Maud Kaptheijns (Crelan-Charles) won the Niels Albert CX on Saturday in Boom, Belgium, the third round in the Telenet Superprestige series.

Maud Kaptheijns (Crelan-Charles) continued her run of fine form in Boom, Belgium on Saturday by winning the Niels Albert CX, the third round of the premier Telenet Superprestige series in a sprint against world champion Sanne Cant (Beobank-Corendon).

The final lap saw a fierce quartet of Kapthijns, Cant, under-23 world champion Annemarie Worst (ERA-Circus) and Ellen van Loy (Telenet Fidea). Van Loy would drop off the pace, leaving three at the front entering the technical aspect of the course that came just before the finish.

The riders had to navigate a short sand-pit before a stair run-up. A brief switchback paved downhill led them across the sandpit again before a few turns and then a set of barriers. Once more through the sand pit made for five obstacles in the span of 30 seconds. The race organizers made the odd choice of giving the gave women a set of barriers 25-centimeters high, whereas the men would go up against the normal 40-centimeter high barriers.

Kaptheijns came out of the technical section in the lead with Cant locked onto her wheel. Worst was unable to keep pace with the duo through the section and van Loy had dropped off earlier in the lap.

Cant was unable to come around Kaptheijns on the short paved finishing straight and the Dutchwoman was able to take her third consecutive victory in the series. Worst finished 10 seconds behind in third with van Loy holding on for fourth.

Top 10

A relatively small women’s field took the start in Boom, Belgium for the Niels Albert CX, the third stop of the eight-round Telenet Superprestige series. The third round of the world cup in Koksijde, Belgium on Sunday meant some of the riders opted to save their legs and not race Saturday. Most notably, Katie Compton (KFC Racing/Trek/Panache) was not on the start line.

Van Loy took the holeshot but was quickly passed by Kaptheijns. The Dutchwoman had won the previous two rounds by riding nearly the entire race off the front solo. However, that would not be the case on Saturday and Worst finished the opening lap with a slight lead over a chase group of van Loy, Kaptheijns, and Cant.

Surprisingly, Nikki Brammeier (Boels-Dolmans) was nowhere in sight. She entered the race sitting high overall in the series standings. She would ultimately abandon the race midway through, making her chances of winning the overall title at the end of the year difficult.

The chase group would catch Worst on the second lap to create a leading quartet. Despite each rider attacking on multiple occasions, no one would be able to break away and they would enter the final lap together.

Van Loy would lose contact on one of the steep hills on the course, as Kaptheijns drove the pace on the front. The leading trio entering the tough five-obstacle section together, but only two, Kaptheijns and Cant, would come out in the lead.

A short paved finishing straight meant that most likely whoever entered the pavement first would win. Cant was unable to get around Kaptheijns before the pavement and the Dutchwoman sprinted to victory with Cant right behind. Worst rounded out the podium and van Loy came in comfortably for fourth.

Last year’s winner, Jolien Verschueren (Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice) recovered from a slow start and bounced back to catch Alice Arzuffi (Steylaerts Betfirst). However, the Italian would hold-on for fifth place and Verschueren would have to settle for sixth.

The Telenet Superprestige series continues October 29 in Ruddervoorde.

Full results