Vos Edges Ferrand Prevot in Win at Diegem
Although Sanne Cant appeared to be the rider to beat heading in to Holy Week, this weekend has revealed three other riders that are looking to be at the top of their game heading into the final stretch of the season: Marianne Vos (Rabo Liv), Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Rabo Liv) and Katerina Nash (Luna Pro). All three were able to match their podium success from the World Cup in Zolder today at Superprestige Diegem.
Meanwhile, World Cup leader Cant suffers from illness and did not start today in Diegem, saying via Twitter, “I will not start tomorrow in Diegem. I’m still not completely recovered from illness. My apologies to fans and organization!”
Ik zal morgen niet starten in Diegem. Ik ben nog niet helemaal hersteld van ziekte. Mijn excuses aan fans en organisatie!
— Sanne Cant (@Sannecant) December 27, 2014
The race started with familiar face Ellen Van Loy (Telenet-Fidea) dictating the speed for part of the first lap alongside Ferrand Prévot as Vos seemed content to let the other riders push the pace.
Ferrand Prévot started the fireworks, with an impressive display of bunnyhopping at the barriers (watch in the 2014 Superprestige Diegem women’s race highlight video).
— Cyclocross Magazine (@cyclocross) December 28, 2014
British rider Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) had more mechanical issues in a string of problems that have plagued her in this late part of the season. Shortly after teammates Sophie de Boer (Kalas-NNOF Cycling Team) and Elle Anderson inadvertently went elbow to elbow in one of the icier sections of the course, and the American was bumped into the wall to her left.
Vos, Nash and Ferrand Prévot resumed their threesome battle at the front of the race, although Nash hit one of the fences hard and went over her handlebars. Although Vos was unable to shake off her teammate before the end of the race, she was able to outsprint her at the line, with Ferrand Prévot coming in second and Nash third. Both Prévot and Vos would be pleased with their rides, with Vos looking to be the rider to beat once again heading into Worlds in Tabor.
Elle Anderson would ride in for 14th, with Crystal Anthony coming in at 18th and Erica Zaveta in at 19th. Libby White took 29th, Corey Coogan got 33rd, Ksenia Lepikhina finished on the lead lap at 44th, and Jennifer Nowlin placed 45th.
Mathieu van der Poel Survived the War of Attrition in Men’s Elite Race
Halfway through the race, Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP) might have never guessed that he would be popping a wheelie across the finish line all alone, or that he would be joined by Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb – Napoleon Games) on the podium. With most of the race playing out with six riders up at the front alone, anything was hard to predict.
Sven Nys (Crelan – AA Drink Team) lined up at the front of the race, donning a number two, and going back on his earlier musings that he would not race until the Belgian National Championships.
As the red lights changed to green, Lars van der Haar (Giant-Shimano Development) darted forward for the holeshot alongside David van der Poel (BKCP) and Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea).
One of the few surprises on the day was Philipp Walsleben (BKCP) making one of the early attacks in the first few laps, which is very typical for the German National Champion. Meeusen was able to keep the German’s pace and Van der Poel bridged up to make a small group of three at the front of the race. Van der Haar joined the group to make it four, Corne van Kessel made it five and finally, Mathieu van der Poel joined in to make it six, which would be the consistent lead group for nearly the rest of the race.
Far behind the group, Pauwels and Nys were trying to stay in the top 15, almost a full three chase groups back behind the leaders.
The lead group continued to switch leaders among the six. This kept up until a fateful exchange in the pits, where Van Kessel released a bike and missed his pit bike, while David van der Poel ran into the dropped bike and was immediately held up. The result of the chaos was that both riders fell from the group of six, now down to four.
Meanwhile, Pauwels had somehow managed to jump forward several chase groups, although he was still far behind a potential podium finish with two laps to go.
Then Van der Haar, winner of the World Cup on Friday, slid out in a corner a few turns before the officials signed two laps to go. Mathieu van der Poel was the main beneficiary even though he was directly behind Van der Haar when he slipped. The young rider darted around the crash, Walsleben managed to avoid being held up although his legs looked heavy, and Meeusen was fully backed up to the point where he had to dismount.
Behind, Pauwels ate into the gap in front of him.
Mathieu van der Poel had fresh legs at the right time, and attacked to drop Walsleben. A chase group formed twenty seconds back of Van der Poel, and Van der Haar did his best to fight back to the front of that group despite having dropped his chain. The effort was in vain however, as the Dutch rider crashed in the same icy corner right before the bell lap.
Meeusen decided to take his fate into his own hands as he led the charge against Van der Poel, putting big digs in the front with Walsleben doing everything in his power to hold on to third. Van der Poel’s gap was too great however, and even though his lead was nearly destroyed by a victory lap of very conservative pedaling, the young rider hot-dogged his way through the finish line with his front wheel in the air. Meeusen had enough gas left to continue his surge for second, while Pauwels managed to work his way up just in time to finish on the podium in third.
Nys took 16th at the end of the race. Ben Berden (Raleigh-Clement) came in for 27th with Robert Marion finishing 37th. See video highlights of the 2014 Superprestige Diegem men’s race here.
2014 Superprestige Diegem Cyclocross Women's Race Results
|2||Pauline FERRAND PREVOT||FRA||22||40:14:00|
|4||Ellen VAN LOY||BEL||34||41:45:00|
|7||Alice Maria ARZUFFI||ITA||20||42:34:00|
|12||Sanne VAN PAASSEN||NED||26||42:54:00|
|13||Femke VAN DEN DRIESSCHE||BEL||18||43:03:00|
|25||Asa Maria ERLANDSSON||SWE||40||45:26:00|
|33||Corey COOGAN CISEK||USA||37||47:28:00|
|34||Annelies VAN DOORSLAER||BEL||25||47:36:00|
|36||Mercedes PACIOS PUJADO||ESP||31||48:02:00|
|40||Meg DE BRUYNE||BEL||18||48:44:00|
|50||Chris VAN DORSSELAERE||BEL||29|
2014 Superprestige Diegem Cyclocross Men's Race Results
|1||Mathieu VAN DER POEL||NED||19||1:05:36||80|
|4||Lars VAN DER HAAR||NED||23||1:05:45||30|
|5||David VAN DER POEL||NED||22||1:05:58||25|
|8||Corne VAN KESSEL||NED||23||1:06:27||15|
|22||Twan VAN DEN BRAND||NED||25||1:09:31|
|30||Kenneth VAN COMPERNOLLE||BEL||26||1:12:12|
|31||Patrick VAN LEEUWEN||NED||29||1:12:26|
|43||Ramon SAGUES PORTABELLA||ESP||36|