Vos celebrates an early win, clearly honing her skills at Superprestige Diegem. Photo taken from Vier/UCI footage

Vos celebrates an early win, clearly honing her skills at Superprestige Diegem. Photo taken from Vier/UCI footage

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!”

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).

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.

Must watch: 2014 Superprestige Diegem women’s race highlight video here.

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

1Marianne VOSNED2740:10:00
2Pauline FERRAND PREVOTFRA2240:14:00
3Katerina NASHCZE3741:04:00
4Ellen VAN LOYBEL3441:45:00
5Eva LECHNERITA2942:12:00
7Alice Maria ARZUFFIITA2042:34:00
8Helen WYMANGBR3342:42:00
9Jolien VERSCHUERENBEL2442:44:00
10Pavla HAVLIKOVACZE3142:44:00
11Loes SELSBEL2942:46:00
12Sanne VAN PAASSENNED2642:54:00
13Femke VAN DEN DRIESSCHEBEL1843:03:00
14Elle ANDERSONUSA2643:33:00
15Martina MIKULASKOVACZE2143:50:00
16Katrien THIJSBEL2944:06:00
17Lizzy WITLOXNED1944:10:00
18Crystal ANTHONYUSA3444:30:00
19Erica ZAVETAUSA2544:35:00
20Elena VALENTINIITA2244:49:00
21Karen VERHESTRAETENBEL2344:57:00
22Cindy BAUWENSBEL4045:05:00
23Nadja HEIGLAUT1845:05:00
24Laure BOUTELOUPFRA3445:09:00
25Asa Maria ERLANDSSONSWE4045:26:00
26Gabriella DURRINGBR3045:29:00
27Audrey MENUTFRA1945:37:00
28Esmee OOSTERMANNED1845:47:00
29Elizabeth WHITEUSA2045:50:00
30Fleur NAGENGASTNED1646:21:00
31Shana MAESBEL1946:43:00
32Evy KUIJPERSNED1947:22:00
33Corey COOGAN CISEKUSA3747:28:00
34Annelies VAN DOORSLAERBEL2547:36:00
35Diane LEEGBR2947:44:00
36Mercedes PACIOS PUJADOESP3148:02:00
37Francine MEEHANIRL3648:11:00
38Mirjam GYSLINGSUI2748:14:00
39Sarah LOMASGBR1748:36:00
40Meg DE BRUYNEBEL1848:44:00
41Suzie GODARTLUX5248:52:00
42Lotte EIKELENBOOMNED1849:16:00
43Joyce VANDERBEKENBEL3049:35:00
44Ksenia LEPIKHINAUSA1749:42:00
45Jennifer NOWLINUSA39
46Béatrice GODARTLUX25

2014 Superprestige Diegem Cyclocross Men's Race Results

1Mathieu VAN DER POELNED191:05:3680
2Tom MEEUSENBEL261:05:3960
3Kevin PAUWELSBEL301:05:4440
4Lars VAN DER HAARNED231:05:4530
5David VAN DER POELNED221:05:5825
6Jens ADAMSBEL221:06:0420
7Philipp WALSLEBENGER271:06:1717
8Corne VAN KESSELNED231:06:2715
9Vincent BAESTAENSBEL251:06:3512
10Gianni VERMEERSCHBEL221:06:3710
11Klaas VANTORNOUTBEL321:07:098
12Radomir SIMUNEKCZE311:07:356
13Marcel MEISENGER251:07:414
14Martin BINACZE311:07:452
15Patrick GAUDYBEL371:07:531
16Sven NYSBEL381:07:56
17Michael BOROSCZE221:08:19
18Joeri ADAMSBEL251:09:04
19Bart AERNOUTSBEL321:09:09
21Niels WUBBENNED261:09:29
22Twan VAN DEN BRANDNED251:09:31
23Gert-Jan BOSMANNED221:10:22
24Lubomir PETRUSCZE241:10:35
25David MENUTFRA221:10:44
27Ben BERDENBEL391:11:09
28Sascha WEBERGER261:11:44
29Kenneth HANSENDEN231:12:01
30Kenneth VAN COMPERNOLLEBEL261:12:12
31Patrick VAN LEEUWENNED291:12:26
32Niels KOYENBEL23
35Yannick MAYERGER23
37Robert MARIONUSA32
38Michal MALÍKCZE25
41Fabian OBRISTSUI23
46Christophe CAVAZZANAFRA33
47Arnau ROTAESP36