Maud Kaptheijns (Crelan Charles) took her first senior Superprestige victory at the opening round of the Superprestige Ladies Trophy in Gieten. The 22-year-old won by 34 seconds from Nikki Brammeier (Boels-Dolmans), while Sophie de Boer (Breepark) completed the podium, 44 seconds down.
The manner in which Kaptheijns took control of the race early on was something of a surprise, having finished 5th and 10th at the opening rounds of the UCI World Cup in the USA. On the first of six laps she struck out alone, leaving a chase group in her wake.
World Champion Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) was there, along with Annemarie Worst (Era-Circus) and de Boer, but the gap to Kaptheijns just kept growing as the laps ticked by on the part-sand, part-mud course.
Despite the efforts of the de Boer-led chaser group, who were joined by Elle Anderson (Team USA) and Brammeier at the end of lap three, Kaptheijns’ lead was growing at a rate of around 15 seconds per lap, and it seemed clear that victory was in the bag for the Dutchwoman from the midway point.
Ellen van Loy (Telenet-Fidea Lions), who had gone out hard at the start, abandoned at the end of lap four, while up front there was still some drama to be had as Kaptheijns cruised the final circuits.
Cant, who was clearly not on her best day and had been struggling to keep in contact with the chasers during the previous two laps, fell against the barrier on the climb towards the end of the final lap. Brammeier, de Boer and Anderson were unaffected, but U23 World Champion Worst couldn’t avoid Cant, and joined her on the ground.
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