Nikki Harris (Young Telenet-Fidea) won the fifth round of the Superprestige cyclocross series in Spa-Francorchamps today, giving the British rider her first win of the season.
“I’ve been trying so hard the last few weeks. Sometimes I had a little bit of bad luck but everybody has some bad luck,” Harris told Sport.be. “Today was a good day. I was in pain right from the start but I was pushing and pushing. I’m really happy with the win” said Harris.
Meanwhile, British national champion, Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Team), succeeded in holding off Ellen Van Loy (Young Telenet-Fidea) in the final lap – to claim second place.
However, things did not go so well for Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP), who ended her six-race long winning streak in Francorchamps, after abandoning the race with back problems – with just one more lap to go.
Harris was out front for the start of today’s race, with Cant and Wyman keeping a close eye on her.
However, when Wyman missed a downhill corner in the first lap, Cant proceeded to join Harris – leaving the British rider behind in a chase group consisting of Martina Mikulaskova, Pavla Havlikova, Ellen Van Loy and Jolien Verschueren.
However, as the race entered into the second lap, Cant was dropped by Harris. From there, Harris created a comfortable lead, while Verschueren and Wyman succeeded to bridge themselves up to Cant.
In the second half of the race, Van Loy managed to surge forward – subsequently taking over Verschueren’s spot in the chase group.
Harris ultimately brought home the win, while Van Loy’s hopes to claim second place faded when she was forced to switch bikes due to a mechanical problem.
At that point, Wyman seized the opportunity to ride ahead and secure herself second spot on the podium.
“It’s a very hard course where the strongest riders come afloat anyway. You need some luck too because the rocky subsoil and several small stones can always cause damage,” Van Loy said.
In the meantime, Verschueren finished in fourth place, ahead of Mikulaskova and Havlikova.
Meredith Miller finished as the highest placed American rider – in 11th place.
Top 20 Finishers
1 Nikki Harris (Gbr) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team
2 Helen Wyman (Gbr) Konfa FFSA Factory Team
3 Ellen Van Loy (Bel) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team
4 Jolien Verschueren (Bel) Wielerteam Decock-Woningbouw Vandekerckhove
5 Martina Mikulaskova (Cze)
6 Pavla Havlikova (Cze) VZW Young Telenet Fidea Cycling Team
7 Githa Michiels (Bel)
8 Aida Nuno Palacio (Spa)
9 Lisa Heckmann (Bel)
10 Asa Maria Erlandsson (Nor)
11 Meredith Miller (USA) 12 Nadja Heigl (Aut)
13 Amira Mellor (Gbr)
14 Bianca Van Den Hoek (Ned)
15 Stephanie De Croock (Bel) Wielerclub De Sprinters Malderen
16 Elle Anderson (USA) Kalas-NNOF Cycling Team
17 Christine Vardaros (USA)
18 Milou Meeuse (Ned) MSMWV Dutch Mountains
19 Elena Vanickova (Cze)
20 Marlies Beckers (Bel) B-Cycle Team
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