In the final World Cup competition of the 2017/18 season Sanne Cant gave proof of her domination in the World Cup series whose overall ranking she had already won in the previous race. The World Champion of Team IKO-Beobank rode a flawless race on the demanding, quite slippery course in Hoogerheide. In the penultimate of six laps broke away from her strongest competitor Eva Lechner (Italy) to win by 10 seconds. Evie Richards (Great Britain) comes in third.
”It wasn’t quite clear how it would turn out today,” Sanne Cant said after the race. She hadn’t been completely healthy the previous week, and after finishing 12th at the World Cup in Nommay (France) she said: ”This ”Nommay feeling” of having finished so badly wasn’t the best to have for a whole week, so this victory here is an even greater pleasure.” Yet, for the upcoming Worlds next weekend in Valkenburg she is obviously right on track.
Prior, Iko-Beobank team mate Nils Vandeputte had prevailed in a thrilling U19 race. At first it was Belgian Champion Jarno Bellens and Vandeputte’s team mate and European Champion Loris Rouiller to take the lead. Half way into the race Vandeputte was able to catch up with the two leaders.
Then Rouiller fell behind due to a mechanical. And ”in the final lap I noticed that Jarno was falling behind so I quickened the pace,” Vandenputte said about the race. After suffering bad luck in the Belgian Championships this now is a sweet revenge. ”All this exactly one week before the Worlds boosts one’s self esteem. I can go to Valkenburg with no worries,” Vandenputte said.
The Men’s Elite final ranking too, was already set. Mathieu van der Poel, who had laid the base for his first overall World Cup victory by winning all his 2017 races riding a STEVENS Super Prestige, also demonstrated his class in the final race. He wins eight seconds ahead of World Champion Wout van Aert. Third place was won by Michael Vanthourenhout ahead of Laurens Sweeck (ERA-Circus) aboard STEVENS Super Prestige.
Sweeck said after the race: ”I made too many mistakes towards the end, Michael did not, so my fourth place is alright.” In any case this placing was confirmation of his good form. ”I can go to the Worlds very confident,” the Belgian runner-up champion said. He will travel to Valkenburg eager to win a medal.