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D’hoore sweeps Belgian Track Champs; Cordon-Ragot wins in the mud

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Jolien D’hoore took a clean sweep of titles in the Belgian Individual Track Championships at the Vlaamse Wielercentrum Eddy Merckx, in Ghent, East Flanders, this weekend, taking a total of four driekleur jerseys. Meanwhile, in Brittany, western France, National Time Trial Champion Audrey Cordon-Ragot has been riding her new Colnago Prestige cyclocross bike to victory in the mud of her home region.

“I’m very pleased with my racing this past weekend,” D’hoore said. “It’s always good for the confidence to get a few wins in between my preparations for Rio. I haven’t targeted the Belgian championships, which means I still had to do some heavy gym sessions last week, but luckily it didn’t stop me to go for victory.”

Despite not targeting the event, Dhoore took four titles in two days, with the Scratch Race and 500 metre time trial on Saturday, and the Points Race and Individual Pursuit on Sunday. Her Points Race was particularly dominant, where she took five of the eight sprints, and took a lap over the field with Topsport Vlaanderen’s Lotte Kopecky.

In the Individual Pursuit, D’hoore was easily the fastest qualifier, then beat Kopecky in the final to complete a perfect weekend; adding four new titles to those on the Road and in the Track Omnium.

“It’s always nice to ride a track race at home especially because my family was there to support me,” she smiled. “I spend a lot of time all over the world so it’s nice to come back to your home track and being able to race in front of your family and friends. Now I will enjoy some family time before the last World Cup in Hong Kong.”

Meanwhile, in the mud of Brittany, Cordon-Ragot was showing herself to be one of the top riders in France, regardless of the discipline, with victory in the Cyclocross of Plumelec her second of the season so far. The French Time Trial Champion recently took delivery of a Colnago Prestige bike – which was developed for cyclocross legend Sven Nys, and is the current bike of top Belgian Wout Van Aert – but she emphasises that the mud sport is no more than a nice way to vary her winter training.

“The only thing I can say it’s that I take so much pleasure riding my cross bike, and even more with this Colnago!” Cordon-Ragot said. “I was used to riding with an old bike – really heavy and not comfortable – and now I’m riding the best cyclocross bike on the market, so it changes a lot!

“I decided with my coach that I will race some cross to prepare the road season, it helps to do efforts and I really enjoy racing at home,” she explained. “Cyclocross in Bretagne is really popular, you can race 2 times a week and the public is crazy about it.

“I will stay racing in Bretagne, I can’t do the Nationals I will be in Spain for a training camp and I don’t feel good enough to race the big competitions,” the Breton added. “Maybe next year…!”

Belgian Podium Photo Credit: Marc van Hecke


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