ESSEN, Belgium – Sophie De Boer (Kalas-NNOF Cycling Team) secured a third win in the 2014 Bpost Bank Trofee series, taking the top podium spot in Essen over Sanne Cant (Enertherm – BKCP).
De Boer attacked with habitual fast starter Ellen Van Loy (VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team), both of them taking an early lead in the race. Cant quickly joined the duo and it became a battle of three at the front of the race, with Van Loy being the first to drop from the group.
Cant looked like she was going to continue her winning streak until she was plagued by a mechanical at an inopportune moment, far from the pits. (In truth there are few opportune moments to mechanical, one being right in front of the pits, and the other being right after finishing the race as Beth Ann Orton pulled of on the first day of NCGP). The mishap cost Cant 20 seconds by her account.
De Boer took full advantage of the moment and pressed forward, eventually coming solo across the finish. Cant followed up in second, with Van Loy coming in third. De Boer already had the BPost series lead, and this will only add to the series dictated by overall time rather than points.
Opportunity to turn the tables comes with tomorrow’s World Cup in Namur where Cant will don the jersey as the series leader.
The British contingent, still warm from hosting their first World Cup event in Milton Keynes, had a great showing today. Nikki Harris (VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team) followed teammate Van Loy in for fourth, with Helen Wyman (Kona) taking eighth.
It’s little surprise that Arley Kemmerer (PB2) not only made the trip out to the World Cup in Namur, but also participated in the PBost race today even though there is no chance of her securing the overall victory. Kemmerer told Cyclocross Magazine back at the Supercross Cup that she performed far better with a previous day of intense racing in her legs, and her 13th place finish is sure to be but a warmup compared to her performance in the deep field at Namur.
She was followed by young American Ksenia Lepikhina, who looks to get some European experience on her cyclocross bike. Only 17, Lepikhina is an experienced mountain biker and is in her fifth season of cyclocross. 2014-15 marks her first season filled with UCI races, and she has found some success, taking a few top-15 finishes on the year. She finished an impressive 26 out of 33.
The full results and race report for the men’s race at Essen is also on cxmagazine.com.