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The second round of the Superprestige series took place in De Schorre Boom, Belgium, on Saturday, with Alice Arzuffi (777) and Toon Aerts (Telenet Baloise Lions) taking the wins.
The course was coated in slippery mud at the start of the day, adding difficulty to the punchy climbs, sand, and cobbled sections scattered through the course.
Arzuffi stays upright as crashes cause chaos
Alice Arzuffi (777) went clear with a lap to go to beat Eva Lechner (Creafin-Fristads) and world champion Sanne Cant (Iko-Crelan).
Arzuffi, Alvarado, Cant, Annemarie Worst (777), Inge Van der Heijden (Ccc – Liv), and Yara Kastelijn (777) led the pack for much of the race. It was Kastelijn who made the first significant move, around halfway through the third lap. Her attack gave her a good lead but she fell in the mud and was caught.
Arzuffi attacked as the group made for the start of the final lap and went away solo from there.
Lechner’s second place came after a hard day of chasing back to the lead group having fallen on the first lap. She was able to catch on to the group chasing Arzuffi in the final lap and powered straight past them to chase on her own, but ran out of time to make contact with the leader and had to settle for second.
Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Corendon-Circus) was a hot favorite going into the race having won the opening round of the series last week. She was in the group chasing after Arzuffi in the final lap, but crashed hard and was never able to catch back on.
Aerts back on track with technical masterclass
Toon Aerts (Telenet Baloise Lions) powered away from the field in the closing laps and never looked back to take his first win of the Superprestige series. The dominant performance will compensate the Belgian national champion for being denied the chance to compete for victory due to a late mechanical in the opening round last weekend.
Quinten Hermans (Telenet Baloise Lions) took second, and young Brit Tom Pidcock (Trinity) took third.
Aerts’ comfort and skill in the slippy conditions made the difference when he was able to distance Hermans and Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal) in lap 5 after the trio had formed a lead group two laps previously.
Hermans and Sweeck followed Aerts as a pair around 10 seconds back, but Sweeck had a mechanical and then lost his shoe in the mud, with the footwear change taking him out of the action. Hermans chased alone on the final lap, but there was no catching Aerts as he moved comfortably around the tricky course.
Pidcock had been part of the lead group early in the race before being distanced. He fell back down the field, but was able to pace himself back into contention in the final lap to bridge to Hermans. However, the Belgian was able to accelerate away from Pidcock in the final stretch to secure second place.
The next race in the eight-round series will take place Sunday October 27 in Gaverve, Belgium.
- Alice Arzuffi (777): 47.14
- Eva Lechner (Creafin-Fristads): +00.09
- Sanne Cant (Iko-Crelan): S.T
- Toon Aerts (Telenet Baloise Lions): 1:01:42
- Quinten Hermans (Telenet Baloise Lions): +0:00:09
- Tom Pidcock (Trinity): +0:00:17