Women's cycling race halted after they caught up to the men

Nicole Hanselman
Nicole Hanselman. Photo credit: Nicole Hanselman/Instagram

A women's cycling race in Belgium had to be postponed after they caught up to the men.

Nicole Hanselman, a Swiss rider with the Bigla Pro team, set the early pace for the women in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad race.

She raced out to a lead of almost two minutes, but soon found herself catching up to the slowest men, who'd left the start line 10 minutes before the women.

"[Maybe] the other women and me were too fast or the men too slow," she wrote on her Instagram page, calling it an "awkward moment".

Organisers asked her to stop so the two races didn't get tangled up.

"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 27-year-old told Cycling News. "I think we stopped for five or seven minutes and then it just kills your chances."

When they hit the road again Hanselman was given a short headstart, but it wasn't enough. She ended up finishing 74th, with Dutch rider Chantal Blank finishing first.

Her fans were livid.

"The organisers did a shitty job," one wrote. "How stupid do you have to be to think that Olympic-level athlete can't catch up?"

"Such an impressive ride for Nicole to catch up! Sad that Nicole's race was ruined with a stoppage!" said another.

"The race organisers don't understand the egalitarian nature of our world," wrote a third. "The elite globalists just don't want equality."


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