Les Samyn des Dames returns in 2013 for a second year on the race calendar on 27th February. Nestled on the Belgian/French border the race starts on the edge of the town of Frameries, around 45km west of Charleroi. At last year’s race damp conditions and early season nerves of a large peloton of almost 200 made for a number of early crashes. Adrie Visser won the win in a sprint finish ahead of Noemi Cantele and Trixi Worrack in second and third, respectively.
The race forms part of the Lotto Cycling Cup, a season long competition for Belgian clubs and teams where points are awarded for results in each of the 8 races in the series to crown both individual and team champions at the Lotto Decca Tour, the final race of the series.
What’s in a name?
The race is held at the same weekend as the men’s race which has been running since 1968. The race was originally known as “GP Fayt-le-Franc”gets it’s name from the first winner, local French rider Jose Samyn, who sadly died in a post-Tour Criterium the following year. From 1970 the race was renamed in his honour.
With a total distance of 119.2km the race has two distinct sections. The first gently rolling, fairly non-descript 38.8km where the biggest challenges are the street furniture and multitude of roundabouts.
The race then enters Dours and onto a rolling, 20.1km clockwise circuit for 4 laps. The pace is likely to be high as the peloton enters the circuit as riders will be fighting for position into the sharp right turn on the far side of the loop from the finish onto a 700m cobbled ascent. Nobody will want to be at the back leading into this section.
Unlike many other cobbled routes around Belgium there is no escape from the uneven surface: no respite can be found in a smooth gutter or soft roadside verge. It’s kerb to kerb cobbles.
28 teams are confirmed as taking to the start line, consisting of 16 UCI teams, 10 regional team and 2 national teams from Belgium and USA. Each team are required to have a minimum of 5 riders in the team and a maximum of 7. In the provisional start list all teams have submitted 6 or 7 strong teams making for will be a large peloton of over 170 riders.
|TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN BIORACER RIDLEY|
|SENGERS LADIES TEAM|
|CYCLELIVE – ZANATTA TEAM|
|DE SPRINTERS MALDEREN|
|KEUKENS REDANT CYCLING TEAM|
|AUTOGLAS WETTEREN GROUP SOLAR C.|
|BELGIAN NATIONAL TEAM|
|NAPOLEON GAMES ST MARTINUS CT KERSKEN|
|HITEC PRODUCTS UCK|
|CRAMO GO : GREEN|
|TEAM TIBCO- TO THE TOP|
|ENDURA LADY FORCE|
|SWABO LADIES CYCLING TEAM|
|BOELS/DOLMANS CYCLING TEAM|
|USA NATIONAL TEAM|
|TEAM SPECIALIZED LULULEMON|
|BREAST CANCER CARE CYCLING TEAM|
|PARK HOTEL VALKENBURG|
|JAN VAN ARCKEL CT|
|TEAM BE PINK|
Prize money totals 1645€ shared amongst the top 20 finishers. To those that place, try not to spend it all at once!