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Tessa Neefjes (Giant Liv Benelux Offroad Team) took out her second Gravel World Series round at Houffa Gravel in Belgium, sprinting to victory at the end of the 110km race which radiated out from the mountain bike city of Houffalize.
The Dutch rider, who also won in Millau, France, came over the line just ahead of Canyon Northwave MTB team rider Stefanie Dohrn, while 2019 marathon MTB German champion Janine Schneider came third.
The Gravel World Series Race started with the road climb of the Rue du Saint Roch – 1km at 10.8% average gradient with a maximum of 16% – immediately stretching out the largest field of the series so far, with 1,200 entered across the men’s and women’s categories from 19 nations.
Dohrn had pulled away early, at one time stretching the gap to Neefjes, Schneider and Jade Treffeisen to four minutes. However, the trio worked their way back to Dohrn, leaving it down to a sprint for victory.
“The pace was a bit too high for me in the beginning, also because I had had a somewhat tough training week in the Ardennes, said Neefjes in a team release. “After that I rode my own pace and then I was able to pick up the brakes in front of me one by one. One rider was still ahead and I thought I was actually riding for second place with two others. But I rode the sprint of my life.”
The race is a qualifier for the first UCI Gravel World Championships in Veneto Italy on October 8-9 and sits as the seventh round of the Gravel World Series. There are still races in Italy and Australia on September 3 and 4 and the final rounds in the Netherlands and Spain are on September 17 and 18.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|10||Jannitta van den Brink||0:15:42|