Ardooie

Heavy rain changed the Ardooie course into an ankle-swallowing mud fest. After four laps of heaving the bike through the mud, Sanne Cant finished first, before Thalita de Jong and Elle Anderson. Ellen came in fifth.

 

Sands of Zonhoven

Zonhoven : second Superprestige race and famous for the epic sand hills and typical crashes coming down the sand dune. Ellen did a great job and managed to stay on her bike, particularly during the first chaotic descent with several riders crashing and the crowd cheering massively.

Going down the hill and ploughing a path through the sand is pretty exciting !

Ellen and Sanne distanced the other riders who were held up in the downhill crash. Slowly though they were making their way back to the front of the race, distancing Ellen. While Sanne was comfortably in the lead, Ellen was fighting for fifth, sixth or seventh place. In the end she took fifth place. She felt under pressure in the uphill and running sections although overall she did feel good in the sand.

It is a fantastic race and I am so happy I’m back to dive into the sandpit again !

Next races :  Ardooie (20 Oct), Boom (22 Oct) and World Cup in Valkburg (23 Oct)

Picture : Bart Hazen/Cyclocross Magazine

 

Poldercross Kruibeke

After sickness keeping Ellen away from Kruibeke and Zonhoven last year, she was happy to line up for both races again this weekend. The Poldercross track was nice, it was slightly different compared to two years ago but it was perfectly rideable mainly because of the gentle weather conditions. Some big names did not show up but this did not stop the remaining riders to fight a tough battle. No attacks in the opening laps until Jolien decided to jump away with no immediate reaction from the other riders. Ellen allowed Jolien to open up a gap of nearly one minute before she decided to go and claim a podium place. She tried to get hold of second place but Maud Kaptheijns decided otherwise. Ellen was not able to hold her off and together they went into the final lap, clinching both to a podium finish. In the end Maud powered away from Ellen, finishing second while Ellen took third place.

 

 

Boost of Confidence in Meulebeke

Ellen took the top step of the podium in Meulebeke at the Berencross race which was held at the future site of the 2021 Belgian National Championships. The course was fast and technical, with rollers and a giant flyover. She hit out hard, from the opening lap, showing she’s back to her usual self again. She openend up a huge gap and finished solo, before Jolien Verschueren and Joyce Vanderbeken. It was all about making the right choices and certainly making no mistakes. This certainly is boosting Ellen’s confidence after a slightly disappointing American Worldcup trip. Ellen is keeping a nice little family of bears.

beren

 

 

First double weekend of racing

Here we are at the first active double weekend of racing with two races : Neerpelt and Gieten (Nl). In the Soudal Classic race in Neerpelt, Ellen had to battle Nikki Harris for third place but unfortunately she had to give in. In Gieten, Sanne Cant dominated the race and took the lead from start to finish. The Dutch Lucinda Brandt surprisingly finished second after a strong race. Ellen finished seventh, in the first laps of the race she did not feel strong enough to go with the leading group and only with the race at half distance she found the right pace and was able to move to the front. Next weekend, Ellen will line up for the Berencross in Meulebeke on Saturday and for the GP Mario De Clercq in Ronse on Sunday. Picture: Telenet Fidea Lions

 

Jingle Cross World Cup

The second UCI World Cup race promised to be a tough one : both the course and the weather conditions were challenging. The rain on Thursday was welcomed by the European racers who are used to ploughing through rain and mud. Unfortunately for them, the sun came out on Saturday and the course dried up completely. The race was dominated by North-American based racers and Ellen, along with her fellow Belgian and team racers, did not show up anywhere near the front of the race. Was it the traveling, the heat or the humidity which was playing up or maybe also the fact that this was a very unfamiliar course. After this American intermezzo, the cyclocross Circus will cross the Atlantic for the first race in Europe next Sunday in Neerpelt. Photo : CX Magazine

Check out this website to read a Q&A session with Ellen