Sanne Cant keeping it upright to finish fifth. ? Bart Hazen

Sanne Cant keeping it upright to finish fifth. © Bart Hazen

Earlier this year, Cyclocross Magazine reported that Belgian ’cross sensation Sanne Cant had walked away from the MTB racing that had previously been a staple of her off-season after the Belgian federation’s controversial decision regarding the national champion’s jersey last year. Though she won the overall Elite race outright, Cant was awarded the U23 national title which, as she explained to Cyclocross Magazine, doesn’t technically exist in Belgium.

So how has the change affected her preparation for the most important season of all? “My summer was very good,” said Cant. “I haven’t had any problems, so I’m looking forward to starting ’cross season.” The truth will be told this weekend, as her first ’cross race of the season will be Sept. 26th, in Neerpelt. But if the road season is any indication, it doesn’t seem like being off the dirt has held her back. Cant has been holding her own on the roads of Europe, including a top-10 finish in stage 1 of the recent Tour Cycliste Féminin International Ardèche in Belgium.

The Ardèche Tour was Cant’s final road race of the 2010 season. She will take a couple of weeks to recover and change gears as she works into the ’cross season. The change in preparations certainly has not lowered the expectations of the young Belgian rider. Cant is focused on lofty goals this year, targeting no less than the GVA Trofee, World Cup and the World Championships. The young star will have to work hard to prove that she’s up to the challenge, as many other top riders list those same goals for the upcoming season.

Stay with Cyclocross Magazine throughout the 2010-2011 season to follow along as Cant and your other favorite Euro riders test each other’s focus on the courses of Europe.