Sunday 12 February 2012

GP Heuts Heerlen CX results

Daphny Van Den Brand
(image credit: Thomas Ducroquet CC BY-SA 3.0)
"Here in Heerlen, I could tell the others were tiring so I took a bit of a risk. When I came to the last corner, I knew the victory was mine." (Daphny Van Den Brand)
It's been an excellent weekend for Dutch cyclo crosser Daphny Van Den Brand - yesterday, she won the Superprestige Middelkerke race and today she repeated that success on the frozen parcours at Heerlen after giving Sanne Van Paassen and Nikki Harris the slip as the three of them raced to the end of the final lap.

A last sprint along the tarmac gave her a ten second advantage as she crossed the finish line, with Van Paassen crossing eight seconds ahead of British rider Harris. Helen Wyman won this race last year and was a favourite today - however, despite a customarily excellent launch away from the start she's still having some problems in the freezing conditions during the latter part of this season after coming down with a chest infection that has cut a swathe through women's 'cross, making her fifth place finish 1'16" behind Van Den Brand  perfectly respectable.

Babaco's Christine Vardoros suffered with her asthma in the cold weather and therefore did well to take 17th place all things considered. "Asthma strikes again in Heerlen today," she told fans via her Facebook page. "With very cold dry air i was wheezing within a minute of the start and pedaled backwards for the whole race, somehow managing to ride slower and slower. It took everything i had just to cross the finish line in what felt like - and probably was - slow motion. Sooo bummed." She later said that she'd have stopped had it not have been for the knowledge that so many people were cheering for her, and anyone who suffers asthma will be more than a little impressed that she kept going and finished the race.

It was notable that, despite the question placed to her by a UCI interviewer following the World Championships at Koksijde two weeks ago, the absence of Marianne Vos did not make the race any more competitive; all riders rode as hard today as they have done when competing against the Dutch superstar with no apparent increase in effort.

Van Den Brand now has three races to go before she ends her 'cross career at the end of this season. "It's time to let the new generation take over," she says.

Elite Women Results

  1.  Daphny Van Den Brand 00:37:50
  2.  Sanne Van Paassen   00:10
  3.  Nikki Harris 00:18
  4.  Sophie De Boer 00:36
  5.  Helen Wyman 01:16
  6.  Arenda Grimberg 01:26
  7.  Sabrina Stultiens ST
  8.  Reza Hormes Ravenstijn 01:54
  9.  Nikoline Hansen 02:02
  10.  Joyce Vanderbeken 02:10
  11.  Amy Dombroski ST
  12.  Iris Ockeloen 03:02
  13.  Ellen Van Loy 03:10
  14.  Evy Kuijpers ST
  15.  Nancy Bober 03:35
  16.  Yara Kastelijn 04:05
  17.  Christine Vardaros 04:21
  18.  Margriet Kloppenburg 04:40
  19.  Madara Furmane 05:37
  20.  Lotte Eikelenboom ST
  21.  Marianne Alleleijn ST

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