One of the aspects that men tend to brag about when it comes to making a list of things they’re better at than women is their physicality. They’ll flex their muscles, puff up their chest and give an hour-long lecture about stamina. But, thanks to a race in Belgium, that feature has come into question as well.
According to Cycling News, former national road champion of Switzerland Nicole Hanselmann was leading the women’s race. However, due to a slow men’s race, she was stopped in her tracks. Hanselmann said,
“We came too close to the men’s so we had to get a neutral time gap again so it was a bit sad for me because I was in a good mood and when the bunch sees you stopping, they just get a new motivation to catch you.”
The men’s and women’s races of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad started from the same location. But since the men were so slow and Hanselmann was so fast, the organisers had to stop the Bigla rider and create a gap between the two races.
“The race jury just said we had to neutralise the race because we are getting too close to the men. We could just see the ambulances of the men’s race. I think we stopped for five or seven minutes and then it just kills your chances.”
You can check out the complete race here:
Relive full livestream of Women’s race Omloop Het Nieuwsblad! Thanks for watching and congratulations to winner Chantal Blaak
Posted by Proximus Sports on Saturday, March 2, 2019
After pausing Hanselmann, the race was started again. She was given a head-start to regain the time she had built up. But the break and the cold conditions hindered her efforts. Hanselmann said,
“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.”
Hanselmann finished 74th, while the race was won by Boels Dolmans’ Chantal Blaak.
Going by her Instagram post, she has handled the whole situation in a very mature fashion because nobody loves to see their efforts get wasted for one reason or another. But since it’s just the beginning of 2019, I think she’ll be taking part in many more races. And let’s hope the organisers don’t pull something like this again and thereby give Hanselmann the victory that she deserves.