Cant wins ninth consecutive Belgian national ‘cross championship

World Champion Sanne Cant (Corendon-Circus) captured the women’s elite Belgian national cyclocross championship for the ninth consecutive year on Sunday in Koksijde. Ellen Van Loy (Telenet Fidea) overcame a first lap crash to finish second, although she was over a minute behind Cant. Loes Sels (Crelan-Charles) rounded out the podium in third.

Top 10

  • 1. Sanne Cant, in 44:27
  • 2. Ellen Van Loy, at +01:05
  • 3. Loes Sels, at +01:19
  • 4. Laura Verdonschot, at +01:42
  • 5. Kim Van De Steene, at +02:00
  • 6. Joyce Vanderbeken, at +02:54
  • 7. Suzanne Verhoeven, at +03:08
  • 8. Karen Verhestraeten, at +03:30
  • 9. Marthe Truyen, at +03:52
  • 10. Jolien Verschueren, at +04:49

The 2018 Belgian national cyclocross championships took place on the hallowed sand dunes of Koksijde. The course is famous for not only its long sand sections but also dramatic elevation changes. It is littered with tough sandy climbs and harrowing sandy descents. Koksijde has been a stop on the World Cup circuit for many years and Cant captured third at the World Cup stop back in November.

Early in the race, a lead group of four had begun to separate themselves from the rest of the field. Laura Verdonschot (Marlux-Bingoal) led the group, as Van Loy, Sels, Cant, and Joyce Vanderbeken (Mahieu-Kona-Vandermee).

Van Loy crashed out of the lead group and Cant pounced on the Telenet Fidea rider’s mistake. Van Loy entered the race the greatest threat to ending Cant’s reign as national champion. Cant went to the front of the group and hit the accelerator. Verdonschot was the only one able to follow Cant and the duo crossed the finish line to end the opening lap with a few second lead over Sels. Van Loy was chasing hard back in fourth.

The race winning move came on lap two, as Cant demonstrated her superior bike handling skills and raw power. Cant rode one of the rolling sand sections longer than Verdonschot and the slight gap she got was all she needed. Exiting the sand section, she looked back and saw the gap she held over Verdonschot. From then on, it was full speed ahead to her ninth national championship.

Van Loy found her rhythm on lap two and moved from fourth to second position. She made quick work of passing Sels, doing so early in the lap. Then once she had bridged the gap to Verdonschot, she wasted no time in dispatching her as well. She crossed the line with three laps to go 12-seconds behind Cant. The win was still in sight. Verdonschot and Sels had joined up to make a great battle for the final podium spot.

Meanwhile, Kim Van de Steene (Tarteletto-Isorex) had charged toward the front of the race after missing the key move on lap one and bridged to the duo fighting for the bronze medal at the beginning of the third lap. The effort she made to get to Sels and Verdonschot would cost her in end, as she would lose contact with them on the penultimate lap.

The fierce battle for third would never fully materialize, as Sels comfortably rode away from Verdonschot to secure the bronze medal. Verdonschot finished fourth with Van de Steene in fifth.

Van Loy rode the final laps alone to take home the silver medal.

Full results

  • 1. Sanne Cant, in 44:27
  • 2. Ellen Van Loy, at +01:05
  • 3. Loes Sels, at +01:19
  • 4. Laura Verdonschot, at +01:42
  • 5. Kim Van De Steene, at +02:00
  • 6. Joyce Vanderbeken, at +02:54
  • 7. Suzanne Verhoeven, at +03:08
  • 8. Karen Verhestraeten, at +03:30
  • 9. Marthe Truyen, at +03:52
  • 10. Jolien Verschueren, at +04:49
  • 11. Axelle Bellaert, at +05:10
  • 12. Shana Maes, at +06:00
  • 13. Kim Van De Putte, at +06:53
  • 14. Jinse Peeters, at +07:48
  • 15. Tessa Zwaenepoel, at +08:36
  • 16. Meg De Bruyne, at +09:13
  • 17. Laure Michels, at +09:43
  • 18. Jana Dobbelaere, at +10:00
  • 19. Kiona CrabbÉ, at +10:03
  • 20. Tinne Vermeiren
  • 21. Kristien Nelen
  • 22. Tess Van Loy
  • 23. Caren Commissaris
  • 24. Tine Rombouts
  • 25. Mieke Docx
  • 26. Eva Vermeersch
  • 27. Tine Vandenheede
  • 28. Karen De Keulenaer
  • 29. Nele De Vos
  • 30. Jo Blanchaert
  • 31. Katleen Fraeye
  • 32. Laurine Boidequin

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