Daily News Digest: Sagan returns to winning ways; CX nationals round up

by Neal Rogers

January 15, 2018

In today’s Daily News Digest: Sagan opens season with win at People’s Choice Classic; Spratt takes Santos Women’s Tour GC, Hosking wins final stage; Van der Poel, Van Aert defend respective national CX titles; Cant, Brand, Ferrand-Prevot take national CX titles; Hyde defends US national cyclocross title after duel with Powers; Compton holds off Noble to take 14th consecutive national CX title; 2018 Vuelta a España route details announced; Sky debutant Halvorsen out for TDU after fracture in People’s Choice crash; Kask unveils Utopia, its most aerodynamic road helmet.

Cant, Brand, Ferrand-Prevot take national CX titles

by CyclingTips

World cyclocross champion Sanne Cant (IKO-Beobank ) surprised no one with a ninth consecutive Belgian national title Sunday. For the fifth time in six years, Cant took the title finishing ahead of Ellen Van Loy (Telenet-Fidea). Loes Sels (Crelan-Charles) finished third.

“It was a course that was technically very demanding,” Cant told Sporza. “The sand was very deep, if you left the track, you were completely silent. I drove my own pace from the second lap, I suddenly had a hole and then I tried to keep my pace and as little as possible. make mistakes. My pace was high enough to drive a bit away, which allowed me to make a mistake, and I am very happy that as a world champion I can get the Belgian title here in Koksijde.”

After leading from start to finish, Team Sunweb’s Lucinda Brand soloed to secure the Dutch national cyclocross championship in Surhuisterveen on Saturday. Maud Kaptheijns (Crelan-Charles), finished second, with Annemarie Worst (ERA-Circus) in third. Brand had a strong start; though she crashed on the first lap, her lead was such that she was able to maintain first place.

“I had expected a little bit more of a battle, but I had a really good feeling from the start,” Brand said. “I could directly take a gap and keep going to make it a little bit bigger throughout the race which gave me a lot of confidence that I could bring the title home. I’m super happy with the win and I’m looking forward to enjoying the victory.”

Lucinda Brand, 2018 Dutch national cyclocross champion.

In France, former world champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Canyon-SRAM) took a third French national title, winning ahead of two-time defending champion, Caroline Mani. Mani nearly lost her silver medal to Marlène Petit in the last lap due to a puncture, but she took advantage of a technical mistake made by the 26-year-old Petit in the last corner to finish second.