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Vos outfoxes Kupfernagel and Van den Brand

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 ( 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 ( 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.

Full Results
1Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit0:41:36
2Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) Itera-Stevens
3Daphny van den Brand (Ned)
4Sanne Cant (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:30
5Sanne van Paassen (Ned) BrainWash0:00:55
6Pavla Havlikova (Cze) APB Cycling Team0:01:42
7Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona
8Nikki Harris (GBr) APB Cycling Team0:02:14
9Gabriella Day (GBr) The ChainStay-RENNER0:02:20
10Sophie de Boer (Ned) ZZPR.nl0:02:40
11Susan Butler (USA) Hudz-Subaru0:03:25
12Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn (Ned) ZZPR.nl0:03:40
13Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob's Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles0:04:20
14Ellen Van Loy (Bel)0:04:35
15Arenda Grimberg (Ned)0:05:11
16Martina Mikulaskova (Cze)
17Tessa Van Nieuwpoort (Ned)0:05:30
18Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)0:05:40
19Nancy Bober (Bel) Style & Concept Cycling Team0:05:45
20Nicole De Bie - Leyten (Bel) APB Cycling Team
21Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Fra)0:06:16
22Gertie Willems (Bel)0:06:20
23Katrien Thijs (Bel) Edegem Bicycle Club V.Z.W.0:06:30
24Anja Geldhof (Bel)0:06:45
25Katrien Aerts (Bel)0:06:50
26Nikoline Hansen (Den)0:06:55
27Anne Arnouts (Bel) Redsun Cycling Team0:07:00
28Ayako Toyooka (Jpn)0:07:05
29Lana Verberne (Ned)0:07:20
30Nathalie Nijns (Bel)0:07:40
31Elke Riedl (Aut)0:07:45
32Katrien Vermeiren (Bel) Emversport International C. T. VZW0:08:34
33Hannah Payton (GBr)-1lap
34Karen Verhestraeten (Bel)
35Marijke De Pauw (Bel)
36Iris Ockeloen (Ned)
37Anja Nobus (Bel)
38Suzie Godart (Lux) Fenixs-Petrogradets
39Monique van de Ree (Ned)
40Caren Commissaris (Bel)-2laps
41Ilse Vandekinderen (Bel)
42Claire Thomas (GBr)
43Anouk Rockx (Ned)
44Sharon Defoor (Bel)-3laps
45Béatrice Godart (Lux)
46Maaike Lanssens (Bel) WC De Molenspurters Meulebeke
47Christine Vardaros (USA) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team
48Linda van Rijen (Ned)
49Sabrina Schweizer (Ger)
50Kristien Nelen (Bel)

Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee standings after 3 rounds
1Sanne van Paassen (Ned) BrainWash60pts
2Sanne Cant (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus58
3Daphny van den Brand (Ned) ZZPR.nl58
4Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona55
5Sophie de Boer (Ned) ZZPR.nl42
6Pavla Havlikova (Cze) APB Cycling Team42
7Nikki Harris (GBr) APB Cycling Team38
8Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn (Ned) ZZPR.nl36
9Arenda Grimberg (Ned)27
10Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)26
11Nancy Bober (Bel) Style & Concept Cycling Team25
12Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit25
13Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) Itera-Stevens22
14Linda van Rijen (Ned)20
15Gabriella Day (GBr) The ChainStay-RENNER20
16Ellen Van Loy (Bel)14
17Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) BrainWash13
18Christine Vardaros (USA) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team13
19Susan Butler (USA) Hudz-Subaru10
20Martina Zwick (Ger)9
21Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob's Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles8
22Jasmin Achermann (Swi) Fischer-BMC7
23Helena van Leijen (Ned)5
24Nicole De Bie - Leyten (Bel) APB Cycling Team5
25Martina Mikulaskova (Cze)5
26Tessa Van Nieuwpoort (Ned)4
27Nathalie Nijns (Bel)3
28Katrien Thijs (Bel) Edegem Bicycle Club V.Z.W.3
29Ilona Meter (Ned)2
30Anja Geldhof (Bel)1
31Nikoline Hansen (Den)1

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