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Wout van Aert Wins Second, Sanne Cant First Place In Zonhoven

Steylaerts-777 and IKO-Beobank perform strong and successfully in a sandy race in Zonhoven on STEVENS Super Prestige.

Cyclocross World Champion Sanne Cant, IKO-Beobank, is in increasingly good shape as the season progresses. The race in Zonhoven, part of the Super Prestige Series, was so-to-say a mirror-image of her season so far. In the beginning of a thrilling race she was part of a chase group. At the front Nikki Brammeier set the pace on a sandy and exhausting course. The world champion, though, used her resilience to advance to the front to eventually overtake Denise Betsema (NL) who meanwhile had lead the race over a longer time – Sanne Cant wins one second ahead of her Dutch competitor.

The Belgian said after the race: “I’ve had a good feeling about this race in Zonhoven and that feeling turned out to be right. It was quite a fight with Denise Betsema. After I was able to open a gap, I continued full speed. Now I hope for a nice second half of the season.”

Behind third placed rider Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado, Alice Maria Arzuffi of Steylaerts 777 crossed the finish line on STEVENS Super Prestige. This result means she takes over the overall lead from her team mate Annemarie Worst in the Super Prestige Series. European Champion Worst herself comes in 9th.

In the race she started out well, yet crashed shortly after. For Arzuffi it was quite the opposite: After almost missing the start she caught up to the front part of the pack before she went to chase the leading trio – just when she had reduced the gap to ten seconds she crashed, resulting in a place no better than 4th, which on this Sunday was enough to take the overall lead in the series.

“My start was everything else but good“, the Italian member of the Belgian squad said later, “but then I came back strong. Looking back at the race I can be very pleased. Even though there’s still a lot to come this season and in this race series, I will try to defend the overall lead.”

Second Place For Wout van Aert
In the Men’s Elite race Mathieu van der Poel was invincible. Behind him Wout van Aert on his STEVENS Super Prestige prevailed over Toon Aerts, who ended up third. So the podium looked the same as one day prior at the Scheldecross race in Antwerp. In Zonhoven Gianni Vermeersch completes the good results of team Steylaerts 777 with a respectable 8th place.

The most successful team in Zonhoven, though, was IKO-Beobank. In the U19 Juniors’ race Ryan Cortjens wins after having shown great performances throughout the last few weeks before World Champion Ben Tullet who had recently recovered from a knee injury and is about to start having a good season. In the “first-year newbies” U17 category, Aaron Dockx already celebrates his 16th race win of the season to complete his team’s good results on this day.

Further Success at the Toi Toi Cup and in the Scheldecross
The Saturday before Timo Kielich of team Steylaerts 777 made a first statement with his second place in the U23 race at the Scheldecross. After a thrilling duel with Niels Vandeputte, who had lead the race during the first laps by quite a margin, Kielich eventually could not keep up. His team mate Gert Smets comes in a respectable 9th. Other successful riders were Yara Kastelijn and Gianni Vermeersch in the Toi Toi Cup in the Czech Republic.

Normally a U23 rider, Kastelijn won the Elite race ahead of Havla Pavlikova while Gianni Vermeersch in his competition only had Diether Sweeck in front of him.

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