Blanka Vas took her 4th win of the early cyclocross season in Ardooie. After winning 3 on the bounce in the Czech Republic in recent weeks, she was knocked back to 2nd behind Puck Pietersen at Oisterwijk last weekend. So winning in Ardooie brings her back to the fore with a convincing 27-second victory over her young Dutch rival Shirin van Anrooij. The pair were the clear best riders in the race, with a gap of 2’11” back to third-placed Aniek van Alphen.
The pair of Van Anrooij and Vas went clear on the first lap with Zoe Backstedt initially taking up 3rd spot behind. Backstedt gradually ended up leading a small group of Van Alphen and Cant. It took half of the race for Vas to get clear of Van Anrooij, and although Van Anrooij closed the gap once, she was unable to keep on the Hungarian’s wheel. Once Vas was able to go clear, she soloed away for the victory. For Van Anrooij, it was her first cyclocross race of the season, one where she has impressed on the road. Behind the lead pair, Van Alphen had gone clear of Backstedt with Cant replaced by fellow Belgian Marion Norbert Riberolle.
The course at Ardooie was tough with recent rain making it a slower race than the recent World Cup races in Waterloo and Fayetteville have been on fast dry courses. The going was heavy and boggy, always a condition that suits the rider with the strongest legs on the day with few places to hide.
“I realised pretty quickly that Blanka was the strongest in the race, but then you have to finish it. This is an important signal that she is really good. Blanka simply rode a very good race.
Shirin took the lead on the first lap and the two of them got away immediately, but you could see right away that Blanka was better. She handled it very wisely by recuperating in the middle of the race, then she went full on. The absolute top of the field may not yet be competing in Ardooie, but this is a serious indication that her progression is really going in the right direction and that she is really good. I see a lot of drive to get better.
She has made steps mentally. She is less upset. Besides, she has a whole road season in her legs and she is a year older. Anna van der Breggen has made training sessions for her to make her cycle better, obviously she is reaping the benefits of that in a 50-minute cross as well.”Lars Boom, SD Worx DS
Ardooie 2022 CX Results
Results powered by FirstCycling.com