The women’s edition of a prestigious one-day cycling race in Belgium was halted after a breakaway rider had almost caught the men’s race, which had started on the same course 10 minutes earlier.
Former Swiss road race champion Nicole Hanselmann rode clear in the opening miles of Omloop het Nieuwsblad on Saturday. But when she approached the men’s race, organizers of the early cobbled classic called for the women’s race to be neutralized so that a gap would remain between the races.
Hanselmann was allowed to restart ahead of the rest of the field in an attempt to restore the two-minute advantage she had built up. But the break coupled with the cold conditions sapped Hanselmann of energy and the rest of the field eventually caught her.
Chantal Blaak wound up winning the race. Hanselmann finished 74th.