Monday 11 November 2013

Women's Cycling News 10-17.11.2013

Harris wins Hamme-Zogge - more as it happens

Harris wins Hamme-Zogge
Harris in her incarnation as road racer
Despite the widespread unawareness of cyclo cross among the general public back in their home nation, the British women continued the domination of the new season at Hamme (birthplace of Ferdinand Bracke and home to Greg van Avermaet of BMC, fact fans!) in Belgium on Sunday when Derbyshire-born Nikki Harris beat four-time Belgian National Champion Sanne Cant and star Dutch rider Sophie de Boer (Harris' Telenet-Fidea team mate) to the podium's top step.

Following heavy rain in the locale over the last few days, the parcours had classically Flanders feel: thick, deep, sticky mud that coated everyone and everything, and sucked the strength right out of the riders' legs - conditions that might have suited European Champion and fellow Brit Helen Wyman, going by her recent performances, had she have been there. In fact, Harris nearly wasn't either as the exhaust pipe fell off her car en route to the race - "Now I sound like some boy racer in my little Peugeot," she said.

Harris and De Boer led the race through the first half. Cant, who worked supremely hard in her efforts to catch them, made contact with De Boer just as they began the last half - but, moments before, Harris had powered off on her own. A combination of strength through the most difficult bits and a knack of spotting the best lines enabled her to stay out in front for the remainder, and she crossed the finish line alone with an advantage of six seconds.

"This is my least favorite race," Harris explained afterwards. "I really thought I was going to finish second or third but I won. I am really happy with how things go at the moment and hope to continue my good form in the next two weeks."

Top Ten
1 Nikki HARRIS 44'40"
2 Sanne CANT 44'46"
3 Sophie DE BOER 44'46"
4 Ellen VAN LOY 46'33 
5 Pavla HAVLIKOVA 46'49"
6 Annefleur KALVENHAAR 48'38"
7 Monique VAN DE REE 48'43"
8 Loes SELS 49'47"
9 Margriet KLOPPENBURG 50'11"
Full result

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