Vos dominates in Loenhout

Van den Brand finishes second, takes over GvA series lead

As for now there's nothing to do against the domination of Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit) in the cyclo-cross scene. On Wednesday afternoon in Loenhout, Belgium the world champion cruised through the muddy stretches while the pack behind the Dutch star seemed to get stuck in the mud. After her win in 2005 and 2010 Vos once again topped the podium in Loenhout and extended her current season's win streak to eight.

"It was long and far. Boring? Yeah, a bit but you have to remain focused," said Vos. "There was no opposition today but that was caused by the demanding course. After the first lap I already had a big gap and from there I had to stay in the rhythm."

After the third round of the Gazet van Antwerpen Trophy it is compatriot Daphny van den Brand (AA Drink-Leontien.nl) who moves into the overall lead together with British rider Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea).

At first Hanka Kupfernagel (Stevens) seemed to rise above the rest in the mud, slightly behind Vos, but the German veteran quickly faded and eventually abandoned the race. A chasing group of five riders formed including Daphny van den Brand, Sanne Cant (Boxx-Veldritacademie), Sophie de Boer (Telenet-Fidea) and British riders Gabriella Day (Renner-Raleigh) and Nikki Harris. Surprisingly top guns Sanne van Paassen (Brainwash) and Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Lapierre International) were unable to keep up with the first chase group.

While Vos quickly gained more than a minute on the first chasers the battle for second place was most entertaining. During the penultimate lap there was an acceleration from Harris which was answered by Cant. Just before going into the last lap the other three riders bridged up as well. Van den Brand, however, moved forward in the last lap. She sneaked ahead of Harris when reaching the first muddy stretch and powered away.

"Only during the last lap my engine started running," Van den Brand told Cyclingnews. "I didn't have the legs today. Yesterday I received a treatment from the physiologist but that didn't do me well with the high amount of races we do these days. I'll have to cancel my appointment for tomorrow."

Vos made no mistakes, showed great skills in the technical sections and enjoyed the applause from the Belgian crowds. No less than 1:17 later Van den Brand placed second and that was enough for the Dutch woman to move into the lead of the GVA-rankings. There was no real sprint for third place as Sanne Cant entered the long finishing straight alone.

Harris captured fourth place which was enough to get equal in points with Van den Brand in the GVA-rankings. The Dutch rider is the official leader because she scored more points in the last race. "I went a bit too early," a somewhat disappointed Harris told Cyclingnews. "My knee still hurts a bit from the crash in Namur and I felt it when I ran; I definitely need to work on that part anyway," Harris said.

Her teammate De Boer was fifth ahead of Gabby Day. While the eventual result could have been slightly better Day will certainly be pleased with her performance in Loenhout.

Sanne van Paassen was seventh ahead of Ferrand Prevot. "I didn't get into the rhythm and felt a bit sore. I knew I was going to get a fallback after my illness," Van Paassen referred to the illness that kept her from riding the World Cup round in Namur. Pavla Havlikova (Telenet-Fidea) and Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn completed the top-10 in Loenhout.

The next round of the GVA-Trophy is held in Baal this coming Sunday on the first day of 2012. There will be no world champion at the start line in Baal as Vos is heading to Luxembourg where she traditionally kicks off the new year in Pétange.

"It's a pity for the overall rankings of the GVA but that's how it is," Vos said. Despite skipping the first round in Ruddervoorde Vos trails leaders Harris and Van den Brand only by five points, together with Sanne Cant. Skipping another round will make an eventual overall win virtually impossible.

Full Results
1Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit0:43:06 
2Daphny van den Brand (Ned) AA Drink - Leontien.nl0:01:17 
3Sanne Cant (Bel) BOXX Veldritacademie0:01:26 
4Nikki Harris (GBr) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:30 
5Sophie de Boer (Ned) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:37 
6Gabriella Day (GBr) Renner Custom Cyclocross Team0:01:41 
7Sanne van Paassen (Ned) Brainwash0:02:40 
8Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) A C Bazancourt Reims  
9Pavla Havlikova (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:02:45 
10Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:03:33 
11Arenda Grimberg (Ned)0:03:49 
12Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) Brainwash0:04:28 
13Lana Verberne (Ned) RTC Buitenlust0:05:21 
14Martina Mikulaskova (Cze) Simunek Cycling Project0:05:28 
15Iris Ockeloen (Ned) RTC Groenewoud0:05:45 
16Tessa Van Nieuwpoort (Ned)0:06:03 
17Nikoline Hansen (Den) Bov CC-Denmark0:06:28 
18Nicole De Bie-Leyten (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:06:46 
19Christine Vardaros (USA) Baboco0:06:56 
20Katrien Thijs (Bel) K. Edegem Bicycle Club - BMX R0:07:14 
21Evy Kuijpers (Ned)0:07:30 
22Dirkje Bazuin (Ned) Restore Cycling0:08:32 
23Margriet Kloppenburg (Den)0:09:04 
24Karia Stepanova (Cze)0:09:29 
25Anja Nobus (Bel)  -1lap 
26Sarah Stewart (Can)  
27Shana Maes (Bel)  
28Monique Van De Ree (Ned)  
29Caren Commissaris (Bel)  -2laps 
30Lisa Herckmann (Ger)  
31Anja Geldhof (Bel)  
32Marijke De Pauw (Bel) WK Noord West Brabant  
33Madara Furmane (Lat)  
34Keshia Verbeek (Bel)  -3laps 
35Janice Geyskens (Bel)  
36Maaike Lanssens (Bel)  
GvA Trofee standings after 3 rounds
1Daphny van den Brand (Ned) AA Drink - Leontien.nl55pts
2Nikki Harris (GBr) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team55 
3Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit50 
4Sanne Cant (Bel) BOXX Veldritacademie50 
5Sophie de Boer (Ned) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team45 
6Gabriella Day (GBr) Renner Custom Cyclocross Team42 
7Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Racing39 
8Sanne van Paassen (Ned) Brainwash39 
9Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team30 
10Pavla Havlikova (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team26 
11Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) Brainwash24 
12Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel) Cycling Team Vermeeren22 
13Arenda Grimberg (Ned)21 
14Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) A C Bazancourt Reims13 
15Amy Dombroski (USA) Crankbrothers Race Club12 
16Nikoline Hansen (Den) Bov CC-Denmark12 
17Lana Verberne (Ned) RTC Buitenlust12 
18Maureen Bruno-Roy11 
19Martina Mikulaskova (Cze) Simunek Cycling Project11 
20Annefleur Kalvenhaar (Ned) Giant Dealerteams10 
21Christine Vardaros (USA) Baboco10 
22Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Kriekel Cycling Team Tessenderlo9 
23Evy Kuijpers (Ned)9 
24Githa Michiels (Bel)7 
25Katrien Thijs (Bel) K. Edegem Bicycle Club - BMX R7 
26Monique Van De Ree (Ned)6 
27Iris Ockeloen (Ned) RTC Groenewoud6 
28Hilde Quintens (Bel) Van Goethem - Prorace Cycling Team5 
29Nicole De Bie-Leyten (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team5 
30Tessa Van Nieuwpoort (Ned)5 
31Ilona Meter (Ned) RCP Stevens3 
32Margriet Kloppenburg (Den)3 
33Marijke De Pauw (Bel) WK Noord West Brabant2 
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