Well, this was awkward.
A one-day bicycle race in Belgium was delayed because one of the cyclists in the women’s field nearly caught up with the men. Although male cyclists had started 10 minutes before the women, Bigla Pro rider Nicole Hanselmann made a move in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and closed in on the support vehicles trailing the male riders.
“[Maybe] the other women and me were [too] fast or the men [too] slow,” she later joked on Instagram.
Whatever the case, organizers held up the women’s field for 10 minutes to create distance between the men and women.
“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,” Hanselmann, the former Swiss national champion, told Cycling News. “The race jury just said we had to neutralize 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.”
When the 123-kilometer race from Ghent to Ninove restarted, Hanselmann was given a head start but lost her advantage. She finished 74th, with Chantal Blaak of the Boels team winning.
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