Swiss cyclist Nicole Hanselmann was going so much faster than the men in a race in Belgium Sunday that race officials made her stop and wait, she said on Instagram.
Race officials confirmed they stopped Hanselmann “due to a very slow mens race. riders will restart with same timings,” according to a tweet from the official Omloop Het Nieuwsblad race account.
“We came too close to the men’s so we had to get a neutral time gap again so 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,” Hanselmann said after the race, according to CyclingNews.
“I attacked after 7km, and was alone in the break for around 30km...but then a awkward moment (happened) and I almost saw the back of the men’s peloton... (Maybe) the other women and me were to fast or the men to slow,” Hanselmann said on Instagram.
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Race officials took some heat on social media for the decision. “Let the women go and let the men get out of the way and they can see what racing is about. They may learn something,” one man tweeted.
“So lame, the slower race should be neutralized. The pace setting tactics in the women’s race were just wasted,” another said on Twitter.
Hanselmann is a former road race champion from Switzerland, the Associated Press reports. She finished this race 74th, according to the AP.
“The annual race around the Ardennes kicks off the Belgian cycling season and is one of the prominent Flanders Classics,” according to CNN.