A women’s cycling event came to a momentary halt when the leading rider almost caught up with men who had set off 10 minutes earlier

Nicole Hanselmann.

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Nicole Hanselmann.
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Photo by Luc Claessen/Getty Images

  • Nicole Hanselmann sped off in a women’s cycling event on Saturday, and almost caught up with the men who had set-off 10 minutes earlier.
  • Hanselmann said she almost saw the back of the men’s peloton, which is a cycling term for the main field of an event, and so officials forced Hanselmann – and the rest of the women – to wait.
  • The wait was for safety reasons as Hanselmann could have ended up in the middle of the support vehicles that were following the men’s peloton.
  • Hanselmann was allowed a head-start when racing eventually resumed in the women’s event, but she lost her momentum and finished in 74th place.

A women’s cycling event in Belgium had to be momentarily paused as the leading rider almost caught-up with men who had set-off 10-minutes earlier.

Nicole Hanselmann, a Swiss cyclist who rides for Team Biglia, got off to such a fast start at the 13th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday that officials had to halt the women’s event so Hanselmann did not encroach on the support vehicles that were following the men.

The Guardian reports that Hanselmann even had a two minute lead over the chasing pack in the women’s 122.9km race from Gent to Ninove.

But the lead and the momentum she had built-up was cut short when officials forced her to wait at the side of the road until the men’s event, and its support vehicles, had cleared once again.

When racing eventually resumed in the women’s class, Hanselmann was permitted to ride first so she could pick up where she left off but she ultimately failed to maintain her lead and finished in 74th place.

“I attacked after 7km, and was alone in the break for around 30km… but then an awkward moment happened and I almost saw the back of the men’s peloton,” Hanselmann said on Instagram.

“Maybe the other women and me were too fast, or the men too slow,” she added.

Chantal Blaak, a Dutch cyclist, won the women’s event.