Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) prevailed in a last-lap battle with Telenet-Fidea’s Nikki Harris in the second round of the Superprestige series on Sunday.
The Belgian champion took the victory at Zonhoven by seven seconds over Harris, whose teammate Jolien Verschueren rounded out the podium in third at 57 seconds.
It was a repeat of their finish at round one of the Superprestige series in Gieten on October 4.
The Telenet rider gave Cant a good battle in the sand early on, only to see the Belgian champion open up a bit of a gap when Harris took a tumble down the long sandy descent into the pit.
It was a hard fall, but Harris remounted and began chasing.
Then Cant took her own fall, and the two were together.
In the end, though, Cant was able to make the difference with a series of last-lap attacks, first in the pit, then in the sand afterward.
“Luckily, when I fell at the beginning [of the pit] I didn’t really go down,” said Cant. “I chose not to force my way back to Harris, but just to ride my own tempo. And so it happened anyway. And from the crowds I could tell I was getting closer, and during the chase I could work on a new plan.
“I thought I could shake Nikki off in the final [sand pit] passage, but eventually I could not. It took a couple more attacks in the flat stretches of sand to finally do it.”
Harris said she took her best shot, but Cant was just too strong.
“Sanne attacked me just past the pit, then I tried to go with her, and I followed her down the descent, then we came to the other side of the sand pit and I attacked her. Then we were together, and it came down to the last little run-up, and she just had a little bit of an edge on me and I couldn’t react anymore,” she said.
“But I gave it my best and I couldn’t do anything else. I crashed and so did she, and it was a fair race. In the end she was just a little bit better.”
Verschueren, meanwhile, was happy to have made the podium on a course that did not favor her strengths.
“This is further proof of my progress, because this track is not really me,” she said.
Cant now leads the Superprestige series with 30 points. Harris sits second with 28, followed by Verschueren with 26.
The next round of the series will be November 8 in Ruddervoorde.
Editor’s note: Dan Seaton contributed to this report.