Hanselmann forces organisers to neutralize women's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Hanselmann forces organisers to neutralize women's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Hanselmann forces organisers to neutralize women's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

A one-day bicycle race in Belgium was delayed because one of the cyclists in the women's field almost caught up with the men's field.

Nicole Hanselmann, 27, was forced by Omloop Het Nieuwsblad race organizers on Saturday to put on the brakes in order to create a gap between the men's and women's races.

The former national road champion of Switzerland attacked inside seven kilometres of the women's race, and despite a chase group of three riders forming behind her, she pressed on and steadily built up a lead of nearly two minutes.

The delay allowed the other female riders to catch up and her pace slowed down soon after.

Hanselmann got out to a two-minute lead before closing in on the stragglers in the men's race which forced the women's event to be neutralised.


"I got the gap again to start with on my own and I was just stood ten metres ahead of the bunch waiting and I got the gap again and then they caught me at the end of the first cobbled section", she told Cyclingnews. Despite both races starting in the same location, the organizers appeared unprepared when Hanselmann could be seen from the rear vehicles of the men's race, according to Cyclingnews.

After being allowed to resume, Hanselmann was given a headstart on the peloton but was quickly reeled in and eventually finished in 74th place.

"I think we stopped for five or seven minutes and it just kills your chances."

"The race jury just said we had to neutralise the race because we are getting too close to the men".

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