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.”