World champion Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit) prevailed in a three-rider sprint to win her first race of the 'cross season. The 23-year-old Dutchwoman outkicked German champion Hanka Kupfernagel (Itera-Stevens) and Dutch champion Daphny van den Brand (ZZPR.nl) for the victory in Loenhout, Belgium.
Belgian champion Sanne Cant (BKCP-Powerplus) finished in fourth place, 30 seconds back, followed by Sanne van Paassen (BrainWash) who crossed the line in fifth place 25 seconds later. Despite finishing in fifth place during the third round of the GVA Trophy, Van Paassen remains in the overall series lead.
"I'm really happy with this victory," Vos told Cyclingnews. "It was an exciting race with a strong field on a demanding course. First Hanka seemed to be getting dropped and the next moment she was pulling hard in front. I was glad that I could keep up with her. Hanka wanted to turn it into a long sprint but I was able to hold on to her wheel."
"I think this was a great race for the spectators. Of the top riders only Katherine Compton was missing, the rest were all here."
A first selection in the race resulted in a leader's group of six containing Vos, Kupfernagel, Van den Brand, Van Paassen, Sanne Cant (BKCP-Powerplus) and Gabriella Day (The ChainStay-RENNER). The snow and ice in Loenhout had thawed offering the riders a muddy course and Day was the first to get dropped.
The pace set by Kupfernagel during the third lap put Cant and Vos in trouble but both could eventually return.
During the penultimate lap Van Paassen set the pace but she suddenly dropped back after making a technical error. "After that I had no power left. I'm happy that I'm still leading in the overall standing though because yesterday I crashed on my back," Van Paassen said.
Kupfernagel didn't wait for Van Paassen to return and set the pace in the final lap. Van den Brand was in trouble but once again she managed to return. Although Vos is regarded to have the fastest legs in the sprint Kupfernagel wasn't planning to hand her the victory without a fight. "I tried to surprise her in the last corners but that didn't work," Kupfernagel said.
The German champion led out the long sprint ahead of Vos and Van den Brand. Vos easily came around Kupfernagel while Van den Brand remained in third place. "My feet had no feeling on the final lap because of the cold. Anyway I'm happy that I was able to compete with these women after my food poisoning," Van den Brand said.
Behind the top five Pavla Havlikova was best of the rest by beating Helen Wyman (Kona) in a sprint 1:42 behind Vos. British champion Wyman had a bad first half of the race but then fought back and overtook her compatriot Nikki Harris (APB) and Day to become the first British rider at the finish line. Harris and Day finished in eighth and ninth while Sophie de Boer (ZZPR.nl) rounded out the top 10.
World Cup leader Katherine Compton (Planet Bike) was the major absentee in Loenhout as she's currently back home in Colorado to prepare for the end of the season.
Sanne van Paassen remains in the GVA series lead with 60 points, holding a slim 2 point advantage over both Sanne Cant and Daphny van den Brand. Helen Wyman holds fourth overall with 55 points followed by Sophie de Boer and Pavla Havlikova, each with 42 points.
|1||Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit||0:41:36|
|2||Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) Itera-Stevens|
|3||Daphny van den Brand (Ned) ZZPR.nl|
|4||Sanne Cant (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus||0:00:30|
|5||Sanne van Paassen (Ned) BrainWash||0:00:55|
|6||Pavla Havlikova (Cze) APB Cycling Team||0:01:42|
|7||Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona|
|8||Nikki Harris (GBr) APB Cycling Team||0:02:14|
|9||Gabriella Day (GBr) The ChainStay-RENNER||0:02:20|
|10||Sophie de Boer (Ned) ZZPR.nl||0:02:40|
|11||Susan Butler (USA) Hudz-Subaru||0:03:25|
|12||Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn (Ned) ZZPR.nl||0:03:40|
|13||Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob's Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles||0:04:20|
|14||Ellen Van Loy (Bel)||0:04:35|
|15||Arenda Grimberg (Ned)||0:05:11|
|16||Martina Mikulaskova (Cze)|
|17||Tessa Van Nieuwpoort (Ned)||0:05:30|
|18||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)||0:05:40|
|19||Nancy Bober (Bel) Style & Concept Cycling Team||0:05:45|
|20||Nicole De Bie - Leyten (Bel) APB Cycling Team|
|21||Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Fra)||0:06:16|
|22||Gertie Willems (Bel)||0:06:20|
|23||Katrien Thijs (Bel) Edegem Bicycle Club V.Z.W.||0:06:30|
|24||Anja Geldhof (Bel)||0:06:45|
|25||Katrien Aerts (Bel)||0:06:50|
|26||Nikoline Hansen (Den)||0:06:55|
|27||Anne Arnouts (Bel) Redsun Cycling Team||0:07:00|
|28||Ayako Toyooka (Jpn)||0:07:05|
|29||Lana Verberne (Ned)||0:07:20|
|30||Nathalie Nijns (Bel)||0:07:40|
|31||Elke Riedl (Aut)||0:07:45|
|32||Katrien Vermeiren (Bel) Emversport International C. T. VZW||0:08:34|
|33||Hannah Payton (GBr)||-1lap|
|34||Karen Verhestraeten (Bel)|
|35||Marijke De Pauw (Bel)|
|36||Iris Ockeloen (Ned)|
|37||Anja Nobus (Bel)|
|38||Suzie Godart (Lux) Fenixs-Petrogradets|
|39||Monique van de Ree (Ned)|
|40||Caren Commissaris (Bel)||-2laps|
|41||Ilse Vandekinderen (Bel)|
|42||Claire Thomas (GBr)|
|43||Anouk Rockx (Ned)|
|44||Sharon Defoor (Bel)||-3laps|
|45||Béatrice Godart (Lux)|
|46||Maaike Lanssens (Bel) WC De Molenspurters Meulebeke|
|47||Christine Vardaros (USA) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team|
|48||Linda van Rijen (Ned)|
|49||Sabrina Schweizer (Ger)|
|50||Kristien Nelen (Bel)|
|1||Sanne van Paassen (Ned) BrainWash||60||pts|
|2||Sanne Cant (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus||58|
|3||Daphny van den Brand (Ned) ZZPR.nl||58|
|4||Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona||55|
|5||Sophie de Boer (Ned) ZZPR.nl||42|
|6||Pavla Havlikova (Cze) APB Cycling Team||42|
|7||Nikki Harris (GBr) APB Cycling Team||38|
|8||Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn (Ned) ZZPR.nl||36|
|9||Arenda Grimberg (Ned)||27|
|10||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)||26|
|11||Nancy Bober (Bel) Style & Concept Cycling Team||25|
|12||Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit||25|
|13||Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) Itera-Stevens||22|
|14||Linda van Rijen (Ned)||20|
|15||Gabriella Day (GBr) The ChainStay-RENNER||20|
|16||Ellen Van Loy (Bel)||14|
|17||Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) BrainWash||13|
|18||Christine Vardaros (USA) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team||13|
|19||Susan Butler (USA) Hudz-Subaru||10|
|20||Martina Zwick (Ger)||9|
|21||Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob's Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles||8|
|22||Jasmin Achermann (Swi) Fischer-BMC||7|
|23||Helena van Leijen (Ned)||5|
|24||Nicole De Bie - Leyten (Bel) APB Cycling Team||5|
|25||Martina Mikulaskova (Cze)||5|
|26||Tessa Van Nieuwpoort (Ned)||4|
|27||Nathalie Nijns (Bel)||3|
|28||Katrien Thijs (Bel) Edegem Bicycle Club V.Z.W.||3|
|29||Ilona Meter (Ned)||2|
|30||Anja Geldhof (Bel)||1|
|31||Nikoline Hansen (Den)||1|