Ellen van Loy (Telenet Fidea) won the fifth round of the Superprestige series in Gavere, Belgium on Sunday.

Ellen van Loy (Telenet Fidea) came out on top, as she battled the entirety of the race with Nikki Brammeier (Boels-Dolmans). She beat the Briton in the sprint to the line, though it was not very much of a sprint as both riders were too worn out to even stand up. The extremely muddy conditions taxed the riders and van Loy proved to be the strongest in the end.

Brammeier has found her top form again, as she claimed second on the day. She took her first win in nearly two years the day before at the Jaarmarktcross in Niel, Belgium. Kim van de Steene (Tarteletto – Isorex) finished third, as both world and European champion Sanne Cant (Beobank-Corendon) finished fifth.

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The fifth round of the Superprestige series took place in Gavere, Belgium and with heavy rain, the course was a muddy affair. Maud Kaptheijns (Crelan-Charles) entered the race undefeated in the series, having won all of the previous rounds. American Katie Compton has been successful on the Gavere course as she has won all three of the times she has raced the event.

Van Loy took the holeshot and lead nearly the entire opening lap. The muddy conditions saw carnage behind her, as riders slipped on the mud and crashed into each other. Compton fell on one of the muddy descents while riding in the top-five. She lost a bit of time and would not be a factor at the front the rest of the race.

At the end of the opening lap, van Loy and Brammeier were together in the lead with Cant, van de Steene, Anne Marie Worst (ERA-Circus), Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans) and Sophie de Boer (Parkhotel Valkenburg-Destil) forming the chase group. Kaptheijns was riding in seventh nearly 20 seconds behind the leaders and Compton was even further behind, nearly 40 seconds down.

Majerus, racing his first cyclocross race of the season after taking a break to recover from the road season, dropped off the chase group on lap 2. Steene was having a good ride in the sloppy conditions, driving the pace and eventually dropping the others to move into third place. Cant and de Boer rode together in pursuit of the final podium spot.

Alice Maria Arzuffi (Steylaerts Betfirst), the bronze medalist at the European championships a week prior, was slowing making her toward the front of the race after a slow start. She would join Cant and de Boer in trying to track down Steene for a shot at the podium. While in the lead, Brammeier continued to look to be the strongest, always seeming to have a few seconds gap over van Loy.

On the final lap, Brammeier and van Loy were still battling at the front, but Steene was closing in. For a moment it appeared that Steene would make contact, but then she made a mistake that would cost her and never make contact with leaders.

Behind, De Boer would clip the side fencing as she tried to find a bit of the smoother green grass. She would flip over the bars and lose contact with Cant. Arzuffi was finishing the race strongly, now riding along in fourth place.

Brammeier and van Loy both fought hard to lead off the final muddy stretch first. Van Loy would lead onto the pavement, but Brammeier was right behind. However, a sprint would not occur. Van Loy would lay down the power while seated and Brammeier was too exhausted to attempt to sprint around her.

Steene would comfortably finish with final podium spot, while Arzuffi rode away from Cant in the final lap to come home in fourth. Despite her last lap crash, de Boer still finished in the sixth position.

After her opening lap crash, Compton never saw the front of the race again and ultimately finished the race in 10th. Thus, she ended her undefeated streak at Gavere. Another streak fell in Gavere, as Kaptheijns lost in the Superprestige series for the first time this season. She finished the race in 12th.

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