. Chasing behind them was Katie Compton (KFC Racing p/b Trek Knight).

Compton spent Lap 2 closing the gap, and as the pack passed the start/finish straight, she joined the leaders to make a party of four at the front.

The group of four riders did not last very long. When Van Loy slid out on the bottom of a steep off-camber-ish descent, Sels took the lead and Cant deftly maneuvered between the downed Van Loy to her right and Compton to her left. The two got a gap and exploited it with an attack.

The lead was now down to Cant and Sels, and it would stay that way into the race’s last 100 meters.

The two were inseparable well into the bell lap. Shortly before the shorter barriers that made a cameo last season, Sels put in a dig and appeared to have Cant on the ropes.

The last few hundred meters, however, would show that it was the last effort Sels had. Cant recovered and then took the lead shortly before the last series of turns before the finishing stretch.

Cant led into the sprint, and a few pedal strokes in, Sels sat up and conceded the sprint to Cant. The win was Cant’s third of the season.

Van Loy held off a charging Kim Van De Steene (Tarteletto – Isorex) to take third.

Elle Anderson (Milwaukee – Alpha Motorhomes) finished strong to take seventh.

Compton fell off the pace midway through the race and then later crashed into the foot of a metal barrier at the bottom of a descent. Stay tuned for more on her health.

Full results are below.

Featured image: Dave Mable

Elite Women’s Top 15

  1. Sanne Cant
  2. Loes Sels
  3. Ellen Van Loy
  4. Kim Van De Steene
  5. Laura Verdonschot
  6. Nikki Brammeier
  7. Elle Anderson
  8. Helen Wyman
  9. Marion Norbert Riberolle
  10. Eva Lechner
  11. Maud Kaptheijns
  12. Sophie de Boer
  13. Anna Kay
  14. Bethany Crumpton
  15. Yara Kastelijn