Richards and Hermans victorious amongst a prestigious international field on a wet, windswept course
A who’s-who of international athletes lined up at the Trek CX Cup Friday in a lead up for Sunday’s Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Waterloo. Evie Richards led home a Trek Factory Racing one-two with her new teammate Ellen Noble, whilst Quinten Hermans (Telenet Fidea Lions) won by 41 seconds in the men’s race.
The course was soaked with rain the night before, and battered by winds of up to 20 miles per hour, making for tricky conditions.
Richards leads home Trek one-two
Ellen Van Loy (Telenet Fidea Lions) attacked early in the first lap, taking on the wind ahead of five challengers.
By the third lap, she had been joined by Richards, Noble, Kaitie Keough (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld), Katie Compton (KFC Racing p/b Trek Knight), and Fleur Nagengast (Telenet Fidea Lions). Helen Wyman (Xypex – Verge Sport) was not far behind, battling to bridge to them.
With two laps remaining, Trek teammates Richards and Noble attacked, drawing out Van Loy, and shattering the field behind. Shortly after, Richards attacked from the front, and stayed strong for an uncontested victory in a time of 43:48. Noble and Van Loy completed the podium, 21 and 36 seconds behind respectively.
“I was feeling strong on the first lap, and I knew I was strong enough early,” said Richards. “Then I couldn’t hold back any longer and I just went.
“I’ve had so much support this week with the launch of the new team. I kind of felt like I had to do something special. I’m pleased it paid off.”
“I think we have some stuff that we can play with going forward as teammates that I think could make us really dangerous. I’m excited about it,” said Noble, discussing her new team and teammate Richards.
“I am happy with how it went. A good opener for Sunday [World Cup]. Everyone is focused to Sunday,” said Keough.
Compton, last year’s winner at Trek CX Cup, did not finish the race due to complications with her allergies caused by the wind.
Hermans takes decisive win
Hermans took the front of the race from the holeshot, to be joined by Daan Soete (Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice) shortly afterward. A small chase group followed, which included Corne Van Kessel (Telenet Fidea Lions), Tom Meeusen (Team Ciclismo Mundial), Eli Iserbyt (Marlus-Bingoal Cycling Team), and Steve Chainel (Team Chazal Canyon). Stephen Hyde (Cannnondale p/b Cyclocrossworld) was chasing, not far behind.
By the third lap, Hermans and Soete had a 15-second lead over the field, with Iserbyt and Hyde choosing to drop out. Over the following laps, Hermans slowly but surely put time into Soete, and rode on to win in a time of 1:00:54, with Soete coming in 41 seconds behind.
“I put him under pressure and got a small gap, so I kept making it bigger and bigger. I’m very happy with that,” said Hermans.
Behind Soete, Meeusen and Van Kessel battled for third place. They were one minute behind the leaders but only 10-seconds ahead of chasers Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice), Thijs Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions), and Jim Aernouts (Telenet Fidea Lions). Despite a late attack from Sweeck, Van Kessel took third place with a sprint for the line, 1:12 behind the winner.
Dillman would finish as the top American in 11th place, three minutes behind Hermans.
“Today really put me in a good place. I think I’m more ready than ever to race on Sunday [at the World Cup],” said Dillman.