Wynants and Vantornout on Roc d’Ardenne podium

Road cyclist Maarten Wynants and former cyclocross ace Klaas Vantornout finished second and third in Saturday's Roc d'Ardenne. Dutchman Hans Becking won the event in Houffalize.

The Roc d’Ardenne, a half-marathon of 59 km with lots of altitude metres, is the most popular event in Houffalize with over 1400 participants. Due to the dry weather in the build-up, the course was very fast. Becking stormed to victory with an average speed of over 25 kilometres per hour. The Dutchman had a two minute lead on Maarten Wynants, who finished 36th just a few weeks ago in Paris-Roubaix. Former Belgian cyclocross champion Klaas Vantornout was third, some nine minutes behind Becking.

Kevin Van Hoovels, who also competed in Friday night’s Roc Night (27,5 km), was fourth half a minute behind Vantornout. Van Hoovels is aiming for the overall win in the Roc Trophy, the general classification based on the results of Roc Night, Roc d’Ardenne and Sunday’s Roc Marathon. Van Hoovels extended his lead on Maxime Latourte, who finished eighth in Roc d’Ardenne, and Bram Huysentruyt (17th).

Alice Pirard won the women’s Roc d’Ardenne with a five-minute lead over Kristien Achten. Inge Roggen was third 13 minutes behind. In the standings France’s Audrey Becco leads after two of the three stages. Her lead on Britain’s second-placed Mandie James is less than two minutes.

Those who preferred a shorter event than the 59 kilometre Roc d’Ardenne opted for the Mid Roc. This 37 km race was won by Damien Bynens and Valerie Anita Heeren.

On Saturday night the Roc Ruelles relay races sent teams of two riders over a short, technical course in the town centre. The teams who completed the most distance in a set amount of time progressed to the final in this spectacular event.

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