Kim De Baat surprises with a victory in the sprint at the Belgian Road Championships

Kim De Baat (Plantur Pura) took a surprise victory in the sprint to claim the women’s road race title at the Belgian Championships in Middelkerke.

De Baat battled a small group that had separated from the front of the main peloton in the final kilometers to win the sprint ahead of Fien Van Eynde (IBCT) in second and Sara Maes (Multum Accountants Ladies Cycling Team) in third.

Pre-race favorite Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx) finished in the main peloton in 51st place.

A first breakaway emerged in the women’s 120km race which included Cato Cassiers, Marion Norbert-Riberolle (Plantur Pura), Britt Knaven (AG Insurance-NXTG Team) and Sara van de Vel (IBCT).

Nathalie Bex (Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire-Van Eyck Sport) and De Baat briefly joined the breakaway but the move was short-lived and the peloton rebuilt towards the end of the race.

Kopecky tried to launch his own attack, followed by Sanne Cant (Plantur Pura) but they failed to open a gap.

The movement that ended up breaking away from the front involved De Baat, Maes, Van Eynde as well as Fauve Bastiaenssen, Lone Meertens (AG Insurance-NXTG Team), Julie Hendrickx (Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire-Van Eyck Sport) and Alana Castrique ( Cofidis Women Team), who closed the small gap inside the last kilometer.

Castrique was the first of the group to start the sprint, but it was De Baat who was quickest as she crossed the line to win her first elite women’s road race title.

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