Female cyclist forced to stop after she catches up with men’s race
© Ryan McVay

A female cyclist competing in a race in Belgium had to be momentarily stopped when she almost caught up to the men’s group that started 10 minutes before her.

Swiss cyclist Nicole Hanselmann was held up during her race Saturday by officials after nearly catching the back of the men’s group that was followed by support vehicles, according to The Guardian.

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Hanselmann found herself with an early two-minute lead in the 75-mile Omloop Het Nieuwsblad race when she, along with the rest of the women’s race, was asked to stop so the men’s group could regain a sizable gap.

The men's race had begun about 10 minutes before the women's race over the same course.

The race’s official Twitter account said the incident was caused by a “very slow mens race.”

Hanselmann was given a head start after the race resumed but lost her momentum as the peloton closed the gap and reeled her in. She ended up finishing in 74th place.

“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,” she told Cyclingnews. “We could just see the ambulances of the men’s race. I think we stopped for five or seven minutes and then it just kills your chances.”

Hanselmann appeared in good spirits after the race, calling the incident an "awkward moment" in a post on Instagram.