In what will be regarded as one of the most exciting women's cyclo-cross races of the season, Daphny van den Brand (ZZPR.nl) claimed the fifth and final round of the Gazet van Antwerpen Trophy. The European champion won ahead of Sanne Cant (BKCP-Powerplus), who took the overall classification of the GvA Trophy. Helen Wyman (Kona) finished third.
Illness kept Van den Brand from participating in the world championships last month but she bounced back and managed to end her season on a high note with a hard-fought win on the sand course in Oostmalle.
“After all the misery from the last few weeks this is fantastic,” Van den Brand said.
Cant was disappointed to lose out on the win after racking up her first big international during the previous round in Lille.
“Somehow there were still lapped riders on the course and I was hindered when I had a small gap. I came very close so it's a pity not to win,” an emotional Cant said.
For a long time it didn't seem like Van den Brand would even finish on the podium on the military base in Malle. German champion Hanka Kupfernagel (Stevens) accelerated and only Cant and Sanne van Paassen (Brainwash) were able to keep up. Wyman and Van den Brand were struggling to keep up with the pace set by the German champion.
Wyman explained that she didn't care about being dropped from the lead as she focused on her second place in the overall rankings.
“Daphny kept looking at me to do some work but my only goal today was finishing ahead of her to finish second in the overall rankings,” Wyman said. The two remained within a reasonable distance from the three leaders and after three laps all five riders got back together.
“Early on I felt good but when Hanka Kupfernagel accelerated I couldn't follow. For a couple of laps I was having a real hard time,” Van den Brand said.
The five leaders hit the last lap together and an exciting finale was about to unfold. Cant led the group through the first technical sections followed by Van Paasen, Wyman, Van den Brand and Kupfernagel. Van Paassen said she felt good but a corner in the sand section proved decisive.
“Sanne Cant always rode through the sand but suddenly she got stuck. I was on her wheel and couldn't avoid her. I lost my momentum. In the sand Wyman ran faster than me and out of fourth place SO I was in no position to win the race,” Van Paassen told Cyclingnews.
According to Wyman the same section took her out of contention too. “It wasn't a difficult corner but somehow it got messed up and the first two riders were gone,” Wyman told Cyclingnews.
Van den Brand and Cant sped away and battled for the victory. When Cant had a gap over Van den Brand that attempt was ended when she was hindered by riders who were somehow still in the race despite the 80 per cent rule.
“You'll never know how it could've ended but eventually Daphny and I were heading for a sprint and you never know how that's going to end,” Cant said.
The duo started a long sprint in which Cant had the upper hand at first but eventually it was Van den Brand who moved past.
“I don't know if you should call that a sprint. My legs were exploding and I thought I didn't have a chance but apparently we were both very tired. I'm very happy with this victory,” Van den Brand said.
Wyman came home in third place and lost €500 as she tumbles from second to third overall. Kupfernagel was fourth. Van Paassen didn't push on in the finale and finished fifth.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Daphny van den Brand (Ned) ZZPR.nl||0:38:30|
|2||Sanne Cant (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus|
|3||Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona||0:00:05|
|4||Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) Itera-Stevens|
|5||Sanne van Paassen (Ned) BrainWash||0:00:16|
|6||Pavla Havlikova (Cze) APB Cycling Team||0:01:17|
|7||Nikki Harris (GBr) APB Cycling Team||0:01:30|
|8||Arenda Grimberg (Ned)|
|9||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)||0:01:41|
|10||Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn (Ned) ZZPR.nl||0:02:03|
|11||Nicole De Bie - Leyten (Bel) APB Cycling Team||0:02:07|
|12||Nancy Bober (Bel) Style & Concept Cycling Team||0:02:31|
|13||Tessa Van Nieuwpoort (Ned)||0:02:40|
|14||Ellen Van Loy (Bel)||0:04:08|
|15||Karen Verhestraeten (Bel)||0:04:12|
|16||Lana Verberne (Ned)||0:04:15|
|17||Gertie Willems (Bel)||0:04:47|
|18||Anja Geldhof (Bel)||0:05:01|
|19||Hilde Quintens (Bel)||0:05:20|
|20||Katrien Thijs (Bel) Edegem Bicycle Club V.Z.W.||0:05:51|
|21||Katrien Aerts (Bel)||0:06:02|
|22||Christine Vardaros (USA) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team||0:06:55|
|23||Nele Van Maldeghem (Bel)||0:07:10|
|-2laps||Laura Lepasalu (Est)|
|-2laps||Caren Commissaris (Bel)|
|-2laps||Madara Furmane (Lat)|
|-2laps||Greete Steinburg (Est)|
|-2laps||Sirje Lepik (Est)|
|-2laps||Marijke De Pauw (Bel)|
|-2laps||Valerie Boonen (Bel)|
|-3laps||Sharon Defoor (Bel)|
|-3laps||Maaike Lanssens (Bel) WC De Molenspurters Meulebeke|
|-3laps||Caitlyn La Haye (Bel)|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Sanne Cant (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus||105||pts|
|2||Daphny van den Brand (Ned) ZZPR.nl||94|
|3||Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona||91|
|4||Sanne van Paassen (Ned) BrainWash||76|
|5||Pavla Havlikova (Cze) APB Cycling Team||71|
|6||Nikki Harris (GBr) APB Cycling Team||67|
|7||Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) Itera-Stevens||58|
|8||Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn (Ned) ZZPR.nl||57|
|9||Arenda Grimberg (Ned)||52|
|10||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)||51|
|11||Sophie de Boer (Ned) ZZPR.nl||48|
|12||Marianne Vos (Ned)||47|
|13||Nancy Bober (Bel) Style & Concept Cycling Team||41|
|14||Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) BrainWash||29|
|15||Ellen Van Loy (Bel)||26|
|16||Nicole De Bie - Leyten (Bel) APB Cycling Team||24|
|17||Linda van Rijen (Ned)||20|
|18||Gabriella Day (GBr) The ChainStay-RENNER||20|
|19||Tessa Van Nieuwpoort (Ned)||20|
|20||Christine Vardaros (USA) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team||13|
|21||Susan Butler (USA) Hudz-Subaru||10|
|22||Karen Verhestraeten (Bel)||10|
|23||Martina Zwick (Ger)||9|
|24||Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob's Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles||8|
|25||Jasmin Achermann (Swi) Fischer-BMC||7|
|26||Helena van Leijen (Ned)||5|
|27||Martina Mikulaskova (Cze)||5|
|28||Nathalie Nijns (Bel)||5|
|29||Hilde Quintens (Bel)||5|
|30||Anja Geldhof (Bel)||5|
|31||Lana Verberne (Ned)||5|
|32||Katrien Thijs (Bel) Edegem Bicycle Club V.Z.W.||4|
|33||Gertie Willems (Bel)||4|
|34||Ilona Meter (Ned)||2|
|35||Nikoline Hansen (Den)||1|