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Stybar wins in Namur

Czech cyclo-cross star Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) clinched the win in the first round of the Gazet van Anwerpen Trophy in Namur, Belgium. Stybar dropped Belgian Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) during the last lap to finish solo on top of the massive Namur citadel. In addition, Stybar grabbed three bonus points during the intermediate sprint after two laps and a 1000-euro bonus for riding the fastest lap of the race.

Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea) finished third half a minute after Stybar. The classification chances of Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) suffered a blow when he pulled out of the race. The Belgian champion had an off-day and abandoned when he realized he wasn't going to score the big points in Namur. Combined with the absence of an injured Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus), Stybar is off to a good start toward the overall victory in the GvA Trophy.

The Czech winner started his season with a bang by winning all three races he has entered. "This was the hardest one of the three," Stybar said. "For a long time, I was doubting whether I would be able to win here."

After taking the hole shot into one of the multiple drops on the course, Stybar's efforts created a five-man leaders' group - featuring Vantornout, Pauwels, Bart Aernouts (Rabo Offroad) and Dieter Vanthourenhout (BKCP-Powerplus). The latter was quickly dropped into another group with Francis Mourey (La Francçaise Des Jeux) and Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea). Enrico Franzoi (BKCP-Powerplus) followed at short distance.

"Halfway through the race, I had a bad moment, but from then on, I only got better," said Stybar. By that time there were only two leaders left, Stybar and Vantornout. Aernouts was dropped mid-way through the race, and Pauwels lost contact with the leaders shortly after that with a flat tyre ruining his chances for the day.

The race was decided during the last lap when the lead duo fought for position, heading into a a tricky downhill part of the course.

Vantornout shared his view on things with Cyclingnews. "We were sprinting shoulder by shoulder towards that drop. One of us had to brake; otherwise we would have crashed. Anyway, Stybar had a better technique on the descent and gained 10 metres. I tried to set that straight and gave all I had, but I simply couldn't close the gap.

Stybar, for his part, felt the downhill wasn't as decisive as Vantornout had thought. "It was just part of the race. We weren't going shoulder to shoulder. The difference was that I rode a different gear there and could go faster down the hill," said Stybar. "I took full risks there. Then again I didn't feel it was the most important section of this course. He had two other spots where he could have overtaken me, but he didn't seem to know about them."

Van Paassen in a league of her own

The demanding course on the Namur citadel proved to be the ideal challenge for Sanne van Paassen (Brainwash) in the women's race. The young Dutch woman surged away right from the start and completed a four-lap solo effort in tremendous style. Her compatriot Daphny van den Brand (ZZPRNL) won the battle for second place ahead of Belgium's Sanne Cant (BKCP-Powerplus). More than a minute later, Pavla Havlikova (APB) and Helen Wyman (Kona-Bongo Bongo) completed the top-five in Namur.

"It wasn't my goal to ride away from the rest that soon," said Van Paassen to Cyclingnews. "I just set a steady pace, but when I looked back, the rest were unable to follow."

The 21-year-old Dutch woman Van Paassen then focused on making as few mistakes as possible. "I didn't go flat out all the time because then you start making mistakes. Early on, I made a minor one and that made me attentive."

During the last lap van Paassen got into some sort of trouble while working her way through the mud. "Yeah, I got stuck there and had to get off my bike. I never panicked though since the gap on Daphny was big enough for the win," she said.

The gap to Daphny van den Brand was big enough indeed; and on the line, 21 seconds separated the two compatriots from each other. Van den Brand was bothered by the warm weather conditions in Namur. "I had to recover from the fast start but that didn't work out too well. I haven't done much interval training yet, so today's race didn't suit me at all," van den Brand said.

During the last lap, the 32-year-old Dutch woman was able to shake off that other young talent Sanne Cant. "I could go harder after taking a fresh bike with less pressure in the tubes," Van den Brand said.

Cant didn't seem to mind to much about losing the battle for second. "She got a gap when I made a small mistake just before the run-up on the stairs. Soon after that, she was out of sight," Cant told Cyclingnews.

Behind the top-three, Pavla Havlikova rode most of the race on her own toward fourth place. "There's a lot of running, and my short legs don't help," a satisfied Havlikova told Cyclingnews.

Half a minute later Helen Wyman (Kona Bongo Bongo) won a hard fought battle with Dutch women Linda van Rijen and Sophie de Boer for fifth place. "I had a good start but lost contact with the leaders after slipping on the off-camber section. I'm making good progress, and I'm happy with fifth against the best since most of these women are at the World Cups races too," Wyman said.

Halfway through the race, Gabriella Day (Horizon Fitness RT) crashed spectacularly on one of the steep drops. She lost her balance and landed on the right side of her neck.The British woman seemed to have lost consciousness as she didn't move for half a minute. A few moments later, she gave signs of life and after receiving first aid, she was eventually taken to the nearby hospital by ambulance.

The second round of the GvA-Trophy will be held in a month's time on November 1 in Melden, near Oudenaade, Belgium. The course is designed on the slopes of a hill known from the Ronde van Vlaanderen, the legendary Koppenberg.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Zdenek Stybar (Cze)59:31:00
2Klaas Vantornout (Bel)0:00:08
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel)0:00:31
4Bart Aernouts (Bel)0:00:42
5Bart Wellens (Bel)0:01:06
6Enrico Franzoi (Ita)0:01:14
7Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel)0:02:50
8Francis Mourey (Fra)0:02:57
9Gerben De Knegt (Ned)0:03:10
10Philipp Walsleben (Ger)0:03:23
11Rob Peeters (Bel)0:03:31
12Robert Gavenda (Svk)0:03:37
13Ian Field (GBr)0:03:55
14Jan Denuwelaere (Bel)
15Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel)
16Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel)0:04:25
17Mariusz Gil (Pol)0:04:51
18Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel)0:05:05
19Ben Berden (Bel)0:05:19
20Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned)0:05:22
21Patrick Gaudy (Bel)0:05:46
22Marcel Wildhaber (Swi)0:06:03
23Jonathan Page (USA)0:06:27
24Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa)0:06:47
25Jan Verstraeten (Bel)0:06:54
26Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned)0:07:01
27Martin Zlamalik (Cze)0:07:22
28Romain Villa (Fra)0:07:32
-1lapStijn Huys (Bel)
-1lapMike Thielemans (Bel)
-1lapKevin Cant (Bel)
-2lapsBart Verschueren (Bel)
-3lapsLudovic Mottet (Bel)

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sanne Van Paassen (Ned)0:37:05
2Daphny Van Den Brand (Ned)0:00:21
3Sanne Cant (Bel)0:00:49
4Pavla Havlikova (Cze)0:01:11
5Helen Wyman (GBr)0:01:39
6Sophie De Boer (Ned)0:02:15
7Linda Van Rijen (Ned)0:02:39
8Reza Hormes (Ned)0:02:59
9Nikki Harris (GBr)0:04:03
10Nancy Bober (Bel)0:04:43
11Arenda Grimberg (Ned)0:04:57
12Martina Zwick (Ger)0:05:15
13Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)
14Jasmin Achermann (Swi)0:05:31
15Sabrina Stultiens (Ned)0:05:53
16Ellen Van Loy (Bel)0:07:15
17Christine Vardaros (USA)0:07:36
18Nathalie Nijns (Bel)0:09:13
19Ilona Meter (Ned)0:11:17
20Anja Geldhof (Bel)0:11:39
-2lapsKim Van Renterghem (Bel)

Under 23 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra)0:55:16
2Joeri Adams (Bel)0:00:25
3Jim Aernouts (Bel)0:01:06
4Kevin Eeckhout (Bel)0:01:34
5Lars Van Der Haar (Ned)0:01:47
6Jiri Polnicky (Cze)0:02:09
7Arnaud Grand (Swi)
8Stef Boden (Bel)
9Jens Adams (Bel)0:02:16
10Sven Beelen (Bel)0:02:25
11Jelle Brackman (Bel)
12Vinnie Braet (Bel)0:02:32
13Twan Van Den Brand (Ned)0:02:53
14Marcel Meisen (Ger)0:03:52
15Emiel Dolfsma (Ned)0:04:02
16Matthieu Boulo (Fra)0:04:04
17Robby Cobbaert (Bel)
18Vincent Baestaens (Bel)0:04:08
19Kristof Cop (Bel)0:04:20
20Geert Van Der Horst (Ned)0:04:37
21Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)0:04:41
22David Van Der Poel (Ned)0:04:52
23Angelo De Clercq (Bel)0:05:00
24Kobus Hereijgers (Ned)0:05:32
25Daniel Ruiz Echeandia (Spa)0:05:50
26Micki Van Empel (Ned)
27Dany Lacroix (Bel)0:06:53
28Xandro Meurisse (Bel)0:07:00
29Matthias Bossuyt (Bel)0:07:22
30Niels Koyen (Bel)0:08:01
31Gianni Vermeersch (Bel)0:08:06
32Jonathan Bervoets (Bel)0:08:22
33Stijn Mortelmans (Bel)0:08:46
34Raf Risbourg (Bel)0:09:16
-1lapJelle Cant (Bel)
-1lapJeffrey Mellemans (Bel)
-1lapInigo Gomez Elorriaga (Spa)
-1lapIngmar Uytdewilligen (Bel)
-1lapMattia Rossi (Ita)
-2lapsJoeri Hofman (Bel)
-2lapsFrederick Cattryse (Bel)
-2lapsDimitri Corriette (Fra)
-3lapsJon Gomez Elorriaga (Spa)
-3lapsMatthias Boetens (Bel)

Gazet van Anwerpen Trophy standings after round 1

Elite men
1Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team28pts
2Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor23
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team21
4Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank - Giant Offroad Team17
5Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team16
6Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus15
7Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus14
8Francis Mourey (Fra) Française Des Jeux13
9Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team12
10Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus11
11Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team10
12Robert Gavenda (Svk) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team9
13Ian Field (GBr)8
14Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team7
15Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor6
16Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team5
17Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team4
18Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb Revor3
19Ben Berden (Bel) Qin Cycling Team2
20Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)1

Elite women
1Sanne van Paassen (Ned) BrainWash25pts
2Daphny van den Brand (Ned)
3Sanne Cant (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus19
4Pavla Havlikova (Cze)17
5Helen Wyman (GBr)16
6Sophie De Boer (Ned)15
7Linda Van Rijen (Ned)14
8Reza Hormes (Ned)13
9Nikki Harris (GBr)12
10Nancy Bober (Bel)11
11Arenda Grimberg (Ned)10
12Martina Zwick (Ger)9
13Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)8
14Jasmin Achermann (Swi)7
15Sabrina Stultiens (Ned)6
16Ellen Van Loy (Bel)5
17Christine Vardaros (USA)4
18Nathalie Nijns (Bel)3
19Ilona Meter (Ned)2
20Anja Geldhof (Bel)1

Under 23 men
1Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) BKCP-Powerplus25pts
2Joeri Adams (Bel) Rabobank Continental22
3Jim Aernouts (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus19
4Kevin Eeckhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor17
5Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team16
6Jirí Polnický (Cze) Sunweb - Revor15
7Arnaud Grand (Swi) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team14
8Stef Boden (Bel) Sunweb-Revor13
9Jens Adams (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus12
10Sven Beelen (Bel) Sunweb-Revor11
11Jelle Brackman (Bel) MTB dreamteam10
12Vinnie Braet (Bel) Sunweb-Revor9
13Twan van den Brand (Ned) Sunweb-Revor8
14Marcel Meisen (Ger)7
15Emiel Dolfsma (Ned)6
16Matthieu Boulo (Fra)5
17Robby Cobbaert (Bel) SDC - Rogelli Cycling Team4
18Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team3
19Kristof Cop (Bel)2
20Geert van der Horst (Ned)1

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