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True grit: joy for van Anrooij at sandy Koksijde X2O Trofee

True grit: joy for van Anrooij at sandy Koksijde X2O Trofee

Shirin van Anrooij led from flag to flag in Thursday’s fifth round of the 2022-2023 X2O Badkamers Trofee on the sandy course of Koksijde, AKA the Duinencross. It was the Baloise Trek Lions rider’s fifth win of the season. Third place Lucinda Brand increased her overall lead.

Brand took the series lead on Tuesday with her second runner-up spot in the X2O Trofee since New Year’s Day. Denise Betsema trailed by 26 seconds and Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado by 29 seconds. World champion Marianne Vos was back in competition on Thursday, but there was no Puck Pieterse. Annemarie Worst took the Koksijde race last season.

The Canadian women in the race were Ava and Isabella Holmgren, Siobhan Kelly, Jenaya Francis, Geza Rodgers, Madeleine Pollack, and Christiane Bilodeau.

Shirin van Anrooij took an early lead on Lap 1 with Inge van der Heijden chasing. By the end of the first circuit, van Anrooij was 11 seconds ahead of Fem van Empel, van der Heijden, Alvarado and Brand.

The field heads up the first big dune on Lap 1.

The chase quartet fragmented on Lap 2. Van Empel surged ahead of Brand and Alvarado while van der Heijden faded back. Van Empel was 13 seconds in arrears with two circuits down.

Van Empel ahead of Brand and Alvarado in the longest sand section on Lap 2.

On Lap 3 of 5, van Empel started to draw van Anrooij closer but a couple of mistakes derailed the European champion’s pursuit.

Race leader van Anrooij pushes through the sand on Lap 3.

The penultimate lap saw van Anrooij continue to charge ahead. Brand was solo in Position 3, pulling out more time over Alvarado in the GC.

All three Dutch riders who finished on the podium kept their gaps on the bell lap.

The sixth round is January 28 in Hamme.

2022-2023 X2O Badkamers Trofee, Round 5, Koksijde
1) Shirin van Anrooij (The Netherlands/Trek Baloise Lions) 51:33
2) Fem van Empel (The Netherlands/Jumbo-Visma) +0:14
3) Lucinda Brand (The Netherlands/Trek Baloise Lions) +1:09

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…